Home > Randall Children's Services > Children's Health Services > Brain and Behavior (Neuropsychology)

Children grow and develop at different rates. Sometimes developmental skills lag behind other children’s, and a doctor may want his/her patient to have an evaluation of cognitive abilities including thinking, learning, attention, and memory. For some children, these gaps in functioning are explained by differences in how the brain is developing.

With expertise in brain functions and child development, neuropsychologists are specially trained to answer the question, “Why does my child think, learn, or behave differently?”

What is a neuropsychological evaluation?

  • A neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of a person’s cognitive abilities/skills, behavior, and emotional functioning.
  • As part of the evaluation, the neuropsychologist gathers information from the following sources:
    • Records from the child’s school and doctors
    • Parents/Caregivers who share information about the child’s early development, medical conditions, and current functioning
    • Forms that the parent/caregiver (and sometimes teacher) completes about the child’s functioning
    • Tests that are given to the child to assess the following functions:
      • Intelligence
      • Memory
      • Learning
      • Academic achievement
      • Language
      • Visual-spatial skills (e.g., puzzles)
      • Attention
      • Feelings and relationships

What information is provided after an evaluation?

  • Summary of the child’s neurocognitive abilities and skills, including strengths and problem areas.
  • Diagnoses that describe the child’s difficulties.
  • Recommendations for treatment that will help parents/caregivers, teachers, therapists, and medical providers manage the child’s condition.

All information is summarized in a report, and results are shared with parents/caregivers during a feedback session.

What ages are appropriate at this pediatric neuropsychology clinic?

Preschool through college-age. For individuals over 21 years, we recommend evaluation with an adult neuropsychologist

When is it appropriate to refer?

At our clinic, services are limited to patients with medical or neurological conditions that affect the brain. Children with the following conditions are commonly referred for neuropsychological evaluation:

  • Epilepsy
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Post-concussion syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Brain infection
  • Cancer
  • Brain tumor
  • Genetic condition
  • Premature birth
  • Cerebral palsy
  • In utero drug exposure
  • Tic disorders

Do you offer services for patients without medical or neurological conditions but who have learning, attention, or emotional adjustment problems?

Our providers primarily see patients with documented medical or neurological conditions that affect brain functions.

For children with learning problems - We recommend psychoeducational evaluation through the local school district.

For children with attention problems - We recommend referral for a psychological evaluation.

For children with disruptive behavior or mood and anxiety concerns - We recommend referral to a mental health provider for assessment and treatment.

For children 10 years and younger with social communication challenges and concern for possible diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder - We recommend multi-disciplinary evaluation through the Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics.

For children over 10 years with concern for possible diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, refer for autism-focused evaluation.

How do I make a referral for a pediatric neuropsychological evaluation at Randall Children’s Hospital Department of Pediatric Development and Rehabilitation?
A child’s doctor needs to refer for this medical service.  We recommend that the referring doctor request prior authorization from the patient’s insurance company. (A letter for referring providers.) 

The referring doctor is asked to fax these documents to 503-413-4719 prior to your appointment: 

For our scheduled patients, please visit this page for further information. 

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