Children who present with or who are found to have neurologic or neuromuscular abnormalities on a general physical examination should undergo a complete neurologic assessment [1,2]. The elements of a complete neurological assessment are:
- Focused clinical history
- Detailed neurological examination
- Additional parts of the general physical examination that are relevant to child neurology
In some cases, developmental screening tests are also helpful.
These steps are detailed in this topic review. The neurologic assessment of neonates and adults are discussed separately. (See "Neurological examination of the newborn" and "The detailed neurologic examination in adults".)
THE CASE HISTORY
The objectives of taking a clinical history are to establish rapport and trust with the child and family, to understand the nature of their health concerns regardless of whether or not they pertain to the nervous system, and to anatomically localize the neurological symptoms.