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What is a Neuropsych Evaluation?

As a neuropsychologist, I’m focused on measuring how well the brain is working. I look at abilities like memory, attention, problem-solving, and language to understand if there are any issues or changes in brain function. A neuropsych evaluation assesses all of these areas, while a psycho-educational evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of a student's cognitive, academic, and socio-emotional functioning.


Though IQ and academic achievement are two of the primary domains (i.e., the main psychoed pieces), a complete picture of development and learning style comes with the addition of tests that assess the many other brain-based skills intricately involved in the expression of those core domains.


For example, assessment of memory regulation (beyond the two short working memory subtests included in IQ testing) reveals strengths/weakness along the encoding and recall processes to better determine learning styles and develop accommodations/supports to promote efficient and effective learning.


A complete review of executive functioning and attention regulation (beyond subjective parent/teacher rating scales) allows us to more specifically determine how a diagnostic label like “ADHD” could impact one’s independent management of daily expectations beyond the ability to “pay attention.”


Targeted clinical observations/directed social engagement attempts during a multi-hour evaluation, combined with a detailed review of early developmental history and pervasive cognitive-behavioral patterns observed by a child’s parents/teachers/other caregivers, provide the information needed to differentiate neurodevelopmental disorders like Autism Spectrum Disorder from ADHD and the catch-all “developmental delay” label to ensure the most comprehensive treatment plan is implemented.


Though Dr. Richie does include applicable diagnoses, such labels in and of themselves only relay general information about the possible manifestations of a diagnosis. Thus, she relies on the comprehensive neuropsych evaluation to provide the specificity needed to understand each patient’s strengths and needs. 

Psychoeducational and neurocognitive testing
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