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9 Areas of Neuropsychological Testing to Benefit Your Child in Special Education

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Are you the parent of a young child that you believe may have autism, even though your school district says no? Do you wonder why your child with autism is not learning to read? Are you considering taking your child for a neuropsychological evaluation due to a possible learning disability? Would you like a list of areas that a neuropsychologist may test your child? This article will discuss 9 areas that should be tested during a neuropsychological evaluation.

Areas to be tested:

1. Intelligence Quotient which most people call the IQ! If the child has a language based disorder a non verbal intelligence test may work better. The Universal Test of Non Verbal Intelligence (UNIT) is used by many psychologists.

2. Present levels of academic functioning. It is important to understand exactly what level a child’s academics are, so that they can be given appropriate special education services to make progress.

3. Attention and a child’s ability to attend. A neuropsychologist may test the child and see if they have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

4. Short and Long term memory

5. Visual spatial, and visual motor skills

6. Sensory Processing Disorder. This often occurs with other disabilities, such as autism or learning disabilities. Testing for this is done by an occupational therapist that has been trained in this area, and is SIPT qualified.

7. Speech/Language Disorders. The child should have receptive and expressive testing to determine if they have a language or speech disorder. Other areas also to be included.

8. Social and emotional skills and difficulties.

9. Specific tests to determine if a child has any learning disabilities. Learning disabilities can be in the areas of: reading, writing, math, spelling, auditory processing, visual processing etc. To determine if a child has dyslexia, testing should be in the areas of: phonemic awareness, word finding ability, phonological memory, phonological decoding, rapid naming, and nonsense word reading. Dyslexia is not just turning letters around; it is difficulty with reading.

Once the testing is complete the neuropsychologist will write a comprehensive report. The report needs to include an interpretation of the test results, any disabilities found, and a list of recommendations that you can bring to your school district of what special education services your child needs. To find a good neuropsychologist ask other parents in your area, or call a local disability organization. A good neuropsychological examination can help a child finally get the special education and related services that they need and are entitled to under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Posted In: Neuropsychology