Generally when you’re a parent and the words ‘child’ and ‘psychology’ are put together in one sentence, it can turn into a stressful time. When the mention of “pediatric neuropsychology” comes up, you may be wondering what it is, if your child could benefit from a neuropsychological evaluation, and what the evaluation involves. If you’re one of those parents, we’re here to make your worrying less taxing with all the information you need to know.
What is Pediatric Neuropsychology?
This type of specialty within the psychology profession mostly deals with behavior and learning; and how it relates to children’s brains. The specialist in this field has advanced experience in how behavior and learning are closely related to child’s brain. Your child could be sent to a pediatric neuropsychologist, like the people at NeuroHealth Arlington Heights, if he/she shows need for it. The neuropsychologist will do an evaluation or test, examine the results, and provide you and the child with recommendations if they are necessary.
Why would my Child Need an Evaluation?
According to the Child Neurology Foundation, a child is typically referred for neuropsychology evaluation for these three main reasons:
- Learning problems, behavioral difficulty, social difficulty, emotional control problems
- A disease or a genetic problem that affects the brain, or
- A brain injury (this may be from birth, an accident, or fetal alcohol/lead exposure).”
Children are usually referred for an evaluation of this sort by teachers, doctors, parents, or their school psychologists.
What Do the Evaluations Involve?
When your child goes for a neuropsychological evaluation, the neuropsychologist will review and examine his/her abilities and skills in a variety of areas. They’ll use many different methods to assess their reasoning and intellectual functioning, visual processing, verbal expression, attention, concentration, listening comprehension, and learning and memory. Different reading, math, and writing tests may also be used at the evaluation to help assess what school skills your child has mastered thus far. The neuropsychologist will carefully observe how your child approaches each specific task and their developmental abilities.
If you’re worried that your child fits into one of the above categories or your doctor has already spoken to you about pediatric neuropsychology, please use this information to help guide you to making the right decisions for your child. Pediatric neuropsychologists can both assess and create the best strategy for helping your child become the versions of themselves.