Neuropsychology Consultants, Pllc
Forensic Neuropsychology Services

Clinical Referrals

Who is a clinical neuropsychologist?  

A clinical neuropsychologist is a psychologist with training and expertise in how human behavior relates to brain structure, function, dysfunction, and disease.  In clinical neuropsychology, extensive testing is done of an individual’s memory, thinking, and other mental functions.  A very detailed assessment is performed, and the pattern of strengths and weaknesses is used to aid in diagnosis and treatment planning.  

Why have I (or my child) been referred?  

Patients are often referred for neuropsychological evaluations in order to assist their physician, psychologist, or attorney to understand better their pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses.  The testing specifically allows the neuropsychologist to assess how well different areas of the brain are functioning.  Examination is usually recommended if there are complaints of poor concentration, memory, reasoning skills, or other loss of mental functions.  For children, there are often issues with learning styles, possible learning disorders, and attention problems.  For some patients, there are also questions about whether a psychiatric illness can be causing problems with thinking and memory.  The neuropsychological evaluation is able to address all of these questions.

What mental functions are assessed?

A typical neuropsychological evaluation involves assessment of one or more of the following areas:
  • General intelligence
  • Higher-order reasoning skills
  • Memory
  • Attention/Concentration
  • Language abilities
  • Academic skills (reading, math, spelling)
  • Visuospatial functions
  • Sensory/Motor functions
  • Mood/Personality issues

How will the test results help me better understand myself (or my child)?  

The test scores will be compared to people similar to the patient in age, education, and other demographic factors.  Large differences from the norm may signal notable strengths or weaknesses in a given area.  The test results will also be compared to the patient’s other test data, to determine likely changes in recent functioning.  

The testing can identify weaknesses in certain areas, such as memory or reasoning skills.  This will provide the neuropsychologist with information about how the brain is functioning. Combined with the medical history taken, this will allow assessment for specific potential disease processes, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, traumatic brain injury, dementia, learning disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or seizure disorder. The testing can help differentiate between many common conditions, such as between Alzheimer’s Disease and depression.  The testing can also help to establish a “baseline”, or level of current functioning, that can be used in the future to rule out progressive illness or to establish future improvement.  

What will the testing be like?

You should plan to spend one to two days for your testing session.  Some people work more slowly than others, others more quickly. Dr. Walker or his staff can give you some indication before you arrive whether your session is likely to require one day or two. Be sure to bring the following items with you:
  • Eyeglasses/Contact lenses
  • Hearing aids
  • Your medications or a list of them
  • Driver’s license or picture identification
  • Any medical records or other information you want Dr. Walker to review
  • For children, copies of report cards, progress reports, and other academic records
Also, be sure not to drink any alcohol within 24 hours of the evaluation. Take all your medications as prescribed prior to arrival and during the day(s) of testing. Children taking psychostimulant medication for ADHD and epileptic patients should take their medications as regularly scheduled, unless instructed otherwise beforehand by Dr. Walker. Get a good night’s sleep the night before. If you are bringing your child for an evaluation, please don’t use the word “test” with them.  Tell them they’re going to see a doctor who will play some fun games with them and talk to them a lot.  
Website Builder