A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation is an invaluable tool that can unlock obstacles to achievement in academic, work, and social environments.

Dr. Laura McDonald strives to perform cutting edge assessments in a warm and nurturing environment to uncover a child’s unique pattern of strength and challenges and inform treatment planning. Children, teens, or young adults who process information differently, show learning differences, or have emotional struggles may be misperceived as “unmotivated,” “oppositional,” or “lazy.” Similarly, they might themselves draw the faulty conclusion that they “just aren’t as smart” when they see how much they struggle compared to their peers. All of these explanations are usually not true, negatively affect a young person’s self-esteem and confidence, and do not foster success.

In the words of Ross Greene and Stuart Ablon, “Kids do well if they can.” Dr. McDonald’s goal in conducting a neuropsychological evaluation is to uncover an individual’s unique set of strengths and weaknesses to understand the challenges the child is facing in meeting developmental demands and the strengths the child may call upon to compensate. Once barriers to learning and functioning as well as strengths and talents have been identified, Dr. McDonald is able to put a plan together to address areas of growth and ensure that strengths are optimized, in order to allow children, teens, and young adults to reach their full potential.


“Knowledge is power, particularly when it is translated into comprehensive, useful, and practical steps that can be implemented to help a young person thrive.”


Dr. McDonald’s goal is to communicate findings in a clear way that allows parents, the child/young adult, teachers, and professionals to understand the strategies that will allow them to do well and foster a sense of well-being. Knowledge is power, particularly when it is translated into comprehensive, useful, and practical steps that can be implemented to help a young person thrive. It is often the unknown that feels so scary to children and parents alike. Once difficulties have been pinpointed and a plan identified, everything becomes a lot more manageable and less scary. Dr. McDonald strives to build long-term relationships with families so that ongoing support can be provided.

As a parent to three school-aged children, Dr. McDonald understands the anxieties, hopes, and concerns that parenting brings. She sympathizes with parents, who are told that their child is struggling or have a paternal instinct that something “is not quite right.” In her practice, Dr. McDonald strives to carry out the testing process in a way that meets your child where he or she is at and is sensitive to your child’s comfort level, attention span, stamina, and emotional needs.


“Dr. McDonald aims to present findings in a way that is easy for parents, educators, and professionals to understand.”


While neuropsychological evaluations can appear complex and daunting, Dr. McDonald aims to present findings in a way that is easy for parents, educators, and professionals to understand. She takes the time to help you understand what the assessment results mean, answer any questions that may come up for you, and what the appropriate next steps are. Assessments then become a tool that can support you in discovering how your child can reach his or her full potential.

Whole Child Neuro provides neuropsychological assessments for children and young adults throughout the Greater Los Angeles area — including individuals in Sherman Oaks, Calabasas, and Beverly Hills — from our office here in Encino. Please feel free to reach out to us for a free phone consultation or if you have any questions about our services or fees.