Pediatric Neuropsychological Testing
Your doctor has asked that your child have neuropsychological testing. We will test your child’s
thinking skills. This can include:
Speed of thought
Mood and behavior
This testing will give your doctor useful information about your child’s strengths and any problems
that may be present.
What to do
To get an appointment in Neuropsychology, your child’s doctor will need to send a referral and
relevant clinic notes to the Neuropsychological Department. This referral will be triaged to determine
if your child is right for testing. There are some insurance companies that do not cover
neuropsychological testing or require a prior-authorization. The Neuropsychology staff will contact
you to schedule and will inform you if you need to check coverage with your insurance.
The staff member who schedules your child will discuss the details of the visit with you.
A parent must come with the child and remain on site for testing. Plan for a full-day visit. A full-day
visit can last 6 hours or a typical school day. The testing day may be shorter for younger children. The
length of the visit depends on the questions asked by your child’s doctor and findings of the
Neuropsychologist. Due to the length of the visit and limited space in our office, it is best if you do
not bring other children with you. If you are able, make other arrangements for your children.
Finding the Neuropsychology Clinic
The clinic is at the UW Hospital. Enter at the Clinics entrance. You will need to stop at Clinics
Registration. This is in the Main Lobby on the second (main) floor. From there, you go to the
Neurodiagnostics department. Neuropsychology is located here. Go through the H elevator lobby to
the J lobby. Check in with the Neurodiagnostics front desk staff once you arrive.
Before Your Child’s Visit
You will receive a packet of information. This will include a questionnaire and behavior checklists for
you to fill out. It will also include behavior checklists for your child’s teacher to fill out. It is
important that each of these forms be filled out completely. Be as accurate as you can be. Please
bring these forms to the appointment with you. There will be an envelope included for the teacher to
mail the forms back the Neuropsychology Clinic. If preferred, there is also the option for you to pick
up the forms from the teacher and bring them with you to the appointment as well.
The child should take regular medicines as he or she does each day. Bring these with you so the child
can take them at the normal times. Be sure to bring glasses, hearing aids, or any other assistive devices
the child uses. It is very important that the child sleeps well the night before testing and has a good
breakfast prior to the visit. If your child is sick, please call and we will re-schedule the test. Taking
these steps will help ensure that your child performs at his or her best.
You and your child will meet with the Neuropsychologist. During the interview, you will be asked
about your child’s medical problems, developmental history, education, and any problems he or she is
having. Please be sure to bring any paperwork that will help you answer these questions. For most of
the day, your child will work one-on-one with a tester. Testing is much like taking tests at school. The
child will answer questions, solve problems, and complete pencil and paper tasks. Parents are not
allowed to take part in or watch the testing.
You and your child will get a break for lunch. Other testing breaks are allowed as needed. The child is
allowed to have snacks and drinks during the testing session. You may bring snacks from home or buy
them in the cafeteria.
Once the testing is complete, the Neuropsychologist will study the results. Unlike the tests for school,
the child will not receive a “pass” or “fail” grade. Information gathered from these tests helps the
doctor come to know your child’s strengths and weaknesses. The results are compared with the results
of other children of a similar age. If the child has been tested before, those scores will be compared to
the new results. The Neuropsychologist will then meet with the parents for a feedback session to go
over the results 1-2 weeks later. Your child does not need to attend the feedback visit. The
Neuropsychologist then writes a report which will be sent to your doctor in 2 to 3 weeks.
Thank you for taking the time to complete and return the forms before your child’s visit. The
information provided will be used as we prepare for your child’s testing. We look forward to meeting
you and your child.
Alanna Kessler-Jones, Psy.D.
Katherine Shannon Bowen, Ph. D.
Neuropsychology Clinic J5/2 (6180)
UW Hospitals and Clinics
600 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53792
If you have any questions about your appointment or test results, please feel free to call us at
608-263-5430 or the toll-free number 1-800-323-8942.
Spanish Version of this Health Facts for You is #7413
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any
questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical
advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are
different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an
emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 10/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved.
Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6192