Pediatric neuropsychology is a specialty field that focuses on brain-behavior relationships in children. While a neurologist (M.D.) examines brain scans (ex. MRI, CT) to examine the structure of the brain, a neuropsychologist examines test data to examine how the brain functions. A pediatric neuropsychologist uses standardized tests and observes behavior to define a child’s pattern of cognitive development.
The child is given standardized tests and compared to other children his/her age, level of education, race/ethnicity, etc. A child’ s individual pattern of strengths and weaknesses is defined based on this comparison. The pediatric neuropsychologist uses knowledge of brain development, brain organization, and the effects of various forms of brain injury on development to guide this assessment and to interpret the results.
The pediatric neuropsychologist differs from other psychologists in what they do with the test results. While a clinical or school psychologist is primarily interested in the score that the child obtains, the neuropsychologist is interested in how the child obtains a specific test score as well as in the pattern of scores across different tests. Skills are broken down into component parts, attempting to define a pattern of strengths and weaknesses. The pediatric neuropsychologist works to understand where the child is having trouble and why.
The neuropsychological assessment and report will provide you with:
The following are some observable symptoms that may warrant a neuropsychological evaluation for your child:
To learn more about our pediatric neuropsychology services, please contact us.
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At Chicago's Center for Personal Development, we believe that clear understanding leads to the best care.