Scheduling the Neuropsychological Evaluation
Clients begin the process by completing the intake form. In addition to contact information, this form asks for basic information about the client (e.g., age, grade in school), a brief description of the client’s presenting challenges, and the reason(s) for seeking neuropsychological assessment.
After reviewing the online intake form, Dr. McCormick will arrange for a telephone consultation, which provides him with a better sense of presenting challenges and questions to be answered. This consultation also helps to ensure that Dr. McCormick is a good match for the child, adolescent, or young adult. In the event of a mismatch, Dr. McCormick can provide referrals to other neuropsychologists better suited to the profile of the individual.
If both the client and Dr. McCormick agree that neuropsychological assessment is needed and that Dr. McCormick is a good match, the testing appointments are scheduled. Typically, the assessment process consists of four to five appointments: the intake appointment, two testing sessions, a parent feedback session (for school-age clients), and an optional feedback session for the school-aged client. These meetings are typically scheduled a week apart, so the entire testing process takes about four to six weeks.
The Intake Session
In advance of this initial meeting, Dr. McCormick will send out several forms to be completed, including a comprehensive developmental questionnaire. It is very helpful for Dr. McCormick to be able to review these forms, along with other relevant information (e.g., 504 Plans, IEPs, prior testing reports), prior to the intake session. This information can be faxed, hand-delivered, or sent via US mail. (Given the sensitive nature of this information, these materials should not be sent via email.) For school-aged clients, this hour-long intake session is for parents only. For a young adult client, while parents are welcome to join, the intake is intended for the client themselves. In this meeting, Dr. McCormick will ask for more detailed information about the client’s early developmental history, schooling, and social-emotional functioning. This meeting is also critical in clarifying the goals of the assessment and specific questions to be answered by the testing process. Dr. McCormick will also ask whether there are other professionals involved in the client’s care and education (e.g., therapists, psychiatrists, social-skills group leaders, tutors, educators) who might provide additional information about the client’s profile and needs.
The Testing Sessions
Following the intake session, Dr. McCormick then meets with the client for 2 two-and-a-half hour testing sessions (testing times vary per individual, and more time can be allotted as needed). The specific tests administered vary based on the client’s age, referral question, and prior testing conducted. In general, the major areas covered include cognitive functioning, academic skills, learning and memory skills, visual-motor integration, and executive functioning. Depending on the referral question and profile of the client, other areas explored can include attention, emotional functioning, and social skills/social cognition. Regular breaks are incorporated into these testing sessions in order to help clients work to their potential.