Dirksen Center for Neurobehavioral Health


What is a neuropsychological evaluation? (top)

A neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of your child's cognitive abilities, or how well a child's brain is processing information. We assess all domains of cognitive function including very broad areas such as intellectual abilities and academic achievement. We also assess more specific cognitive abilities such as verbal processing, nonverbal (or visual) processing, executive function (e.g., organization, behavioral regulation, planning, foresight, response inhibition, problem-solving, reasoning, sequencing, etc.), memory and different types of memory, attention and different types of attention, behavioral function and social-emotional function.

Will my insurance pay for the assessment? (top)

In many cases, your insurance will cover all or part of the assessment, but coverage varies by plan and by insurance company.

How do I know if my insurance company will pay for the testing? (top)

We will be happy to contact your insurance company to determine your coverage for a neuropsychological assessment. You many click here to submit information we need to verify your benefits, call our billing and insurance office (HMS Midwest) at 219-926-8320, or call the Dirksen Center at 847-357-9158.

How do I schedule an appointment? (top)

Call the Dirksen Center at 847-357-9158.

Will my child have to miss school? (top)

Your child will probably need to miss 1 or 2 days of school in order to complete the assessment. We do not currently conduct assessments on Saturdays or in the evenings due to time constraints. Whenever possible, we are glad to schedule all or part of the assessment on a day that your child does not have school (e.g., institute day, school holiday).

Will I receive paperwork to complete before the appointment? (top)

Yes. After you schedule an appointment, you will receive a packet of forms and information from the Dirksen Center. This packet includes demographic forms, a consent to treat and bill your insurance company (if applicable), and an extensive pediatric history form. Parents are asked to complete as much as possible and then bring the information to the first appointment. Dr. Dirksen will review the material with you at that time.

What should I bring with me to the assessment? (top)

You should bring a drink and light snack for you and your child. We'll take breaks to allow your child to rest for a bit, and they often appreciate a quick drink and a bite to eat. You should also bring anything that you would like to do during the time your child is in testing. The Dirksen Center has Wi-Fi available.

How should I prepare my child for the assessment? (top)

The most important things are that your child is well-rested and has had a good breakfast or lunch. You cannot "study" for a neuropsychological assessment. In fact, we know that there will be some things that your child will not know how to do, and that's OK. We're interested in figuring out your child's strengths and weaknesses so that we can offer insight and assistance in addressing the questions that brought you to the Dirksen Center. The only thing a child needs to do is be prepared to give their very best effort - even on things they think are really hard or kind of boring!

What should I tell my child about the assessment? (top)

Most children are just relieved to know that there won't be any shots! Many parents like to tell their child a little about what they'll be doing. Explain to them that they'll be working with someone one-on-one and will be doing a lot of different things like answering questions, drawing, putting together puzzles, listening, and playing games. It doesn't matter if they get answers right or wrong; it only matters that they always try their best. We are interested in seeing how your child does things, not necessarily if they get the correct answer.

What is the process of the assessment? How does it work? (top)

The assessment is scheduled over 2-3 appointments. Testing is broken up over 2 days. You and your child will come in for the first appointment, and Dr. Dirksen will meet with you to review the paperwork, obtain a thorough history, and hear more about your concerns. Testing will also begin on the first day, and in most cases, testing is completed on the second day. However, some children require more time, and in those cases, a third (usually shorter) appointment is scheduled to complete the test administration.

After testing is completed, a feedback appointment is scheduled for about 3-4 weeks later. Your child does not need to come to the feedback appointment. The feedback appointment is a discussion between Dr. Dirksen and parents about what the results of the testing mean, and if there is a diagnosis, what that diagnosis means. It's also an opportunity for parents to ask any questions they might have or address any concerns. At the feedback, Dr. Dirksen will review the results of the assessment, talk with you about what the results mean, and discuss recommendations for home/school/ other treatment. The feedback appointment takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and a full report will follow.

Will I have a chance to talk privately with Dr. Dirksen? (top)

Yes; you will meet with Dr. Dirksen privately on the first day of testing. You can also feel free to call the Dirksen Center and leave a message for Dr. Dirksen to return your call.

Will Dr. Dirksen send the results to my child's school? (top)

If the child's parents or legal guardian request that results be sent directly from the Dirksen Center to the school, a "release of information" is signed, and we will gladly forward the results on. PLEASE NOTE: It is the policy of the Dirksen Center that no results be released before they are reviewed with the parents/guardians.

Do I have to stay while testing is underway? (top)

Yes. We require that a parent/guardian be present for the duration of testing. Exceptions are sometimes made for older adolescents (e.g., over 16).

How will I get the results? (top)

You will review the results of the assessment at your feedback appointment, and a full report will follow.

What will the Neuropsychological Report tell me? (top)

The neuropsychological report will summarize your child's history, the reason for the assessment, the results of the assessment, your child's strengths and weaknesses and recommendations for home, school and other care providers.


855 E. Golf Road, Suite 2139, Arlington Heights, IL 60005 • (847) 357-9158
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