The goal of the neuropsychological evaluation is to determine your current cognitive and psychological functioning. It consists of a series of short tests of thinking skills which may include tests of memory, attention, problems-solving, understanding of social skills, language processing, visual spatial processing and motor of movement functioning. In addition, questionnaires used to evaluate present psychological, emotional and/ or cognitive functioning will need to be completed. The exact tests and questionnaires are determined based on the information obtained during the initial diagnostic interview.
Neuropsychological testing usually involves completing tests can include looking at materials presented in books and answering questions, writing, drawing or responding to tasks on a computer program. Most tests vary in difficulty level. Neuropsychological testing occurs anywhere between one to four sessions’ hour and a half sessions. For most people who take these tests, they experience some items as easy and some as very difficult. Although this can be related to you or your child’s condition, it can also be related to the nature of the tests themselves. In addition, some tests may be experienced as fun games and some may be less pleasant or frustrating.
In most cases testing is performed by a neuropsychologist. A neuropsychologist has specialized education in psychology and neuroscience. However, a neuropsychology technician may be used. This is an individual who is trained in the administration and scoring of neuropsychological tests, but this is done under the supervision of a neuropsychologist. You are given the option of using a neuropsychology technician. All interpretation of tests, assignment of diagnoses and treatment planning are completed by a licensed neuropsychologist.
Testing is done individually. In general, there is no third party permitted in the room during neuropsychological evaluation. In special circumstances, a third party may be permitted in the room during testing, such as an instance in which a young child is too anxious to complete the examination without his or her parent in the room.
It is important that you or your child put forth their best effort and answer each question honestly, Should the test performance suggest that a strong effort is not being exerted or questions are not answered truthfully, this can invalidate the rest results and lead to inconclusive findings.
You should inform the testing neuropsychologist or technician of any medication you are taking during the neuropsychological examination.