FAQ about Neuropsychological Evaluations

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • Q What is a neuropsychological evaluation?

    When we have questions about a student’s abilities or functioning in one of the areas outlined below, the school team will recommend an evaluation, including names of psychologists we feel would be a good match for your daughter. The results from an evaluation:
    • Help everyone better understand a student’s current strengths and weaknesses, including a diagnosis, if applicable
    • Provide information, resources, or recommendations to families and the school team to help decide on the best plan to support a student’s growth and success
    Typically, neuropsychological testing can examine a variety of skills and abilities:
    • Emotions and behavior
    • Attention and concentration
    • Learning and memory
    • Visual and auditory processing and processing speed
    • Language
    • Visual and spatial perception
    • Motor and sensory skills
    • Problem solving and conceptualization
    • Planning and organization
    • Abstract thinking
    • Academic skills
    • General intelligence
  • Q How will a neuropsychological evaluation help me and my child?

    • A description of your child’s strengths and weaknesses
    • Help in understanding your child
    • Help in knowing what is reasonable to expect from your child at this point in time
    • Help in knowing what your child’s needs may be in the future, so that you can plan appropriately
    • Suggestions for what you can do to help your child
    • Recommendations for educational programming, including accommodations/modifications for the classroom and on standardized tests
  • Q Who can give neuropsychological evaluations?

    Neuropsychological evaluations are typically done by a clinical psychologist or neuropsychologist, a psychologist with specialized training in how the brain works. A neuropsychologist initially meets with parents and teachers to get a preliminary picture of how a student is functioning at home and school. They then meet with the student and administer pencil and paper tests and questionnaires to better understand how and why a student is developing, behaving and learning.

    A neuropsychologist is interested in how the child obtains a specific test score as well as the specific pattern of skills. Skills are broken down into component parts, attempting to define a pattern of strengths and weaknesses. For example, a child may have difficulty following a direction because she did not pay attention to the direction, did not understand the direction, or did not remember the direction. The neuropsychologist works to understand where the individual is having trouble and why.
  • Q Are all neuropsychological evaluations the same?

    No. A neuropsychological evaluation is not a fixed series of tests that anyone can give. Specialized training allows the neuropsychologist to select, administer, and interpret the particular tests and procedures that will yield the most comprehensive understanding of an individual’s strengths and weaknesses. Each neuropsychological examination is tailored to the needs of the individual student.
  • Q What does the evaluation process look like?

    After you have made contact with the referrals provided by the Student Support Services team and have chosen the psychologist you think works best for you and your daughter, the first meeting will be to review the developmental history and provide a focus for the evaluation. The psychologist will also reach out to the school team (teachers, Learning Specialist and/or Counselor) to get more information about the student and how they are functioning at school. Often, the psychologist will come to school to do an observation to see how your daughter is performing at school. For the student,an evaluation often takes four to six hours of face-to-face contact over a series of appointments, but can vary depending on what information is being sought.  

    The results of the evaluation are presented in a written report and discussed with the parents during an ending feedback session with the evaluating psychologist. Depending on age, the psychologist can also meet with the student to discuss her learning and social-emotional profiles. A copy of the report explaining the test results will be provided to you. Burke’s asks you to share the report with the Learning Specialist and the school team to help us know how to best support your daughter. The report will typically include: a summary of the tests given, a summary of any relevant medical and personal history, the diagnostic impression (i,e. diagnosis, if applicable), and recommendations. Recommendations will include strategies and accommodations for the classroom, and may also include referrals to other specialists for support outside of the school day (tutors, therapists, educational therapists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, etc.).

    After you meet to discuss the results of the testing, the psychologist will be invited to Burke’s to meet with you and the school team to review the results and recommendations together.   
  • Q What does Burke’s do with the evaluation report once I share it with the school?

    The report is kept confidentially in the Student Support Team Office, separate from the student’s cumulative school record. At the beginning of each year a summary of the report and the relevant school recommendations/accommodations is shared with the classroom teachers and specialists.
  • Q How much does a neuropsychological evaluation cost?

    Different psychologists have different rates and some can utilize sliding scales to determine cost. Typically, the range is between $2,000-$8,000. The Student Support Services team can work with you to provide referrals that will work for your family financially.  

    In addition, the Burke’s Family Handbook states: “The school will assist the family in exploring available options for exploring outside evaluation or support, including defraying costs for students receiving Financial Assistance through specially designated school funds.” To inquire about these funds, please see Jerry Mullaney in the Business Office.
  • Q How is a neuropsychological evaluation different from a psychoeducational evaluation?

    The scope of a neuropsychological evaluation is significantly greater than a psychoeducational evaluation. Psychoeducational assessments focus almost exclusively on the demands of the typical classroom situation. The individuals administering the assessments vary significantly in their professional training. A psychoeducational evaluation includes an individual's level of academic achievement compared to age or grade peers. A neuropsychological evaluation moves beyond this to include: how a person approaches problem-solving, gathers information, what their retrieval strategies are, their openness to insight and flexibility, how well they can brainstorm, how well they can analyze a situation, and their flexibility or originality when interacting with their environment. A neuropsychological evaluation can not only identify whether or not there is a learning difference or ADHD or another condition, but, it can often identify the subtype of learning difference.
Burke's mission is to educate, encourage and empower girls. Our school combines academic excellence with an appreciation for childhood so that students thrive as learners, develop a strong sense of self, contribute to community, and fulfill their potential, now and throughout life.


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7070 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94121
Phone: 415.751.0177 Fax: 415.666.0535
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