NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL AND EDUCATIONAL EVALUATIONS
What Does It Consist Of?
Our Neuropsychological and Educational Evaluations assess three broad areas of functioning: Cognitive Skills, Academic Skills, and Emotional Functioning.
Cognitive Skills examine five domains:
- Learning and Memory
- Attention and Executive Functions
- Visual-Spatial Reasoning
- Language Functioning
- Sensorimotor Development
We do not give every student the same tests. We begin with a basic IQ test, which samples performance in each of these areas and then we look further in areas that are of particular interest for a given student.
Academic Skills examine three domains: 1) Reading; 2) Writing; and 3) Math. In each of these areas we examine two types of skills: 1) conceptual understanding and 2) ease of access to information that should be rote and automatic. For example, a student may have trouble learning to decode words (rote skill) but can easily understand stories when they are read aloud (conceptual skill). Thus the student’s comprehension is intact, but decoding the words is the trouble spot. In writing we might see a student who has good, well-developed ideas (conceptual) but whose spelling, grammar and syntax (rote skill) is poor. This can interfere with essay writing in school.
The alternate pattern is seen too, in which a student may be good at the rote skills but has trouble with conceptual skills. For example, a student may learn math facts easily (rote skill) but then have difficulty learning more conceptual aspects of math. Whatever the pattern, we try to tie the child’s academic difficulty to a pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and then make recommendations about how to help with academic performance.
Emotional Functioning assesses motivation, coping strategies, academic self-concept and the student’s view of the world and his place within it. We use surveys completed by parents, teachers and the student to understand these issues. We also observe the student during the assessment process in order to understand how he behaves when faced with a challenging or boring task. Does the student persist in the face of a challenge? Does the student accurately gauge his own performance? When is he most willing to accept help, and what kind of support is most useful? We then include this information in our understanding of the student’s cognitive and academic functioning in order to get a complete picture of how and why the student performs as he does.