Neuropsychology and Children
by William Van Ornum, Ph.D. on
There are occasions when a child will need to be tested—not by a school or clinical psychologist, but by a neuropsychologist. This occurs when a child displays a brain-based disorder, which can mean an entire spectrum of disorders. Learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, head injuries, cancer, and even gunshot wounds are among the kind of problems studied by neuropsychologists.
The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) offers Board Certification in Neuropsychology. This involves five years of practice at the Ph.D. level, and then a comprehensive examination involving theoretical, clinical, and case material.
“Traumatic Brain Injury” is an educational classification term that has been added to the classifying conditions in PL 94-142 and later legislation that opens up services in schools for children with TBI.
Neuropsychologists may employ many different tests and approaches. Two major ways of going about assessing these conditions involves using a structured-test battery (Halstead-Reitan) or a flexible neuropsychological approach (Luria Nebraska).
In all cases, the neuropsychologist strives to assess brain-behavior relationships as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the child.