In most cases, formal neuropsychological or psychoeducational testing is the only way to truly understand how a child thinks and solves problems. Asking questions and observing children can produce only superficial information. In contrast, a trained professional can look deeper by testing, in real-time, the different aspects of intelligence, learning, memory, language, visual-spatial, executive functioning, personality and social-emotional functioning, and then integrate that information into a meaningful story about the child. For children and adolescents, early intervention is key. Research indicates that kids with difficulties who are identified early and provided with adequate accommodations and/or treatment show the greatest gains and fare the best in the long-term. Formal neuropsychological testing is one of the best ways to do this. Benefits & Functions of Neuropsychological Testing: Secure special classroom, testing accommodations or school placement (e.g., 504, IEP, special ed school, extended time on SATs) Identify learning disabilities (e.g., dyslexia) or developmental delays (e.g., Autism) that may be negatively impacting school performance Identify strengths and weaknesses for possible enhancement or remediation in the following areas: cognitive/intelligence; academic/achievement; attention/concentration/executive functioning; language/communication; learning/memory; visual-spatial; fine and gross motor; social-emotional; play skills; and, adaptive functional skills Clarify diagnostic questions regarding mood, anxiety, social, and behavioral problems (e.g., ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression) Identify the impact of medical conditions (e.g, epilepsy, TBI) on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning Uncover personality factors that may be negatively impacting learning and overall functioning Evaluate the impact of interventions / treatments and document any changes since the last evaluation What is the testing process? Psychological testing requires extensive and specialized training and experience. Similar to psychotherapy, testing begins with a parent intake. The process includes: Interviewing the parents to get a full history Talking with collateral providers and school staff Observing the child in their natural environment (school, after-school, etc…) Reviewing medical records and prior testing reports Selecting and administering the tests Scoring and interpreting the results Feedback with parents/teachers including results and recommendations Writing the final report This process usually takes a few months from start to finish. The actual testing itself is comprised of different types of tasks, some more fun and challenging than others. With younger children, rewards and frequent breaks might be used to increase engagement. Though we do not accept insurance, like our treatment services, we can provide a receipt for parents to submit to insurance for out-of-network reimbursement. Our testing service is unique in that we are: Responsive – We work quickly to gather necessary information, administer the tests, provide valuable feedback and write a comprehensive report. We also support our families every step of the way, even after feedback and delivering the report, because we know the journey can feel overwhelming at times. Comprehensive – We know the best evaluations include the most relevant information, assess all the necessary domains of functioning and integrate the information seamlessly into a single narrative. Also, licensed psychologists with specialized neuropsychological training perform all of our testing, not students or trainees. Solution-Focused – Often times there will be a number of recommendations which cannot all be done at the same time. We will prioritize which treatments and interventions are most important in a way that does not feel overwhelming. We will also provide helpful referrals to people we trust to ensure there is continuity of care. How is a Neuropsychological evaluation different from a Psychoeducational Evaluation? A neuropsychological evaluation might be recommended over a psychoeducational evaluation when: The school or attorney specifically requires a neuropsychological evaluation. There are medical or physiological concerns, such as seizure disorders, genetic conditions, or trauma to the brain (e.g., concussions). There is less concern over costs as neuropsychological evaluations tend to be more expensive than psychoeducational evaluations because they tend to be completed by evaluators with more specialized training and experience Choosing the correct type of evaluation can be tricky so please feel free to contact us for a free consultation with one of our evaluators to help you make the best choice for your needs.