Wednesday, February 27, 2008


We are working on getting my son into a neuropsychologist. I have been wondering what the difference between a neuropyschologist and regular psychologist is. I know they can do brain scans but that is about all I knew. Here is a definition:

"Clinical neuropsychology is a specialty profession that focuses on brain functioning. A clinical neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist with expertise in how behavior and skills are related to brain structures and systems. In clinical neuropsychology, brain function is evaluated by objectively testing memory and thinking skills. A very detailed assessment of abilities is done, and the pattern of strengths and weaknesses is used in important health areas, such as diagnosis and treatment planning. The clinical neuropsychologist conducts the evaluation and makes recommendations. He or she may also provide treatment, such as cognitive rehabilitation, behavior management, or psychotherapy." (source: Clinical Neuropsychology: A Guide for Patients and Their Families What is Clinical Neuropsychology? written by the Public Interest Advisory Committee, Division 40

They check for any damage done because of prenatal drugs, alcohol or genetic disorders. They can also see what trauma has done to the brain. There is a scan called the SPECT scan that can actually see the emotions. Our emotions in our brains function in different sections of the brain. So there is increased or decreased blood flow in the sections that are working too hard or too little. So, if your child has been in extensive therapy and seems to be resistant to therapy and/or the psychiatrist has tried a wide variety of medications that seem to be ineffective, you may want to discuss having your child see a neuropsychologist. Your psychiatrist can make a referral for you if they believe this is the appropriate treatment.

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