HF 6192

Pediatric Neuropsychological Testing

Your child’s doctor wants your child to have neuropsychological testing. This handout explains what it is and what you can expect. This test will give the doctor useful information about your child’s strengths and any problems your child may have. Your child’s thinking skills will be tested, such as: 

  • Problem-solving

  • Memory

  • Speed of thought

  • Attention

  • Language

  • Academic skills

  • Mood and behavior 

What to Do

To schedule a visit, your child’s doctor will need to send a referral and clinic notes to the Neuropsychological Department. This referral will be reviewed to see if testing is right for your child. Some insurance plans do not cover this testing or require a prior-authorization. Our staff will contact you to schedule the test. They will inform you if you need to check coverage with your insurance. 

The staff member who schedules your child will discuss the details of the visit with you. A parent or guardian must come with your child and remain on-site for testing. Visit lengths can vary and will be discussed with you when scheduled. A full-day visit can last 6 hours, or a normal school day. The testing day may be shorter for some children. The length of the visit depends on the questions asked by your child’s doctor and test results. Due to the length of the visit and limited space in the office, it is best if you do not bring other children with you. Please make other plans for your children if you can.

Finding the Neuropsychology Clinic

The clinic is located at UW Hospital on 600 Highland Ave. Enter at the Clinics entrance. You will need to stop at Registration. This is in the main lobby on the second (main) floor. From there, you go to the Neurodiagnostics Clinic. Neuropsychology is located here. Go through the H elevator lobby to the J lobby. Check in with the front desk staff once you arrive.

Before Your Child’s Visit

You will receive a packet of information. This will include forms and questions you need to fill out and may include behavior checklists for your child’s teacher. Each of these forms needs to be filled out completely. Be as accurate as you can be. Please bring these forms with you to the visit. There will be an envelope included for the teacher to mail the forms back to our clinic. You may also pick up the forms from the teacher and bring them with you to the visit.

Your child should take regular medicines as he or she does each day. Bring these with you so your child can take them at the normal times. Be sure to bring glasses, hearing aids, or any other devices your child uses. Your child needs to sleep well the night before testing and have a good breakfast. If your child is sick, please call and we will re-schedule the test. Taking these steps will help make sure that your child performs at his or her best.

The Test

You and your child will meet with the Neuropsychologist. During the interview, you will be asked about your child’s medical concerns, developmental history, education, and any struggles he or she is having. Please be sure to bring any paperwork that will help you answer these questions.  

For testing, your child will work one-on-one with a tester. Testing is much like taking tests at school. The child will answer questions, solve problems, and complete pencil and paper tasks. Parents are not allowed to take part in or watch the testing.  

You and your child will get a break for lunch. Other testing breaks are allowed as needed. Your child can have snacks and drinks during these breaks. You may bring snacks from home or buy them in the cafeteria.


Once the testing is done, the Neuropsychologist will review the results. Unlike the tests for school, there is no “pass” or “fail” grade. Results gathered from these tests helps the doctor know your child’s strengths and any problems. The results are compared with the results of other children of a similar age. If your child has been tested before, those scores will be compared to the new results. The Neuropsychologist will then go over the results with you 1-2 weeks later. You and your doctor will receive a report in 2-3 weeks.

Thank you for taking the time to complete and return the forms before your child’s visit. We will use these forms as we prepare for your child’s testing. We look forward to meeting you and your child.  

Alanna Kessler-Jones, Psy.D.

Paige Mission, Ph. D. 

Neuropsychology Clinic J5/2 (6180)

UW Hospitals and Clinics

600 Highland Ave

Madison, WI 53792

If you have any questions about your visit or test results, please feel free to call us at 

608-263-5430 or the toll-free number 1-800-323-8942.