Learning Disorders, Neurodivergence, and Brain Injury
What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation
Neuropsychological evaluations and psychoeducational testing are completed when a parent or individual has questions about how their (or their child’s) brain is functioning in the context of their work or school environment. An evaluation can be requested if a person may have undergone a brain injury (e.g. car accident, concussion, or stroke) or notice developmental concerns through observations at home or school from parents, coaches, tutors, or teachers.
The evaluation is based on the concerns presented in the initial consultation. While the evaluation may be different for each individual, the domains that can be assessed include: attention and processing speed, executive functioning, memory, visual/spatial abilities, motor coordination, intellectual functioning, adaptive functioning. After each evaluation, an individual will be provided with personal recommendations and suggestions for accommodations that can help the person function better in their environment.
What Happens Before, During, and After an Evaluation?
The first contact made by a person via phone or email will prompt scheduling a 20-minute phone/video consultation to discuss how a psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluation can help answer questions as well as determine whether the person is an appropriate candidate for accommodations, notably in school or for high stakes testing.
Next, we would schedule an interview with the parents, spouse, or other close family or friend as well as child/patient. Questions during the interview will include requesting information pertaining to developmental history, social functioning, educational history, family history, and current behavioral/functional challenges.
The family will complete questionnaires at home to be returned before testing to help capture more of the nuanced concerns.
Next, the evaluation is scheduled. Often the testing can be completed in one session (6-8 hours total) or over two sessions days (3-4 hours total) depending on the scheduling preferences and availability of the clinician and the family. The testing can be completed over a combination of telehealth/remote evaluation and in-person sessions, depending on the situation.
Once the testing is complete, the clinician will develop a report of the findings and schedule a feedback session to discuss the evaluation and the recommendations based on the clinical interview and the results of testing. Included in the report will be recommendations for family, school/work, and for the patient. Arrangements can be made if the family requests support at school meetings (IEP’s) to discuss the recommendations. Letters to employers can be developed to help the employer understand the needs of the individual based on ADA or Section 504 regulations.