What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation is a way of finding out what effects brain injuries or illnesses may have on specific skills such as concentration, memory, language, and problem solving. The evaluation initially involves an interview with the Clinical Neuropsychologist. You are asked questions about your symptoms and personal history. It is helpful if a family member or friend can attend at least a portion of the session as well. This helps give another view of any changes in yourself you may have noticed. If appropriate, the Clinical Neuropsychologist will then meet with your family or friend by himself or herself to obtain more information about the symptoms you are experiencing.
During this time, you may begin working with a Psychometrist, a person who specialized in administering and scoring the tests. A series of paper and pencil tests and questions, which test your ability to attend, concentrate, remember, and solve complex problems are then given. Other tests may evaluate your vision, hearing, sense of smell, sense of touch, as well as how fast and strong your muscles are. Some tests may be given on a computer. There is no pain involved at any time. You are also free to stop at any time.
IF YOU WEAR GLASSES OR CONTACTS FOR READING, PLEASE BRING THOSE WITH YOU FOR THE EVALUATION.
How long does it take?
The entire process usually takes several hours. In some cases, it may require as few as two hours, or as many as eight hours. If it will take over four hours, we will try to let you know at the time your appointment is scheduled. It may be helpful to schedule two appointments on separate days to prevent fatigue. If you need to schedule another appointment for the same day, making it later in the afternoon will be beneficial. If you are here past the lunch hour a break for lunch will be taken. Additional breaks are given throughout the day to prevent fatigue, to use the restroom, etc. We try to make the day as comfortable for you as possible.
What can you hope to gain from the assessment?
A neuropsychological assessment can help you and your doctor further understand what your current strengths and weaknesses are, and how these might affect your life. Your doctor may suggest certain medications to help you feel better. Strategies for coping with some of the changes may be suggested. Cognitive rehabilitation is one type of therapy that may be recommended if it is determined that you would benefit from remediation or compensatory techniques aimed at improving your functional level. It may help with planning for the future. The assessments are also helpful to your family members, friends, or other health professionals in helping them to understand you better.
If you believe that a neuropsychological evaluation is right for you, please contact us today by email or phone.
What disorders do we look for during a neuropsychological examination?
We utilize the DSM-5 and ICD-10 to diagnose patients when you come into see us. Common reasons and diagnoses that we uncover during the course of an evaluation include:
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Conduct Disorder
- Gifted and Talented
- Global Developmental Delay
- Fine motor weaknesses
- Intellectual Disability
- Mood Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Personality Disorders
- Specific Learning Disabilities (e.g., Dyscalculia, Dyslexia, etc.)
- Traumatic Brain Injury