Term of Art: Neuropsychological Examination

“neuropsychological examination: Testing that explores a number of broad areas in the brain and behavioral functioning, including intellectual functioning, attention, language, sensorimotor functions, executive functions, and social and emotional functions. They also measure specific skills, such as memory, concentration, problem solving, and learning.

A neuropsychological examination typically involves administration of a complex battery of tests designed to identify levels of functioning within specific areas and to compare abilities and problems in all areas.

Also called ‘information processing tests,’ this type of testing reveals how the brain and nervous system interact. A complete neuropsychological evaluation begins with information about a child’s education and physical, social, and psychological development. Then tests are used to measure a wide range of areas, including focus and attention, motor skills, sensory acuity, working memory, learning, intelligence, language, arithmetic skills, problem solving, judgment, abstract thinking, mood, temperament, the ability to interpret and apply meaning to visual information, and other skills.

A neuropsychological examination might be recommended if a child has experienced a medical condition or injury that could affect brain health, a sudden or unexpected change in thinking, failure to improve with therapy or special education help, or complex learning and behavior patterns that other evaluations have not identified.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

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