The purpose of a neuropsychological assessment is to determine the presence and severity of any cognitive, emotional, and/or behavioural difficulties associated with possible brain damage (from things like a traumatic brain injury or stroke), brain disease (like a brain tumor or Alzheimer’s dementia, for example), severe mental illness (like chronic severe depression or psychosis), or developmental condition (such as Autism-spectrum disorders, ADD/ADHD, learning difficulties).
Neuropsychological assessments involve testing of cognition (for example, memory, attention, language, problem solving), emotional functioning (through self-report questionnaires asking about mood, relationships, etc.), and behaviour.
Based on the results of testing, the neuropsychologist can diagnose the condition that is causing the difficulty, and also determine what kind of treatment is required. Neuropsychological assessment can also help determine a person’s level of mental and behavioural functioning pertaining to their ability to succeed in school or work, and whether they are disabled from working.
A neuropsychological assessment can involve 1 to 3 days of testing (with breaks of course!). During the first meeting, a clinical interview is conducted (about 1.5 to 2 hours). Then, the client is asked to complete some self-report questionnaires asking about symptoms, personality, and functioning. For the majority of the assessment, time is spent completing all sorts of cognitive tests. Most of these tests are done with an examiner sitting across the table from you (called a “psychometrist”). Some of the tests are done on the computer.
Because the assessment can be lengthy, some people prefer to break the assessment up across a few days. Others prefer to complete it in 1 or 1.5 days. Please let us know if there is anything you need to make your assessment more manageable or comfortable. We are happy to accommodate as best we can!