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Child Evaluations

Referral for a child neuropsychological examination comes from varied sources. Often, your child’s neurologist or pediatrician will recommend an evaluation to aide in diagnosing suspected brain dysfunction, seen commonly in diagnoses such as seizure disorders, brain tumors, closed-head injuries, or metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders. Other times, the referral question is driven more by questions from parents and/or teachers as to why a child is having trouble learning or recalling previously learned information. When prior medical and/or psychological consultations have not sufficiently explained observed behavior, a neuropsychologist can add important information to diagnostic considerations.

Referral requests are commonly for information about the child’s behavioral and emotional functioning in order to better understand existing learning or behavioral problems and to develop a treatment plan and/or educational intervention strategy. An evaluation may be requested to document whether a profile of central nervous system disorder exists or to anticipate the late effects of a known early insult. The clinical course of a child, whose disease or disorder, or its treatment, might influence brain function differently at various developmental stages, needs to be established with a baseline evaluation and monitored over time.

In clinical practice, precedence is given to the identification of the child’s strengths as well as weaknesses in order to (1) Make practical and meaningful recommendations to ameliorate the presenting problem and (2) Better educate the school and family about the child’s needs.