Has your son or daughter’s teacher, physician, or therapist recommended getting them a neuropsychological evaluation? If so, your brain may have gone into overdrive with questions like:

“What is a neuropsychological evaluation?”

“Why are they recommending a neuropsychological assessment? Is something wrong with my kid?”

“What does a neuropsychological evaluation entail, exactly?”

Questions like this are entirely normal. Afterall, the term “neuropsychological evaluation” can sound a bit intimidating. 

But a neuropsychological assessment isn’t anything to be scared of. It’s actually an excellent tool for understanding how your child’s brain functions. When you have deep insight into this valuable information, you’ll know exactly where your child excels in learning and where they need a little more assistance. 

What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?

Medically speaking, a neuropsychological evaluation helps understand the relationship between how your child’s brain functions and their behavior. Neuropsych assessments identify, diagnose, and monitor several types of brain functions. This includes anything from testing for learning disabilities to Alzheimer’s disease, to ADHD, to brain injuries. 

A neuropsychological evaluation can be helpful when testing for learning disorders.

The neuropsychological assessment involves an interview given by a trained neuropsychologist and a series of tests, typically administered by pencil and paper. The tests are standardized, meaning all patients who take them are scored similarly. 

The test results are then compared to those of a “healthy” person of similar age, gender, education, and ethnicity. When your son or daughter undergoes neuropsych testing, the neuropsychologist can evaluate their results and determine the strengths and weaknesses in their cognitive behavioral patterns. 

Neuropsychological testing involves evaluating several areas of behavioral and cognitive function. Some of these areas include:

  • memory
  • language abilities
  • visual-spatial skills
  • motor function (including fine or gross motor, coordination, and graphomotor)
  • attention
  • behavioral issues like ADHD and ADD
  • problem-solving
  • reasoning
  • executive functioning
  • personality
  • social issues 
  • learning disabilities
  • decision-making skills
  • processing speed

A neuropsychological evaluation can help identify underlying brain factors that may contribute to poor school performance, unwanted behaviors, and challenging interpersonal skills. These comprehensive assessments can also aid in a diagnosis that could earn your child additional assistance in school.

Common Red Flags Signaling the Need for Neuropsychological Testing

Testing for learning disorders using a neuropsychological evaluation is quite common, especially if your child struggles in school. But there are other cognitive-behavioral “red flags” that could also prompt testing. 

  • poor decision making or judgment
  • frequent confusion
  • inability to recognize things or familiar people
  • poor attention and concentration skills 
  • difficulty speaking, finding the words to say, or failure to understand others
  • visuospatial problems (drawing, determining how quickly something is moving, etc.)
  • increased anxiety or depression
  • unexplained personality changes
  • hallucinations or delusions
If you've asked yourself, "What is a neuropsychological evaluation?" you're not alone

Testing for learning disorders using a neuropsychological evaluation is quite common, especially if your child struggles in school. But there are other cognitive-behavioral “red flags” that could also prompt testing. 

The Benefits of Neuropsychological Evaluations in School and Therapy

When you get your son or daughter a neuropsychological assessment, you’ll arm yourself with the knowledge you need to be a strong advocate for their education and care. Watching your child struggle in school and other areas of life without understanding why is heartbreaking and stressful. But when you know exactly how their brain works, you’ll no longer have to wonder how to help them – you’ll know.

Neuropsychological testing allows teachers, treatment providers, and parents or guardians to understand how to best teach, treat, and interact with your son or daughter. The benefits of this understanding are beneficial for both their schooling and their therapeutic journeys. 

Benefits of a Neuropsychological Evaluation on Schooling

If your child has an undiagnosed learning disorder, getting them tested as soon as possible is crucial. It could mean the difference between getting the education they need and having school being a constant struggle and source of stress for you and them.

Without testing for learning disorders, your child’s ability to pay attention in school and learn effectively is hugely hindered. But if you don’t know what’s causing your son or daughter’s poor academic performance, you can’t help them properly. 

When you provide your child with a neuropsychological evaluation, you give them the opportunity to excel in their schooling. Because testing gives your child’s teachers a better understanding of their learning strengths and weaknesses, they’ll be able to structure their teaching to meet their needs. 

Not to mention, neuropsych testing can also determine if your child qualifies for special education and an IEP. Trust us when we say this is a monumental win for your child’s education. 

Benefits of a Neuropsychological Evaluation in the Therapeutic Environment

Providing your son or daughter with a neuropsychological evaluation is also extremely helpful in therapy. Your child, and every child, is wonderfully unique. That’s why not every therapeutic method will work the same for every client. 

A neuropsych assessment is nothing to worry about. It can be very beneficial for your child!

When your son or daughter’s therapist clearly understands how they receive, obtain, and use information, they can better understand which therapy modalities would be most beneficial. This not only ensures they get the best treatment possible, but it also means it’s more effective.

Are You Ready to Schedule a Neuropsychological evaluation? We Can Help.

We understand the challenges that come along with needing to test for learning disorders. Not only are you faced with the need to take action, but you also need to brace yourself to become your child’s strongest and most supportive advocate in their learning. 

But you don’t have to do it alone. We’re here for you.

If you're looking for neuropsychological testing in Chicago, we can help.

If you are looking for neuropsychological testing in Chicago or the surrounding areas, we recommend contacting Piece By Piece Neurobehavioral Services in Oak Brook and Vernon Hills. They specialize in neuropsychological testing for adults, young adults, and adolescents. 

Together, with Piece by Piece Neurobehavioral Services and our highly-skilled adolescent and young adult therapists here at Dayrise Wellness, we can make getting your child the help they need easier for you.

Don’t wait to gain valuable insight into how your son or daughter’s brain works. While needing a neuropsychological evaluation for your child may seem overwhelming, it’s simply a tool to help you set your child up for success.

Contact us if you have questions about specialized therapy for your teen or young adult at Dayrise Wellness or need more guidance navigating neuropsych evaluations or a recent diagnosis. 

Support and guidance from our compassionate clinicians is only a click away.

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