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What Is a Pediatric Neuropsychologist and How to Become One

What Does a Pediatric Neuropsychologist Do?

As a pediatric neuropsychologist, you work to assess a child and help determine whether or not they have a neurodevelopmental disorder or another condition that affects the function of their brain. This is a highly specialized field of psychology that focuses on diagnosing conditions, but not on prescribing medications to children. Many pediatric neuropsychologists work alongside schools to help evaluate students and determine whether or not they need academic assistance while others work independently and have little or no direct interaction with schools. Many pediatric neuropsychologists work extended hours and evaluations can take as long as 12 hours, so you may only see one or two patients each day.

How to Become a Pediatric Neuropsychologist

The qualifications to become a pediatric neuropsychologist include a doctorate in a relevant field and additional specialized training in pediatric services. All states require licensing, which typically entails getting your degree, obtaining supervised experience, and passing an exam. Most pediatric neuropsychologists have a degree in regular or clinical neuropsychology, or in psychology with a focus on neuropsychology. When choosing an educational program, keep in mind that a Ph.D. is usually research-oriented while a Psy.D. is practice-oriented. Fulfilling the responsibilities and duties of this job requires research and interpersonal skills, the ability to work with children, and the ability to remain focused on tasks for extended periods.