A neuropsychological evaluation tests a client’s functioning in many areas of cognitive functioning, including intelligence, academic achievement, language processing, memory, visual perception and organizational skills, processing speed, attention, executive skills, fine motor skills, and emotional functioning. The clinician is often asked to assess a student for an autism spectrum disorder such as autism, Asperger’s disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). This involves an assessment of reciprocal social interactions and communication skills. This test typically incorporates the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) which are both specifically tailored for assessment of autism spectrum disorders. Adaptive functioning is also assessed by means of a questionnaire that is completed by parents and teachers, often the Vineland Adaptive Scales or the Adaptive Behavior Assessment Systems (ABAS).
Information needed to be provided before this testing can take place includes: relevant historical records such as academic and/or medical records. Any records that are given to the clinician will either be returned to the sender (if requested), or will remain in the client’s chart for ten years, after which time the chart is destroyed.
Before beginning an assessment, the clinician will discuss the nature of the referral questions with educators and parents. Many schools and parents have specific questions for the clinician to address in the evaluation, and specific types of assessments for the clinician to administer. All neurological evaluations performed by the Deer Creek Psychological clinicians meet the guidelines set forth by Vermont and New Hampshire school districts for assessment of learning disabilities, autism, and/or ADHD.
A written report of the evaluation findings, strategies, recommendations and diagnosis is completed by the clinician usually within a three-six week period after the testing is completed. This report is released to the person, school or agency financially responsible.