Psychological and Neuropsychological Assessment

Patients may be referred for psychological or neuropsychological assessment for a number of reasons including:

  • Concerns about development
  • Academic or learning problems
  • Memory problems
  • Attention problems
  • For help preparing for school re-entry
  • For help updating educational accommodations (such as 504 plans, IEPs)
  • Concerns about changes in functioning

Parents can help prepare a child for an assessment appointment by making sure he is well rested and has eaten. This will help ensure that he will feel good and be able to put forth his best effort. Also, children should take their normal medicines, including medicines for ADHD, and should wear their glasses and hearing aids as prescribed. Children should be reassured that there will be no physical exam or needle sticks. Parents are encouraged to bring recent report cards, letters from teachers, education plans (504 Plans, IEPs), and results of any psychological or academic tests that have been done in the past.

Parents will receive feedback either right after the assessment or during a separate feedback session, depending on the child’s schedule and the type of assessment completed. The separate feedback session may be scheduled in our clinic or held over the phone. Additionally, families will receive a written report in the mail that details the assessment results and recommendations. Typically, this report is sent no later than one month after the assessment.

Potential benefits of undergoing psychological or neuropsychological assessment include:

  • A smoother transition back to school or transition from elementary to middle to high school
  • Assurance that your child is receiving the correct education and academic accommodations
  • Guidance about vocational or post-graduate education as teenagers prepare to graduate from high school or college

Psychological vs. Neuropsychological Assessment

Many of the referrals for assessment received by the Psychology Clinic are served through psychological assessment. However, in some cases, the psychologists decide a patient may be better served through neuropsychological assessment, which typically covers a broader range of skills such as motor abilities, sensory functioning, language, and memory in addition to the areas traditionally included in psychological assessment such as intellectual functioning, academic achievement, and attention abilities. A psychological assessment is typically a 3-3.5 hour appointment. Neuropsychological assessment may be a lengthier appointment (up to 6 hours depending on the needs of the patient).