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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2011 June;63(3):239-45

language: English, Italian

Importance of a critical reading of neuropsychological testing

Chiappedi M. 1,2, Baschenis I. M. C. 2, Dolci R. 2, Bejor M. 1,2

1 University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy;
2 Rehabilitative Unit, Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation ONLUS, “Santa Maria alle Fonti” Medical Center, Salice Terme, Pavia, Italy


Neuropsychological testing has become an important part of the diagnostic tools available to assess children’s functioning. Tests are routinely use to establish diagnosis, measure patient’s impairment and drive rehabilitation. The authors present the clinical case of a eight-year-old girl, sent to our Child Neuropsychiatry and Rehabilitation Unit for a suspected Specific Learning Disorder. Peculiar findings regarding attention and reading ability became evident during the initial evaluation; a mistaken diagnosis of dyslexia was avoided by carefully examining her global functioning (in particular sight, as she suffered from hyperopia but more importantly she had an insufficient control of vertical saccadic movements) and the strategies she used during testing. This constitutes a good example of the need to take into consideration the patient as a whole during any assessment, including neuropsychological testing.

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