Certain illnesses and injuries—and the medications used to treat them—can have effects on the brain, causing problems with attention, learning, memory, behavior, socialization or emotional control. At CHOC, we offer comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations to assess cognitive function and recommend a treatment plan for children of all ages.
Many children and young adults with medical conditions can benefit from the expertise of a CHOC pediatric neuropsychologist. Some of the conditions and syndromes we work with include:
- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and brain tumors
- Central nervous system infections and exposure to environmental neurotoxins
- Concussion and traumatic brain injuries
- Congenital disorders
- Diabetes and other endocrine disorders
- Epilepsy and seizure disorders
- Heart conditions
- Hematologic disorders such as sickle cell disease and hemophilia
- Immunodeficiency conditions such as HIV
- Metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders
- Neurodevelopmental disorders and autism spectrum disorder
A neuropsychological evaluation is an assessment of a child’s overall cognitive functioning. It is used to help determine the effects of an injury, illness or medication, and lay the groundwork for treatment, as well as provide a baseline for tracking a child’s improvement. An evaluation may include tests and observations that define a child’s strengths and weaknesses in various skills areas, such as attention, memory, perception, language and behavior. We use a number of assessment techniques, including written worksheets, interactive computer testing and one-on-one interviews with the child and family. An evaluation typically lasts about the length of a school day and can be done in one sitting or over several days, depending on a child or family’s needs.
Once you have arranged to meet with one of CHOC’s neuropsychologists, you will receive more detailed information about your child’s testing day. Each child’s testing may be different, and we will strive to meet all of your child’s needs. Prior to coming to the evaluation, it is helpful if the child is given an idea about what to expect on the day of the assessment. Children usually feel more relaxed when they hear that they will be doing the same type of things that they do at school to see out how they learn best. They also typically like to hear that there are no shots, needles or “pokes.”
Recommendations Tailored to Each Child
Once our neuropsychologists complete an evaluation, they meet with the child’s family to discuss the results, as well as provide a custom report that can be shared with the child’s pediatrician, referring physician and school. The report includes recommendations for treatment to help a child improve his or her overall cognitive function. We work closely with families to ensure that their child receives the recommended therapies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Neuropsychology
Contact the Neuropsychology Program
CHOC neuropsychologists are all formally trained in pediatric neuropsychology and bring more than 35 years of combined experience specializing in medically fragile children. Our philosophy of care is to maximize every child’s potential for success. Our neuropsychologists also oversee pediatric neuropsychology training for doctoral and post-doctoral students. Meet our neuropsychologists.
To make a neuropsychology referral to CHOC, please fax your child’s most recent clinic visit sheet, including the services requested. Some referrals may need prior authorization from a primary care physician or medical group.
CHOC Pediatric Psychology
Building: Centrum North
1120 W. La Veta Ave., Ste. 470
Orange, CA 92868
Phone and Fax