Neuropsychological Evaluation of Children and Adolescents

Pediatric neuropsychology or child neuropsychology is a field of study involving the relationship of abilities, behaviors and mental skills (cognitive functions) in children. Clinical, pediatric, or child neuropsychology (neuropsych) involves the application of this field to diagnostic assessment and clinical treatment of child developmental, medical, psychiatric, and neurological conditions. A child or pediatric neuropsychologist may consult with other pediatric specialists in behavioral neurology, developmental pediatrics, pediatric neurology, child psychiatry, pediatricians, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists.

Pediatric reuropsychologists are licensed as psychologists, or in some states, as neuropsychologists. They have doctoral degrees from accredited programs by the American Psychological Association usually in clinical psychology or neuropsychology. To be considered a neuropsychologist one must have formal graduate level training and clinically supervised experience in neuropsychology.  It is generally recognized that taking continuing education courses or a "certification" after licensure is not sufficient. In most states, calling an assessment a psychological assessment or neuropsychological assessment is limited to licensed psychologists. Sometimes unlicensed providers or individuals who may not be specifically trained as rigorously as neuropsychologists may call their assessment reports by other names.

 For more on What is a Pediatric Neuropsychogist? visit Dr. Bordini's website.

Pediatric or child neuropsychologists have training and experience in applying neuropsychological assessment or treatment techniques to children. Since children mature, they are faced with varying age-specific challenges in terms of their academic and social development. Far more than a simple downward extension of adult neuropsychology, the pediatric neuropsychology involves an understanding of normal and abnormal child development and learning, developmental motor skills, and language disorders as well as diseases associated with children. 

Pediatric or child neuropsychologists commonly assess children for attention problems such as Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning such as dyslexia or math difficulties, Intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, results of traumatic brain injuries, disorders of language and/or coordination difficulties. Pediatric Neuropsychological Evaluation is often also performed in legal cases involving issues of criminal responsibility, competency, disability, or determination of the effects of trauma, brain injuries, or needs for guardianship.
Neuropsychological evaluations may also involve assessments of Autism Spectrum Disorders which in the past were also referred to as autism, Asperger's Disorder, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). 

Pediatric neuropsychological assessments are also performed to evaluate neurological conditions such as effects of a tumor, anoxia, birth complications, Cerebral Palsy, Fetal Alchohal Syndrome (FAS, FASD), Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), toxic exposures, head injuries or concussions. They may involve subtle or not so subtle deficits which may be involved with anemia, kidney disease or other metabolic diseases, and the effects of treatments or interventions which may impact on neurological or neuropsychological functions.

Since children’s skills go through periods of rapid change, and they are faced with increasing cognitive and academic demands with each passing year, there is often a need to conduct periodic re-assessments. Some conditions may not impact until later years, such as when facing the multi-tasking demands of middle school, or the increased volume of work and writing demands of high school.

Results of pediatric or child neuropsychology assessments may be used to assist in diagnosis, to assist with educational placement or remediation, clinical treatment planning, rehabilitation, formulating accommodations, disability determinations, determining the effects of medication or surgery, or in rarer cases in matters involving criminal responsibility or criminal competency. 
Applications of neuropsychological assessment to legal proceedings or determinations is termed forensic neuropsychology.
Pediatric neuropsychological evaluations will involve taking a developmental and medical history, psychosocial history, academic history, review of symptosm and complaints, sometimes review of academic or medical records,, interviewing the child and parent, and formal face-to-face adminsitration of tests to children or adolscents. Usually, parents and teachers also complete rating scales of behavior and/pr adaptive abilities.

Children and adolescents often pose special challenges in assessment. While most children are familiar with being tested due to their school experience, sometimes one or more sessions may be necessary to help establish rapport. The examiner usually needs to provide more encouragement and breaks than may be necessary for adult patients.

Assessments may require a day or two, or in some cases a number of half-days. The often considerable expense must be weighed in the context of the professional time involved as well as the importance of ruling out other disorders or complicating factors which may be important in appropriate treatment planning.

Since the results of an assessment may impact medical care, rehabilitation planning, or in some cases placement or eligibility for benefits or services for months or years, it is easy to understand the importance of accurate and thorough assessment.

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Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida 

Ernest J Bordini, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist, Executive Director

Specializing in Adult and Pediatric Clinical and Forensic Neuropsychology

Providing neuropychological and psychological asessment for children and adolescents for more than 30 years. 



Offices in Gainesville and Ocala

Main office: 2121 NW 40th Terrace Suite B. Gainesville, Florida 32605

Satellite office: 3620 NE 8th Place Suite 3, Ocala, Florida 34470

For Appointments or information

call: (352) 336-2888
E-MAIL us at:


Gainesville Office: 2121 NW 40th Terr. Ste B Gainesville, FL 32605  -   Phone: (352) 336-2888  -   Fax: (352) 371-1730
Ocala Office: 3620 NE 8th Pl. Suite 3 Ocala, FL 34470  -   Phone: (352) 629-1100