Pediatric neuropsychologists are often tasked with evaluating children who are experiencing challenges with emotional control, learning, or behavior. Some may also see a neuropsychologist after being diagnosed with a medical condition. These professionals evaluate children for things like dyslexia, autism, and ADD (attention deficit disorder). If this is something you are considering for your own child, this article will explain what the process consists of.
Standards & Measures
An experienced neuropsychologist will work to provide a comprehensive ADD assessment that is tailored toward the needs of the child. That may mean the same measures will not be used for every single child. Part of the process involves gathering valuable information from people close to the child, such as parents. The expert will also observe the behavior of the child. Some of the things that evaluated include level of cooperation, managing frustration, and social interaction.
The following are the primary areas that will be evaluated during an assessment:
- Adaptive behavior
- Behavioral and emotional abilities
- Cognitive function
- Executive function
- Learning and memory
- Social skills
- Visual-spatial skills
One of the most crucial evaluation areas for a child who may have ADD is attention. This part of the ADD assessment is typically measured through speaking with teacher and parents, along with the completion of rating scales. There are also continual performance measures. This involves the child being at a computer and clicking on specific targets while avoiding others.
These all offer insight into how the child can pay attention even doing something tedious and lengthy. There is also usually visual, auditory, or versions with both. While these tests will not diagnose a child with ADD, they can be used in conjunction with observation and interview.
After the child has completed whatever tests they have been provided, those scores will then be compared with other children of the same age’s scores. Up to 30% of children who experience ADD also have a mood disorder. Also, many children who suffer from depression or anxiety can show the same inability to pay attention that a child with ADD does. The pediatric neuropsychologist will look at various parts of the assessment to understand what diagnosis is appropriate for the child.
If you are concerned your child has ADD or another challenge that is causing problems, you can make an appointment with Dr. Joshua Shifrin for an ADD assessment. You can visit our website at www.NeuroPsychEval.com to learn more about our practice.