Neuropsychology Assessment Services
What to Expect During the Neuropsychological Assessment
The first appointment is an hour-long opportunity to share your clinical concerns. If you are having your child assessed, please bring them to this first appointment. We will have an opportunity to speak “just adults” during the session as well as an opportunity to speak together about what is going well and what areas are difficult for your child.
For Children: The testing session is either broken into two-half days or conducted in one full day. The full day begins at 8:30 am. We have a break for lunch from 12-1 Testing then continues until about 3:30 or 4:00pm.
For Adults: Depending on the issue you are being seen for, a single half-day testing session, or a full-day testing session may be necessary. You always have the option of breaking a full day session into two half day sessions.
During the testing sessions, you (or your child) will be asked to do a variety of tasks, each designed to measure a different aspect of thinking. Depending on the ability being measured, the nature of the task will change. For example, memory is measured by listening to stories and then repeating them, or by looking at pictures and identifying them a half hour later. Problem solving is measured by putting puzzles together or solving verbal analogies. Some of the tasks are computer based, some require writing, and some involve listening and speaking. We always also conduct a thorough emotional evaluation.
The final appointment is the feedback session. This is an hour-long opportunity to sit down and discuss the test results, and diagnosis. Most importantly, a clear map for improving the clinical concern is laid out. The map includes what you can do at home, what accommodations are appropriate at school, college, or work, and what other professionals/treatments need to be brought in.
How to Speak with Your Adult Family Member About the Assessment
Many elderly patients are accompanied to the assessment by concerned family members. Daughters and sons may notice memory changes well before their parents notice them. Discussing the need for an assessment can create a feeling of being criticized for those needing the evaluation. Some feel their children think they are “crazy.” Often the best way to discuss assessments is straightforward and practical. “Mom, we’ve been noticing some memory problems recently and your primary care doctor feels you need to have them checked out. If we’re wrong, great! You have the assessment, and get everyone off your back. If you do have some memory problems, we will have caught them early and can do something to help.”
Contact Dr. Postal
Karen Spangenberg Postal, Ph.D, ABPP-CN
451 Andover Street, Suite 190B
North Andover, MA 01845
(978) 475-2025 (telephone)
(978) 475-1661 (fax)