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Neuropsychological Services

We assess both children and adults with concerns about developmental conditions (for example, intellectual disability or learning disorders or giftedness) or acquired brain injuries. The assessment provides an objective indication of a person’s cognitive and behavioural strengths and weaknesses. Assessments can be conducted for many different reasons, for children these assessments usually help with education and can tell you why your child is having difficulties at school. It might be troubles with a academic skill or learning ability, it could be attention or working memory. For adults, it may be after an injury or accident or it may be because you are concerned about a cognitve ability that has always been problematic or is starting to decline (for example, attention, memory or processing speed).

Commonly a comprehensive assessment will involve tests that provide understanding of:

  • Intellectual ability or IQ
  • Academic abilities (typically in children)
  • Attention & concentration
  • Processing Speed
  • Memory
  • Language & Communication
  • Planning, organisation and problem-solving
  • Decision-making and judgement
  • Perceptual abilities
  • Mood and emotional states

Neuropsychological assessments can be helpful for several different reasons:

  • Providing an objective evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of thinking (cognitive) skills in both children and adults.
  • Assessing the best ways to learning and adapt to schooling, educational or work environments.
  • Determining the underlying cause of any cognitive or behavioural weakness and developing recommendations to improve functioning.
  • Ensuring that if there is a diagnosis, the appropriate support is in place for the individual at school, work, home and in the community.
  • The neuropsychological assessment can also be used to measure the effectiveness of any interventions/treatment that aim to improve cognitive and behavioural functioning.
  • Monitoring the cognitive status of an individual over time to detect change or improvement.
  • Determining a person’s capacity to engage in productive activities such as work, study or independent living.
  • Answering questions in relation to a person’s capacity to make important life decisions or whether they may need a substitute decision-maker for guardianship or financial management.

The Assessment Process
The assessment will start with a clinical interview. Either with the individual themselves if it is an adult assessment or with the parents of the child. This interview provides detailed history and background information that can be helpful in determining the needs for the neuropsychological assessment and to refine referral questions to ensure the appropriate assessments are conducted.

The testing involves several different activities. Different people will find different parts of the testing to vary in terms of difficulty. Assessments typically will involve listening to information presented, visually examining material, answering questions, putting puzzles together, some pen and paper tasks and some formal questionnaires. It may also be requested that a child’s teachers or other family members are contacted to complete questionnaires and are interviewed for background information. Consent will be obtained prior to this.

The assessment usually takes approximately 4 - 5 hours. This timeframe can be shorter or longer depending on the specific reason for the referral and the pace that the individual finds comfortable to move through tasks. Breaks will be provided for rest. During longer testing sessions it is recommended that you bring lunch.

Testing is recommended during the morning, as this is likely when someone will perform at their best (and we aim to capture your abilities at your best). Different people will react different to testing, however we aim to provide a quiet, comfortable and non-threatening environment. We are happy to discuss the testing environment and what this may mean for you or your child, prior to engagement.

Please contact us for a more accurate quote of a neuropsychological assessment pertaining to your particular needs. If you hold a plan from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and are self-managed or plan-managed, we are able to offer assessments funded under the Improved Daily living category. If you would like further information about our services related to the NDIS, please contact us on 07 5355 6007 or info@stepforth.org. We look forward to the opportunity to assist you and your family.

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