NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL / COGNITIVE ASSESSMENTS
Our Clinical Neuropsychologists conduct comprehensive assessments for children and adults. These assessments provide valuable information for the individual, parents, teachers and caregivers regarding difficulties that may be impacting on the person's daily functioning.
A neuropsychological assessment can assist in identifying or diagnosing:
Specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia (problems with reading, spelling, writing, maths)
Attention and memory difficulties (eg: ADHD)
Intellectual giftedness and twice exceptional (2e)
A neuropsychological assessment can also assist in monitoring cognitive symptoms associated with:
Traumatic brain injury
What is a Clinical Neuropsychologist?
A psychologist is a professional trained in the science of how people think, feel, behave and learn. Clinical Neuropsychologists have specialised training to understand the cognitive, emotional and behavioural impacts of a wide range of brain and developmental conditions. Clinical Neuropsychologists are skilled in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning for these conditions. Input from a neuropsychologist can be valuable because of their ability to combine psychological skills, assessment techniques and understanding of how the structure and function of the brain impact behaviour, thinking, emotions, and daily functioning.
What is the assessment process?
Generally speaking, a neuropsychological assessment is conducted over a 4-6 week period and consists of:
An initial 50 minute interview session to discuss relevant background information and ascertain whether an assessment is appropriate
Two assessment sessions which run for approximately 2 hours each
A 50 minute feedback session in which a comprehensive assessment report is provided and feedback about the assessment results is discussed
What does a neuropsychological assessment involve?
Clinical Neuropsychologists apply a holistic approach to understanding and managing cognitive concerns. A neuropsychological assessment begins with a discussion about personal history such as early development, physical health, mental health, academic progress and employment. You may also be asked to complete questionnaires about your (or your child’s) background and functioning.
The assessment will also include a comprehensive investigation of cognitive abilities including tests of attention/concentration, information processing speed, working memory, verbal and visuospatial abilities, learning and memory capacity, executive functioning and academic abilities. The neuropsychologist interprets the pattern of results in the context of the individual’s age, current functioning, medical history and family background. This understanding of an individual’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses helps the neuropsychologist to develop personalised recommendations to support progress at school, university/vocational studies, work and at home.
Are neuropsychological assessments just for children?
No! Our Clinical Neuropsychologists conduct assessments with children and adults. Many individuals with cognitive, learning and/or attentional difficulties are not diagnosed or given professional support until later in life. Conditions such as dyslexia and ADHD involve differences in brain development, and our Clinical Neuropsychologists understand that many adults continue to experience difficulties beyond childhood that impact on their home life, relationships and employment.
How do I prepare my child for a neuropsychological assessment?
The assessment process is designed to be a fun and non-threatening experience for your child. We’ll take time to ensure they feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible and children are given breaks as needed throughout the assessment sessions.
A neuropsychological assessment is non-invasive and does not involve any physical pain or intervention. The assessment will involve the child completing of a wide variety of activities, such as playing with blocks, puzzles, answering questions, listening, talking and solving problems. Many activities are completed on iPads, which most children enjoy using. Some of the activities will be very easy, while others may be more challenging. The purpose of the assessment is to find out the things your child is really good at and if there is anything that might be quite tricky for them.
To prepare your child for an assessment, avoid using words such as ‘test’ or ‘assessment”, instead talk about playing ‘activities’ or ‘games’. There is no pass or fail, instead the focus is on the child trying their best. Parents are encouraged to discuss the assessment in a non-threatening manner that does not leave the child feeling nervous. Ideally, try to ensure that your child has slept and eaten well before attending the assessment.
What should I bring to the assessment?
Any relevant medical and allied health reports
Snacks and a water bottle
Children may wish to bring a favourite toy or security object along to the appointment
How much does an assessment cost?
The standard fee for a neuropsychological assessment is $2800 which includes the initial interview, assessment sessions, a comprehensive written report and feedback session. If other testing or assessment is required (eg: school observations) additional fees may apply. Medicare rebates are not available for neuropsychological / cognitive assessments.
How do I arrange an assessment for myself or my child?