DR. Toni Nicholls, through her pilot subsidized program “Neuropsychological Services for All” (NSA), is aiming to provide low or no cost neuropsychological services to children 18 years and under in Barbados whose families are unable to afford this intervention. The NSA program, which is being administered by the Barbados Council for the Disabled (BCD), will be funded in 2016 by the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust to the amount of $18,120. Yesterday Dr Nicholls, the only Clinical Neuropsychologist in Barbados, thanked members of The Trust for their continued assistance, during a presentation ceremony held at the BCD’s Harambee House, Garrison Headquarters.
She said that Neuropsychology which is new to the Caribbean, is a highly specialised subset of psychology that can be considered a cross between psychology
and neurology. “Neuropsychology studies the relationship between the brain and behaviour,” she explained. “Basically what we know is that when the brain has been altered in anyway, be it through injury or disease or even just developmental issues, you will see a change in one’s ability to think,work, attend school, socialise and perform basic daily functions at home.” Having been in private practice in Barbados since 2013, she sees a broad range of clinical conditions in both adults and paediatric populations, receiving a number of referrals from the Paediatric Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH). “I have been seeing a lot of children with epilepsy, brain injury, autism, etc… What I do is that I would assess how they function in terms of their memory, language, attention – every cognitive skill – then I match it against their medical records and then I come up with a recommendations … I have had wonderful discussions with the school officials in Barbados on how to accommodate children.”
The Trust has been supportive of Neuropsychological care over the past three years, helping a number of children with a range of serious neurological conditions obtain the Neuropsychological service that they need. “Wewant Dr Nicholls to have access to funds so that when Doctors from the QEH actually have referrals that it doesn’t reach the stage of a parent not being to access the service for their child because they can’t afford it … It is actually a referral straight from QEH and she can instantly start helping the family,” Trustee of the Trust, Phillipa Challis pointed out. “We are delighted to be able to assist and we are thrilled that we can again support the children of Barbados, as always through our generous donors.” (TL)