Neuropsychology primarily serves patients on the inpatient Neuroscience Floor and outpatient clinics within the Neuroscience Institute at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. We evaluate patients with cognitive changes associated with medical conditions (epilepsy, brain tumor, childhood cancers, sickle cell disease, HIV/AIDS) or medical treatments (brain surgery, shunt replacement, radiation, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplantation, certain medicines), brain injury, stroke, developmental disabilities (autism spectrum disorders, mental retardation), and neuromuscular disorders (spina bifida, multiple sclerosis). Results and recommendations of the neuropsychology evaluation are shared with the medical team, patients, families, and school.
The Neuroscience Institute includes a Level IV Comprehensive Epilepsy Center with a 10-bed Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, 14-bed Neurology/Neurosurgery Unit, and high volume Outpatient Neurology Clinics. Our Pediatric Brain Tumor Program, in partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, is world renowned; neurosurgical care and related services are provided at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. We also evaluate patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Brain Tumors, Multiple Sclerosis, Neuromuscular Disorders, Stroke, and other Neurological Conditions.
How to Prepare for a Neuropsychology Evaluation
You may want to discuss with the child that a neuropsychology evaluation has been recommended to help them be more successful at school and home. Results will help determine the effect that his or her illness, injury, or treatment may have on their school performance, behavior, and social life. On the day of the evaluation, the child should be well rested and eat a good breakfast. Medication should be taken as usual. Bring copies of all school records to the appointment, including any prior neuropsychological or psychoeducational testing, state test scores, report cards, and Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). If the child requires glasses or hearing aids, please make sure they wear them. The parent should be prepared to stay on-site while the child is being evaluated. Following the evaluation, feedback about the child’s performance and recommendations will be discussed. A written report will be sent to the legal guardian and referring physician.
What is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist?
A pediatric neuropsychologist is a licensed mental health professional with broad knowledge of brain-behavior relationships and extensive training working with children diagnosed with complex neurological and medical disorders. Pediatric neuropsychologists have a doctoral degree in psychology with coursework in assessment, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, child development, neuropathology, and psychopathology. Two years of postdoctoral training are required. Certified Psychological Assistants have a graduate degree in psychology and expertise in assessment. They work closely with the Neuropsychologist to evaluate the child.
What is a Neuropsychological Evaluation?
A neuropsychological evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of thinking and behavior using standardized procedures. Abilities measured may include: intelligence (IQ), attention, executive functions (ability to plan, organize, and solve problems), learning and memory, language, visual-spatial, motor, academic achievement, behavior, personality, mood, and social skills.
A neuropsychological evaluation may contain some of the same tests as a school psychoeducational evaluation but assesses a broader range of skills and interprets findings in relation to brain processes and underlying neural networks. A neuropsychological evaluation involves an interview followed by a variety of tasks, including paper-and-pencil and computer-based measures of cognition and behavior. Testing typically lasts 2-6 hours but varies depending on the information being sought.
When is a Neuropsychology Evaluation Needed?
A neuropsychology evaluation is recommended when brain-based impairment in thinking or behavior is a concern. Results may confirm or clarify a diagnosis, identify changes in functioning since the prior evaluation(s), provide a profile of strengths and weakness to guide instruction, describe beneficial compensatory strategies, and result in referrals to other specialists. A neuropsychological evaluation is particularly useful for tracking progress in rehabilitation after brain surgery, brain injury, or other neurological disorder.
The purpose of testing is to elucidate underlying reasons for the presenting problem, allows for objective comparison of the student’s performance to age- and grade-level expectations, and make recommendations for educational and treatment planning. For example, a reading problem may be due to difficulties with phonological processing, inattention, inefficient memory, limited comprehension, or poor scanning of the print on the page. Results provide a more informed understanding of the student’s abilities to set reasonable expectations and improve self-image.
Who are the Neuropsychology Providers at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital?
Amanda Adamson, PhD is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist. Dr. Adamson completed a pediatric neuropsychology fellowship at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Her internship training was completed at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, in Providence, RI and she earned her doctorate degree at The University of Mississippi.
Christen M. Holder, PhD is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist. Dr. Holder completed a pediatric neuropsychology fellowship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (Arkansas Children’s Hospital). Her internship training was completed at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and she earned both her doctorate and undergraduate degree at the University of Texas at Austin.
Brian S. Potter, PsyD, ABPP-CN is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Potter is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist on the medical staff at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital as well as holds an academic appointment of affiliate Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Prior to joining Le Bonheur/UTHSC, Dr. Potter held clinical/academic positions at Nationwide Children’s Hospital/The Ohio State University and the Medical College of Wisconsin where he conducted clinical neuropsychological evaluations, engaged in research, and provided clinical supervision for trainees at all levels. Dr. Potter completed an internship in Pediatric & Neuropsychology at Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital in Baltimore, MD and then completed an APPCN approved two year fellowship in Pediatric Neuropsychology at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, TX. Dr. Potter has research and clinical interests with a range of medical populations including childhood cancer, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, genetic disorders, and other medical disorder impacting the brain.
Nicole Shay, PhD is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist. Dr. Shay completed a pediatric neuropsychology fellowship at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. Her internship training was completed at the Henry Ford Health System Detroit, Michigan and she earned her doctorate degree at The University of Iowa.
Leigh E. Adams, EdS is a Certified Psychological Assistant. She holds a master’s degree in School Psychology and Educational Specialist
Olivia King DeBerry , EdS is a Certified Psychological Assistant. She earned her master’s degree in School Psychology and Educational Specialist advanced degree at the University of Memphis.
April M. Huling, MS, CPA is a Certified Psychological Assistant. She earned her master’s degree in M.S. Community Agency and Mental Health Counseling
For more information on Neuropsychology or to make a referral, please call (901) 287-6325.
Department of Pediatrics
UTHSC College of Medicine
The Neuroscience Institute
Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
51 N. Dunlap Street P320
Memphis, TN 38105
TiJa Mitchell, BSHA, MBA Administrative Specialist
Department of Neuropsychology
Lebonheur Children’s Hospital