Sat. Aug 13th, 2022

Are you the parent of a child with autism who is far behind their grade appropriate peers and you wonder why? Are you the parent of a child with a learning disability who has received special education services for many years, with little to no progress? Or are you concerned that your child may have dyslexia or other undiagnosed disabilities, and wonder if a neuropsychological evaluation could help your child? An evaluation with a neuropsychologist could help diagnose why your child is not learning, and what educational and related services they need in order to progress in their education. This article will discuss what a neuropsychologist is, the purpose of their evaluations, and disabilities that they may diagnose in your child.

A neuropsychologist has much more training than a regular psychologist or a school psychologist. A neuropsychologist must have a doctoral degree in psychology, as well as years of additional neuroscience training and experience.

The neuropsychology training involves training in psychology, neurology, neuro psychiatry and health disciplines. To be competent in this area requires several years of additional training and experience beyond the doctoral degree required for conventional practice. Some neuropsychologists are in private practice and may only work with children.

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The purpose of an evaluation by a neuropsychologist is:

1. To find possible problems with brain functioning.

2. To determine if a child has any undiagnosed disabilities. These could be dyslexia or other language based disorders, autism, Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) etc. These disabilities could explain why your child is having difficulty learning.

3. To make a determination on what educational and related services a child needs, in order to make progress in their education.

4. To document a child’s brain related strengths and weaknesses.

5. To document changes in the child’s functioning over time.

Many parents who bring their child to a neuropsychologist are doing so because their child is not making progress in their education, or the parent needs to know what specific services that their child requires. When the testing is complete, and the report is finished, many parents will then bring this to the school and ask them to provide needed services.

Many parents seek neuropsychological evaluations and treatment for these common conditions:

1. Autism spectrum disorder

2. Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS

3. Dyslexia

4. ADD or ADHD

5. Verbal and non verbal learning disabilities

6. Sensory processing disorder

7. Central auditory processing disorder

8. Tourette’s Syndrome

It is frustrating that parents must pay for outside evaluations in order to get their child appropriate special education and related services, or to have the school district find them eligible for special education. To find a Neuropsychologist in your area contact a local disability organization and ask them if they are familiar with one who works with children. Also, you can ask other parents if they know of any neuropsychologists that work with children. Remember that you not only want a neuropsychologist that can test your child, but you also want one that can give very specific recommendations about what services that your child needs. Good luck in your efforts!

By rahul