About Pediatric Neuropsychology
Neuropsychology is a specialty which focuses on the relationships between the brain, thinking, and behavior. Pediatric Neuropsychologists are licensed psychologists who specialize in understanding how the brain develops, and how medical problems or problems with brain development impact cognition in children and adolescents. The Child Development & Rehabilitation Center (CDRC) in Eugene has a Pediatric Neuropsychologist on staff that can provide neuropsychological assessments and offer recommendations.
Neuropsychological Assessment Neuropsychological evaluations are used to help diagnose and monitor medical, behavioral, and thinking disorders. Our Neuropsychologist uses thinking evaluations in order to understand how problems with the brain may relate to problems seen in a child's thinking or behavior at school, home, or with their peers.
A neuropsychological evaluation includes review of medical and school records, an interview to gather background information, followed by a series of standardized tests.
Areas assessed may include:
- General intellect
- Reasoning and problem solving
- Attention and concentration
- Speed of thinking
- Executive skills, such as organization, planning, inhibition, and flexibility
- Learning and memory
- Language and verbal skills
- Visuospatial skills
- Academic skills
- Motor skills
- Behavioral and emotional functioning
The scores from these tests can then be used to determine a child's strengths and weaknesses, as well as understand why he/she is having certain problems. Testing can provide a baseline for comparison in the future and aid in the treatment process. Results are used by doctors, therapists, and schools for intervention planning and to ensure individuals are receiving appropriate supports. Results are private medical information and are not released without parents' written consent.
For more information about neuropsychological testing, here is a Guide for Parents by the American Psychological Association
Who We See
We see children from age 4-17, though in some cases we will evaluate those who are 18 and older. The conditions we commonly assess include:
- Concussions or other brain injuries
- Spina bifida
- Complications of birth/prematurity
- Other endocrine/metabolic disorders
- Genetic disorders
How to Schedule an Appointment
Meet with your child's doctor to see if neuropsychological testing is recommended for your child. Have the doctor fax a referral to Eugene CDRC requesting neuropsychological testing, fax number: 541-346-5844. Call the Eugene CDRC to schedule an appointment: 541-346-3575 or toll free 1-800-637-0700. The CDRC will help you determine whether neuropsychological testing is a benefit covered by your insurance company.
What to Tell Your Child about Neuropsychological Testing
Tell your child they will be having a thinking checkup. They will do school-type activities with a "teacher," including hands on activities, answering questions, and using a pencil. Their one job is to do their best. Their checkup will tell them what they are good at and how to make difficulties with thinking better.
On the Day of the Appointment
Make sure your child takes their medication as prescribed, brings their glasses, has the best night sleep possible, and eats a good breakfast. Bring lunch, snacks and fun activities to do while you wait. Plan for childcare for siblings so the child undergoing evaluation can be the focus. Parents do not usually stay in the room during testing, but they are required to be present in clinic. The time required for testing depends on the child's age and problem. Plan on much of a day.