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Neuropsychological Evaluations: Can They Help My Child?

What is the purpose and benefits of a neuropsychological evaluation?

  • The purpose of a neuropsychological evaluation is to better understand a person’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses in multiple areas of functioning, such as learning, academics, memory, executive functioning, behavioral and emotional functioning, attention, and social functioning. 
  • A neuropsychological evaluation provides information about how the child learns best, his or her cognitive abilities, and where he or she may have difficulty. Having an evaluation informs the best course of action for educational programming, as well as the best form of treatment to pursue outside of school. It also gives parents an understanding of why their child may be behaving in certain ways and helps families learn more about the child’s areas of strength and concern. 

How do I know if a neuropsychological evaluation is necessary for my child?

  • Typically a neuropsychological evaluation is recommended when there is more than one area of concern.  This may include problems with attention, learning, memory, processing speed, emotion and behavior regulation, or difficulties with socialization.  The comprehensive evaluation will lead to a better understanding of the individual, which in turn leads to relevant recommendations and interventions designed to assist that individual to build on his or her strengths and to develop in the areas of need.  

What will the psychologist be testing? 

  • At PSLLC we individualize our approach to cater to the needs of the child and family. Each neuropsychological evaluation starts with a clinical interview. The psychologist spends time with the caregivers to gather information about areas of concern, difficulty, strengths, etc., to plan the best set of assessments to administer during the evaluation in order to assess all the areas of interest or concern.
  • Some examples of what would be tested are a child’s intellectual functioning (IQ), academic performance, executive functioning, learning and memory, and attention. Questionnaires are administered to assess emotional and behavioral concerns.
  • If an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis is being considered, the psychologist will also administer the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2), which is a semi-structured interview and the gold standard for assessing ASD. 
  • The neuropsychological evaluation is broken up into 4 components:
    • Clinical interview with parents – 1 hour sessions
    • Day 1 of testing in the office – 2-3 hours 
    • Day 2 of testing in the office – 2-3 hours
    • Feedback meeting to review results – 1 hour

What is the best age range for a neuropsychological evaluation?

  • The best age range for a neuropsychological evaluation is typically 5 years old through adulthood. 
  • If the parent has concerns that his or her child might have autism spectrum disorder then the child can be evaluated as early as 18 months old. 

How do I prepare my child/adolescent or myself for an evaluation? 

  • It is important for the individual to have a good night’s sleep, a nice breakfast, and come with water and snacks packed. The psychologist works with the individual child to determine the best way to help the child be motivated to try his or her best on testing. This may look like several breaks, stickers, prize boxes, and different ways to help the child give it his or her best. 

What will happen after testing is completed?

  • Following the completion of testing and gathering of data via interviews, questionnaires, and a review of records, the psychologist will write a report with all the findings and recommendations moving forward. The report takes 6-8 weeks to write. 
  • After the parent/adult has had the opportunity to review the report, a feedback session is completed.  During this feedback session, which is included at no additional charge, the psychologist will review the findings of the evaluation as well as the recommended interventions.  Questions, areas of concern, or any specific areas that the adult would like additional clarity will be addressed during this feedback session.   
  • The family can share the neuropsychological evaluation report with those they feel are necessary. With students, families will typically share the report with the child’s school team to allow for better programming for the child as well as implementing specific recommendations. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Dr. Elizabeth McHugh at 609-924-7080 or  For any additional inquiries, Dr. Mark Cooperberg, the director of psychological services, may be reached at the same phone number or via


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