Clinical neuropsychology is focused on understanding the link between brain and behaviour. For example, how changes in the health of the brain may affect the ability to pay attention, remember or solve problems. Children are usually referred for neuropsychological evaluation by a neurologist, oncologist or neurosurgeon. The paediatric neuropsychology service specialises in assessing children’s learning and behavioural difficulties associated with a neurological problem.
Patients seen by paediatric neuropsychology have a known or suspected neurological disorder. The most common neurological disorders include epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, tumour (e.g. DNET) or neuropathology subsequent to previous illness (e.g. encephalitis, hypoxia).
A range of assessments are used to measure memory and learning, concentration, language, visuoperceptual skills, academic abilities, and intellectual functioning. The assessment highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the child and assists in devising strategies that may help with schooling and everyday living. A written report of the findings is given to the family and other health professionals.
This information can help the family more effectively guide and support their child. Knowing a child’s strengths and weaknesses can be helpful in planning parenting strategies. Follow up treatment (e.g. behavioural management consultation) can also be provided if indicated.
Leicester Children’s Hospital at the Royal Infirmary works with the University of Leicester to undertake research aimed at improving treatments and gaining a better understanding of childhood conditions. You may be informed about some of this research and invited to take part.