Pediatric Neuropsychology Services
Clinical evaluations involve the comprehensive assessment of your child’s functional abilities, with the goal of helping them to become as successful and independent as possible. The measures used are chosen to match their skill level and specific areas of concern, and follow-up includes a “road map” of custom-tailored intervention strategies, recommendations for working with specialists, and necessary accommodations.
Neuropsychological assessment is most often recommended for children with a known or suspected neurological condition, although more progressive parents may bring their grade-school child to evaluate for gifted placement or just to determine how best to work with their particular strengths and weaknesses. This type of evaluation is focused primarily on cognitive functioning, and typically encompasses testing of intellect, memory, language, executive functions, visual-spatial skills, attention, and other domains. Assessment of emotional and behavioral functioning is generally also performed, especially if these are parental concerns. An academic screening may also be warranted; however, the evaluation of learning disorders and related academic challenges is not a service covered by insurance.
The following neurological conditions are frequently referred for neuropsychological evaluation:
- Concussion with lingering symptoms or more severe traumatic brain injury
- Seizure Disorder
- Pediatric or Perinatal Stroke
- Brain Tumors
The following medical conditions are also known to affect cognitive functioning:
- Blood disorders such as leukemia and sickle cell anemia
- Genetic Conditions such as Mitochondrial Disorders, Fragile X, 22q syndromes, Turner’s Syndrome
- Congenital Heart Disease
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Diabetes Mellitus
I specialize in working with young folks from infancy through early adulthood. All clinical work is performed through Nicklaus Children’s Hospital at the main campus in Miami.
Forensic Neuropsychology applies scientific neuropsychological methods to determine an individual’s cognitive and psychological status, as these relate to specific legal matters. Beyond the requisite skills required to evaluate adults, pediatric expertise also requires knowledge of neurological developmental processes, clinical pediatric psychology, and extensive skill in the assessment of children.
In contrast to the collaborative role assumed in clinical (non-forensic) work, a medico-legal context demands that the doctor remain objective and unbiased to ensure reliable, defensible conclusions.
Forensic neuropsychological questions tend to vary with the specifics of each case, but often include:
- Presence or absence of cognitive impairment or psychological harm resulting from a purported event
- Severity of deficits and their impact upon functional outcomes
- Injury may be due to mechanical insult, toxins (direct or teratogenic effects), hypoxia, medical mis-management, or other causes
I do not use a psychometrist, and personally administer all neuropsychological measures for med-legal assessments.