Outpatient Neuropsychological Evaluations: Understanding Your Child’s Brain Functioning

Outpatient Neuropsychological Evaluations: Understanding Your Child’s Brain Functioning

Hospital evaluation for children

In the Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, we specialize in providing comprehensive neuropsychological and multidisciplinary evaluations for children and teenagers with complex medical histories. Our team of experts utilizes their knowledge of the developing brain to evaluate a child’s thinking, behavior, and emotions.

What is a neuropsychological evaluation?

A neuropsychological evaluation is an assessment that provides doctors with valuable insights into how a child or teenager’s brain is functioning. This evaluation is used to evaluate thinking skills and behavior. Our pediatric neuropsychologists diagnose, treat, and provide ongoing care for children and teenagers with neurological disorders, utilizing their expertise in the developing brain.

During a neuropsychological evaluation, various areas of cognitive functioning are assessed, including intellectual functioning, communicative and language skills, visuospatial skills, learning and memory, attention capacities, executive control processes, sensorimotor functioning, psychosocial adjustment, adaptive skills, and academic achievement.

Who needs a neuropsychological evaluation?

Children and teenagers who experience cognitive, emotional, behavioral, developmental, physical, and/or school difficulties as a result of their medical condition may benefit from a neuropsychological evaluation. Our outpatient assessment services are designed for patients with traumatic brain injury, acquired brain injuries, cerebral palsy, hydrocephalus, spina bifida, muscle disease, prematurity, low birth weight, or complex birth histories.

What can we expect from a neuropsychological evaluation?

A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation typically involves a full-day appointment that includes parent and child interviews, the evaluation itself, and parent questionnaires. After the evaluation, a feedback session is scheduled to discuss the results, and a report with recommendations is provided. The evaluation itself lasts 2 to 3 hours and includes the administration of tests to evaluate memory, attention, speed, and other thinking areas. Relevant background information is also collected from the child and parents. Both parents are encouraged to be present during the evaluation to provide different perspectives on the child’s medical history.

Multidisciplinary Outpatient Rehabilitation Evaluation (MORE)

In cases where conditions are complex and affect multiple systems within a child’s body and brain, a multidisciplinary approach to evaluation is essential. We offer an extensive assessment called the Multidisciplinary Outpatient Rehabilitation Evaluation (MORE) for our neuropsychological evaluations. MORE involves a team-based assessment that evaluates cognition, learning and memory, executive processes, attention, processing speed, communication and language, visuospatial processing, gross and fine motor skills, academic achievement, adaptive functioning, and social, emotional, and behavioral functioning.

A MORE evaluation takes place over the course of 2 to 3 days and involves collaboration from experts in rehabilitation psychology, neuropsychology, speech and learning, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and social work. A separate feedback session is scheduled to discuss the results, and a comprehensive report with specific recommendations for your child is provided.

FAQs

Q: How do I schedule an appointment for a neuropsychological evaluation?

To schedule an appointment or learn more about our evaluations, please call 720-777-5470.

Q: How can I refer a child for a neuropsychological evaluation?

To refer a child for a neuropsychological testing, the child must have a qualifying medical condition. Caregivers will be contacted within 72 hours of the referral to complete a brief phone intake. Referrals are then reviewed to determine eligibility, and the appropriate type of evaluation (neuropsychological or multidisciplinary) is assigned. The assessment plan and results will be shared with the caregiver and referring provider.

Conclusion

At Children’s Hospital Colorado, we are dedicated to providing thorough and comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations for children and teenagers with complex medical histories. Our team of experts uses their knowledge and expertise in the developing brain to assess and understand your child’s thinking, behavior, and emotions. Through these evaluations, we strive to provide valuable insights and recommendations that support optimal functioning, address school concerns, and manage emotional or behavioral problems.