How Does a Pediatric Neuropsychological Evaluation Work for Preschoolers

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 child is struggling to understand and manage stimuli, emotions, and the social constructs of preschool. This is also a warning sign that should lead to an evaluation for ASD or other behavioral disorders.

Early Detection is Key

Getting an assessment so early is not as premature as some may think. It can actually help your child succeed in school and life much earlier, rather than forcing them to live through many frustrating years before help arrives. To learn more about pediatric neuropsychological evaluation in Caldwell, New Jersey, contact Dr. Joshua Shifrin today. You can connect with them on Google+ for more updates!