A neuropsychological evaluation is indicated when there is suspected impairment in one or more domains of functioning due to a potential medical or psychiatric condition. Generally speaking, this type of evaluation includes assessment of cognitive/intellectual ability, academic ability, attention, executive functioning, language, memory, visuospatial, visual-motor abilities, and fine motor skills. Social/emotional evaluation, interviews, questionnaires, and personality measures are also typically administered to deepen the insights gained by formal assessment.
Neuropsychological assessment is the most frequently requested (or required) type of evaluation, as it allows for specific diagnoses to be made. In some instances, when a full neuropsychological evaluation is not warranted, a psycho-educational evaluation can provide targeted insight into an individual’s intellectual abilities, basic academic abilities (reading, writing, and math) and visual-motor abilities. A behavioral screening may also be included. Psycho-educational assessment may be required as part of an initial school assessment to determine eligibility for special education services, as part of a student’s IEP triennial evaluation, or to determine what general academic or behavioral supports may be needed in a school setting. It does not provide the comprehensive, diagnostic information of a neuropsychological evaluation.