Does The Idea Of Obtaining A Psychological Assessment For Your Child Seem Overwhelming?
Is your child underperforming at school but you are uncertain of what steps to take? Or perhaps your child’s pediatrician or teacher has recommended your child undergo testing—such as a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation, or assessment for either a learning disability, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)—and you feel crushed by the weight of it all.
When your child continues to struggle in school after you have already tried everything their teacher has recommended, you might feel overwhelmed and helpless as you wonder what to do next. You can see how their challenges with learning are impacting them emotionally and affecting their self-esteem. They may feel anxious and depressed when they compare themselves to other kids. Your heart breaks for them when they tell you they aren’t smart like their friends or feel like a failure.
Does you child need help?
If your child’s symptoms aren’t severe, you’re uncertain if their challenges are related to either a learning disability or, perhaps, underlying behavioral or neurological issues. Fear of the unknown may lead you to hold off on taking the necessary steps to find out what’s going on. Because you don’t yet know what help your child may need, you likely feel exhausted, frustrated, or confused.
If you think your child may have face challenges at school academically or/and socially , it’s important to either rule it out or receive a diagnosis so you can access services for them. Obtaining a psychological assessment and testing for your child can provide concrete answers and untangle your child’s symptoms. The results of a psychological screening will help you have a clear understanding of the therapeutic help they will need moving forward as well as a report you can share with trained specialists.
Psychological Assessments And Testing Help Diagnose Learning Disabilities And Behavioral Issues In Children
When a simple evaluation fails to answer why a child is struggling in school, it’s common for teachers or pediatricians to recommend psychological testing. Whether it’s ADHD, ASD, or a learning disorder—such as dyslexia or dysgraphia—early and appropriate interventions are the best predictor of positive outcomes. A psychological assessment is the only definitive way to understand the cognitive and neurocognitive reasons underlying a child’s behavior so a comprehensive treatment plan can be developed for them.
Our Children Often Slip Through The Cracks At School
If our child has a mild learning disability, it’s unlikely their school will notice it right away. Unfortunately, most schools have to share their on-staff psychologist with several other schools, so they only have the resources to make accommodations for the children with the most severe symptoms. Because children with milder issues are often overlooked, it can sometimes take a long time before a learning disability or behavioral issue is detected, and by then, symptoms can be harder to address.
It is normal for us to feel overwhelmed—not only by our child’s struggles but also by the prospect of getting them the help they need. We may not know about the psychological testing available unless our pediatrician mentions it or our child’s symptoms worsen. And if weekly psychotherapy fails to address what’s happening with our child, sometimes we give up in frustration.
The fear of finding out something is wrong with your child is normal. However, if you don’t take action, they will continue to struggle and be negatively impacted emotionally. Receiving a diagnosis can be a good thing because, without it, you’re trying to solve an undefined problem. Once a psychological assessment provides you with the correct diagnosis, you will have clarity about how to help your child and hope for the future.
Psychological Testing And Assessment Provides The Answers And Guidance You Need
Once your child falls behind in school, the gulf between where they stand academically and where they should be will continue to widen. The longer you hold off on taking action, the harder it becomes to help them. That is why receiving a diagnosis as early as possible is so important.
Psychoeducational assessment tests are appropriate for when your child experiences learning difficulties such as comprehending new material or doing homework. If it’s suspected something neurological is going on that requires further evaluation, psychological testing can determine what medications may be necessary.
Psychological testing and assessment will give you a definitive diagnosis. Not only will you understand why your child is failing in school and, perhaps, having mood and behavioral issues, but you will also receive a comprehensive game plan for how to help your child feel and function better. The assessment results will include referrals to appropriate specialists, such as speech, occupational, educational, or Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapists.
By using objective validated testing standards, we can pinpoint the issues your child is experiencing and help you find the resources that will help them.
An Overview Of The Process
In the first session, a psychologist will meet with you to gather all the background information about your child’s life history. They will also send questionnaires to teachers to get their feedback and may perhaps observe your child in the classroom. And if you feel like your child isn’t being properly accommodated at school but needs to be, they can also help with that.
Thereafter your assigned psychologist will meet with your child to administer the tests. We do not have standard testing packages—each evaluation we develop will be appropriately tailored to what your child is experiencing. Because every child is unique, they will be assessed individually and tested for their specific set of challenges.
Once the testing is completed, it will take approximately six weeks for your psychologist to compile a comprehensive report with the results and present it to you in a feedback session. This is appointment will be the time when you will receive a thorough explanation of the results. Additionally, the psychologist will answer all of your questions and provide you with referrals for specialists who will know how to read the report and offer appropriate treatment for your child. After this session, you will have a clear understanding of your child’s needs as well as an action plan for next steps.
Our counselors believe that a child with ADHD, ASD, or a learning disability simply means that their brain processes information differently. By embracing their neurodiversity, your child will realize that a learning disability doesn’t have to define them. We can help your child find different approaches to learning and create a solid treatment plan for them so a diagnosis will only end up being a minor bump in the road on their educational journey.
But You May Wonder
Whether Psychological Testing And Assessment Is Right For Your Child…
“Isn’t obtaining testing for a psychological assessment expensive?”
While the cost to test your child can be costly, it is a one-time cost. And when you think about how much you could spend trying to help your child without really knowing what’s going on, receiving a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation is a sound investment. Once you can pinpoint the correct type of help your child need, you can begin to see improvements.
Education is cumulative—what your child didn’t learn in lower grades will affect them as they move on to higher grades. The sooner you can help them learn, the better the outcome will be.
“I’m worried that if my child receives a diagnosis they will be labeled in school.”
Our psychological testing and assessment process is completely confidential. No record of it will be disclosed outside of our practice without your explicit consent. Furthermore, our understanding of neurodiversity has evolved a lot since the time we were in school. Educators have a growing awareness of the myriad ways children learn and acceptance of the fact that not every brain processes information in the same way. With sensitivity to neurodiversity on the rise, there is nothing to be ashamed of if your child learns differently.
“Won’t obtaining a psychological evaluation be time-consuming?”
When compared to ongoing therapy, a psychological assessment can be performed in a relatively short amount of time. After an initial 90-minute intake session, the site testing process will be completed during two 3-hour sessions and followed up with a 60-90-minute feedback session once the results are back. If you are short on time, telehealth can be an option for a portion of the sessions to make the psychological assessment process more convenient and streamlined for your family.
Knowledge Gives You The Power To Help Your Child Flourish
Once you know where your child stands with their abilities, you will be able to provide them with the right tools to unlock their full potential. If you would like to find out more about the psychological testing and assessments we offer, please contact us today.