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1) Why would my child need a neuropsychological evaluation?

Common reasons include:

2) What is a neuropsychologist?

A neuropsychologist is a psychologist who specializes in studying brain behavior relationships. Neuropsychologists use standardized tests and behavioral observation to define patterns of brain functioning and overall development. They have extensive training in the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the nervous system. When a child has a neuropsychological evaluation, the neuropsychologist uses his knowledge to guide assessments, interpret results and make recommendations.

3) What’s the difference between ADD and ADHD?

ADD (attention-deficit disorder) is an older term coined in the 1980s to describe children who have difficulty paying attention, but are not highly impulsive or hyperactive, two of the symptoms that now define ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Children and adults with ADHD tend to have difficulty concentrating, sitting still, paying attention, staying organized, following instructions, remembering details, and/or controlling impulses. Not everyone with ADHD has the same symptoms.

The three types of ADHD are:

Predominately Inattentive Type: A child or adult with inattentive ADHD is easily distracted and has difficulty focusing on, and completing, tasks. They’re often forgetful and disorganized; too much stimuli – people talking, papers rustling, etc. – distract them from the task at hand and make it appear that they’re not paying attention.

Predominately Hyperactive/Impulsive Type: With this type of ADHD, individuals have difficulty staying seated and fidget, tap their hands or feet, or walk around. Sometimes this manifests itself in non-stop talking or interrupting conversations; it also appears the person can’t control his impulses.

Combined Type: This type of ADHD is a combination of both inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive types. To be diagnosed with ADHD, the behaviors must last for at least six months and be severe enough to disrupt school, work or other areas of the person’s life. But for individuals who don’t have obvious behavior issues, ADHD can be more difficult to diagnose. A comprehensive evaluation by a physician or neurologist can help determine a diagnosis as well as next steps for accommodation.