Is Neuropsychological Testing Still Worth It for Older Children?

Apr 09, 18 Is Neuropsychological Testing Still Worth It for Older Children?

Posted by in Psychotherapist

If your child has reached the teen years, and you suspect that they struggle with a learning disability or behavioral disorder, you may be wondering if it’s too late to help them. Let us assure you that it is never too late to help your child live a much more fulfilling life. But it can be hard for parents to differentiate between what is “normal teenage angst” and what truly calls for neuropsychological testing. The Demands of High School and Beyond It doesn’t matter how old a child is, they are always working to master the right behavior based on where they are developmentally. High schoolers are working to master the understanding of romantic relationships for the first time, while also working on planning for the bigger future ahead of them – something that many haven’t really thought about before. For children with learning disabilities or behavioral disorders, these demands can be extremely difficult to manage. For many children with behavioral or learning struggles, they are able to compensate in their earlier years by being smart enough to pass without being challenged, or by maintaining friendships due to teachers pressuring students to play together. But by high school, classes and planning become much harder, and students are no longer expected to all get along. It’s at this age that struggles with behavior and learning disabilities can become much harder to overcome. Yes, Testing Now is Worth It That is why it is absolutely worth it to have neuropsychological testing for children, even if they are older. By helping them to understand what is going on in their own brains, and giving them a comprehensive education that works with or around their learning struggles, they can truly succeed – not just skate by. One of the things that we do after testing is set up a strategy with the teen themselves, so that they are part of developing their plan for success. Setting Your Child Up for Success Testing children in New Jersey every day,...

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How Does a Pediatric Neuropsychological Evaluation Work for Preschoolers

Mar 13, 18 How Does a Pediatric Neuropsychological Evaluation Work for Preschoolers

Posted by in Psychotherapist

While some parents may believe that children need to be older to have neuropsychological evaluation, it is possible to evaluate a child between the ages of one and four. At this age, however, the techniques needed to perform an evaluation are a little different. Children at this age aren’t able to communicate in the same ways as older children, even when they don’t have difficulty learning. Many parents have trouble figuring out what is just a child developing at their own pace, and what is actually the sign of a learning disorder or behavioral disorder. If your child has a lot of difficulty communicating as they enter the preschool ages, it is not a bad idea to have a pediatric neuropsychological evaluation performed. Here is what we frequently see when we perform these evaluations in Caldwell, New Jersey. Between the Ages of One and Three Between the ages of one and three, children may naturally get frustrated when they can’t exactly communicate what they want. However, if your child has major difficulty communicating in basic terms what they are feeling, seeming mystified by their own emotions, it could be a sign that something else is going on. At these ages, a child should be engaging in pretend play and learning to understand and interpret basic symbolism. If your child isn’t doing these things, and/or also has a language development delay, it may be a sign that they should be evaluated for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Between the Ages of Four and Five During the preschool years, a child should be able to manage frustration without having a temper tantrum the way they did during the “terrible twos”. One of the most common reasons for parents to suspect that a child at this age needs an evaluation is that the child isn’t able to control his or her behavior when frustrated. Violent outbursts, social anxiety, and other negative behaviors are common. If these kinds of behaviors are seen frequently, it could be a sign that a...

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Understanding the Process of Autism Neuropsychological Testing

Feb 09, 18 Understanding the Process of Autism Neuropsychological Testing

Posted by in Psychotherapist

All parents want their children to grow up strong, healthy and happy. However, for some children, achieving that can be difficult. Non-verbal learning difficulties (NVLD) can make simply sitting in class an insurmountable challenge, and they can make interaction with other people incredible difficult. For children with NVLD, completing autism neuropsychological testing is an important first step toward ensuring a happy future. What Is the Point of Autism Neuropsychological Testing? It’s natural to assume that the point of a neuropsych eval would be to diagnose the issue at hand. While that is part of the point, there’s more to it. By completing an autism test for your children, you will receive vital information that helps you learn how best to meet the needs of your child. This information applies to you, the parent, but also to others who play important roles in your child’s life, such as teachers and even advocates, attorneys and others. Who Should Be Tested? Autism neuropsychological testing should be considered for children who have received assessments in school, but for whom the recommended treatment has not proven successful. In addition, children experiencing social deficits, language learning deficits, and issues related to overstimulation (sensory) should also undergo testing. What Areas Are Evaluated Autism neuropsychological testing should evaluate several important areas of childhood growth and development. These should include the child’s ability to pay attention and concentrate, their visual memory, auditory and visual processing, visual-spatial functions, behavioral functioning, emotional development, personality development, gross motor skills, fine motor skills, language skills, reading and comprehension skills, and more. What Should Parents Know about Testing? Parents should be prepared for the rigors that autism neuropsychological testing can pose for their children. In some instances, testing may require an entire day, and it will most likely be taxing on your child mentally and emotionally. It should also be noted that some results are not quantifiable. For example, social skills can only be observed, and not truly quantified. The same applies to executive functioning. The neuropsychologist’s training...

