The goal of the Section of Pediatric Neuropsychology is to provide high quality neuropsychological assessment and consultation for children and families and to generate and support neurocognitive and neurobehavioral research at Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas.
In Pediatric Neuropsychology, we focus on how neurological and medical conditions affect all aspects of a child’s life, including cognitive functioning, behavior and learning. Pediatric neuropsychologists have specialized training and expertise regarding brain development and the affect on cognition and behavior. By completing a comprehensive assessment of memory, attention, problem solving, language, motor skills and other areas of functioning, neuropsychologists can determine how various medical conditions may be impacting a child’s development, which can help guide medical and surgical treatment.
Overall, the role of neuropsychologists is to help provide a comprehensive perspective of a child’s level of functioning so that the team can focus on maximizing the child’s quality of life. This includes assistance in designing intervention efforts, such as therapeutic services, psychological treatment and educational programming.
Neuropsychological testing is completed as part of a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment used to detect neurological dysfunction and/or the impact of a medical condition on brain development and functioning. Neuropsychologists, assisted by psychometrists, use standardized measures that assess motor skills and neurocognitive abilities, such as language functioning, visual-spatial processing, memory, attention, problem-solving and organization.
As part of the assessment, the neuropsychologist will also screen for emotional and behavioral concerns that may need to be addressed during the course of your child’s medical treatment. Results are shared with you and the treatment team, and they are used along with other evaluations to improve treatment, maximize functional outcomes, and assist in intervention and educational planning.
How We Stand Apart
Pediatric Neuropsychology is most unique in its approach to care. Neuropsychology is primarily a diagnostic service that spends most of the day with one child to examine all aspects of the child’s cognitive, emotional and behavioral development. The information gathered is very thorough and detailed, providing a high quality clinical picture of how a child is developing and how the child’s medical condition may be impacting his/her level of functioning.
This is used to direct medical and surgical treatment, and it is used to treat the child holistically by helping design both educational and therapeutic interventions. To maintain our high standards of quality, we do not see a large number of children. Instead, we see a select few who need more thorough examination than what is provided by other disciplines.
What to Expect
A typical neuropsychological assessment, including testing, lasts between 3 to 6 hours, depending upon the reason for the appointment and your child’s age. The testing is usually conducted in a one-on-one setting with tasks that are similar to what your child does in school. This includes activities such as drawing, answering questions, pointing at pictures, and listening to stories.
The neuropsychologist will also meet with you to review your child’s developmental, medical, and academic history, as well as to discuss any concerns you have about your child’s level of functioning. After the assessment is completed, the results will be reviewed with you in detail, with possible recommendations for additional therapies, behavioral treatment, and/or modifications to your child’s academic programming. In addition, the results will be shared with the rest of the medical team, and a report will be prepared and forwarded to you and the referring medical provider.
Our providers collaborate with treatment teams in the following programs and centers.
- Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
- Cochlear Implant Program
- Craniofacial Program
- Pediatric Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit
- Pediatric Neurosurgery Center
- Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Program