American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology – Pediatric Subspecialty

The candidate will be able to demonstrate competency in the following Foundational and Functional Competency areas as defined below:

Functional Competencies.

Assessment. Clinical neuropsychological assessment of infants, children, and adolescents serves as a foundation of pediatric clinical neuropsychology practice, and is evaluated throughout the ABCN subspecialty examination process. Candidates for the pediatric subspecialty should be well versed in the application of appropriate evaluative methods for diverse pediatric patient populations and problems in a variety of contexts. They should be knowledgeable about test construction, standardization, validation, or related psychometric issues as applied to pediatric assessment. Assessment practices, profile interpretation, and use of assessment results are evaluated in the examination process. As well, the candidate is evaluated on the ability to understand and appropriately address individual and cultural diversity factors, ethical issues, and legal issues as they relate to assessment choices, interpretation of results, and outcome evaluation.

Consultation. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to communicate and apply knowledge in consultation with others such as health care professionals from other disciplines, educators, social service agencies, legal systems, public policy makers, and individuals in other institutions and settings. In addition, pediatric clinical neuropsychologists collaborate with the above professionals and advocate on behalf of the patient with respect for developmental stage and level of neuropsychological functioning. They also collaborate with other investigators in clinical research and may have a role in other non-evaluative settings as policy consultants.

Intervention. Candidates must demonstrate knowledge of potential treatments and interventions to address the cognitive and behavioral problems identified in pediatric neuropsychological assessment. Knowledge of evidencebased intervention methods appropriate to address deficits in cognition, attention, learning and memory, problem solving, sensory motor processing, and psychological disorders is expected. In some forms of professional practice, assessment and intervention are integral parts of the same process. In other clinical circumstances, specific recommendations for managing the problem are made through referrals to other appropriate professionals. Candidates should be able to demonstrate informed decision-making regarding choice of therapeutic or environmental interventions to address cognitive, behavioral, or psychosocial deficits.

Foundational Competencies

Scientific Knowledge & Methods. Candidates must be knowledgeable about the scientific basis of pediatric neuropsychological practice as defined by the core knowledge base domains described in the Houston Conference guidelines for education and training in neuropsychology. These include research methodology in pediatric populations, neurodevelopment, childhood psychopathology, functional neuroanatomy, pediatric clinical syndromes, and specialized neuropsychological assessment techniques. The pediatric subspecialist must also be knowledgeable about normal and abnormal brain development within the broader context of childhood development from prenatal stages through young adulthood. Included are influences related to developmental psychology, family systems, childhood psychopathology, genetic 4 influences, and common childhood disorders and syndromes.

Evidenced Based Practice. The pediatric clinical neuropsychologist must be knowledgeable about the recent literature on normal and abnormal brain development and function, assessment methods, and intervention strategies for the pediatric population and must be able to apply this knowledge according to evidence-based practice concepts.

Individual and Cultural Diversity. Awareness of all aspects of individual and cultural diversity and how these issues inform assessment, consultation, intervention, and scientific knowledge must be demonstrated as it applies to the pediatric population. The pediatric subspecialist must recognize the impact of cultural, linguistic, socioenvironmental, and other areas of diversity in childhood and adolescence as they pertain to cognitive development and brain function/dysfunction. The candidate must also be aware of his/her own individual and cultural characteristics as they influence functioning across competency domains and interpersonal interactions.

Ethical Legal Standards and Policy. A successful subspecialty candidate is aware of:
(1) current APA/CPA ethical principles and practice standards;
(2) current statutory and regulatory provisions applicable to pediatric practice; and
(3) implications of these principles as they relate to children and their families.

Professionalism. A pediatric subspecialist must understand his or her role in different contexts and systems relevant to children and families. He or she must remain current in knowledge and skills of brain-behavior assessment in children and adolescents and engage in ongoing analysis of their skill set and knowledge base. They should strive to continuously improve their practice and be an effective advocate for their patients, their families, and the profession. They must recognize the limits of their own competence and seek consultation and/or additional training as warranted to meet the needs of their patients. Demonstration of lifelong learning and maintenance of competence is expected.

Interdisciplinary Systems. Pediatric candidates must demonstrate knowledge of key issues and concepts in related pediatric disciplines (e.g., neurology, psychiatry, neuroradiology, rehabilitation, education) and the ability to communicate and interact knowledgeably with professionals across these disciplines. Candidates should be able to articulate the roles of other professionals with regard to patient care, integrate the perspectives of related pediatric disciplines into their case conceptualizations, display the ability to work as a member of interdisciplinary teams, and collaborate with other pediatric professionals to contribute neuropsychological information to overall team diagnostic formulation, planning, and intervention.