Saturday, July 16, 2011

Neuropsychological screening results

On Monday we got the preliminary results of Kol's neuropsych screening. We will be getting a much more complete, written report in the next couple of weeks, broken down into specific areas, with percentiles and specific recommendations. Overall, especially considering what Kol's brain has been through, the results were very promising. However, we got a glimpse of what might have been. I find that I am again grieving the loss of "what would have been" had Kol not had the tumour.

I don't remember what the actual terminology was - but, basically, Kol has an uneven profile. An uneven profile is not uncommon among those with brain injuries. His weaknesses are what one would expect to see in someone who has suffered injury to the frontal areas of the brain. From what I understand, a typical profile would show relatively consistent results throughout the different sub-tests. There would still be some obvious pattern of strengths and weaknesses, but if one score was in the "average" or "at-risk" range, then generally the other scores would be in the same range. Kol scored in the superior range on at least one of the tests - the one that is sometimes used as a predictor of IQ (if for some reason a full IQ test is not administered) and at least one of his scores was in the at-risk range. Some were average. The best news is that none of the scores were low enough to show impaired functioning - which is amazing. The sad part is that without the tumour, surgery, radiation, and chemo there is a very good chance that Kol would have scored in the superior, or high average range in everything.

It takes about a year for the brain to heal from trauma, and there will be gains throughout the next few months as his brain heals and creates new circuits. We just don't know how big the gains will be, or in what areas. Kol will go back for a more thorough assessment sometime next spring, at least a year after his last chemo treatment.

We went into Kol's surgery knowing that it could result in brain damage. I knew then that it didn't matter, that we could deal with anything, as long as he survived. I have to admit that I am somewhat disappointed by the results of this screening. I had hoped (maybe irrationally?) that the tests would show that he didn't have any damage. I have always suspected that Kol was extra smart, and it's disheartening to have proof of that fact when it's gone. However, that said, it's wonderful that I can worry about how this will affect his future. It means he has one.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder something - about if personality in anyway predisposes a person to health or illness. It seems to me like children like my 4 year old and my 12 year old who are very sensitive, intuitive, and intelligent - tend to get sick more often, and more severe illnesses too. Kol comes off as being a very deep thinker who loves maybe more intensely than the average - I can't help but wonder if there are links like that - especially now that we are facing serious illness in my highly sensitive 4 year old and having had my 12 year old survive meningitis twice - who is also extremely sensitive. It seems that some of the other children that I know that have faced cancer also match this type of personality - who knows... just a thought :) carol