Some people are born with disabilities, while others become disabled because of traumatic accidents, medical conditions, or other life events. Neuropsychologists and neuroscientists have methods they use to check up on and diagnose people.
Along with medical reasons, there are legal reasons why someone might need an evaluation for a disability. Conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or head trauma can cause changes in the brain that make it dangerous to perform certain occupational tasks and could make it harder for people to go about daily tasks.
Deafness, blindness, physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities (whether congenital or acquired) are important to ascertain because they allow the person with these conditions to seek proper treatment. In some cases, a person who acquires a disability may be entitled to compensation.
Neuropsychologists are called up when other means can’t be used to diagnose a cognitive deficiency. Tests and diagnostic methods can vary, but generally, neuropsychologists look for issues such as:
- Memory loss
- Personality changes
- Fine motor skills
Neuropsychologists also consider your family and personal medical history when evaluating whether or not someone needs to be tested for a cognitive or other disability. People with no history of central nervous system infection, organic brain disorders (tumors, seizures), and cognitive decreases caused by medical treatments, medication, or hereditary health conditions may be eligible for an evaluation.
For the results to be valid, they must be administered by a licensed professional and conducted in a clinical setting. State and federal license restrictions apply, and are often done in-person after looking at the patient’s records and documentation.
Evaluations can find changes in cognitive function, inform clinical decisions, and comply with legal requirements that can aid the person affected.