Neuropsychological and Educational Evaluation FAQ

What is neuropsychological testing?

Neuropsychological testing is a special type of psychological testing that evaluates a child’s academic ability and learning strengths and weaknesses. It helps clinicians, teachers and parents understand how a child is learning and processing information compared to other children of the same age. For example, a child might be able to articulate very complicated concepts and yet have trouble reading about those concepts, or a child might read very fluidly and yet have very poor comprehension.

Neuropsychological testing can provide important information about the nature of a child’s learning strengths and challenges. Parents should know, however, that testing targets a child’s learning deficits, challenges him to perform tasks that are particularly difficult because of those deficits, and then recommends methods for compensating for those deficits. In many ways, it’s the paper-and-pencil test equivalent of a cardiac stress test. Therefore, it’s important to explain to your child that this is a test where the doctor expects you not to know all the answers. Your child should be well-rested and fed before testing begins.

How long does a neuropsychological and educational evaluation take?

A full evaluation will be completed in five to six sessions and will include testing of intellectual and cognitive functioning, language development, all areas of academic achievement, memory skills, attention, concentration, and planning, as well as a review of how a child thinks and feels. Each session is two to three hours long depending on age. We offer Saturday sessions and flexible scheduling. Older students sometimes choose to visit us for a full day — and take a long lunch break — so that they don’t miss too much school; we make every effort to work with their schedules.

What if my child has already had an evaluation?

If your child has previously had an evaluation, the purpose of our evaluation may be to see how your child is progressing. This kind of evaluation usually takes only one or two sessions. Some children have had evaluations completed by their school district. We can review the prior evaluation and individualize testing to meet your child’s needs.

How do you give the results of a neuropsychological and educational evaluation?

We meet with you at the conclusion of the evaluation to discuss your child’s profile of strengths and weaknesses. This is also when we discuss treatment options and help you choose the plan of treatment that can enable your child to be as productive as possible at school. We also provide feedback to your child — in person for 15 to 20 minutes or in a child-friendly letter. We can consult with your child’s school on an as-needed basis to make sure that teachers understand the results of the evaluation and the school can determine what services they will provide. In addition, we provide you with a comprehensive written report. This clearly written, user-friendly report includes relevant information about your child’s background and diagnosis, as well as the results of all testing and our recommendations. While it often takes four to six weeks for us to generate the written report, we are happy to speak to school personnel, therapists and remediation specialists before the report is produced in order to ensure that the recommendations from the evaluation lead as soon as possible to the support your child needs and deserves. In special situations (upon a parent’s or school’s request), we can generate written reports more quickly.

To make an appointment, call us at (212) 308-3118 or request an appointment online.