Neuropsychological Evaluation/Recovery Concussion Testing
Baseline Concussion Testing
Performance Enhancement & Recovery Coaching
Sports Concussion &
School Consultation
Community
Outreach
Mobile CNS
Neuropsychological Evaluation/Recovery Concussion Testing

Neuropsychological Evaluation/Recovery Concussion Testing

At CNS, you will gain a better understanding of your student-athlete’s functional strengths and weaknesses in many neurocognitive areas:

  • Learning
  • Problem solving
  • Memory
  • Responding to feedback
  • Language
  • Mental flexibility
  • Attention
  • Processing speed
  • Organization
  • Visual-spatial perception
  • Overriding habits
  • Motor coordination
  • Sequencing
  • Socialization

A neuropsychological evaluation can also help detect the effects of neurodevelopment, neurological, and other medical problems on neurocognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning to inform a diagnosis:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Learning Disorder
  • Language Disorder
  • Depression/Mood Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Other Neurocognitive, Emotional, & Behavioral Disorders

Whereas CT and MRI scans are useful in assessing physical changes in brain structure, neuropsychological testing provides information regarding how the brain functions. This is particularly useful in conditions where brain structure may be normal, as in mild head injuries or concussions. Neuropsychological testing can be very sensitive to mild functioning problems that might not be detectable in other ways. When problems are mild, neuropsychological testing may be the only way to detect them. Changes in brain functioning are evaluated through a detailed assessment of neurocognitive abilities. The neuropsychological evaluation typically involves a clinical interview, standardized testing, computer tests, and behavior rating forms, which are completed by parents and teachers. Observing your student-athlete to understand their motivation, cooperation, and behavior is also a very important part of the evaluation process. The results of concussion recovery testing are used to determine injury severity, monitor recovery, provide a diagnosis, if needed, and develop targeted treatment utilizing individual strengths to compensate for weaknesses. By integrating our services with those of community health care providers, we can help ensure that your student-athlete receives the best care.

Baseline Concussion Testing

Baseline Concussion Testing

Baseline concussion testing is a critical component of concussion care. It is used to establish a student-athlete’s functioning before there is a problem and assess a student-athlete’s premorbid recovery risk factors. Any changes that occur following baseline testing can be quantified and measured very objectively in comparison to a student-athlete’s actual performance rather than comparison to a normative sample. Baseline testing is most commonly used in sports and may be used as a comparison to assist with monitoring recovery following a head injury/concussion.

Concussion baseline testing at CNS is uniquely comprehensive. Typically, computer baseline testing assesses 2 neurocognitive domains. At CNS, your student-athlete’s pre-injury functioning is established by augmenting computer assessment measures with neuropsychological testing, evaluating an additional 10 critical neurocognitive domains known to be at risk for impairment following a head injury. Further, measures of effort are administered to ensure reliability and validity of test findings. This best practice model ensures that comparison testing following an injury will result in informed, confident, reliable, and valid conclusions regarding recovery and treatment, effectively eliminating the guess work that often accompanies recovery from a head injury.

Research has also shown that younger student-athletes are more susceptible to severe injury following minor insults, as well as a protracted recovery period. Computer based baseline testing is only appropriate for student-athletes 12-years-old and older. Based on empirical evidence and experience, although some computer based measures will generate test findings for student-athletes as young as 10-years-old, these findings have been unreliable. At CNS, our best practice model of baseline concussion testing allows student-athletes 11-years-old and younger to establish reliable baseline neurocognitive functioning prior to injury.

