What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation? A neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of cognitive and behavioral functions using a set of standardized tests and procedures. Various processes are systematically tested, including, but not limited to:
What is the evaluation like? Generally, a neuropsychological evaluation involves a wide variety of tasks which are completed one-on-one at a table. EEGs, MRIs, and other medical procedures are not conducted. The evaluation often takes 6 to 8 hours of direct testing, but can vary widely depending on what information is being sought. Typically, appointments are scheduled over two sessions. A parent intake and feedback session are also part of the evaluation.
How are the results used? What happens with the results depends on the reason for the evaluation. Neuropsychological evaluations may:
What is a Neuropsychologist? A Neuropsychologist is a doctoral level (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) professional who studies the physiological basis of psychological processes, and the relationship between the nervous system and cerebral or mental functions such as: intellectual abilities, language, memory, learning, attention, perception, executive functioning, and social/emotional functioning. Completion of an internship and 2-years post doctoral fellowship focusing on neuropsychology is required. Most Neuropsychologists are licensed through the state as Clinical Psychologists.
What is a Clinical Psychologist? A Clinical Psychologist is a doctoral level (Ph.D. or Psy.D.) professional who provides social/emotional, intellectual, and educational assessment and interpretation. Clinical psychologists also provide individual, group, and family therapeutic services relating to a patient’s mental and emotional health.
What is a Specific Learning Disorder? A Specific Learning Disorder is defined as difficulties learning and using academic skills for at least six months in spite of the provision of interventions that target those difficulties. As such, a formal diagnosis cannot be made unless a person has been receiving services to improve these skills.
Types of Specific Learning Disorders include difficulties with:
Word reading accuracy, reading rate or fluency, and reading comprehension.
Spelling accuracy, grammar and punctuation accuracy, and clarity/organization of written expression
Number sense, memorization of math facts, accurate or fluent calculation, or accurate math reasoning
What is Dyslexia? Dyslexia is term used to describe a pattern of learning difficulties characterized by problems with accurate or fluent word recognition, poor decoding, and poor spelling abilities.
What is Dyscalculia? Dyscalculia is a term used to describe a pattern of learning difficulties in math characterized by problems processing numerical information, learning arithmetic facts, and performing accurate or fluent calculations.
What is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder consisting of difficulties with attention span, impulse control, and activity level. It often leads to difficulties in peer relationships and school functioning. Subtypes include:
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Combined Presentation (inattention & Hyperactivity/impulsivity).
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Predominantly Inattentive Presentation (many people refer to this subtype as A.D.D.)
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation.
During the evaluations, attention is examined across several domains including:
Sustained attention: (the ability to stay focused on a task for a continuous period of time)
Divided attention: (the capacity to shift attentional focus back and forth from one aspect of a task or situation to another)
Attentional capacity: (the capacity for holding information while performing some action on the information).
Processing Speed: The ability to perform simple or complex cognitive tasks quickly. This skill also measures the ability of the brain to work quickly and accurately while ignoring distracting stimuli. Slow processing speed makes every task more difficult. Very often, slow processing is one root of ADHD-type behaviors. Symptoms of weaknesses here include homework taking a long time, always being the last one to get his or her shoes on, or being slow at completing even simple tasks.
What is Executive Functioning? Executive functions are those that serve one's ability to independently organize behaviors so as to successfully complete a task or solve a problem (e.g., planning, organization, self-monitoring, initiation). Whereas cognitive functions refer to one's ability to do a tasks, executive functions relate to how one does the task. Although executive functions underlie the symptoms of ADHD, executive dysfunction is not synonymous with a diagnosis of ADHD. There is vernal agreement that different aspects of executive dysfunction contribute to behaviors that characterize ADHD.
What is a Language Disorder? A Language Disorder is characterized by difficulties in the acquisition and use of language due to struggles in the comprehension or production of vocabulary, sentence structure, or discourse (ability to use vocabulary and connect sentences to explain or describe a topic or series of events or have a conversation).
What is a Nonverbal Learning Disability?: A disorder involving primary nonverbal deficits across spatial, motor, nonverbal reasoning, visual processing, tactile, and/or sensory processing domains. Social difficulties are also noted in both the execution and processing or understanding of social language, which are evident in nonverbal communication and social-pragmatics.
What is an Autism Spectrum Disorder? An Autism Spectrum Disorder is neurological disorder that impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. The essential features of an autism spectrum disorder are persistent impairment in reciprocal social communication and social interaction, and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.
Midwest Neuropsychology Associates, LLC
Dr. Rottier is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in Illinois. Dr. Rottier received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology through the Institute of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She completed an internship in Pediatric Neuropsychology and Pediatric Psychology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. She then completed the Pearl Rieger two-year Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Rush Neurobehavioral Center. Dr. Rottier's pre-doctoral externships were completed at Children's Memorial Hospital and Stroger Medical Center/Cook County Hospital. Dr. Rottier has worked in the field of psychology with children and families for more than 20 years. Her specialization is in the neuropsychological evaluation of child and adolescent disorders.
Dr. Rottier's professional affiliations include: