General Information

What is Neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology is the study of how the brain affects an individual’s behavior, emotions, and abilities. When an illness or injury has been diagnosed or identified, it is important to determine exactly what functions or abilities have been affected. This will help answer questions concerning returning to work or school, safe driving, independent living, emotional problems, and how to treat any of these difficulties.

A Neuropsychological Evaluation is used to diagnose learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, autism, and dementing illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease. The effects of traumatic brain injury, stroke, tumors, or seizures on cognitive, social, and emotional functioning can also be determined. The results of the evaluation assist the neuropsychologist in planning various therapies to improve impaired abilities. The evaluation also allows us to track progress and/or changes over time. The neuropsychologist often helps people adapt to life changes as a result of chronic illnesses, injuries, or other medical conditions.

 

Pediatric Neuropsychology is a specialty within the field of neuropsychology. The main focus of this specialty is in studying the relationship of known or suspected developmental, medical, and neurological conditions on a child’s intellectual, emotional, and behavioral functioning. Pediatric neuropsychologists work with parents and other specialists, such as pediatric neurologists, neurosurgeons, pediatricians, family physicians, psychiatrists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, counselors, and educators to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. The treatment plan, which is based on current research, is designed to address issues that are identified through the neuropsychological assessment and is research-based.

What Does the Neuropsychological Evaluation Involve?

The neuropsychological evaluation is a three-step process:

Step 1 - Initial Neuropsychological Consultation:  
The first appointment involves meeting your neuropsychologist.  During the initial consultation, the neuropsychologist will be asking questions to gather information regarding your history, background, and current symptoms.  For children, this will include questions regarding prenatal and early developmental history; therefore, a parent or legal guardian must attend.  Please make sure that a family member accompanies any person being transported from a nursing home.  The information that is gathered will help the neuropsychologist form initial diagnostic impressions and develop a plan for testing and/or treatment.  The first appointment typically lasts 45 to 60 minutes and, at the conclusion, an appointment for testing and/or follow-up is typically scheduled. 

We encourage you to check with your insurance company prior to the first appointment to verify your mental health benefits and coverage for office visits and neuropsychological and/or psychological testing.  If your deductible has not yet been met for the year, a deposit of 50% of your estimated out of pocket costs will be collected when testing is scheduled.  

Please bring any previous testing reports, legal papers (POA, Guardianship, etc.), school records, etc. to be reviewed and placed in your chart.  

Step 2 - Neuropsychological Testing:
The appointment for neuropsychological testing involves working one-on-one with the neuropsychologist or, more regularly, a trained technician or intern under his or her supervision. Testing can last anywhere from one to six hours depending on the nature and extent of problems and the request of the referring physician. Each patient should be sure to eat a good meal and/or have a snack and get a good night’s rest prior to their testing appointment. Please be sure to bring any aids that may be needed for testing (e.g., glasses, hearing aid, etc.).

During testing, the patient will be asked to solve problems and perform many different tasks to assess the functioning of different areas of the brain. Some of the brain functions frequently tested include intellectual abilities, language skills, sensory functions, motor skills, coordination, visual/manual abilities, spatial orientation, emotional status, concentration, problem solving, and memory. Most individuals find the tests to be interesting and enjoyable.

Family members are typically asked to wait in the waiting room while the patient completes testing. Often times, family members will be asked to complete questionnaires and/or rating scales as a component of the patient’s evaluation. For children, rating scales and/or questionnaires may be sent to a child’s school or other third-party sources (with parent/guardian consent).

Step 3 - Neuropsychological Follow-up: 
During this appointment, the results from the neuropsychological testing are reviewed and explained by the neuropsychologist. Diagnostic impressions will be shared and treatment recommendations will be made along with the development of a treatment plan. The treatment plan may involve scheduling a follow-up appointment in our office to help the neuropsychologist track the patient’s response to treatment and progress over time.

The findings and recommendations from the neuropsychologist are communicated to the referring physician. Often times, the neurologist, neurosurgeon, pediatrician, or other physician looks at neuropsychological testing results in conjunction with the results from other tests and procedures that have been ordered. This may aid in making a final diagnosis or prescribing treatment. You will likely contact the physician who referred you or your child after the follow-up appointment for further guidance in treatment and/or any possible medication management. It is important to remember that, although they make suggestions for your physician regarding a recommended course of treatment, the neuropsychologists do not themselves write prescriptions for medication.

Please feel free to ask questions any time before, during, or after the evaluation process. The neuropsychologists are available and can be reached at (260) 460-3203.

Conditions that are commonly seen by neuropsychologists:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Memory Problems and Dementias

  • Stroke

  • Depression

  • Headaches and Chronic Pain

  • Anxiety Disorders 

  • Work-related Problems 

  • Adult ADHD

  • Individual and Family Counseling

  • Other Neurological Conditions

Conditions that are commonly seen by pediatric neuropsychologists:​

  • ADHD

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Tourette’s Disorder

  • Learning Disabilities

  • Developmental Dyslexia

  • Developmental Delays 

  • Seizure Disorders 

  • Traumatic Brain Injury 

  • Genetic Conditions

  • Toxic and Metabolic Disorders

  • Behavioral Problems

  • Individual & Family Counseling

  • Other Neurological Conditions

Call us today 260-460-3203

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