Performance Enhancement & Recovery Coaching

Performance Enhancement Coaching

Performance enhancement coaching assists student-athletes with eliminating the mental barriers that inhibit them from performing at their peak potential and enhancing positive performance attitudes. It can also help to improve:

  • Focus
  • Confidence
  • Emotional control
  • Communication
  • Motivation
  • Performance intensity

While a student-athlete can spend countless hours training his or her body, too often little time or attention is devoted to preparing the mind for the challenges and demands of competition. A student-athlete's state of mind can significantly affect his or her performance or the eventual outcome of competition. Some of the influences affecting a student-athlete’s state of mind include:

  • Pressure and desire to win
  • Schedule management
  • Past successes or failures in competition
  • Injuries and rehabilitation
  • Expectations of coaches, parents, and/or sponsors

Developing strong mental skills can help student-athletes of all levels to improve their performance and develop a competitive advantage. Top athletes tend to deliver their best performances when they are physically relaxed and mentally focused. Performance Enhancement Coaching can help student-athletes better withstand the pressures associated with competition by teaching them how to:

  • Mentally prepare for competition
  • Manage emotions that affect performance
  • Improve dedication and commitment
  • Increase sport enjoyment
  • Optimize self-confidence
  • Respond better to adversity
  • Avoid sport burnout
  • Cope with competitive stress
  • Enhance the quality of practice

The goal of Performance Enhancement Coaching is to assist athletes to consistently achieve their optimal “zone” of performance and competitive functioning, ultimately obtaining desired athletic goals and success.

Performance Enhancement Coaching is not just for active student-athletes, but also is appropriate for student-athletes who have been sidelined with an injury.

Recovery Coaching

Recovery Coaching services for injured student-athletes include:

  • Evidence based cognitive behavioral therapy to treat insomnia, depression, and/or anxiety that commonly occur following a head injury/concussion
  • Mental training to minimize performance decrements
  • Injury rehabilitation goal setting
  • Mental training for a successful return to school and activity
  • Support during healing to help cope with the transition away from competition
  • Mental training to regain confidence post injury
  • Relaxation and stress management due to possible changes in academic, exercise, and social routines

The goal of Recovery Coaching is to assist athlete’s to achieve a full recovery as quickly and as safely as possible.

Sports Concussion &
School Consultation

Sports Concussion Consultation

Treatment of a concussion depends not only on the care provided by health care professionals, but it is also vitally important that athletes, parents, medical providers, athletic trainers, coaches, educators, rehabilitation therapists, and other professionals are educated about mild neurotrauma injuries. Consultations may be arranged regarding concussion signs and symptoms, recovery course, and treatment to ensure the safe and successful return of student-athletes to school and activity following injury. To assist organizations with concussion education, educational programs are also available focusing on neurocognitive functioning and specific aspects of concussion management, such as when to refer for a neuropsychological evaluation/concussion recovery testing, the importance of baseline concussion testing, and how to integrate the student-athlete back to school and activity safely following injury.

School Consultation

Classroom observations and consultations with educational professionals may be arranged to assist with the development of an effective Individualized Educational Program (IEP) or 504 Plan accommodations. Assistance with development of an individual behavior modification program to effectively reduce undesirable behavior and increase desirable behavior is also available, as well as instruction in general behavior management principles that can be used with a large group or classroom.

Community
Outreach

Community Outreach

CNS offers a variety of community education opportunities. Dr. Ostergaard is available to attend your event to speak. Presentations are tailored to meet your needs, whether it be for student-athletes, parents, physicians, athletic trainers, coaches, educators, therapists, community leaders, or other organizations interested in brain functioning and neuropsychology services.

Mobile CNS

Mobile CNS

Pediatric neuropsychology services are limited in the Twin Cities metro area and throughout Minnesota. To improve accessibility, CNS provides mobile services. Dr. Ostergaard is available to travel to your student-athlete, team, school, or organization to provide comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation/recovery concussion testing, baseline concussion testing, individual consultation, and group education services. Due to the frequency of appointments required for successful outcome, recovery and performance enhancement coaching are not available as a mobile service.

