What is neuropsychology? 

Neuropsychology is the study of brain-behavior relationships – involving the relationship between behavior, emotion and cognition and brain function. Our brains begin to grow and develop before we’re born and continue up until we reach our mid-20s. During this time, children and young adults are constantly learning and developing new skills to think and interact with the world around them. 

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?”

When an injury, illness or condition affects learning and development, it can cause parents to worry: Is my child going to fall behind in school? Will my child be able to make friends and interact with peers? How will this affect their mood or behavior? A neuropsychology assessment will help guide the treatment and management of your child’s care. 

Your family is not alone. Millions of children across the U.S. are diagnosed with a learning disability, developmental delay or other condition that affects their thinking, learning or behavior.  

Pediatric neuropsychologists are experts in the relationship between the brain and a child’s behavior and learning. At Randall Children’s Hospital, we evaluate and care for children with a wide range of needs. Our evaluations are made in the context of specific medical and neurological conditions to help guide intervention. Our team is here to help your family find answers and the care your child needs to learn, grow and play alongside their peers. 

A referral from a pediatrician is required to schedule an appointment. We also recommend prior authorization from your insurance carrier. 

Once referred, our team will proceed with a comprehensive evaluation. 

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 a referral appropriate? 
 
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

Contact information 

Pediatric Neuropsychology Clinic Coordinator:
Oreatha Johnson
503-413-4620

Mailing Address: 
Randall Children’s Hospital
Pediatric Development and Rehabilitation
2801 N. Gantenbein Ave., Suite 2225  
Portland, OR  97227

Fax: 503-413-3063

 

 

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