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Journal of Child & Adolescent Trauma

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 163–178 | Cite as

Neuropsychological Assessment in Clinical Evaluation of Children and Adolescents with Complex Trauma

Assessment

Abstract

Complex trauma (i.e., exposure to chronic, interpersonal trauma in childhood) has been associated with structural and functional alterations in brain development, which in turn can result in cognitive and neuropsychological deficits. The goal of combining neuropsychological assessment with standard trauma specialty evaluation is to gain a comprehensive understanding of each child’s unique set of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and associated behavioral manifestations within a trauma-informed framework. This process can be a vital aide in diagnosing, conceptualizing, and designing effective interventions for traumatized youth and avoiding the common misdiagnoses that lead to ineffective treatment. This paper presents a trauma-informed approach to neuropsychological assessment, using two case studies to illustrate the process of integrating neuropsychological testing with trauma specialty evaluation.

Keywords

trauma neuropsychological assessment children adolescents 

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Copyright information

© The Haworth Press 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trauma CenterJustice Resource InstituteBrooklineUSA

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