Why an Evaluation: Symptoms

Why an evaluation is recommended or considered:

Typically, when parents are considering an evaluation for their child they say something like: “My son is a smart, good kid….but there is something that is holding him back from doing what he should be doing. I know he is capable….but nothing we try seems to work.” A Neuropsychological Evaluation is appropriate anytime there are questions or confusion about the nature of the individual’s problems and what precisely should be done about them.

A comprehensive evaluation addresses the following issues:

Academic      Developmental      Social

Emotional           Behavioral


The following is a list of typical problems presented by children, adolescents, or young adults in an evaluation:


A child or young adult –

  • is struggling with learning or academic performance despite either a history of previous academic success or strong performance in some areas (but not others).
  • begins to dislike reading, school and/or has conflicts with parents over homework.
  • is not progressing adequately academically despite additional resources or specialized instruction. Reads or works much more slowly than expected OR works quickly and makes careless errors.
  • has symptoms that seem due to ADHD, “emotional issues,” or both.
  • has a strong intellect and other strengths but cannot seem to manage daily routines or expectations at home or school.
  • desires friendship but cannot develop or maintain good social relationships.
  • seems “unmotivated,” avoids challenge or “hard work,” and tends to give up easily or drop out of activities.
  • complains about or seems to have problems with attention, distractibility, memory, or keeping up mental effort and energy.
  • has trouble controlling impulses to say things, do things, or express emotions. It may be that they say, do, or emote at “the wrong time, place, or with the wrong intensity”.
  • has difficulty with transitions.
  • is “very stubborn” and can become easily or intensely upset if things do not “go his/her way.”
  • has been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and/or a “mood” or bipolar disorder but symptoms and functioning have not improved (or have gotten worse) despite treatment and/or medication.
  • is having such difficulty functioning at home and/or school that parents and treatment providers are questioning whether outpatient or home-based intervention is “enough”.

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