Dr. Dana Chidekel logo



When I am evaluating a child or an adult, my goal goes beyond determining the label(s) for “diagnosis.” My goal is to help patients, parents, spouses, caregivers, educators, and treatment providers understand WHY a child, adult, or elder is struggling. Things that look like what someone “won’t” do may be something that he or she “can’t” do. Or not. In either case, to figure out the interventions and accommodations that will help (and those that won’t), it is critical to clarify what is giving rise to the problem(s) to begin with. A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation should do just that.

When findings of a child’s assessment are discussed, parents should feel, “I am understanding my child.” Adult patients who have been assessed should feel, “I am understanding myself.” Significant others and caregivers should have comparable insight. The report that is generated to describe the findings should be written in plain English, so anyone with whom it is shared will understand it as well. The more clearly those involved in a child’s, adult’s or elder’s life understand what is driving his or her difficulties, the more confident and empowered all will feel in moving forward to implement the treatments, accommodations or services that are indicated by the assessment.



  • Attentional Problems
  • Learning Challenges
  • Social Problems
  • Dementia and Other Neurodegenerative Disorders
  • Needs of the Gifted
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Problems with Memory and Organization
  • Testamentary or Contractual Capacity
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Age-Related Cognitive Decline
  • Anxiety/Depression/Bipolar Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • “Sensory Integration”
  • “Auditory Processing Disorder”


Our understanding of brain functioning has expanded in the last 25 years. It seems we’ve come a long way from categorizing people as “normal” versus “abnormal”, but vestiges of those attitudes remain. We can’t help it. Blame our brains.

Brains exist for one reason: to insure we survive. Our brains categorize things in the world to determine what may be a threat. Familiar and predictable? Good. Normal. Unknown and unpredictable? Bad. Abnormal. 

But our definitions of Normal and Abnormal evolve as we do. We learn more about things that initially register as odd or different. When what is novel becomes more understandable and familiar, it is less threatening. Our cultural references change. It wasn’t so long ago that we thought left-handed people were evil. 

We are increasingly coming to recognize and accept that people experience and interact with the world in many different ways. A neurodiverse view of the world recognizes that there is not one “right” way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and, most importantly, differences do not equate with deficits.


  • SAT
  • ACT
  • LSAT
  • MCAT
  • State Bar
  • Other standardized tests



  • Head Injury
  • Seizure
  • Metabolic Disorders
  • Mitochondrial Disorders
  • Genetic Disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Neurodegenerative Disorders

Listen to an audio recording of a presentation Dr. Chidekel gave in September 2016 as part of the Academic Success Coaching Summer Series.