Neuropsychological Assessment, Demystified
What is neuropsychological assessment?
Posted on May 12, 2017
Neuropsychological assessment refers to the use of standardized tests to determine individual differences in brain functioning. It can bring to light one’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses, as well as diagnose and assess challenges related to attention, learning, language, memory, social and emotional functioning, and more.
Every person’s brain is wired a little differently, with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes people run into trouble if the way they’re wired doesn’t integrate well with certain academic or professional tasks. For example, if your brain processes information a little more slowly than average, it’s going to be more challenging to succeed at tasks like timed multiplication tests or calculating figures on the spot during a meeting.
This can be discouraging and may lead you to believe that you’re not capable of doing these things well - when in reality, the capacity to succeed is likely there. You may simply need to take a different approach or use different tools to get there. This is where neuropsychological assessment comes in, as it aims to: 1) shed light on what might be holding you back from reaching your goals and achieving your full potential; and 2) provide direction for overcoming these challenges.
You may benefit from neuropsychological testing if you are:
• Having difficulty concentrating at school or at work
• Recovering from a brain injury
• Struggling to complete tasks (e.g. tests, homework, reports) in a timely and/or organized manner
• Having trouble connecting and/or working with others
• Experiencing significant emotional distress that is difficult to manage
• Struggling to keep your grades up or to maintain optimal performance at work
• Worried about a decline in memory or other cognitive functioning
• Having a hard time communicating, whether in oral or written form
Our approach to assessment
At Mindful Assessments & Psychological Services, we believe that a collaborative approach to assessment can best help you to meet your goals. This means that you bring your knowledge of your own history, challenges, needs, and goals, and we bring our expertise and experience to help determine the source of those challenges, and the action steps you can take to move toward those goals. Throughout the process, we continually invite your insights, observations, questions, and feedback. Together, we will work to create a clear picture of why and how you are struggling, and how you can best move forward. In addition, we believe it’s important to highlight areas of strength, and to harness your strengths to help you with things that are more challenging.
What is the assessment process like?
We will start by scheduling an initial meeting in order to get to know you and your history, as well as clarify what questions or concerns we can help address. We want to hear about your goals and develop an assessment plan that is relevant to what’s most important to you. From there we will determine which assessments best suit your needs and schedule a separate time to complete them with you.
During the assessment phase, we’ll meet with you for 1-3 sessions, typically a few hours per session, to complete the assessments. We carefully consider results of these assessments alongside other important information, including observation of your approach to tasks, your medical and educational records, and, with your permission, consultation with other members of your medical or educational support team. We will prepare an individualized report for you, outlining our findings and including tailored recommendations to help you move toward your goals. Your individualized recommendations may point you to tools, resources, strategies, further support and treatment options, and more.
Finally, we will meet again to discuss these results and recommendations. The goals of this feedback meeting are: 1) to provide a clear picture of your cognitive strengths and challenges, 2) to ensure that your questions are answered, and 3) to create a concrete and realistic plan to amplify your strengths and to better manage areas that are more difficult.
We would love to connect with you and discuss whether neuropsychological assessment could be a good fit for your needs. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or to schedule an initial appointment!