Who We Are:
Neuropsychological services at the Center for Autism Services, Science and Innovation (CASSI™, formerly known as the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, or CARD) primarily include evaluations that focus on understanding and addressing the social, emotional, behavioral and cognitive needs of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families.
Our neuropsychologists have received advanced training in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders, particularly those affecting children. All faculty and staff members are licensed by the Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychologists. Our team members are also active in Kennedy Krieger Institute’s training and research programs, providing supervision to psychology associates, doctoral students in psychology and postdoctoral psychology residents, in accordance with state regulations.
The Neuropsychology Service serves individuals from infancy through young adulthood. At Kennedy Krieger, we use a neuropsychological evaluation to understand each patient’s individual concerns. The results of the evaluation are used to identify strategies and interventions that allow individuals to realize their full potential.
Clinical neuropsychology focuses on typical and atypical brain functioning, including thinking and behavioral, social and emotional functioning, all of which are crucial to a child’s development. A neuropsychological evaluation is recommended when there is a question about a child’s cognition or behavior, particularly as it relates to brain development and functioning.
Using a combination of approaches and assessment methods, neuropsychologists attempt to understand not only a child’s level of functioning, but also any meaningful patterns of strengths and weaknesses in the child’s skills. This information is particularly useful in treatment planning, and neuropsychological evaluation is often recommended for newly diagnosed children and during times of developmental transition (e.g., late childhood, adolescence, late adolescence/early adulthood).
What Measures Are Used During Neuropsychological Evaluation?
When a child receives a neuropsychological evaluation at CASSI, the child participates in question-and- answer, paper- and-pencil and hands-on tasks with a neuropsychologist. The child’s performance is then compared to that of other children the same age. The neuropsychologist also carefully observes the child to understand how the child approaches tasks and behaves in structured situations. The neuropsychologist also usually gathers other information, including from behavior checklists and interviews with parents, and reviews available records.
How is a Neuropsychological Evaluation Beneficial?
Throughout this process, the neuropsychologist evaluates the child’s strengths and weaknesses to ensure a highly informed diagnosis, along with recommendations for the best possible instruction, intervention and treatment. Family members and other providers also receive a thorough understanding of the child’s learning style and needs.
Any appropriate diagnoses (including the presence or absence of ASD) will be discussed. With a better understanding of a child’s abilities, the neuropsychologist is able to recommend individualized treatment approaches based on needs at home, in school and in the community. This information is discussed with the child’s family and provided in a written report that can be shared with other providers at the family’s discretion.
The Center for Autism and Related Disorders offers training in neuropsychology at many levels, including the following:
- Externships for students in master's and doctoral programs in psychology.
- The Pediatric Neuropsychology Post-Doctoral Residency program is a participating member of APPCN. Training takes place under the supervision of the Director of Training, Beth Slomine, Ph.D., ABPP.
All Department of Neuropsychology psychologists are licensed by the Maryland Board of Examiners of Psychologists. All psychology associates work under the supervision of a licensed psychologist in accord with state regulations. Licensed professional counselors are licensed by the Maryland State Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists.