When It’s Needed
A neuropsychological evaluation should be conducted in any of the following situations:
- If your child is struggling in school or on standardized tests
- When there is a large disparity between a child’s potential or effort and
- his or her academic performance
- When a child displays difficulties with learning or memory
- When it is unclear why a child is struggling
- When a child has any history of neurological difficulty
- When a child has a history of developmental delay (e.g. delayed language or motor activity)
- If a child has suffered a traumatic brain injury
- If a child has suffered any toxic exposure (e.g. lead poisoning, alcohol)
- To document any changes in a child’s abilities or achievement since prior evaluations
- Discover the causes of your child’s academic struggles
- To determine whether your child qualifies for accomodations on standardized tests such as the SAT or GRE
- Determine whether your child qualifies for special education services
- Gain a greater understanding of your child’s learning style and explain it to school staff
- Obtain recommendations that will help your child learn to compensate for any difficulties
- Assess the effectiveness of treatments and interventions
- Determine whether academic difficulties are due to cognitive or motivational deficits
- You may find it helpful to make an appointment with one of our tutors, who will utilize the knowledge gleaned from neuropsychological evaluation to design tutoring strategies specifically tailored for your child’s learning style.
Are you concerned with your child’s behavior(s)? A Functional Assessment might be how you can help?
A functional assessment is an approach to figuring out why your child acts a certain way. It uses a variety of techniques to understand what’s behind certain behaviors. This includes looking at non-academic factors that might be contributing to your child’s frustration with learning.
Knowing what’s behind behavior can help you and the school find ways to change the behavior. The basic idea behind this approach is that your child’s behavior serves a purpose. Whether they are aware of it or not, your child acts a certain way to get to a desired outcome or goal.
For example, your child keeps cutting class and failing to complete his math homework legibly. Upon further investigation, and some academic screening, it becomes clear that your child has a mathematical disability. The reason he cuts classes is to avoid the days the teacher has the class yell out the answers when called on – they were avoiding an embarrassing situation. The reason the homework is illegible is to hide the fact that he does not know how to properly demonstrate math concepts he cannot understand. Behind the behavioral concerns is the real problem – a learning disability.
The behavior isn’t ideal, but there is a reason he is doing it. Your child managed to avoid situations and work he was not proficient in. He may have had an idea of why he was acting the way he was, but he was unable to see the reason he was struggling was not because he was ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb,’ as he told himself. The fact is he had a legitamite learning disability, which, when identified, could be properly addressed and treated. The behavior was to shield himself from shame, shame he should never have had to experience.
A key part of a functional assessment is figuring out what triggers certain behaviors in your child at home, in school and with friends. Sometimes parents and teachers assume they know what’s causing a child’s behavior because they’ve seen other children do similar things. It is important to remember the reasons why your child behaves a certain way is specific to their unique challenges and circumstances. There is no single plan we can apply to every behavior, at Unfold Psychology, we design academic and behavioral plans to address your child’s needs – in school and beyond!