NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION

What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

Neuropsychology is the study of brain-behavior relationships. A board-certified neuropsychologist has extensive education and specialized training in neurology as well as psychology. Pediatric neuropsychologists have additional training and experience in child development. A neuropsychological evaluation involves measuring thinking, behavior, and social-emotional functioning using standardized tests and procedures. Examiners work directly with your child. They also talk to parents, teachers and other doctors, and will review any records.

Your child will be asked many questions and to solve different types of problems. Neuropsychological evaluations typically include tests that measure the following:
  - Intelligence
  - Problem solving
  - Planning
  - Organization
  - Attention
  - Inhibition
  - Processing speed
  - Language
  - Memory & Learning
  - Visual-spatial Skills
  - Fine motor skills
  - Social cognition
  - Depression
  - Anxiety


A child’s performance on these tests is compared to that of other children within their age group. This allows us to determine how their level of functioning in various areas ranks as compared to peers of their same age. That information is then combined with data collected from parent and teacher questionnaires to develop a comprehensive understanding of an individual child’s strengths and weaknesses. Our doctors then utilize this to develop a treatment plan aimed at supporting a child’s areas of weakness. Results are initially conveyed to parents through a verbal feedback session with the doctor, and a comprehensive written report documenting the evaluation is completed within 4 weeks after the evaluation.

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Autism Diagnostic Evaluations

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a spectrum of complex neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impairments in social interaction and communication. Unusual and/or repetitive behaviors or interests are also typically present. The symptoms of ASD can manifest in many different ways, and the severity of the symptoms varies widely. In addition, other conditions may look similar to ASD. These issues make it a challenge to accurately diagnosis ASD. Many children are often misdiagnosed or do not receive an accurate diagnosis until their late preschool or early elementary years. This is truly problematic, as research has clearly demonstrated children with ASD receive optimal benefit from specific types of interventions prior to the age of 7. Is it particularly concerning given the fact that symptoms of ASD can be identified during the first year of life.


Dr. Kelderman and Dr. Panora are experts in the

assessment and diagnosis of ASD. ASD assessments

include a comprehensive, in-depth parent interview,

teacher interview (if available) developmental and/or

neuropsychological testing, and the administration of

the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).

The ADOS is a semi-structured play interaction designed

to elicit the types of behaviors associated with ASD. It is

considered to be the “gold standard” diagnostic tool in

the ASD scientific community.


A child’s behavior during the ADOS, combined with other

test scores and an expert’s clinical impression, has been

shown to accurately identify the vast majority of children

with ASD. Parents often have concerns about their child’s

development and behavior years before their child is accurately diagnosed. If you are worried your child may have a form of Autism, you should not “wait and see.” This often costs families valuable time and progress. Parents are welcome to call Dr. Kelderman and Dr. Panora for a free phone consultation in order to determine whether additional assessment is warranted.
 

How does a Neuropsychological Evaluation differ from a Psychoeducational Evaluation?

Pediatric neuropsychologists and psychologists often use some of the same test. However, psychoeducational evaluations focus on deciding if a child has a problem with academic skills such as reading, spelling, or math. Pediatric neuropsychologists focus on understanding why a child is having problems in school or at home. This is done by examining academic skills but also examining all of the thinking skills needed to preform well in and out of school- skills like memory, attention, and problem-solving. Understanding a child's specific thinking strengths and weaknesses helps to better focus school plans and medical treatment and understand potential areas of future difficulty. Because neuropsychologists have training in clinical psychology, they are also able to diagnosis emotional problems like depression and anxiety.

 

How much does a Neuropsychological Evaluation cost?

Hope Academy Clinics accepts many insurance plans. You will receive a comprehensive benefit quote outlining the anticipated coverage and any balance you may be responsible for. The $2,500 CI fee includes time for parent interview, testing, scoring, feedback and a written report. For more information or to schedule an evaluation, please contact Ms. Chanel Pantry at 769-4673 or cpantry@hopecayman.com.