Neuropsychological & Educational Testing for Children and Adolescents
First, we’ll get you answers. Then we’ll give you hope.
At the Curry Psychology Group, our board-certified pediatric neuropsychologists offer comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations for children, teens, and young adults aged 0 to 22. To find out if neuropsychological testing is right for your child, view our answers to frequently asked questions below…
What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
We assess a variety of neurological processes including attention, problem-solving, learning, memory, motor skills, language, visual-spatial command, academic achievement and social-emotional development. The results provide valuable insight into the underlying causes of developmental and learning concerns so that families can better understand their child’s needs. Such evaluation is also useful in providing diagnostic clarification when a developmental disorder such as autism spectrum disorder or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is suspected but uncertain. If unaddressed, the symptoms and behaviors related to these diagnoses can significantly diminish a child’s self-esteem and development.
What is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist?
A pediatric neuropsychologist is someone who has obtained education and training in the following core areas: child development, functional neuroanatomy, neuropathology, psychological assessment, neuropsychological assessment, and intervention. A neuropsychologist holds a doctoral degree and licensure in psychology (PhD or PsyD) in addition to completing multiple part-time pre-doctoral practicums, a one-year full-time American Psychological Association (APA) internship and a two-year full-time post-doctoral fellowship focused solely on neuropsychology. Board certification in clinical neuropsychology is a rigorous process which involves credential review, written examination, and oral examination. It indicates that the practitioner has met the highest standards of competence. All Curry Group neuropsychologists are board certified in both clinical neuropsychology and pediatric neuropsychology.
What Neuropsychological Services Do You Offer?
Our neuropsychologists offer several different types of evaluations depending on the age of the client and the presenting concerns. The most appropriate evaluation will be determined during the initial consultation.
- Neuropsychological Evaluations – Depending on the reason for referral, psychometric measures may include academic achievement, intelligence, attention, executive functioning, processing speed, language, fine motor, visual-spatial, learning and memory, and social-emotional functioning. The results of these evaluations can provide diagnostic insight into developmental and learning concerns. The recommendations provided can also inform treatment planning and assist with obtaining academic and testing accommodations.
- Neurodevelopmental Evaluations for Infants & Toddlers – Psychometric measures may include early cognition; communication; motor-, social-emotional, and behavioral functioning; and pre-academic concepts.
- Evaluations for Qualification of Gifted Schools & Programs – This evaluation involves the psychometric measurement of intellectual functioning, including verbal and nonverbal reasoning, working memory, and processing speed.
What if I'm Worried About My Child Being Labeled?
Many parents reasonably worry that a diagnostic label might diminish or unnecessarily pathologize their child’s unique identity. However, the research supports (and we have certainly found in practice) that children who receive a reliable diagnosis through valid assessment have far more positive short- and long-term outcomes in terms of their academic performance, self-esteem, social development, and overall well-being.
On the other hand, in the absence of a diagnostic understanding for the child’s behavior, children who are struggling with a developmental or other clinical issue commonly misunderstand their difficulties as evidence that they are “dumb” or “bad.”
These children often receive negative feedback from teachers, parents, and/or peers who may grow impatient or frustrated by the child’s behavior. For example, children with undiagnosed ADHD who joke around during class are likely to be reprimanded by their teachers, and because they have not been able to pay attention to instructions, they will have more difficulty completing assignments, leading to poor grades and a belief that they aren’t as smart as their peers.
This leads to a subsequent cycle of avoidance, disengagement, and performance decline. Children may act out at school and home as they experience anger, embarrassment, and depression over being called out by teachers or teased by peers.
With a proper diagnosis, the symptoms that may be getting your child into trouble now can be effectively managed so that your child has an opportunity to succeed.
We conclude every evaluation with clear and practical recommendations that help parents and teachers better understand each child’s behavior so they can fully support their progress. What matters, in the end, isn’t whether the child has a label but rather that they have the support they need to reach their potential.
How Long Does the Evaluation Take?
The length of the evaluation depends on multiple factors, such as type of evaluation, presentation of the child, amount of record review, and complexity of the case.
Every evaluation will begin with a free phone consultation with one of our neuropsychologists. Then, an initial interview appointment will be scheduled with the parents, during which the neuropsychologist will obtain a detailed history for the child. After the initial interview, parents can generally expect the evaluation to occur within the following timelines:
- Developmental evaluations can typically be conducted in one session, with feedback for the family scheduled for a later date.
- Neuropsychological evaluations typically involve two extended in-person appointments, with feedback provided to the family at a later date.
- Gifted evaluations are typically completed within one appointment session.
What Happens After the Evaluation?
After the assessment, you will be provided with feedback and a written report, including clear recommendations targeted toward your child’s specific needs. These recommendations can be used by you and your child’s school to ensure appropriate accommodations and services to promote success.
Below are just a few of the many positive outcomes of testing.
- The recommendations offered can be used by you and your child’s school to ensure appropriate accommodations and services to promote success.
- Referrals for various therapies (e.g., physical, occupational, or speech therapy) will be made when indicated.
- We can match your child with the right therapist — and treatment protocol — to help address their specific challenges.
How it works
Book your free phone consultation
Take our quiz to find the therapist who’s right for you and book a free 15-minute phone consultation.
Get familiarized with the process
During your phone consultation, your therapist will answer your questions and schedule your first visit.
Attend your first appointment
Your therapist will get to know you and offer a supportive plan to help you reach your goals.