Pediatric Neuropsychology

Clinical neuropsychology studies the relationship between brain health and behavior.  Pediatric neuropsychology studies the relationship between brain health and behavior in children.  Pediatric neuropsychologists work with children who have dysfunction(s) in their central nervous system.  This includes neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry practices. Neuropsychologists assess and treat children with medical disorders such as traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, epilepsy, children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, intellectual and developmental disorders such as autism or Asperger’s syndrome.

Common disorders include:

  • Developmental Disabilities: speech impairment, ADHD, learning disabilities, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, spina bifida, amniotic band syndrome, and myelomeningocele
  • Genetic and Metabolic Syndromes: turner syndrome and down syndrome
  • Prenatal Substance Exposure: fetal alcohol syndrome or alcohol related neurodevelopmental disorder
  • Hypoxic-Ischemic Injuries: near-drowning asphyxia
  • Toxic Exposure: lead, mercury, chemotherapy drugs, irradiation
  • Malnutrition
  • Trauma from abuse, (mental, emotional, physical, sexual) or neglectKathleen Berry-Hebert
  • Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Neurological Conditions: epilepsy, hydrocephalus, cysts, demyelination
  • Systemic Illness: HIV/AIDS, meningitis, leukemia, sickle cell disease
  • Organ Dysfunction: cardiac, circulatory, renal, hepatic, pulmonary
  • Psychiatric Disorders: schizophrenia, somatization, mood disorders

There are differences between pediatric and adult neuropsychology practices.
In Pediatric Neuropsychology:

  1. Maturation is a paramount force.
  2. Adult brain-behavior relationship rules do not apply.
  3. A model of normal development provides clinical context.
  4. Methods are distinctive.
  5. Genetic, socio-environmental and family factors have primacy for evaluation.

KathleenBerryHebert

A neuropsychological evaluation consists of the following assessments:

  • Intellectual skills (reasoning and problem-solving)
  • Language skills
  • Visual processing and visual-motor integration
  • Attention
  • Executive functioning
  • Learning and memory
  • Academic skills
  • Social/emotional screening

Licensed Specialist School Psychologist, Kathleen Berry-Hebert, has oriented her career towards children.  As a school psychologist, she works with children aged from birth to 21 years old.  Kathleen Berry-Hebert specializes with children in need of special education, whether that is because they are intellectually challenged, or intellectually gifted.  As a school psychology, it makes sense that Kathleen has taken a special interest in pediatric neuropsychology because she spends her days focusing children with intellectual challenges, disabilities, gifts, and those who suffer from neuropsychological disorders. While Kathleen is not a neuropsychologist herself, she works with neuropsychologists to learn about the children she is working with in order to help her come up with methods for children to best receive an education.  Her job can be extremely rewarding.