Neuropsychological Evaluation/Recovery Concussion Testing

At CNS, you will gain a better understanding of your student-athlete’s functional strengths and weaknesses in many neurocognitive areas:

  • Learning
  • Problem solving
  • Memory
  • Responding to feedback
  • Language
  • Mental flexibility
  • Attention
  • Processing speed
  • Organization
  • Visual-spatial perception
  • Overriding habits
  • Motor coordination
  • Sequencing
  • Socialization

A neuropsychological evaluation can also help detect the effects of neurodevelopment, neurological, and other medical problems on neurocognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning to inform a diagnosis:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Learning Disorder
  • Language Disorder
  • Depression/Mood Disorder
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Other Neurocognitive, Emotional, & Behavioral Disorders

Whereas CT and MRI scans are useful in assessing physical changes in brain structure, neuropsychological testing provides information regarding how the brain functions. This is particularly useful in conditions where brain structure may be normal, as in mild head injuries or concussions. Neuropsychological testing can be very sensitive to mild functioning problems that might not be detectable in other ways. When problems are mild, neuropsychological testing may be the only way to detect them. Changes in brain functioning are evaluated through a detailed assessment of neurocognitive abilities. The neuropsychological evaluation typically involves a clinical interview, standardized testing, computer tests, and behavior rating forms, which are completed by parents and teachers. Observing your student-athlete to understand their motivation, cooperation, and behavior is also a very important part of the evaluation process. The results of concussion recovery testing are used to determine injury severity, monitor recovery, provide a diagnosis, if needed, and develop targeted treatment utilizing individual strengths to compensate for weaknesses. By integrating our services with those of community health care providers, we can help ensure that your student-athlete receives the best care.

Baseline Concussion Testing

Baseline concussion testing is a critical component of concussion care. It is used to establish a student-athlete’s functioning before there is a problem and assess a student-athlete’s premorbid recovery risk factors. Any changes that occur following baseline testing can be quantified and measured very objectively in comparison to a student-athlete’s actual performance rather than comparison to a normative sample. Baseline testing is most commonly used in sports and may be used as a comparison to assist with monitoring recovery following a head injury/concussion.

Concussion baseline testing at CNS is uniquely comprehensive. Typically, computer baseline testing assesses 2 neurocognitive domains. At CNS, your student-athlete’s pre-injury functioning is established by augmenting computer assessment measures with neuropsychological testing, evaluating an additional 10 critical neurocognitive domains known to be at risk for impairment following a head injury. Further, measures of effort are administered to ensure reliability and validity of test findings. This best practice model ensures that comparison testing following an injury will result in informed, confident, reliable, and valid conclusions regarding recovery and treatment, effectively eliminating the guess work that often accompanies recovery from a head injury.

Research has also shown that younger student-athletes are more susceptible to severe injury following minor insults, as well as a protracted recovery period. Computer based baseline testing is only appropriate for student-athletes 12-years-old and older. Based on empirical evidence and experience, although some computer based measures will generate test findings for student-athletes as young as 10-years-old, these findings have been unreliable. At CNS, our best practice model of baseline concussion testing allows student-athletes 11-years-old and younger to establish reliable baseline neurocognitive functioning prior to injury.

Performance Enhancement Coaching

Performance enhancement coaching assists student-athletes with eliminating the mental barriers that inhibit them from performing at their peak potential and enhancing positive performance attitudes. It can also help to improve:

  • Focus
  • Confidence
  • Emotional control
  • Communication
  • Motivation
  • Performance intensity

While a student-athlete can spend countless hours training his or her body, too often little time or attention is devoted to preparing the mind for the challenges and demands of competition. A student-athlete's state of mind can significantly affect his or her performance or the eventual outcome of competition. Some of the influences affecting a student-athlete’s state of mind include:

  • Pressure and desire to win
  • Schedule management
  • Past successes or failures in competition
  • Injuries and rehabilitation
  • Expectations of coaches, parents, and/or sponsors

Developing strong mental skills can help student-athletes of all levels to improve their performance and develop a competitive advantage. Top athletes tend to deliver their best performances when they are physically relaxed and mentally focused. Performance Enhancement Coaching can help student-athletes better withstand the pressures associated with competition by teaching them how to:

  • Mentally prepare for competition
  • Manage emotions that affect performance
  • Improve dedication and commitment
  • Increase sport enjoyment
  • Optimize self-confidence
  • Respond better to adversity
  • Avoid sport burnout
  • Cope with competitive stress
  • Enhance the quality of practice

The goal of Performance Enhancement Coaching is to assist athletes to consistently achieve their optimal “zone” of performance and competitive functioning, ultimately obtaining desired athletic goals and success.

