MORRISTOWN, NJ – At Neuropsychology Associates of New Jersey, it’s all about the brain.
To be specific, Drs. Joel Morgan and Lisa Hahn are neuropsychologists. Neuropsychologists are experts in the relationship between the brain and behavior. The duo specialize in neuropsychological evaluations that are used to diagnose a variety of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including learning disorders, developmental disabilities, memory or other cognitive problems, as well as emotional disorders such as Bipolar disorder, Major Depressive disorder or anxiety disorders.
“If your child is having a problem in school, if Mom has had a stroke and hasn’t bounced back like the doctor said she would, if you suffered a head injury in an accident and now are having trouble with your memory… those are some of the reasons people come to us,” Morgan explained. “We don’t do therapy – we do diagnostics.”
“We try to help others understand how the brain is functioning with respect to their or their child’s cognitive strengths and areas of challenges. If there is a psychological diagnosis, then we can provide a comprehensive overview of the individual’s level of functioning and make specific recommendations to assist the person in their daily life,” Hahn added.
When a patient visits Neuropsychology Associates of New Jersey, Morgan and Hahn review all records and interview the parents or the adult to get a full picture including gathering information about medical, psychological and family history. If the evaluation is pediatric focused then the parents are also questioned about how the child is doing in school, and what he is like in social situations.
Then, depending on the age of the child, Morgan and Hahn will meet with him or her and, using age- appropriate language, interview the child and have him complete questionnaires about his emotions/feelings. Over the course of the 5-6 hour assessment, Morgan and Hahn examine the child with neuropsychological tests. The evaluation consists of a comprehensive assessment of the child’s cognitive functions, academic achievement, and emotional/personality/behavioral functioning.
Following the completion of the examination, the doctors provide preliminary feedback to the parents/adult, if appropriate, and later send a full diagnostic interpretation of their findings in a report format that details the test scores, interpretation, diagnoses and specific recommendations. Once the family has had time to read the report, there is a follow-up appointment, a feedback session offered in their office in which Morgan and Hahn answer questions to help the parents and individuals fully understand the meaning of the test results and how to best proceed based on the recommendations. In some cases, for example if the patient is diagnosed with Dementia, then suggestions for long-term care and support are provided. There are times when evaluations for guardianship are also needed both for teens as they turn 18 or in adults when their family members are concerned about their ability to manage their finances or make appropriate medical decisions. School-aged children are retested every three years based on IDEA, Individuals with Disability Education Act, to monitor their progress.
Individuals diagnosed with Dementia may be tested more often to monitor for cognitive decline.
Morgan and Hahn are also often called on to assist with cases that are forensic in nature.
“We see people who are some kind of legal trouble and need a neuropsychological evaluation,” Morgan explained. “It might be a criminal case – a legal team trying to prove an insanity defense, for example. Or if there’s a legal problem with a school-aged child, the case turns into due process, and that becomes a legal or forensic case.”
"Legal cases may also be civil in nature, such as medical malpractice suits, where the plaintiff needs to be assessed as part of their case or for the defense,” Hahn added.
Morgan, as a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, is one of the only board-certified pediatric neuropsychologists in the state of New Jersey. He has evaluated thousands of children and adults in his almost 30 years of experience and is a nationally recognized expert.
Hahn has been with NPANJ for five years and working as a neuropsychologist for 7 years. She is close to completing her board certification. She also has experience in evaluating children, adolescents, adults and geriatric patients both in a clinical context and forensically.
For more information on Neuropsychology Associates of New Jersey, call 973-267-5646 or visit www.npanj.com. After recently moving from Madison, their office is located at 250 Madison Avenue in Morristown.
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