Children's epilepsy resource for Clinicians

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Referral for assessment of learning/behaviour

 

How to arrange a neuropsychological assessment :

The major Children’s Hospitals in NSW and the ACT can provide neuropsychological assessment via referral. Waiting lists may be significant, however patient lists are often triaged based on urgency. The following Public Hospitals offer neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents:

 

  • Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick
  • Children’s Hospital Westmead
  • John Hunter Hospital (Newcastle)
  • Canberra Hospital

 

In addition, Neuropsychologists in private practice can also conduct detailed neuropsychological assessments. The Australian Psychological Society (APS) provides a searchable database of providersand as does the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Authority (AHPRA) .

 

 

 

Information to include in your referral:

In your referral, it is useful to provide the following information to enable the neuropsychologist to tailor test selection according to patient need:

  • Presenting complaint / reason for referral (e.g. concerns about behaviour, academic performance, attention/concentration, or memory etc.)
  • Diagnoses (e.g. epilepsy syndrome/pathology, other medical conditions)
  • Brain imaging and/or EEG results, where available
  • Current medications (e.g. AED’s)
  • History of previous surgery
  • History of previous head injury (e.g. falls, trauma etc.)
  • History of comorbid diagnoses (e.g. ADHD, depression, autism etc.)

 

 

General Educational Assessments

General educational assessments (for children over 6 years of age) can also be conducted, often within the school setting. These are useful for documenting academic ability and may also assess overall intellectual ability and individual cognitive domains.

 

However, full neuropsychological assessment is preferable where children are suspected of having memory, processing speed, attention, and/or executive compromise (e.g. difficulty with planning and organising, problem solving, carrying out multi-stepped tasks, persevering, and sustaining attention etc.), as it involves detailed assessment of these frontally mediated higher-order abilities.

 

 

 

This page was last reviewed in December 2017.