Critical Factors in Cultural Pediatric Neuropsychology: Reflecting on the Past 3 Years and Anticipating the Future

Recorded on October 27, 2021
HNS Presidential Address

Veronica Bordes Edgar, PhD, ABPP

This presentation will discuss recent advances in the cultural neuropsychological assessment of children. Special focus will be on bilingual individuals, dual language programs and autism. The audience will gain greater understanding not only of the history of dual language programs in the United States, but will also be able to apply knowledge of how children are learning to best practices for neuropsychological evaluation. Within the area of autism, they will learn cultural differences that obscure and/or mimic symptoms of autism in order to improve diagnostic accuracy. Finally, recommendations for clinical practice in the application of a structured ECLECTIC model for consideration in evaluations as well as video based teleneuropsychology will be made.

  1. Learners will be able to list the components of the ECLECTIC model and describe ways to apply it in pediatrics.
  2. Learners will be able to explain differences in bilingual education programs and identify ways to properly assess bilingual children in the United States.
  3. Learners will be able to discuss considerations in pediatric teleneuropsychology with underserved populations.

Veronica Bordes Edgar, PhD, ABPP is an Associate Professor with joint faculty appointments in Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center. She serves as a bilingual Pediatric Neuropsychologist at Children’s Health and is Co-Director for the Division of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She is Board certified through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) in Clinical Psychology and Pediatric Neuropsychology. Her areas of interest include cultural and bilingual issues in assessment, genetic and neurodevelopmental disorders, and interdisciplinary teaching of medical and psychology trainees. She currently serves in her final year as President of the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society (HNS) and is on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN). Most recently, she was elected as American Psychological Association Council Representative for the Society for Clinical Neuropsychology (Division 40).

Bordes Edgar, V., Meneses, V., Shaw, D., Romero, R., Salinas, C., & Kissel, A. (2021). Clinical utility of the ECLECTIC framework in providing culturally-informed autism spectrum disorder evaluations: A pediatric case-based approach. The Clinical Neuropsychologist. DOI: 10.1080/13854046.2021.1936187

Bordes Edgar, V. & Romero, R. A. (2020). Culture and language diversity in pediatric neuropsychology. In O. Pedraza (Ed.), Clinical cultural neuroscience. New York: Oxford University Press.

Canas, A., Bordes Edgar, V., & Neumann, J. (2020). Practical considerations in the neuropsychological assessment of bilingual (Spanish-English) children in the United States: Literature review and case series. Developmental Neuropsychology, 45, 211-321. DOI: 10.1080/87565641.2020.1746314

Salinas, C. M., Bordes Edgar, V., Berrios Siervo, G., Bender, H. A. (2020). Transforming pediatric neuropsychology through video-based teleneuropsychology: An innovative private practice model pre-COVID-19. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 35, 1189-1195.

Salinas, C, M., Bordes Edgar, V., & Puente, A. (2016). Barriers and practical approaches to neuropsychological assessment of Spanish speakers. In F. R. Ferraro (Ed.), Minority and cross-cultural aspects of neuropsychological assessment: Enduring and emerging trends (2nd ed., pp. 229-258). New York: Taylor and Francis.

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Dr. Silva’s parents immigrated from Panama and Chile to the United States, and she was born and raised in melting pot that is New York City. She grew up speaking Spanish at home and feels fortunate to have grown up in an environment where cultural diversity was the norm, not the exception.

During her training to become a neuropsychologist, Dr. Silva was often asked to work with Spanish-speaking patients, though most training sites did not have supervisors who also spoke Spanish or had sufficient cultural knowledge relevant to Latinx populations. She joined HNS as a student and found mentorship and training resources that helped her gain competency in providing neuropsychological services to these patients. Dr. Silva has served on the HNS Board as Member-at-Large (2014-2016) and Secretary (2019-2022). She has also been involved with several committees over the years and is currently serving as the Chair of the Information Technology (IT) Committee. She views HNS as the main organization to promote development of professional resources and scientific advancements in neuropsychology that are specific to Latinx groups; she is honored to help the organization in any way she can. 

Dr. Silva is the owner of Pacific Neurobehavioral Clinic, PC, a group practice in San Diego, California that offers neuropsychological evaluation and psychotherapy services to adults with various neuropsychiatric conditions. She engages in clinical and civil forensic work and oversees the clinic operations.

Educational, training and professional experiences include:

  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – Florida Institute of Technology
  • Post-doctoral fellowships – Fullerton Neuropsychological Services, St. Jude Medical Center (one year; neurorehabilitation) and University of California San Diego (one year; clinical neuropsychology)
  • Staff neuropsychologist at Sharp Memorial and Grossmont hospitals from 2009-2012
  • Board certified through the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) in Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Qualified Medical Evaluator (QME) for the state of California
  • Treasurer and Current Chair of California Psychological Association-Division 8 (Neuropsychology)

In her spare time, Dr. Silva enjoys playing and making music (piano and electronic instruments; she recently took up learning how to play the theremin), playing tennis, karaoke, and spending time with family and friends.