Clinical neuropsychology is the study of brain-behavior relationships in children and adults. Clinical neuropsychologists are psychologists trained in psychology, behavioral neurology, and neuroanatomy. Neuropsychologists evaluate brain functioning by administering a comprehensive battery of tests assessing memory, learning, and associated behaviors. Neuropsychological assessment yields a pattern of strengths and weakness that is utilized in making diagnostic determinations and treatment recommendations.
Neuropsychological – FAQs
How do I know if someone needs a neuropsychological evaluation?
Neuropsychological evaluations are requested to help doctors, parents, counselors, and/or school professionals understand how different systems and areas of the brain are working. Testing is usually recommended when there are symptoms or complaints involving memory and thinking. For children, referrals are often made for difficulties with learning, attention, behavior, socialization, or emotional control. Children with developmental disabilities (e.g., Autism, intellectual disability), chronic medical conditions (e.g., brain tumor, epilepsy, sickle cell anemia), and brain injury are often referred for a pediatric neuropsychological evaluation.
What does a neuropsychological evaluation look like?
A neuropsychological assessment typically involves the assessment of the following areas of function: intelligence, executive function (e.g., planning/organizational skills), attention, language, learning and memory, visual-spatial skills, motor/sensory skills, and mood/personality.
How long will a neuropsychological evaluation take?
Neuropsychological evaluations typically take between 4-6 hours. An initial, one-hour consultation takes place prior to the assessment to determine what type of testing is needed. After the assessment is completed, an interpretive session is scheduled to discuss findings from the assessment and recommendations for follow-up and treatment.
Do I need a referral for neuropsychological testing?
Many insurance companies require a referral from a medical doctor. Specific questions regarding your insurance and available coverage can be addressed by calling our office at (828) 328-4313.
What happens after a neuropsychological assessment?
After completion of a neuropsychological assessment, clients and/or parents will be scheduled for a follow-up interpretive session and receive a detailed report explaining the findings. The report will include information on diagnosis, treatment, and the relationship to underlying brain function. Neuropsychological reports are used for determining eligibility for school based services, rehabilitation needs, and disease progression. The written report is prepared following the interpretive session. Please allow 3-4 weeks for its preparation. Expedited reports are available at an additional fee.
Diagnostic Psychoeducational Assessments are available at Solutions of Hickory, PA for children, adolescents and adults. For children, the Psychoeducational Evaluation is often a useful tool in determining why a child is experiencing difficulties in school or in other areas, or to help to clarify diagnosis or focus treatment planning. Information provided also includes what specific areas assessed are strengths and/or weaknesses for the individual.
The evaluation may assist in the diagnosis of a learning disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or other areas of difficulty that may be causing academic, social, emotional, or behavioral symptoms in your child such as anxiety, mood disorders, or autistic spectrum disorders. Independent assessments are offered for acceptance into accelerated or special needs programs in elementary, middle and high school as well as for college and standardized testing (SAT, ACT, LSAT, MCAT, PRAXIS, etc.)
Similarly, evaluations are useful in clarifying adult symptoms and/or diagnosis and may assist to better define the goals for treatment.
A specialized service offered at Solutions of Hickory, PA is Differential Diagnostic Psychological Evaluations of children, adolescents, and adults. These assessments utilize a specialized battery of standardized psychological assessment instruments, including both projective and objective tests of personality and emotional functioning. These assessments are particularly useful with clients who may present complex or comorbid diagnostic symptoms, treatment refractory clients, as well as new clients who have not been previously evaluated. The purpose of this evaluation is to provide a comprehensive assessment to assist in diagnosis and treatment planning. We evaluate clients who are being treated by the staff at Solutions as well as other area clinicians, providing the necessary feedback to guide and focus future treatment efforts.
Many physicians and surgeons require a psychological evaluation before a patient undergoes transplant surgery or other complicated elective surgeries, such as gastric bypass, or neurostimulator implant surgeries. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if there are any problematic psychological factors that may inhibit the patient's successful recovery or adherence to post-surgical instructions. Problems that could impair a patient's ability to function optimally following surgery include depression, anxiety, personality issues such as rebelliousness, substance abuse, or other psychiatric disorders. The evaluation is a comprehensive psychological screening to ensure the optimal treatment outcome for the patient, and to ensure that it is safe for them to proceed with consideration for the procedure. Our staff has extensive experience in pre-surgical evaluations and regularly conducts pre-surgical evaluations for patients undergoing weight loss surgery, neurostimulator implant, and surrogacy.
Bariatric Pre-Surgical Evaluation – FAQs
What is a bariatric pre-surgical evaluation?
A pre-surgical bariatric evaluation consists of assessment of risk factors that could lead to post-surgical complications. These evaluations include an assessment of emotional status, particularly poorly managed anxiety and depressive symptoms, in addition to measures that screen severely maladaptive eating behaviors.
Why am I required to have a bariatric evaluation?
Most insurance companies and surgical weight loss centers require psychological screening prior to undergoing surgical procedures. These evaluations seek to minimize risk factors and prepare patients for post-surgical adjustments.
How long do bariatric evaluations take?
Most evaluations are completed within two to three hours; however, the time varies from patient to patient as some require longer to complete self-report questionnaires.
What do I need to bring to my bariatric evaluation appointment?
A review of medical records is an essential component of these evaluations, as medical compliance and weight histories can be reviewed. Bringing medical records to your appointment expedites the overall process and allows for the clinician to ask questions about information found in a patient’s records. Finalized evaluation profile reports are not typically available to be released to a client and the surgical weight loss center for two weeks after receipt of medical records and any other pertinent information. Please initiate this process of obtaining the last three to five years of medical records prior to your appointment if at all possible. Primary care physicians can choose to mail or fax medical records. For large records, mailing is preferred.
What if I am not cleared for surgery right away?
While most individuals are cleared for surgery upon completion of their initial psychological evaluation, some patients may benefit from further assessment of their emotional functioning, demonstration of improved medical compliance, education about surgical risk factors, or follow up psychological/psychiatric services. If you are not initially cleared, a clinician will provide detailed information about the steps required in order to move to a cleared status. Postponing surgery is not intended to cause distress to patients. Instead, it reflects that there may be additional things that a patient can do in order to maximize postsurgical success and minimize risk factors.
What can I expect during my pre-surgical evaluation?
Bariatric evaluations begin with completion of standard paperwork as well as a self-report questionnaire. This information is then reviewed by a clinician and a brief interview is conducted to gain additional information. After this interview, patients are assisted with the completion of several self-report measures that assess emotional functioning, eating behaviors, and personality traits. This concludes the in-office portion of the evaluation, and the clinician later reviews medical records again and scores all psychological measures administered. After scoring, a psychological evaluation profile report is prepared and released to the surgical weight loss center and the patient. A clinician may choose to follow up with a patient in person or by phone in order to bring attention to any areas of concern and/or to provide additional information. However, this is done at the clinician’s discretion or at the request of a patient.