The neuropsychological evaluation with the older adolescent begins to address other areas of increasing concern. Issues related to advanced education and career choice become prominent as the adolescent is progressing through high school. This is especially of concern with the child, who has at times struggled academically, with a sense of inconsistency in their performance.
This often times raises questions as to the sense of readiness and ability to pursue college or other forms of advanced training. With this presentation, a thorough understanding of the strengths and limitations that the individual presents with is often times not only needed but of benefit in making realistic plans for further academic, training and career choices.
Ideally, future academic and vocational planning should be taking place at an earlier stage of the young adolescent’s development, often this is not addressed until the adolescent has entered 11th or 12th grade and sometimes not until after graduation. This is often a time of increased anxiety and tension for the adolescent and family.
Past strengths/weaknesses, successes/failures, interests and personality factors all contribute to the concerns experienced when trying to assist the adolescent and family at this developmental stage. Combining the results from the neuropsychological evaluation with vocational interest measures supports a realistic understanding of the overall abilities and career interests for the older adolescent.
With the older adolescent, similar basic areas of concern from the neuropsychological evaluation are assessed:
- General Intellectual Processing of Verbal and Nonverbal Information
- Achievement Skills
- The Ability to Attend and Concentrate
- Executive Skills Associated with Problem Solving, Planning and Organizing One’s Responses to Situational Demands
- Learning and Memory Skills (Auditory and Visual)
- Expressive and Receptive Speech and Language Skills
- Visual Perceptual/Spatial and Visual Motor Skills
- Sensory Perception Skills
- Motor Coordination Skills
- Behavioral/Emotional and Social Skills
- Vocational Interests
These areas are addressed in an effort to identify patterns of strengths and abilities as well as areas of limitation or weakness. The information obtained from the neuropsychological evaluation helps to answer questions and concerns that the individual and family may have concerning college choices and potential areas for vocational pursuit.
The information obtained from the neuropsychological evaluation helps to further identify accommodations that the individual may require in pursuing advance college training. Alternative educational and training programs are also explored as needed, in relation to the strengths and abilities that the individual possesses, along with the vocational interests that are identified.
A realistic perspective of the individual’s abilities and interests is needed in tailoring the educational and career path that we hope to be satisfying and rewarding for our older adolescents. Effectively integrating the career goals, vocational interests, neurocognitive abilities and personality factors of the individual plays a significant role hopefully enabling the adolescent to then experiencing a sense of satisfaction, success and fulfillment when pursing future goals.