Why is a Neuropsychological Assessment helpful
A neuropsychological assessment uses specific neuropsychological tests designed to assess for thinking or memory difficulties. There are lots of reasons why a Neuropsychological assessment would be helpful such as:
- To determine a person’s capacity or competency to make decisions
- To rule out a cognitive disorder or to strengthen, refute a diagnosis
- To help family members to better understand the condition and tailor interventions to optimise functioning
- Provide insights into regions of the brain that may not be working as efficiently as others
- To answer why is this person experiencing memory or other cognitive difficulties?
- Does the person have an acquired brain injury (ABI)?
- What is the impact of this person’s diagnosis (e.g. ABI, medical condition, psychiatric illness) on their thinking and memory skills?
- What are the person’s strengths and weaknesses relating to memory, concentration, language abilities and decision making?
- To identify and pin point changes in a person’s thinking and behaviour.
- Does this person meet eligibility criteria for access to disability supports
- To describe potential implications of cognitive difficulties for work or study
- Assessment and advice regarding management of ABI-related behaviours of concern (e.g. aggression, disinhibition, reduced initiation)
- Does the person have dementia?
- To provide advice and strategies for managing memory or other cognitive difficulties
- Provide recommendations for treatment planning and support needs
- Psychoeducation and support for clients and families about the brain, ABI, and cognitive strategies
Neuropsychological Tests Used:
- Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS-IV)
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV)
- Test of Premorbid Functioning
- Rey Complex Figure
- Various Word-List Learning Tasks
- Verbal fluency tasks
- Stroop colour-word interference test
- Trail Making Test
- Boston Naming Test
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-II)
- Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM)
A comprehensive Neuro- assessment comprises 2-3 hours of testing (including an interview and various puzzles), interpretation of the results, liaising with 3rd parties to obtain additional background information, a comprehensive report answering the referral question, and a feedback session to provide results and outline helpful recommendations and treatment options to optimise functioning (can be 6 – 10 hours of the Psychologist’s time). If you have had a previous assessment then please provide the details to our admin team as the neuropsychologist would require copies of any previous assessments.
Preparation for testing: It is not possible to prepare for the test itself however we would recommend a good nights sleep the night before, to avoid alcohol and other substances, eat something before coming along and to bring along glasses if you wear them and hearing aids if you use them. You are welcome to bring along a family member to the first part of the assessment and any questions you might have. Our admin team will also email or post to you an information sheet about the assessment and other helpful information that you should read once you are scheduled in.
What is a clinical neuropsychologist/clinical neuropsych registrar: A clinical neuropsychologist specialises in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders affecting the brain. They have advanced training in understanding the connections between brain anatomy and understand how cognition, emotions and behaviour affect brain based conditions and can then provide recommendations on interventions that can compensate and/or restore impairments. At DS Psychology Group our team continues to expand to serve the increasing needs of the community and we have clinical neuropsychologists as well as clinical neuropsych registras on the DS team, available on different days and times to best suit the varying availability of clients/care coordinators and the like. View the profiles of our neuropsychologists below.
Fees and Availability:
The cost of a neuropsychological assessment depends on factors including the purpose of the assessment, level of complexity, how much preparation is required and the overall time spent. Please contact our admin team on 9872 6255 who can obtain the information required for the referral, understand your personal situation and needs and provide an initial estimation of cost. Following which we provide the referral information to our Clinical Neuropsychologists who will confirm the appropriateness of the referral and provide an initial estimate of their time spent. A deposit is required to secure your booking and will be forfeited in the event of a short notice cancellation; a Payment Information form outlines the Conditions of Booking. At DS Psychology Group we aim to keep costs as low as possible in order for clients to access an effective service.
When a 3rd party is paying for the report we need to get their approval before we start the assessment. This applies to assessments funded by DVA, DHS, Worksafe, NDIS or TAC. Usually a report can be completed within 2 weeks of the assessment being done.
Implementing Neuropsych recommendations:
Clinical neuropsychologists within the DS team such as Maggie Phillips and Dr Simone Riley are able to offer neuropsychological treatment in the areas of:
- Behaviour management and practical strategies to optimise functioning
- Psychoeducation to better understand cognitive impairment or neurological condition
- Psychotherapy and evidence-based treatment for anxiety or depressive symptoms (that have developed or are a part of the neurological condition)
- Adjustment support in relation to diagnosis including LT Covid-19
- Cognitive interventions to compensate or restore neurological impairments
- Support and assistance to parents and carers
DS Psychology Group Neuropsychologists
BA, DipAppPsych, MA (ClinNeuropsych), MAPS, FCCN
Maggie is a clinical neuropsychologist with more than 30 years’ experience working in public and private health care and university settings.
Dr. Simone Riley
BSc (Hons), DPsych (Clin Neuropsych)
Clinical Neuropsychologist providing neuropsychological assessments, counselling and reports for children, adolescents and adults
Clinical Neuropsychology Registrar
Yi-En is a Registered Psychologist and is currently undertaking a registrar program in Clinical Neuropsychology
Dr. Melissa Marot
BSci (Physiology), GDipPsych, MProfPsych
Dr Melissa Marot has over 15 years of experience in medico-legal, community and organisational settings, an endorsed Clinical Neuropsychologist and Organisational Psychologist.