What is a neuropsychological evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation usually involves an interview with parents/guardians about the student’s developmental and learning history, interview with the child or adolescent, and direct assessment. Assessment tasks involve answering questions in addition to paper and pencil, computer and hands-on activities.
A neuropsychological evaluation typically lasts between 2 to 4 hours depending on the young person's age and developmental level. Assessments will be completed across multiple sessions if clinically indicated. Although emerging skills can be assessed in very young children, preschool evaluations are usually shorter in duration.
What happens following an evaluation?
Following the assessment, a feedback meeting can be arranged to provide an overview of the findings and appropriate recommendations. A diagnostic report is provided which integrates the background history provided, review of relevant records, assessment outcomes, interpretations and diagnoses (if appropriate), and appropriate recommendations.
With parent's permission, liaison can be arranged with medical and allied health professionals, educators, tutors, attorneys or other professionals involved in the child or adolescent's ongoing management.
Following a medico-legal or forensic examination, assessment outcomes and feedback are generally provided only to the referral source, attorney or court in accordance with legal and ethical requirements.
How should I prepare my child for an evaluation?
It may be helpful to explain that assessments are completed to work out how a young person learns and functions best. It can help to clarify that nobody gets every question right and that the important thing is for them to try their best. Additional considerations include:
- Make sure your child has a good night’s sleep and breakfast before testing
- If they wear glasses, a hearing aid or any other assistive device, please bring it to the assessment
- Please advise if your child has special language needs (i.e., English is their second language)
- Please administer any medications as per usual though advise the clinician what has been taken
- If your child or adolescent has completed previous school psychology or psycho-educational assessments, has an individual educational plan (IEP) or related medical records, please forward this information to the neuropsychologist for review or bring it along on the day of the assessment