Pediatric neuropsychologists are licensed psychologists who specialize in working with children. Their focus is on brain development and how it relates to learning and behavior. Though not medical doctors and unable prescribe medication, they specialize in diagnosing conditions and some may even provide counseling and academic interventions.
Using some of the same tests used in school evaluations along with some additional tests, a pediatric neuropsychologist can identify potential problems in the following areas:
– Sensory and motor skills
– Working memory
– Visual-spatial processing
– Executive functioning skills, which includes mental flexibility and self-control
– Academic skills
Not only can they identify issues and weaknesses in development, but pediatric neuropsychologists can also explain the causes behind the problem.
Finding a Pediatric Neuropsychologist
It may not always be easy to find a pediatric neuropsychologist, though pediatricians may be able to give referrals. School guidance counselors can also provide some information. Keep in mind that it is usually best to choose a specialist familiar with the child’s school district.
Some schools and insurance plans may also pay to send a child to a neuropsychologist for certain tests, but in most cases, private evaluations will need to be paid for by the parents.
By providing a detailed report and answering any questions, the specialist can help parents and schools understand what needs to go into a child’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan). As such, neuropsychologists can be hugely beneficial in helping a child reach his/her full learning and developmental potential.
Dr. Joshua Shifrin is a licensed psychologist in New Jersey and New York, as well as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. With a Ph.D. in the American Psychological Association Accredited school psychology and counseling psychology program, he specializes in conducting school/pediatric neuropsychological evaluations while also working full-time as a college professor. You can also connect them on Facebook for more updates.
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