Clinical Neuropsychology

What is a Child’s Neuropsychological Assessment?

A child is usually referred for neuropsychological assessment when they:
• experience difficulties in learning, attention, behaviour, socialisation or emotional control;
• have a disease or inborn developmental problem (i.e. epilepsy, asperger’s syndrome) that affects the brain in some way, or have a brain injury from an accident, birth trauma etc

A typical neuropsychological assessment can assist in better understanding your child’s functioning by assessing the following areas:

• General intellect
• Executive skills, such as organization, planning, inhibition, and flexibility
• Attention
• Learning and memory
• Language
• Visual-spatial skills
• Motor-co-ordination
• Behavioural and emotional functioning
• Social skills

By comparing your child’s test scores to the scores of children of similar ages, the psychologist can create a profile of your child’s strengths and weaknesses.  This information can:

• provide a better understanding of your child’s behaviour and learning in school and at home
• help teachers, therapists, physicians and others involved with your child, provide appropriate treatments and interventions that meets the child’s unique needs.

• help detect the effect of developmental, neurological and medical problems
• help identify any disorders and the brain areas that are involved
• obtain a baseline against which to measure outcome of treatment or the child’s development over time.

Some abilities may be measured in more detail than others, depending on the child’s needs.  A detailed developmental history from parents and data from the child’s teacher may also be obtained.  Observing your child to understand his or her motivation, co-operation and behaviour is a very important part of the evaluation.