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Pediatric Asperger’s Neuropsychological Assessment

Jan 15, 18 Pediatric Asperger’s Neuropsychological Assessment

Posted by in Psychotherapist

Pediatric Asperger’s neuropsychological assessment tests work to screen students to catch autism spectrum disorders early on. Some people can go for years without being diagnosed. If these conditions are caught early on, then patients can make adaptations just as early and avoid many of the issues that are associated with these conditions. Patients grappling with Asperger’s Syndrome often deal with significant problems related to social situations as well as non-verbal communication. Repetitive behaviors usually begin at around two years of age, but it can be very difficult for parents to realize that these behaviors are something other than simply personality traits. While screening students who don’t appear to have issues isn’t usually necessary, offering those who struggle with some aspect of school a screening can be an excellent way to help them learn more about themselves. This also helps to show that students are cared for. Those who may be struggling with Asperger’s Syndrome could potentially feel a sense of difference about who they are. This can be extremely uncomfortable. Offering them a chance to learn that they have challenges in one or more areas could be empowering since diagnosing a condition usually leads to offering adaptations. Once students adopt certain adaptations, they can become more independent and less reliant on outside help. While social anxiety is a common facet of autism spectrum disorders in general, learning more about a condition goes a long way to reducing this kind of issue. As soon as these adaptations are in place, regular situations can also seem much less threatening. If you need a pediatric neuropsychologist to perform an Asperger’s neuropsychological assessment, then consider the services of Joshua Shifrin. Dr. Shifrin practices in Livingston, New Jersey and in New City, New York. You can visit his virtual office online by pointing your browser to neuropsycheval.com and use the contact page to get in touch. You can connect with them on Google+ for more...

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What to Know Before Your Child’s Neuropsychological Tests

Dec 14, 17 What to Know Before Your Child’s Neuropsychological Tests

Posted by in Psychotherapist

Has neuropsychological assessment for children been recommended for your student? If so, read on to find out what to expect and how to prepare your child for their upcoming evaluation. Why Might My Child Be Referred for Evaluation? A student may be referred for neurological assessment by their school’s counselor, nurse or psychologist, or may receive a referral from their pediatrician. Regardless of who does the referring, there are several factors in determining that neuropsychological services would be beneficial for your child. Some of these include: * Child shows problems with social skills and communication. * Child shows evidence of cognitive delays. * Child is doing poorly in school. * Child is unable to focus on assignments, chores or other daily tasks. * Child shows signs of anxiety, depression or other mood disorder. * Child is aggressive, defiant or excessively argumentative. What Will the Test Entail? Typically, the test will begin with or be prefaced with an interview and discussion with the parents of the child being evaluated. Testing will involve a pencil and paper evaluation, as well as hands-on activities and use of computers or tablets, depending on the age of the child. This will typically be performed without parental supervision, though very young children may be permitted to have a guardian sit in on their test. Testing usually takes three to four hours per session. To prepare your child for their test, be sure to inform them of what will be taking place, give them a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast or lunch before their test begins, and discuss dosing of current medications taken before the test with your neuropsychologist to make any necessary adjustments. What Will the Results Tell Me About My Child? The results of your child’s neuropsychological evaluation will help you and your child’s medical team decide on any medication or therapy that might be needed to help them deal with learning disabilities or disorders they may be coping with. Additionally, this testing will help your child’s...

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The Importance of Diagnosis in Children With ADHD

Nov 07, 17 The Importance of Diagnosis in Children With ADHD

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ADHD is a disorder which has received much attention both in the mainstream media and in the educational and parenting circles in modern times. Because of the well-known effects of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders on children’s behavior, success in school and work environments and the ability to focus and function properly, early detection and diagnosis is imperative for building a better future for these children. Patients as young as preschool are being diagnosed and beginning treatment with varying levels of success, but those who receive the ongoing support of their parents and caregivers are the most likely to succeed. Receiving Evaluation and Treatment Ensuring that children receive appropriate ADHD neuropsychological assessment at an early age will assist in their treatment. For most, this will come as the result of a teacher or caregiver’s recommendation, but for some younger children the decision to evaluate for learning disabilities such as ADHD may also come from observations made by parents. If you believe your child may have markers of attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder, it is important to address these concerns with your pediatrician early, and ask for recommendations on local providers of pediatric psychological care. Why Consult a Specialist? Although some children’s issues with attention deficit can be addressed by their pediatrician, it is usually best to consult a specialist for these disorders. This is because providers of children’s neuropsychology not only understand the unique concerns of children in the educational and social environments, but also neuropsychology as a whole and how developing brains are effected by learning disabilities, cognitive disorders and more. Just as you would see a dentist for issues with your teeth, it’s important to address issues with brain function with a doctor experienced in that branch of medicine. For additional information and advice on ADHD neuropsychological assessment and treatment for your child, contact the office of Dr. Joshua Shifrin of New Jersey. You can pay a visit to Facebook page for more...

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