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Neuropsychological Services Across the Lifespan

Neuropsychology is the study of the relationship between the brain, the environment, and how an individual thinks, feels, and behaves. 

Common reasons for being seen by a neuropsychologist include:

  • ‍Trouble remembering words and names
  • Forgetting important information
  • Problems with attention and concentration
  • Difficulty understanding or using words to communicate
  • Problems with reading, spelling/writing, or doing math
  • Problems with doing daily tasks that previously were easy
  • Problems with motor skills
  • Concerns about intellectual ability
  • Problems with regulation of mood or behavior

Some common reasons for trouble with thinking, feeling, or behavior include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Dementia (i.e.Alzheimers disease, Vascular dementia)
  • Acquired medical conditions like stroke, brain tumor, or cognitive problems after cardiac surgery or chemotherapy
  • Neurological disorders like seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease
  • Problems caused by medicines and/or substance abuse
  • Psychiatric conditions like depression, anxiety, or history of trauma
  • Developmental and learning disorders (ADHD, dyslexia, language disorder, autism spectrum disorder)

The Neuropsychology Process

Neuropsychological tests are often incorporated as part of the evaluation process to assess intellectual ability, language skills, visual-spatial skills, learning and memory, academic functioning, motor skills, and personality and behavior.


We evaluate and assess by listening to the patient and understanding the current symptoms being experienced.

During an initial consultation, Dr. Swenson or Dr. Meidinger will talk about the symptoms that are concerning to the patient and/or family. Any patient who is having difficulty describing symptoms or providing medical history and mental health history is encouraged to bring along a family member or friend who can share information that may be important for the doctor to know. 

Children and adolescents (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Once the provider has a better understanding of problems and what has been done to try to address these problems in the past, the provider will determine if neuropsychological tests are needed to better understand and treat the presenting symptoms.


After assessment, we are able to understand the best path to diagnosis for creating an individualized treatment plan.

If testing is recommended and the patient (or parents, in the case of a child) would like to move forward with evaluation, the patient is then scheduled with a technician trained in administering neuropsychological tests. Tests are typically question and answer or paper and pencil based measures. 

Testing can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, depending on the age of the patient. For longer testing sessions, breaks are taken periodically to get up and move around and have a snack or meal. This can be adjusted depending on the needs of the patient. In order to take full advantage of the testing session, the following suggestions are offered.

  • Get plenty of rest the night before.
  • On the day of testing, eat breakfast and dress comfortably in layers in the event you find the testing room warm or cool.
  • Since you will be completing tasks that include reading, writing, and drawing it is important that you bring any necessary reading or eyeglasses, hearing aid, or other adaptive equipment.
  • Be aware that there is no “pass” or “fail” on these tests.  Our goal is to get a picture of what skills are strong and what skills may be weaker. The most important thing is to try your best.
  • Children can typically relate to testing being somewhat like school in which they have a “teacher” for the day, and they can expect to spend as much time testing as they usually do at school.
  • Minors must be accompanied by an adult who remains in the building while the child is testing.

Treatment Planning

A treatment plan establishes appropriate methods for improving life and providing solutions to a specific problem.

Results of testing will not be available right away. You will be scheduled to return to the clinic 1-3 weeks after testing to sit down and talk with your doctor about the testing, what the results mean, and any recommendations for care. 

We make every effort to allow enough time to answer any questions the patient and family members have. In order to make best use of this time, you are welcome to bring questions along with you and take notes.