What Is Neuropsychological Testing?

Neuropsychological Testing: What Is It and Why Do It?

People often talk about “testing” or “neuropsychological assessment.”  What is this assessment? Why do people have it done? Finally, what does it entail?

Neuropsychological testing is usually recommended if you are looking for accommodations for school, standardized testing or work.  Furthermore, neuropsychological testing may be recommended if the clinician suspects underlying learning issues or has other questions that the clinical interview does not answer.

Answer the questions below to determine if you or your child should have a Neuropsychological Assessment.  If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, read more and consider scheduling an assessment. 

Questions for Parents:

  • Do you have a child who struggles in school?
  • Are there gaps in your child’s performance in different areas? 
  • Interested in understanding how your child learns best?
  • What are their strengths?
  • What are their challenges?
  • Concerned about whether your child is struggling simply due to ADHD? 
  • Or if there are underlying learning disabilities?
  • Do you think that your child might need accommodations to give them the best shot at reaching their learning potential?
  • For older children, are you concerned that your child may need accommodations to do their best on standardized testing?
  • Interested in having you and your child’s school learn strategies to best help them learn and achieve?

Questions for Adults:

  • Have you ever wondered about your ADHD diagnosis,?
  • What are the signs that you have it? l 
  • Did you ever wonder how your brain works?
  • Curious about your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Perplexed why you’re not able to do certain things as easily as your peers?
  • Wondering if it’s just ADHD or if something else is going on too?

What is neuropsychological assessment and why is it important?

Neuropsychological assessment consists of:

  • a series of tests, completed between one day and a handful of days;
  • evaluating one’s intellectual abilities;
  • academic processes;
  • achievement;
  • memory;
  • language skills;
  • visual-motor coordination;
  • reasoning abilities;
  • executive functioning skills; and
  • attention.

Furthermore, testing can also look at whether there are underlying psychological issues that are impacting learning or day-to-day functioning.

What To Expect:

Clinicians select a series of tests that makes the most sense for each individual. These tests are based on the concerns you, your child, or your child’s school may have. Some tests are completed using paper and pencil, and others are verbal or computer-based.  Questionnaires are completed by patients and those who know the patients well. As part of the testing process, this is always followed by a comprehensive clinical session.

Through the use of neuropsychological assessment, parents learn more about how their children process information. As a result, they can determine whether a learning disorder is present.  Likewise, this can be used to come up with strategies to optimize their ability to learn. In addition, the assessment can be used to build a system of accommodations in school.  Most noteworthy, it can be used to help them reach their potential and thrive in their environment. 

Neuropsychological Testing for Adults

Likewise, neuropsychological testing can also be useful for some adults, enabling them to:

  • understand more about how their brains work, or
  • to assess cognitive concerns, whether related or unrelated to ADHD.

As a  result, this can help adults to better understand themselves and how they can work most efficiently. 

NOTE: Outside the ADHD world, neuropsychological testing is also often used to:

  • assess for damage related to brain-affecting diseases or
  • traumatic brain injuries

When is the best time to do testing?


Neuropsychological testing is a time-consuming endeavor, in most cases occurring over multiple days of at least a few hours each day. As such, testing sessions are typically scheduled for early in the day to maximize alertness. Since children are off from school, summertime and school vacations are often ideal times for children to complete testing.

Scheduling a Neuropsychological Assessment

So if you are interested in pursuing or learning more about a neuropsychological assessment at The Hallowell Centers, you can set up an appointment with our intake coordinator.  To schedule an appointment at The Hallowell Center, simply call the number below for the center closest to you. 

 New York City at 212-799-7777 or

 Boston MetroWest  at 978-287-0810  

San Francisco at 415-967-0061

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