For children suffering with a brain injury, the array of psychological and neurological tests can be overwhelming. Obtaining the most appropriate testing will ensure your child is provided the most accurate diagnosis, especially when struggling with an organic brain disorder which may complicate the nervous system.
One such test, the Bender Gestalt Test, is a common diagnostic tool used by therapists and neurologists in the examination and assessment of brain injury in children. As a tool used to evaluate the motor and visual function, in addition to visual perception, in children with brain injuries, the Bender Gestalt Test provides for an array of findings that, when combined, provide a diagnosis and, subsequently, a treatment plan for your child.
Using a traditional pencil and paper style of testing, the Bender Gestalt Test applies geometry to the idea of visual perception. As each geometric design is displayed, the child is then asked to re-create the design on their own sheet of paper. With the child’s own drawn creations, the therapist can assess specific areas of organic brain injury.
So, what types of complications are seen in the Bender Gestalt Test? Generally, children who find difficulty in re-creating or closing shape designs, show irregular line patterns, make strange doodling patterns or even show difficulty in creating angular patterns, are all indicative of a brain injury, isolated to a specific part of the brain. The specific pattern complication will correlate with a specific area of the brain in which damage may be present.
In addition to completing the tasks outlined in the Bender Gestalt Test, the therapist will also evaluate the child’s behavior while completing tasks as the behavior may indicate the child is suffering from depression, compulsive complications and even complications of cognitive processing.
Disadvantages to the Bender Gestalt Test lie, mainly, in the experience and expertise of the test administrator and the application of what the standard “norm” is for your child’s age and maturity level.
As with any brain injury diagnostic testing, there are many options available to your child. Finding the right testing option will depend, primarily, in the personality and complications exhibited by your child, coupled with the experience and expertise of the neurologist and test administrator, most often a therapist.
As a parent, when considering the array of organic brain injury testing, consult your child’s neurologist regarding the application of the Bender Gestalt Test especially in cases where there is a questionable cause, origin and locale of the brain injury.