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Psychology evaluation


What is a psychology evaluation?

A psychology evaluation is an appointment to learn about your child's thinking, learning, and behavior. A doctor who is an expert in thinking, learning, and behavior will spend time with you and your child. They will talk with you and your child and do some tests. This type of doctor is called a psychologist.

Your child might have a "neuropsychology (nur-oh-sy-KOL-oh-jee) evaluation" instead. The doctor who does this is an expert in:

  • How the brain works, and
  • How a brain injury can affect thinking and learning.

This doctor is called a "neuropsychologist" (nur-oh-sy-KOL-oh-jist). They will talk with you and your child and do tests.

The psychology team will decide what type of evaluation is best for your child. This handout tells you why your child needs an evaluation. It also tells you how an evaluation works and how it can help you and your child.

Why would my child have an evaluation?

Your child might have an evaluation because they are in a research study that includes it. Also, your health care team might request an evaluation if your child is having problems with:

  • Thinking, or getting along in daily life,
  • Learning at the same rate as other children their age,
  • Doing well in school, or
  • Paying attention, remembering things, and staying organized.

If you notice that your child has any of these problems, tell the health care team. A psychology evaluation could help.

What does an evaluation measure?

Some things it can measure include:

  • Normal development,
  • Intelligence and school-related skills, such as reading and math,
  • Ability to pay attention, learn, and remember things,
  • Ability to plan, organize, and solve problems,
  • Ability to communicate, and
  • Social skills.

How can an evaluation help my child?

Ways it can help include:

  • Understanding your child better – Including giving information on strengths and weaknesses,
  • Learning if they have a specific condition, or learning more about it,
  • Watching for changes caused by health problems or treatment – Especially if your child is getting treatment that can cause thinking problems,
  • Getting your child ready to go back to school, and making specific plans for school or job training, and
  • Finding other professionals to help if needed – Such as teachers and therapists.

What is a neuropsychology evaluation?

This is a specific kind of psychology evaluation. It tells your child's health care team how your child's medical condition and treatment could affect their thinking, emotions, and behavior. Your child might need it if they have a condition such as:

  • Seizures,
  • Strokes,
  • Traumatic brain injury,
  • Difficulty seeing, hearing, or speaking, or
  • Weakness on one (1) side of the body.

What happens at a psychology or neuropsychology evaluation?

You and your child will talk with a doctor or another psychology team member who does these evaluations. Your child will probably also take tests with a pencil and paper or on a computer.

Where do we go for testing?

To the Psychology clinic. We are in the Patient Care Center on the Plaza Level, Room BP071.

How long does an evaluation take?

The appointment often lasts at least 3 hours, but this depends on your child's needs. Your child might have testing at more than one (1) appointment if needed. 

Do I need to be there?

Yes. A parent or guardian needs to be there to answer questions and fill out forms. You or another caregiver should be ready to stay at St. Jude during the evaluation. We might also ask you to sign a form that allows a psychology team member to talk to your child's school.

Important information about your appointment

Please be on time. If you are more than 15 minutes late, it might be difficult to finish on time. If you are late for your appointment, we might not be able to see your child.

If you need to cancel your appointment, please call 901-595-3581 as soon as possible.

If you do not come to your appointment more than one (1) time without calling, we might not schedule any more appointments for your child.

How should I get my child ready for an evaluation?

Your child should have a good night of sleep and eat a good meal before the appointment. Your child should take all their regular medicines on the test day.

What should I bring to the evaluation?

Please bring your child's school records, including:

  • Results of any evaluations they had before,
  • Contact information for your child’s school,
  • State test scores,
  • Report cards, and
  • A copy of your child's 504 plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP) if they have one. 

Your child should wear any prescription glasses or hearing aids they have.

How will I get the results?

  • In person or by phone – From the psychology team member who works with you and your child. They will talk with you about the results and what they recommend.
  • In writing – We will give you a written report of how your child did on the tests. It might also suggest things you can do to help your child.

How can I use the results?

Some things you can do with the results are:

  • Follow the suggestions to help your child cope with challenges – Or get better at difficult things.
  • Share the results with teachers and your child's health care team members – The information can help them care for your child.
  • Share the results with organizations that can help your child – Such as the state Vocational Rehabilitation office or the Office of Student Disabilities at your child's college.


For more information, please call the Psychology Clinic at 901-595-3581.


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).