You child's behavioral issues are likely a reaction to the demands of the environment exceeding your child's skill level at meeting those demands. It is not enough to know that your child gets distracted, lies, yells, cries, kicks, etc. You want to know when, why, where, with whom, and under what circumstances. A neuropsychological evaluation can give you clues into the function of your child's behavior in order to best help your child.
Autism and Developmental Disabilities
If your child thinks concretely or literally, has poor eye contact, prefers to play by herself, does not speak as well as her peers, or misses social cues, she may have an autism spectrum disorder, language disorder, or other developmental disability. A specialized neuropsychological assessment will help clarify your child's diagnosis, skills weaknesses, and strengths in order to provide her with an appropriate intervention for her specific needs.
Whereas a school assessment can tell you that your child is struggling with reading, writing, or math, a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment can better tell you why. Understanding why your child has trouble learning is critical to providing him with appropriate interventions.
Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Does your child have trouble focusing but may or may not display hyperactivity or "behavior problems?" Do you find yourself asking your child repeatedly to do a task? Is your child struggling academically, even though you know they are intelligent? If so, your child may have ADHD. A neuropsychological evaluation will help identify why your child is having these difficulties and how to help.
For a better understanding of ADHD: http://www.cityneuropsych.com/blog/2015/9/25/adhd-is-not-a-disorder-of-attention
Assessment and Evaluation
Parents often ask me, "Should I have my child evaluated now or should I wait?" The answer I typically give is that assessment, at its core, is information. The more information you have about your child, the better you can understand and help her. Also, having more information now, especially at a young age, will allow you to track her progress and change course if necessary. If you are considering an assessment for your child, please feel free to call me with any questions.
If your child has or you suspect your child has developmental delays, academic difficulties, attention issues, social/emotional/behavioral problems, or a neurological disorder that affects his behavior, you should consider a neuropsychological evaluation. The purpose of an evaluation is to help identify strengths and weaknesses of your child's functioning. The goal of testing is to determine specific diagnoses that your child might have, as well as to determine and develop appropriate accommodations and interventions that would make his (and your) life easier.