Services for Children and Adolescents
(Ages 3 to 16 Years and 11 Months)
Early Developmental Conditions in Preschoolers
Neuropsychological evaluations are offered to preschoolers and are useful in diagnosing the presence of developmental delays in language, problems with attentional skills, behavioral/temperamental issues, and social skills deficits among other conditions. At this stage of development, the evaluation is primarily aimed at planning and referring the child to appropriate services within the community or the school system. In most cases, interventions at an early stage of development have a greater and sustained impact on the child's long-term development.
Children and adolescents are often referred for evaluating the presence of learning disabilities such as Dyslexia or Reading Disorder, Disorder of Written Expression; Mathematics Disorder, Nonverbal Learning Disability, or to identify other factors such as a Language Developmental Disorder that may be preventing them from reaching their highest academic potential. Dr. Cianciulli provides comprehensive evaluations with emphasis on several possible causes of learning difficulties and proposes intervention plans based on the specific cognitive profile and on the student's strengths. Dr. Cianciulli is often contacted by local school districts to provide independent evaluations.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
The evaluation focuses on identifying the specific cognitive pattern associated with ADHD - Inattentive or Hyperactive/Impulsive Type - with a particular emphasis on the assessment of multiple aspects of attention, executive functions - such as organization, planning, inhibition, and flexibility-and memory. The impact of these deficits on academic areas such as reading comprehension, mathematics or written composition is also evaluated. Recommendations are provided, including those related to pharmacological and alternative treatments. Efficacy of psychostimulant medication, which sometimes is difficult to evaluate, is monitored through a repeated administration of a continuous performance test.
Disorders in the area of Social Functioning
The evaluation of Autism Spectrum Disorder is comprehensive and includes assessment of social behavior as well as intellectual functioning. The evaluation involves the use of multiple standardized tests assessing social behavior such as the ADOS (Autism Diagnostic Observational Schedule). Delays in language, deficits in the area of executive skills and other cognitive and academic delays are also identified within the comprehensive neuropsychological battery. The evaluation is particularly useful in ruling out the presence of Autism , which is a rarely occurring condition, versus other neurodevelopmental conditions affecting social functioning.
Medical Conditions such as premature birth, exposure to substances prenatally, brain tumors, genetic conditions, seizures/epilepsy among others.
These medical conditions are frequently associated with and present a typical pattern of cognitive delays and academic challenges that differs in intensity. The neuropsychological evaluation for these patients may need to be repeated across their development to monitor their progress in reaching developmental milestones and age appropriate cognitive, emotional and adaptive functioning. Repeat evaluations is also useful in monitoring the appropriateness of quality and intensity of interventions.
Emotional Problems/Emergent Personality Issues and Mood Disorders
Although personality disorders are not formally diagnosed until eighteen years of age, temperamental traits and associated cognitive weaknesses emerge during earlier stages of development and can be identified and addressed through a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. Mood disorders, including Early Onset of Bipolar Disorder and associated cognitive deficits, are also evaluated and a treatment plan proposed. For adolescents, a thorough neuropsychological evaluation can rule out the impact of of a mood disorder such as depression on cognitive and academic functioning versus and the presence of an attention deficit disorder. The evaluation includes an in-depth assessment of their psychological functioning and can also assess the role of psychotic symptoms on cognitive functions. Referrals to local psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are provided.