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What is a neuropsychologist?!

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

Ever wondered what a neuropsychologist does? How they can help you? What is involved in an assessment?

Neuropsychologists specialise in looking at an individual’s thinking skills and how they might impact their everyday lives. We go to our doctor if we have flu, we get our eyes checked if we are having trouble seeing clearly, and speak to a psychologist for our mental well-being. So, where does a neuropsychologist fit in?

If you, or someone you know, has trouble with concentrating, memory, or problem solving, among other thinking skills, you might benefit from seeing a neuropsychologist to explore why these problems are occurring and what can be done to help.

Neuropsychologists work in all sorts of areas; some specialise in looking at the impact of brain injury on thinking skills; some work with older adults to diagnose dementia; some work with stroke patients. Our neuropsychologists at Amherst Psychology specialise in therapy and assessment for children, adolescents and adults with neurodevelopmental conditions including:

· Attentional Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

· Specific Learning Disorders (SLD) such as dyslexia and dyscalculia

· Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

· Intellectual Disability (ID)

· Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Photo by Ross Sneddon

We enjoy working with all ages. It is great to provide young people with the knowledge about themselves and skills to help them achieve their potential, and we also love working with adults. In fact many of our clients come to us after years of wondering about their particular struggles. Sometimes the catalyst is that a family member has been diagnosed and sometimes it's coming across information that resonates.

Because each client has specific questions and may have had negative experiences relating to their neurological functioning, we have a trauma-informed, client-centred approach. Our administration team and our neuropsychologists will be upfront and clear about each aspect of the therapy or assessment process. In addition, our neuropsychological assessments and therapy are thorough, and evidence based. We achieve this by:

  • Creating a dedicated, safe, quiet and comfortable space throughout the assessment or therapy

  • Addressing specific questions and concerns

  • Listening closely to each person's lived experience and gathering information from significant others where appropriate

  • When requested, an initial, pre-assessment interview is arranged for adult clients and it is automatically incorporated in some assessments (e.g., ADHD)

  • Assessing from a holistic point of view so that the best outcome can be achieved across all areas of life

  • Following the comprehensive assessment, we provide a report that is individualised and has specifically tailored recommendations that are likely to improve functioning

The assessment process involves:

1. For children and adolescents, speaking to the parent or caregiver to gain background information.

2. The young person or adult will then take part an in-depth assessment involving pencil and paper tasks looking at attention, memory and problem solving among other things. The parent/caregiver or adult may also be required to fill in some questionnaires to help support the results from the assessment.

3. Overall, a diagnosis is, or is not, made taking into account the background information, assessment and questionnaire results.

4. Once the assessment and report are complete, a feedback session where the results from the assessment are explained in detail along with any future recommendations for the individual.

The length of this process differs depending on the type of assessment the individual is undergoing. You'll find information on our autism assessment services here and details of our educational/learning assessments here

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and these differ from person to person. However, finding and understanding strengths and weaknesses can be powerful. Finding out your strengths and weaknesses in your thinking (cognitive) skills can help you with two things:

1. It can help you know when and how to use your cognitive strengths to compensate for your weaknesses

2. How to work on improving your weaknesses by working on some specific strategies.

We’d love to hear from you if you want to know more or would like to book an appointment with one of our neuropsychologists. Feel free to call us on 9456 0411 or email .

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