What is a neuropsychological assessment?
A neuropsychological Assessment is a comprehensive assessment process of cognitive processes that is based on standardized professional measures and the clinician’s skills and competencies.
The talented clinician is thorough, insightful, detail-oriented but is also able to get the “big picture” and focus on the essential needs of the client. Specific considerations are made in regards to the present medical conditions and what science and clinical practice teach us about how those medical conditions affect cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning.
Neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders are evaluated and diagnostic impressions are made. Clinical Neuropsychological assessments of genetic, developmental, environmental, medical, psychological, and functional histories with testing data to better understand the brain functioning of the individual and how it can be improved.
The neuropsychological assessment includes but is not limited to:
- Motivation and effort
- Gross and fine motor functioning
- Sensory functioning
- Attention and concentration
- Memory and learning
- Auditory and visual processing
- Visual-spatial functioning
- Language and verbal skills
- Executive functioning
- Emotional and social functioning
- Personality traits
- Behavioral patterns
- Daily functioning
- Academic and occupational aptitudes
What should I expect?
In most assessments, you will be invited to between two to three appointments: one or two appointments during which the evaluation will be conducted, and a final appointment that will be focused on providing you with feedback: testing results, treatment recommendations, rehabilitation plan, and referrals, as needed.
Why should I get tested?
Having cognitive problems often has a significant effect on the way we function in all sorts of ways in life – relationships, work, and taking care of our daily needs. It can also be quite frustrating. Not knowing where the problem is and the extent of the problem prevents your medical team and yourself from choosing the right treatment for you. Neuropsychological testing results give you an exact picture of your cognitive functioning and a carefully designed personal rehabilitation plan. Without knowing what the problem is but choosing all sorts of therapies, it is like choosing hearing therapy when your problem might be vision!
The process of neuropsychological assessment may have some variations based on the type of assessment that is conducted, but the structure is generally the same.
- Collateral Information
Prior medical information such as neurology notes, brain scans, lab results, and previous assessments reports is often gathered and provides important background details. Depending on the need, interviews with parents, spouses or partners, primary providers, therapists, and other professionals may be included at this stage.
- Biopsychosocial Interview
Various questionnaires are administered, along with a through interview with the client. The interview covers areas such as chief complaints, medical and psychological history, family and current functioning histories, social and adaptive functioning, academic and employment history, substance abuse and legal histories, and other.
- Neuropsychological and Psychological testing
A comprehensive battery of neuropsychological and psychological instruments, carefully selected by the neuropsychologist, is administered. It includes norm-based standardized measures that cover a wide array of cognitive, psychological, emotional, and behavioral areas of functioning. Functions such as motor and sensory, memory and learning, attention and concentration, and executive are tested and assessed. Other areas include motivation and effort, emotional state at the time of testing, global level of functioning, and the presence of primary mental health disorders, developmental disorder, and personality disorders.
- Results scoring, analysis, diagnostic formulation, and report writing
This is the most important phase of the process. The neuropsychologist will analyze testing results while incorporating all the information available: collateral information, interviews, and testing results, to arrive at a diagnostic determination of the present diagnoses, their salient features, and what they mean to the client’s functioning and rehabilitation plan. A good assessment will lead to the carefully designed, and personally catered rehabilitation plan and treatment recommendations, taking into consideration the unique circumstances of the client and addressing both short-term and long-term goals.
- Patient feedback and collaboration with other treatment providers
The neuropsychologist meets with the client, and at times with family members or other authorized individuals to provide the client with a summary of assessment findings and diagnostic impressions, and review in great detail the rehabilitation plan and treatment recommendations. To the client, this is the most important step in the assessment process.
To make an appointment and begin your process, please contact us at (323) 456-8686