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Information and services for the Mind Health Institute, Pasadena

Psychological/Neuropsychological Assessments
What is a psychological/neuropsychological assessment?
The psychological and/or neuropsychological evaluation is used to determine the pattern of brain-related strengths and weaknesses, to understand the origin of the problem and to make a diagnosis. Often, this will guide specific treatment recommendations. Psychological and neuropsychological evaluations are performed by licensed psychologists and are helpful in determining functional outcomes and guiding interventions related to, executive functioning, genetic syndromes, prenatal influences on development, systemic illness affecting the nervous system, acquired brain injuries or developmental conditions such as autism or learning disabilities.

About the Psychological Testing Process:
  • A clinical interview will first take place with the parents and/or patient.
  • Collaboration with other professionals involved in treatment is crucial in understanding the patient's full profile and providing the best patient care.
  • A classroom observation may take place before the psychologist meets with the patient, which helps the psychologist understand how the patient is functioning academically and socially.
  • A review of any relevant school, past assessments, IEPs and or medical records.
  • Administration of standardized tests that measure brain and emotional functioning such as: attention, executive functioning, memory, language, behavioral/emotional functioning, visuospatial abilities, fine motor skills and others. The tests are selected based on the patient's presenting problems, age, developmental status, language and cultural considerations. In addition each assessment is specially tailored in conjuction with the psychiatrists input and collaboration of your child's unique presentation.
  • Integration of the clinical history, observations, collateral information, and test results, with relevant research and clinical experience, to formulate and convey diagnostic impressions and recommendations.
  • After the testing sessions are complete a comprehensive report is drafted to create a complete picture of the patient being treated. The recommendations are based on all the assessment results and from collaboration with professionals, family and others involved in the treatment process. During the feedback session the psychologist, psychiatrist and parents and/or patient as applicable are present. A unique aspect of MHI-Pasadena is the collaboration of practitioners (psychologist, psychiatrist, family and other providers involved in the assessment) during this process.
  • A multimodal treatment is the foundation of treatment. It is important that all of the members of the treatment team communicate with each other on a regular basis in order to ensure overall excellent patient care.
Disorders commonly evaluated are:
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Speech and Language Impairment (of unknown origin)
  • ADHD and Learning Disabilities
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Acquired Neuropsychological Disorders
  • Prenatal Substance Exposure (e.g., Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder)
  • Malnutrition & specific nutrient deficiencies affecting brain function
  • Trauma related to Abuse & Neglect
  • Psychiatric Disorders (e.g., somatization, Personality Disorders etc.)