In the Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology Program at Children's Hospital Colorado, we offer neuropsychological and multidisciplinary evaluations of children and teenagers with complex medical histories. Neuropsychology is a specialty area of psychology. It uses knowledge of the developing brain to evaluate a child’s thinking, behavior and emotion.
Our comprehensive, high-quality neuropsychological and multidisciplinary evaluations can provide:
- Insights into your child's strengths and needs
- Practical recommendations to support optimal functioning, address school concerns and manage emotional or behavioral problems
- Coordination of care with the primary care provider, educators, therapists and other relevant personnel
- Recommendations in a comprehensive evaluation report
What is a neuropsychological evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation is an assessment that gives doctors information about how a child or teen’s brain is working. The assessment is used to evaluate thinking skills and behavior.
Our pediatric neuropsychologists use their knowledge of the developing brain to diagnose, treat and provide ongoing care for children and teenagers with neurological disorders.
Most neuropsychological evaluations assess the following areas:
- Intellectual functioning
- Communicative and language skills
- Visuospatial skills
- Learning and memory
- Attention capacities (concentration and distractibility) and processing speed
- Executive control processes (planning, organization, etc.)
- Sensorimotor functioning
- Psychosocial adjustment
- Adaptive skills
- Academic achievement
Who needs a neuropsychological evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation may be provided to children and teens who display cognitive, emotional, behavioral, developmental, physical and/or school difficulties as a result of their medical condition.
Our outpatient assessment services are designed for patients with:
What can we expect from a neuropsychological evaluation?
A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation typically involves:
- A full-day appointment including parent and child interviews, the evaluation itself and parent questionnaires
- A feedback session to discuss the results
- A report with many recommendations
A neuropsychological evaluation typically lasts 2 to 3 hours, which includes reviewing information about your child’s medical condition and any current problems. We will also administer paper-and-pencil and computerized tests to evaluate memory, attention, speed and other thinking areas. Specialists will also gather relevant background information from the child and parent, discuss the evaluation with the child and parents and answer any questions. In some situations, testing can take more time, such as when concussions have occurred many months prior to the evaluation or after more severe injuries.
Who should be present for a neuropsychological evaluation?
In addition to the child or teen, at least one parent needs to be present for the neuropsychological session. If possible, it is helpful to have both parents present, especially if they have different information or concerns about the child’s medical history.
How will I find out the results?
In most cases, the neuropsychologist at Children’s Colorado will provide preliminary feedback about the results after the evaluation is completed. On occasion, the feedback meeting may be scheduled on a separate day. Your family will be given a written report summarizing the results and our recommendations. We’ll send the report directly to your family, primary healthcare providers and other involved professionals as appropriate (with parental consent).
What is a Multidisciplinary Outpatient Rehabilitation Evaluation?
Because some conditions are often complex and affect multiple systems within a child's body and brain, a multidisciplinary approach to evaluation is best. That's why we also offer another more extensive assessment called the Multidisciplinary Outpatient Rehabilitation Evaluation (MORE) for our neuropsychological evaluations.
MORE is an extensive team-based assessment for patients who have complex needs involving:
- Learning and memory
- Executive processes (planning, reasoning, organization, etc.)
- Processing speed
- Communication and language
- Visuospatial processing
- Gross and fine motor skills
- Academic achievement
- Adaptive functioning
- Social, emotional, and behavioral functioning
We use a multidisciplinary approach, which means that several doctors and experts from different disciplines will be involved. The primary focus of a MORE is to assess your child's current level of functioning in the areas above. Our team works together to provide specific insights and an integrated summary of the findings.
A multidisciplinary evaluation includes:
- Multiple evaluations, which take place over the course of 2 to 3 days
- Involvement from rehabilitation psychology, neuropsychology, speech and learning, occupational therapy, physical therapy and/or social work
- A separate feedback session to discuss the results with the team psychologist/neuropsychologist
- A comprehensive report with recommendations specific to your child
Appointments for neuropsychological evaluations
For more information about our evaluations or to schedule an appointment, call 720-777-5470.
Referrals for outpatient neuropsychological evaluations
To refer a child for a neuropsychological testing:
- The child must have a qualifying medical condition.
- Caregivers will be contacted within 72 hours of the time of referral to complete a brief phone intake.
- Referrals are reviewed to determine eligibility and the most appropriate type of evaluation (neuropsychological or multidisciplinary) is assigned.
- Assessment plan and results will be shared with the caregiver and referring provider.
To refer a patient for outpatient testing, contact the Pediatric Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology Program at 720-777-5470.