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SCANS Program neuropsychology testing


What is a neuropsychology screening?

A neuropsychology screening is a two-hour appointment with an evaluator who will provide tests and activities to help understand how your child thinks, learns, and behaves. This testing appointment is done as part of the Screening Assessment of Neuropsychology Skills (SCANS) Program at St. Jude. All patients with sickle cell disease who are seen at St. Jude will be tested in the SCANS Program every four years:  Once during the infant/toddler clinic, once during the school-age clinic, and twice during the teen clinic.

Why does my child need these tests? 

  • Some children with sickle cell disease develop thinking, learning, and behavioral problems because the disease can affect the brain.
  • Testing will let us find problems before they affect learning. The staff can also follow up on any past learning problems.

How does testing help my child?

The test results will be helpful in many ways:

  • Give information on your child’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Help staff to identify ways to help with weak areas.
  • Help doctors and staff keep track of how well your child’s treatments are working, such as hydroxyurea or chronic transfusion treatments.
  • Help you and your child plan for education or work after high school.
  • Help doctors and staff give your child better care now, including care designed for his specific needs.
  • Help your child go from St. Jude to adult medical care when he turns 18.

What happens at my child’s appointment?

You or another parent or guardian should bring your child to the SCANS appointment. The staff will talk with you and ask questions about your child. Your child will be asked to do one-on-one tests and activities, involving verbal, written, and computer-based responding. Your child will not get any shots, X-rays, or physical tests.  

After the appointment, you will get your child’s test results in the mail. A St. Jude psychologist will also talk to you about the results and suggest things that could help your child. For example, it might help to set up a school plan. A STARR coordinator from St. Jude can help you set up this plan at the school. STARR stands for Success Through Academics, Resources and Research.

The school plan might include:

  • Extra time for tests,
  • A separate testing room so your child is not distracted, and
  • Extra help or tutoring for subjects in which your child has trouble.  

The psychologist might also suggest other services. These could include:

  • Occupational therapy,
  • Speech and language therapy, or
  • Seeing a psychologist at St. Jude or nearby.

How should I prepare my child?

Your child should have a good night of sleep, eat a good breakfast, and take any medicines as usual on the day of testing.

Where is the testing done?

Testing in the SCANS Program is done in the St. Jude Psychology Clinic, Room BP071 on the plaza level of the Patient Care Center. This is one (1) floor below the Hematology Clinic. 


If you have questions about the SCANS Program, please call 901-595-7946 or talk to your child’s St. Jude doctor or nurse.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).