Clinical neuropsychological assessment of children, adolescents and adults, including independent educational evaluations for special education qualification.
Clinical Neuropsychology Definition:
Clinical neuropsychology is a specialty profession that focuses on brain functioning. A clinical neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist with expertise in how behavior and skills are related to brain structures and systems. In clinical neuropsychology, brain function is evaluated by objectively testing memory and thinking skills. A very detailed assessment of abilities is done, and the pattern of strengths and weaknesses is used in important health care areas, such as diagnosis and treatment planning.
Dr. Marlowe, as your clinical neuropsychologist, conducts the evaluation and makes recommendations. She will make recommendations for services, such as cognitive rehabilitation, behavior management, or psychotherapy. (Clinical Neuropsychology)
What is Assessed?
A typical neuropsychological evaluation of an adult in Dr. Marlowe's office includes:
- General intellect
- Higher level executive skills (e.g., organization, planning, sequencing, reasoning, problem solving)
- Self-regulation and behavior
- Attention and concentration
- Language comprehension and expression
- Learning and memory
- Visual spatial skills
- Sensory and motor skills
- Mood and personality
Some abilities may be measured in more detail that others, depending on your needs.
When is a Neuropsychological Evaluation Appropriate?
A neuropsychological evaluation is recommended for any case in which brain-based impairment in cognitive function or behavior is suspected. Typical referrals are made to diagnose or rule out the following conditions, and to describe their impact on a person's cognitive functioning:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neurological disorders (e.g., strokes, tumors, Parkinson's Disease, M.S.)
- Learning disabilities
- Attention deficit disorders
- Psychiatric or neuropsychiatric disorders
- Seizure disorders
- Medical illness or treatments
- Effects of toxic chemicals or chronic substance abuse
- Dementing conditions (e.g., Alzheimer's Disease)
- Vocation concerns
How Are Test Scores Used to Understand My Specific Situation?
Your test scores will be compared to scores from people who are like you in important ways. By using database score from large groups of healthy people for comparison Dr. Marlowe can judge whether or not your scores are normal for your age and educational background. The pattern of your own test scores will also be reviewed to estimate whether or not there has been a change in certain abilities. How you go about solving the various problems and answering questions during the examination will also be noted. Using these methods, your strengths and weaknesses can be identified.
What Will the Results Tell You?
- Identify specific strengths and weaknesses when problems are very mild, tesing may be the only way of detecting them. Neuropsychological tests aare very sensitive to problems in thinking and memory.
- Identify problems related to medical conditions that can affect memory and thinking, such as diabetes, metabolic or infectious disease or alcoholism.
- Differentiate among illnesses, which will help identify appropriate treatment.
- Document changes in functioning since previous evaluations, including effects of treatment.
- Plan treatments that use strengths to compensate for weaknesses.
- Target strategies to work on specific problems.
- Explain problems in every day living skills or functioning.
- Identify other serious needs and facilitate referrals to other specialists.
The Kinds of Problems I Typically See Include:
- ADHD and other attentional problems
- Auditory processing disorders
- Autism spectrum disorders / Aspergers
- Behavioral disorders
- Brain injury – development or acquired
- Developmental delay or disorder
- Dyslexia or other reading disability
- Executive disorders
- Genetic disorders
- Language and speech disorders
- Learning disabilities
- Medical disorders
- School problems
- Special education needs
Forensic Neuropsychology Services Include:
- Assessment: Diagnosis, Prognosis
- Case Preparation
- In Service Training
- Neuropsychological Rehabilitation
What Should I Expect?
A neuropsychological evaluation usually consists of an interview and testing. During the interview, information that is important for the neuropsychologist to consider will be reviewed. You will be asked about your symptoms, medical history, medications, and other important factors. Testing involves taking paper-and-pencil or computerized tests and answering questions. The time required depends on the problem being assessed. In general, several hours are needed to assess the many skills involved in processing information. Some tests will be easy while others will be more complex. The most important thing is to try your best. Bring glasses or hearing aids if you use them. Try to rest and relax before your evaluation. Please be sure to get a good nights sleep and eat before the testing. Take your usual medications. You will probably find testing interesting, and the detailed information that is gathered will contribute to your care.