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Pediatric Neuropsychology

At Banner Children’s, we have a dedicated clinical focus on children and their physical, mental and emotional needs. Our team of experts is here to provide personalized care throughout your child’s evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. We offer comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations for children, from birth to age 18, who have a primary medical condition that impacts brain functioning and child development.

What Is Pediatric Neuropsychology?

Neuropsychology is a specialty within the field of psychology that focuses on how medical conditions, like injuries or illnesses of the brain, affect cognitive and behavioral functions. Our pediatric neuropsychologists have nationally accredited education and training in both clinical psychology and neuropsychology with specialized training and experience in pediatric neuropsychology. Our team includes neuropsychologists and psychometrists who work together to administer an assessment for an effective and comprehensive evaluation. Banner Children’s provides expert pediatric neuropsychology care and draws on the best and broadest medical knowledge to care for your child.

What Is a Pediatric Neuropsychological Evaluation?

Pediatric neuropsychological evaluations use child-friendly, highly specific, well-standardized tasks. Our pediatric neuropsychologists compare each child's performance to what is expected at each child's age level to identify strengths and opportunities to improve. This allows our team of specialists to determine a child’s pattern of cognitive development and help clarify a diagnosis, develop a treatment plan to support parents, physicians and educators, and help children and families gain access to resources and support.

Our pediatric neuropsychologists will use their knowledge of brain structure, development, organization and function as well as their knowledge about psychological development and functioning during the evaluation. Incorporating both test results and observations of the child during testing helps the neuropsychologist better understand the child’s cognitive abilities. This can identify the presence of a neurodevelopmental disorder, the effects of medical conditions, medical procedures or illness on brain function. The pediatric neuropsychologist will then develop tailored recommendations for intervention to help the child maximize their strengths and weaknesses.

Evaluation assessments may include:

  • Language
  • Motor skills
  • Intellect
  • Attention
  • Executive functioning
  • Visual spatial
  • Memory
  • Learning
  • Adaptive skills
  • Social/emotional skills

When to Consider a Pediatric Neuropsychological Evaluation

Children from infancy to early adulthood (18 years old) who have a primary medical condition or neurological diagnosis can be evaluated by our team. These conditions could include:

  • Children with a medical or neurological condition that impacts nervous system functioning, such as:
    • epilepsy, spina bifida, craniosynostosis, brain tumor, hydrocephalus, tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, congenital heart defects, genetic disorders and medical complications from diabetes or similar conditions
  • Children who have sustained:
    • brain injury, stroke or brain infection
  • Children who will undergo or who have undergone certain medical interventions and procedures such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Children who have been exposed to toxic substances or alcohol prior to birth and who show developmental delays

If you are unsure if your child should be evaluated, talk to your medical provider to discuss your child’s behavior and development.

Preparing Your Child for the Evaluation

If your child does need to be evaluated, it’s important to explain to them it will be similar to a day at school and reassure them that no procedures or painful shots will be involved in the visit. Before the evaluation, make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep prior to testing as well as a healthy breakfast.

While parents are not allowed to be present during the testing, the parent will remain in clinic during the evaluation and be easily accessible should your child need you.

After the Evaluation

After testing is complete, your pediatric neuropsychologist will schedule a session to discuss evaluation results, diagnosis and treatment options and recommendations. A custom report will be provided and will include information and recommendations that are comprehensive and specific to your child’s needs. Our team is prepared to answer any questions you may have and support you and your child.

How to Refer

All patients require a referral from their physician, regardless of their insurance. Referral must include:

  • Reason for referral
  • Diagnoses with ICD-10 codes
  • Office visit notes indicating the reason for referral

If your child meets criteria for a neuropsychological evaluation but is over the age of 18 years, please contact Banner Adult Neuropsychology at (602) 521-3300.

Please note the following:

  • We do not evaluate for developmental disorders (e.g. autism spectrum disorder), ADHD, or learning disorders unless there is a primary medical or neurological condition which likely contributes to that disorder.
  • We do not provide forensic evaluation or evaluate for primary psychiatric concerns (e.g. anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia).
  • Children without a primary medical or neurological diagnosis cannot be seen in our clinic.
  • Neuropsychology cannot prescribe or administer medications. We do not provide psychotherapy or mental health intervention.