A neuropsychological assessment is a comprehensive evaluation that examines a number of areas to better understand a child’s cognitive functioning. This type of assessment is completed by a psychologist trained in child development, brain development and organization, the effect of neurological dysfunction on development and neuropsychological assessment techniques. While children completing this type of testing often have a medical condition affecting the functioning of their central nervous system (e.g., traumatic brain injury, stroke, tumour, CNS vasculitis, sickle cell disease, neurofibromatosis, etc.), one is not required, and similar testing can be completed with anyone.
A psychoeducational assessment is a more limited evaluation of a child’s intellectual and academic functioning. This type of testing can be completed by a psychologist trained in neuropsychology, but also by a school psychologist or by a clinical psychologists. A child may complete a psychoeducational assessment when a learning disability is suspected and school accommodations are sought, which is usually enough. However, a neuropsychological assessment may provide additional valuable information to further tailor recommendations to a child’s developmental and learning needs.
Typically, a neuropsychological or psychoeducational assessment starts with an interview with parents to determine what concerns they have about their child, and what type of assessment would best suit their needs. Please feel free to contact Dr. Walker for further information.