What are some warning signs that I (my child/family member) would need a neuropsychological evaluation?

i. If you (your child or family member) have the following history:

  • Known or suspected injury to the brain (i.e. open/closed head injury, concussion) following an accident
  • A genetic condition that is impacting thinking, behavior, or emotional functioning (i.e. Fragile-X, Down’s Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, and Angelman’s Syndrome, to name a few)
  • A medical condition that is may impact brain development (i.e. diabetes, seizure, cancer treatment (i.e. Radioation/Chemotherapy), chronic respiratory and cardiovascular disease
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals pre/postnatal (i.e. lead, illicit substances, alcohol, inhalants)

ii. If you have any of the following concerns with your (your child’s or family member’s) ability to:

  • learn and/or remember information
  • changes in attention/concentration
  • changes in behavioral/emotional/social functioning


iii. Poor/limited progress in treatment interventions

What is the youngest age that you see?

We see children from infancy through young adults (Ages 0-26 years old). Research shows that optimal prognostic outcomes occur when intervention is implemented as early as possible. We will evaluate and provide you with guidance on the latest treatment methods that will help your child/family member flourish.

How will an evaluation help me (my child/family member)?

An evaluation will assist families and treatment team members to better understand you (your child’s/family member’s) strengths and weaknesses in the context of your (their) thinking, behavioral and emotional functioning and provide the following:

  • Clarify diagnoses that best explain you (your child’s/family member’s) concerns
  • Guide most appropriate treatment/intervention strategies to support any weaknesses identified
  • Provide baseline information about you (your child’s /family member’s) functioning before they start a specific treatment/medication or any other procedure
What should I expect for the evaluation process?
  • An evaluation can take up to 3-4 sessions
  • Typically the first session consists of an interview for background information and presenting concerns and is about 1 hour in length
  • The second session consists of the evaluation (can last from 2-6 hours, depending on the age, ability to maintain effort and motivation)
  • The testing portion can be divided over 2 days, if needed
  • A final session consists of feedback regarding the results of the evaluation and you will be provided with a hard copy of the report for your records (typically takes up to 1 hour)
What circumstances benefit from a neuropsychological evaluation?

Neuropsychological evaluations are often sought when there is concern for observed changes in brain functioning, including, but not limited to:

i. Changes due to traumatic brain injury (i.e. direct impact to the head due to sports related impact, car accident, or fall, to name a few) or non-traumatic brain injury (i.e. stroke, seizures, or brain tumors)

ii. Developmental delays (i.e. motor, language, cognitive or social) due to premature birth, genetic anomaly, birth trauma, in-utero substance exposure or other toxic chemical exposure.

iii. Neurodevelopmental concerns

  • Autism
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Learning Disability
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder


iv. Diagnostic clarification when progress in treatment has been limited. Parents/caregivers/professional providers may request an evaluation to clarify if the individual’s limitations are related to a neuropsychological concern

v. To guide most appropriate treatment for the individual’s strengths and weaknesses

What is neuropsychology and a neuropsychological evaluation?

i. Neuropsychology is the study of brain-behavior relationships. Neuropsychology seeks to understand how specific brain regions/structures are correlated with cognitive, behavioral and/or emotional constructs.

ii. A neuropsychological evaluation seeks to identify a person’s cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, and personality strengths and weaknesses using a variety of standardized measures, which are administered via paper-pencil or computer tasks. The domains that are assessed include:

  • Intellectual Functioning
  • Executive System Functioning
  • Memory and Learning
  • Language/Communication Skills
  • Visual Spatial
  • Sensory Motor
  • Emotional/Behavioral/Social

The testing results are then integrated with the individual’s history and current presentation to formulate possible diagnoses and to guide treatment planning.

What is the difference between a neuropsychologist and a clinical psychologist?

i. Clinical psychologists focus on emotional, behavioral and personality functioning in relation to the individual’s culture, education and age

ii. Neuropsychologists focus on similar concerns and in addition, address the individual’s cognitive functioning relative to their psychological functioning.

What is the difference between psychological/neuropsychological/developmental/ psychoeducational evaluations?

The type of referral question and the age of the individual dictates the type of evaluation that is offered.

i. A psychological evaluation answers referral questions that seek clarification of the individuals emotional/behavioral/social and personality functioning and is often requested for individuals that are minimally 6 years of age and older.

ii. A neuropsychological evaluation seeks to clarify an individual’s cognitive, emotional, behavioral, social, and personality functioning in relation to possible medical conditions, developmental concerns and/or other factors that are prohibiting one to benefit from services or show signs of dysfunction in brain-behavior relationships. Typically such evaluations are offered for children 6 years an older.

iii. A developmental evaluation is typically geared for young children from infancy through preschool (Ages 0-5 years) to clarify reasons for discrepancies in meeting milestones (i.e. cognitive, language, motor and social) relative to age and cultural expectations.

iv. A psychoeducational evaluation generally focuses on clarifying an individual’s learning abilities relative to their age, culture, education and intellectual functioning. Social, emotional and behavioral concerns are also addressed in such evaluations to the extent that these areas affect academic achievement.

If you have any additional questions regarding services offered by West Neurobehavioral Services, please feel free to contact us.