Trainees will work in an acute inpatient setting (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) and become proficient in conducting consultation neurocognitive evaluations of children recovering from severe brain injury. Consults typically involve chart review, bedside neurocognitive status exams, interview of parents for information on the child’s pre-injury functioning and the family’s current coping/service needs, and writing consult reports that make recommendations for rehabilitation. Given the nature of this inpatient work, trainees will be expected to follow patients across days, rather than simply attending clinic one day each week, allowing for the unique opportunity to observe the varied outcomes and recovery course of children who have sustained a serious brain injury. This rotation also providing education and emotional support to patients and family members – such contacts are logged as therapy hours. Trainees may also attend “Trauma Rounds” and interact with multidisciplinary team members. This advanced practicum is offered for 1-2 credits.
Trainees will conduct outpatient neuropsychological assessments of children ages 2 to 19 who have been diagnosed with a brain tumor or cancer. Trainees will learn about the neurocognitive effects of these conditions, as well as the detrimental cognitive effects often associated with the necessary treatments (brain surgery, radiation, chemotherapy). Opportunities to follow individual cases from pre- to post- treatment are available, particularly if the trainee chooses to enroll for 2 semesters of this rotation at 1 credit each semester. Trainees will also have opportunities to observe in the Hem/Onc Clinic when children are undergoing assessment by the Neuro-oncologist. Finally, given the nature of this population, there is also often opportunities to provide psychoeducation and/or supportive psychotherapy to the child or their family (such activities are logged as therapy contact hours). This advanced practicum is offered for 1-2 credits.
Trainees will work as part of a multidisciplinary program designed to assess and remediate academic-based problems. Children and adolescents seen through this program are initially enrolled through the department of Pediatric Neurology, where the director of the School Problems Clinic (Dr. Slinger – developmental pediatrician) conducts an initial evaluation of the child. Trainees will have the opportunity to attend this initial evaluation and work closely with Dr. Slinger in determining the neuropsychological assessment needs of the individual case. The trainee will then conduct a psychoeducational/neuropsychological assessment of the child on Dr. Heaton’s Thursday Clinic. Trainees are responsible for preparing the evaluation report and communicating those results back to Dr. Slinger and participating in a feedback session with the child’s parent(s). Opportunities to attend subsequent Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings at the child’s school are also offered during this specialty practicum. Although some of the children seen in this program have neurological conditions, most do not have an identified source for their academic struggles but are coming through the program to determine if there is a learning disability, cognitive problem, or emotional/behavioral reason for their academic difficulties. Other clinics involved in this multidisciplinary program include the Speech and Hearing Center at Shands Hospital and the Dyslexia Clinic on the UF Campus. Many of the children evaluated through this program are offered treatment through the MDTP program also directed by Dr. Slinger. This advanced practicum is offered for 1-2 credits.