What is involved in an adult
The patient (usually accompanied by a significant other) meets
with the neuropsychologist to answer questions about the patient’s
developmental and medical history, behavior, socialization
and any current concerns.
Neuropsychological evaluations are uniquely powerful because
of the specialized, validated test instruments and behavioral
observations used and interpreted by the neuropsychologist.
Neuropsychological tests assess a broad range of domains:
- General intellectual ability
- Academic achievement (if relevant), such as reading, writing,
and math skills
- Social and emotional functioning
- Personality and mood
- Learning and memory
- Speech and language skills
- Visual-spatial skills
- Gross and fine motor coordination
- Attentional processes
- Executive functions, such as planning, cognitive flexibility,
inhibition, and ability to follow instructions.
The typical adult evaluation involves 1 day (7-8 hours)
of one-on-one testing. The length of the evaluation may vary
depending on the patient’s needs.
With the patient’s permission, the neuropsychologist
will consult with 2-3 other professionals who are familiar
with the patient in order to gain the most complete understanding
of the patient and his or her current circumstances.
Interpretation of results
The neuropsychologist analyzes and integrates all of the
information. The patient’s performance is compared
to others of the same age and education level, and is contrasted
with his or her abilities in other areas. The patient (and
usually a significant other) joins the neuropsychologist
for a feedback meeting to discuss the results.
Report and recommendations
Neuropsychological reports are thorough, descriptive, and
action-oriented. They include both detailed study results
and summaries understandable and useful to a variety of
audiences. The treatment plan is tailored to the patient,
and includes interventions that have been shown to be effective
for similar patients, as well as specific steps and resources
needed for successful implementation and progress measurement.
In addition, you will be given a list of helpful resources
(e.g., books, articles, and websites) specific to the patient’s
Referrals to other professionals
If appropriate, the patient will be referred to other specialists
who will gather additional information or provide treatment.
For example, the patient may be referred to a psychiatrist
for a medication evaluation, to a psychologist for therapy,
or to a neurologist or other medical specialist for additional