Using neuropsychological testing to better understand your needs or the needs of your child
Neuropsychological evaluation is a tool used by psychologists to help understand your brain and your experience. IIf you are struggling with focus, learning difficulties, stress, or frustration at school or work, we can help. We understand how difficult that can be. You might feel frustrated or confused about how to help yourself, your child or your teen.
If you are a parent, you may see your child struggling in school, but you don’t know what to do. Your child may seem to be frustrated and doesn’t like homework, reading, or learning. Your child may also be stressed, anxious, and irritable. You want help, but you don’t know where to turn.
If you are an adult, you may notice that despite working hard, you cannot seem to concentrate. You have started many projects, but cannot seem to finish any of them. You lose things, forget appointments, and cannot stay organized. Your thoughts may race, and you may even find it hard to sit still. You find that these issues are causing your stress at home, your relationships, or your workplace.
At Hope Springs, Our Psychologists Can Help You Better Understand Your (or Your Child’s) Symptoms and Needs
At Hope Springs, we have psychologists who administer neuropsychological evaluations for children, teens, and adults. These evaluations help us learn about your experience. We learn about your intellectual functioning, emotional health, ability to focus, and your memory and learning. We can help you understand WHY you or your child are struggling with concentration or learning.
Neuropsychological Testing can help you:
- Understand how you learn
- Know what factors will help you succeed
- Learn about your diagnoses
- Identify psychiatric problems
- Have a plan in place to guide effective treatment in the future
- Understand how a child learns best
- Understand why a child may have behavior problems
- Help a child deal with thinking or behavior problems
- Help match expectations to a child’s specific strengths and weaknesses
- Work with other doctors and teachers to develop the best treatment and school plan for a child
How do I know if a Neuropsychological Testing Is Necessary?
Neuropsychological testing may help if you or your child if you have:
- Been exposed to alcohol, smoking, or certain drugs prior to birth.
- A developmental or school problem such as a learning disability, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or autism spectrum disorder/pervasive developmental disorder.
- Had an evaluation by a healthcare provider or the school, but that evaluation has not helped.
Your physician may recommend neuropsychological testing to:
- Help make or confirm a diagnosis.
- Get a record of you or your child’s functioning before treatment with medicine or surgery.
- Record a change in your child after a medical treatment (testing can be repeated to see if the treatment changed your child’s functioning).
What does Neuropsychological Testing Involve?
Neuropsychological testing involves examining thinking, behavior, and social-emotional functioning. The evaluation uses standardized tests and procedures. Examiners work directly with you or your child. They also talk to you and teachers and other doctors. Tests may be performed using paper and pencil or on the computer. You or your child will be asked many questions and to solve different types of problems. Neuropsychological evaluations typically include tests that measure the following:
- Intelligence (IQ)
- Problem solving
- Planning and organization
- Attention and memory
- Processing speed
- Academic skills
- Visual perception
- Depression and anxiety
- Aggression and impulsive behavior
- Social skills
The psychologist will also review medical and school records to help understand how the test results relate to daily life.
How does a Neuropsychological Testing differ from a school evaluation?
We sometimes use some of the same tests as schools. However, school evaluations focus on deciding if a child has a problem with academic skills such as reading, spelling, or math. At Hope Springs, our psychologists focus on understanding why a child is having problems in school or at home. This is done by examining academic skills but also examining all of the thinking skills needed to perform well in and outside of school – skills like memory, attention, and problem-solving
Understanding a child’s specific thinking strengths and weaknesses helps to better focus school plans and medical treatment and understand potential areas of future difficulty. Because we have training in clinical psychology, we are also able to provide medical diagnoses, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, and Dyslexia.
For more reading, please refer to this article on neuropsychological testing by Hope Springs’ Dr. Mollie Burke. You can also reference this article by the American Psychological association on the topic.
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