Neuropsychologists are experts in the relationship between the brain, learning and behavior. They conduct evaluations to understand how a child or teen’s brain is developing and working. At Seattle Children’s, neuropsychologists only see children and teens who are referred by another Seattle Children’s provider, such as a doctor from our Neurosurgery Department.

Neuropsychological evaluations can help you and your child’s healthcare team make the right diagnosis and select strategies to help your child reach their potential. This assessment will help to identify areas of strength and need, and will help with your child’s:

  • Medical treatment
  • Education planning
  • Participation in therapy
  • Participation in behavior management

Children or teens may be referred to us because they have:

  • Difficulty with learning, attention, behavior or socialization
  • Difficulty with emotional control
  • Illness, disorder or developmental problem that affects the brain
  • Brain injury from an accident, medical treatment or other physical stress

Many of our patients have been affected by brain tumors, epilepsy, concussion, cancer, genetic conditions or heart conditions that require a transplant.

Services We Offer

Our team provides neuropsychological evaluations for children and teens, measuring:

  • Cognitive skills
  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Perception
  • Coordination
  • Language
  • Personality

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Before your child’s assessment, we conduct an hour-long interview with you to better understand your child and your goals for the evaluation. (Sometimes we do this interview at the same time as the assessment.)
  • During the assessment, we talk with your child, observe them and give them tasks and tests so we can compare them to other children around the same age. Depending on your child’s age, the assessment may last two to six hours.
  • After the assessment, we score the tests, interpret the results and sometimes gather more information from your child’s doctor or school. Then we share information with you during a feedback session by phone or at the clinic. Later, we send a written evaluation summary in the mail. We work with others on your child’s team so they can provide treatments your child may need.

Our evaluations can help:

  • Detect ways your child’s brain, learning and behavior are affected by a disease, injury, treatment or developmental problem, and maybe determine which areas of the brain are involved
  • Identify mild or subtle impairments, which can help with diagnosis
  • Measure your child’s strengths and weaknesses in order to help predict how their condition and recovery might go
  • Guide you and your child’s healthcare team in selecting treatments or strategies to help your child now
  • Establish a baseline that can help you and your child’s team make treatment decisions in the future
  • Assist you and your child’s team in making decisions about returning to school, work, sports and other activities
  • Explain for your child and family the effects of your child’s condition on language, thinking, memory and other skills that have to do with processing information
  • Suggest coping strategies for your child and family