Our biggest concerns for our children tends to center around their health, education, and happiness. When a child is struggling in school, it's frustrating for parents, teachers, and children. Problems in academic functioning make school extra-stressful for a child and homework becomes a battle for parents. Getting to the bottom of why your child is having academic problems is essential to success in school and in order to do so, a school neuropsychological examination can help.
A full school neuropsychological examination is the only way to scientifically identify problems that impact school functioning such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, spectrum disorders, anxiety, auditory processing disorders, mathematical learning disorders, and other issues, especially because if a child has one type of disability, that interferes with academics, there is a good chance they have a second one as well. What is a neuropsychological examination for children?
A neuropsychological evaluation for children is a comprehensive assessment of functioning that includes all of the important aspects of a child’s ability to learn, retain, and utilize knowledge and skills. More specifically, when conducting a school neuropsychological examination, your child’s intellectual functioning, academic achievement, learning and memory skills, language abilities, problem solving skills, organizational abilities, social skills, and psychological functioning are all assessed.
What exactly happens during a child's neuropsychological examination?
When a child or adolescent comes to my office for a school neuropsychological examination, I personally complete all aspects of the evaluation over the course of several meetings, each lasting approximately two hours. This includes:
1)An interview with the child’s parents or guardians to get detailed information about the child’s medical, social, academic, and family history.
2)An interview with the child in order to learn his or her concerns about school, their academic performance, and social interactions with teachers and other students.
3)A complete review of school records, medical records, and Parent and Teacher rating scales.
4) Then, the student will take various types of tests where we both interact using two iPads:
Psychological tests. These give insight into a child’s interpersonal and intra-personal functioning. They also help determine whether or not a child is experiencing any type of depression, anxiety, symptoms of an attention deficit disorder, or spectrum disorder.
Cognitive tests. These includes an overall intelligence assessment as well as specific domains including verbal and non-verbal problem solving, attention and concentration, immediate and delayed memory, fluid and crystalized intelligence, as well as executive functioning.
Academic tests. These include different tasks of basic reading, reading comprehension abilities, writing abilities, spelling skills, listening comprehension, and mathematical skills.
After gathering all of the data, I identify the child’s unique educational strengths and weaknesses and write an in-depth report for the parent and/or the school. I recommend specific accommodations and interventions, if necessary. Most importantly, this report can be used in the development or revision of an individual educational plan.
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