For parents, it can be incredibly frustrating and worrying when children continue to act out, be defiant, throw “tantrums” or otherwise act inappropriately despite the parents’ best efforts to teach them otherwise. While understandably difficult to cope with, these may be signs that the child needs assistance, rather than discipline or “talking to”. Child neuropsychology can provide invaluable insight into the behavioral challenges these children are experiencing, and offer peace of mind to struggling parents.
What Is Child Neuropsychology?
Child neuropsychology, also called pediatric neuropsychology, deals with diagnosing and treating children with learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, attention issues, and the like. It involves the administration of similar tests to those applied in the public school setting, as well as additional assessments, administered by a trained NVLD (non-verbal learning difficulty) specialist.
What Are the Most Common Diagnoses in Child Neuropsychology?
While every child is unique, with specific strengths and challenges, there are several commonly seen diagnoses within the NVLD spectrum. One of those is autism – a child may present at any of a number of points on the autism spectrum, from conditions like Asperger’s syndrome to high-functional autism, and much more. However, there are other potential diagnoses, which can include dyslexia, depression, bipolar disorder, and even anxiety disorder. These “invisible” difficulties cause confusion, fear and frustration for both parents and the children struggling with them.
Does Your Child Need a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
It can be difficult for parents to separate normal learning and development from what might be a non-verbal learning difficulty. However, if your child has ever suffered from a brain injury, or has been exposed to alcohol or nicotine before birth, an evaluation may be beneficial. In addition, if your child seems to be exhibiting hyperactive behavior, shows signs of defiance or aggression, a neuropsychological assessment may be necessary.
It’s about Hope
While some parents may see the need for child neuropsychology in a negative light, the truth is that these assessments, and the treatments that follow, are about hope. They’re about learning to cope with learning disabilities, both verbal and non-verbal, and about teaching parents the skills needed to help their child grow strong and happy.
Is your child struggling to pay attention, or exhibiting hyperactive behavior? Does he or she struggle to master study material in school? Do you suspect a learning disorder is present, or that your child might be on the autism spectrum? Dr. Joshua Shifrin offers parents and children in New Jersey the qualified, compassionate care necessary.