Neuropsychological assessments generally include 1-2 hours of face-to-face interview and 6-7 hours of testing time, taking place across three different sessions to avoid brain fatigue on the part of the client (and the neuropsychologist!). Each evaluation is different depending on the client's needs, but the typical process is as follows:
1. The first step with almost all neuropsychologists is to present the gold standard cognitive test for children (the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children or WISC, Fifth Edition) or individuals 16 or older (the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, WAIS-IV). Time: ~2 hours.
2. The client and I meet for our second session, where we would typically delve into educational/academic testing. I would use one of the three main reading tests: the Nelson-Denny Reading Test (Forms G, H, I, or J); Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, Third Edition; or Gray Oral Reading Test, Fifth Edition, depending on the circumstances. I would proceed to the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement and Cognition (2 different groups of subtests; we would only use those subtests which apply directly to the presenting concerns). We would also utilize various executive functioning tests, such as the NAB (Neurological Assessment Battery, for 18+), the Barkley (BDEFS, for 18+), and Trail-Making. Time: 2-3 hours.
3. For the third session, we would use the TOVA-8 (the Test of Variables of Attention, 8th Edition); although no tests are perfect, this is the best one by far to look at the possibility of ADD/ADHD. We may add the Test of Auditory Processing Fourth Edition (TAPS-4) which looks at receptive and central auditory processing. Time: ~2 hours.
4. I then score all the material, testing, and interviews and write the report. For middle and high school students, this report contains my official recommendations for testing accommodations. All middle and high schools have a ‘point person’ who is in direct contact with the organizations that own the various standardized tests, and who will then act to obtain these accommodations for the student. Time: scoring 4-6 hours, report writing 5-7 hours.
5. Finally, I conduct a feedback session with the client and or parent(s), and in the case of school-age children, another with the parent(s) and student together. I always provide clear age- and maturity-level-appropriate feedback. Beyond testing accommodations, my reports typically contain 8-14 recommendations for the student's daily life, both in school and at home, as well as techniques to help implement them. For adults, these recommendations focus on how to optimize work and home environments and daily routines to enhance the client's life and functioning.