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Success starts with an accurate understanding of the problem.

Many factors can contribute to memory loss and cognitive difficulties. A comprehensive evaluation can provide a thorough and detailed picture of how and why someone is experiencing the difficulties and concerns that present themselves day in and day out.

 

Our goal is to accurately identify your present neuropsychological functioning so that a successful treatment plan can be developed. It is absolutely essential though, to go through a standardized process in which we can objectively find a solution.

 

Not only is clinical intervention possible, countless research across the globe is demonstrating startling success of intervention. The results all point to happier and improved lives.

 

…and it all starts with an evaluation.

 

A Comprehensive Assessment is not only based on subjective observations, but it also provides an evaluation of deficits based on objective data. This way, potential sources of error are identified so that goals and strategies can be sought out as part of a solution. Due to the complex nature of cognitive function, personalized evaluation is essential in addressing each individual case. An evaluation is dependant on the particular issues, presenting problems, and assessment goals. However, there are some key components to a thorough evaluation.

 

Clinical InterviewTime will be spent talking with the patient, family members, and colleagues. The interview is crucial in learning about your cognitive abilities, your family and the environments in which you interact. Current concerns, history of those concerns, psychosocial functioning, developmental history, family history, academic history, medical history and psychiatric history will all be explored and discussed.
 
Rating Scales are checklists that help to objectify observations of behavior, cognitive ability and emotional/psychological functioning across a variety of settings. Rating scales are an important assessment of the patient’ s adaptive functioning with input from family and/or colleagues.
 
As part of the information gathering steps of the evaluation, it is important to provide your treating professional relevant records including (but not limited to) medical records and results of any previous psychological evaluation or testing. Medical conditions and medications, only by themselves can cause cognitive impairment. Therefore, medical information is essential for sound neuropsychological analysis. This will help us pinpoint the underlying source of the problem by incorporating medical congruencies or disregarding ‘ background noise’ from secondary sources.
 
Neuropsychological and Psychological Testing can provide important objective information regarding how you process information. Testing provides information regarding intelligence, learning style, cognitive strengths and weaknesses, and behavioral and emotional functioning. Neuropsychological testing is crucially important in ruling out potential coexisting psychiatric or medical conditions and gaining a thorough understanding of current cognitive abilities.
 

Click here to read "Is a Comprehensive Evaluation Important?" to learn why comprehensive evaluations are critical in determining an accurate diagnosis.

Can you or your loved one benefit from speech therapy?

A speech therapist’s (or speech language pathologist’s) role is to provide treatment to help increase a person’s communication ability in writing, reading, speaking and listening. Communication function is always affected when an individual has memory and other cognitive deficits, such as Dementia. Our speech therapist will create an individualized plan of care for each patient that strengthens the knowledge and memory processes that have the potential to improve and reduce demands on impaired cognitive systems. A critical part of treatment is also caregiver training and family counseling in order to promote positive communicative interactions and increase success with daily living activities (such as meals, getting dressed, social outings, etc).

Signs that you may benefit from speech therapy:

  • Difficulty choosing appropriate words, mislabeling common objects and forgetting names.
  • Difficulty recalling current events and/or personal history.
  • Responses in conversations are delayed or inappropriate.
  • Difficulty with concepts of time or money.
  • Difficulty following directions, both verbal and written.
  • Difficulty following sequences for basic daily activities (such as doing laundry or making a sandwich).
  • Limited social behaviors or avoidance of social situations.
  • Difficulty paying attention.

At Neuropsychology and Counseling Associates we offer a wide range of services for older adults and their families. Individual, group and family counseling are offered to assist with age related issues. Cognitive and dementia screening, neurocognitive and behavioral rehabilitation, help to determine if changes are needed or whether a new level of care be considered by the older adult and their family's. Neuropsychology and Counseling Associates offers psychological education and consultation for stress management, retirement, and grief and loss counseling. Click here for additional information regarding dementia screening and its value. Please give our office a call at 732-840-5266 for further information or to schedule a consultation.