Performance Enhancement Coaching is not just for active student-athletes, but also is appropriate for student-athletes who have been sidelined with an injury.

Recovery Coaching

Recovery Coaching services for injured student-athletes include:

  • Evidence based cognitive behavioral therapy to treat insomnia, depression, and/or anxiety that commonly occur following a head injury/concussion
  • Mental training to minimize performance decrements
  • Injury rehabilitation goal setting
  • Mental training for a successful return to school and activity
  • Support during healing to help cope with the transition away from competition
  • Mental training to regain confidence post injury
  • Relaxation and stress management due to possible changes in academic, exercise, and social routines

The goal of Recovery Coaching is to assist athlete’s to achieve a full recovery as quickly and as safely as possible.

Sports Concussion Consultation

Treatment of a concussion depends not only on the care provided by health care professionals, but it is also vitally important that athletes, parents, medical providers, athletic trainers, coaches, educators, rehabilitation therapists, and other professionals are educated about mild neurotrauma injuries. Consultations may be arranged regarding concussion signs and symptoms, recovery course, and treatment to ensure the safe and successful return of student-athletes to school and activity following injury. To assist organizations with concussion education, educational programs are also available focusing on neurocognitive functioning and specific aspects of concussion management, such as when to refer for a neuropsychological evaluation/concussion recovery testing, the importance of baseline concussion testing, and how to integrate the student-athlete back to school and activity safely following injury.

School Consultation

Classroom observations and consultations with educational professionals may be arranged to assist with the development of an effective Individualized Educational Program (IEP) or 504 Plan accommodations. Assistance with development of an individual behavior modification program to effectively reduce undesirable behavior and increase desirable behavior is also available, as well as instruction in general behavior management principles that can be used with a large group or classroom.

Community Outreach

CNS offers a variety of community education opportunities. Dr. Ostergaard is available to attend your event to speak. Presentations are tailored to meet your needs, whether it be for student-athletes, parents, physicians, athletic trainers, coaches, educators, therapists, community leaders, or other organizations interested in brain functioning and neuropsychology services.

Mobile CNS

Pediatric neuropsychology services are limited in the Twin Cities metro area and throughout Minnesota. To improve accessibility, CNS provides mobile services. Dr. Ostergaard is available to travel to your student-athlete, team, school, or organization to provide comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation/recovery concussion testing, baseline concussion testing, individual consultation, and group education services. Due to the frequency of appointments required for successful outcome, recovery and performance enhancement coaching are not available as a mobile service.

Consider Making An Appointment…

  1. If you have concerns about your student-athlete’s intellectual, academic, emotional, behavioral, or social development.
  2. If your student-athlete has a concussion and symptoms continue beyond the expected 4 week recovery period:
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Light/noise sensitivity
  • Tire easily
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Disorder taste/smell
  • Forgetful
  • Attention problems
  • Disorganized
  • Impulsive
  • Restless
  • Slower reaction time
  • Adjustment problems
  • Personality change
  • Fluctuating mood
  • Anxiety/irritability
  • Other emotional or behavioral changes
  1. If your student-athlete does not have a concussion, but needs comprehensive baseline testing because they have a history of prolonged recovery risk factors:
  • Previous concussion(s)
  • Headaches
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fluctuating mood
  • Anxiety/irritability
  • Adjustment problems
  • Forgetful
  • Attention problems
  • Disorganized
  • Impulsive
  • Restless
  • Learning challenges
  1. If your student-athlete participates in high risk sports:
  • Football
  • Hockey
  • Soccer
  • Volleyball
  • Cheerleading
  • Lacrosse
  • Gymnastics
  • Wrestling
  • Basketball
  • Baseball/softball
  • Downhill skiing
  • Snowboarding
  1. If your student-athlete is 14 years old or younger and their existing baseline testing is greater than 12 months old, repeat baseline testing is recommended.
  2. If your student-athlete is 15 years old or older and their existing baseline testing is greater than 24 months old, repeat baseline testing is recommended.