Our comprehensive evaluations reveal your child’s individual pattern of strengths and weaknesses, identify learning and attentional disorders, and differentiate normal stressors that foster the development of resiliency, from anxiety and mood disorders that impede healthy development.
Why are children referred for assessment?
Children are typically referred for testing by a doctor, teacher, school psychologist, or other professional because of one or more problems such as:
- Difficulty in learning, attention, behavior, socialization, or emotional control.
- A disease or inborn developmental problem that affects the brain in some way.
A psychoeducational or neuropsychological evaluation assists in better understanding your child’s functioning in areas such as memory, attention, perception, language, organization and planning, inhibition, as well as personality. This information will help you and your child’s teachers, therapist, and physician provide treatment and interventions for your child that will meet his or her unique needs.
What is assessed?
A typical evaluation of the school age child may assess these areas:
- General intellect
- Academic achievement, such as reading, math, and writing
- Executive skills, such as organization, planning, inhibition, and flexibility
- Learning and memory
- Visual spatial and visual perceptual skills
- Fine motor coordination
- Behavioral and emotional functioning
- Social skills and development
What should I expect?
An evaluation usually includes:
- An interview with parents to understand/obtain the child’s history
- Completion of questionnaires and assessment materials by parents and teachers regarding the child’s development and behavior
- Behavioral observation of and interview with the child
- Comprehensive testing that involves paper and pencil and hands on activities, answering questions, and sometimes using a computer
Parents are usually not in the room during testing, although they may be present with very young children. The time required for testing depends on your child’s age and problem but typically consists of five to six hours of testing conducted over a two-day period.
What should I tell my child?
What you tell your child about this evaluation depends on how much he or she can understand. The best explanations are typically simple and brief and relate your explanation to a problem that your child knows about, such as “trouble with spelling,” “problems following directions,” or “feeling upset.” Reassure your child that testing involves no “shots.” Tell your child that you are trying to understand how he or she learns best in order to make things better. You may also tell your child that “nobody gets every question right,” and that the important thing is to “try your best.”