What Every Patient Needs to Know Before Taking Their Child in For A Psycho-Educational Assessment

Have you ever shown concern over your child’s behavior? Is your child behaving one way in one environment, and a vastly different way somewhere else? It might be time to bring your child in for some psycho-educational assessment testing.

What is it?

This testing reveals a storyline for how your child is behaving in school, examining learning behavior, attentiveness and learning levels. The main purpose is to identify a child’s strengths and weaknesses and provide tools to improve performance in school and help their emotional welfare.

Parents only need to have these tests done when the behavior is significant. If you’re greatly concerned about your child, “wait and see” may not be the best approach.

What levels are looked at?

First, the specialist collects background information for your child. Various testing cycles will be performed to get answers to the following questions: Which of your child’s friends knows him/her the best? What sort of reflections and concerns does your child have? How did your child grow up?

Next, cognitive functioning is examined to see how the child processes information. The learning process is also reviewed, including whether s/he is more verbal or visual. How does your child solve a problem? Does s/he solve everything speaking aloud or keep silent? Does your child find the correct answer, but uses different, untaught methods for acquiring the information?

These assessments also consider your child’s emotional and social levels. Is he or she making friends in school? Does your child tend to stay off on his/her own? Is your child a social butterfly or a loner? Everything is taken into consideration.

How should you prepare your child before these tests are done?

1) Talk to your child beforehand, ensuring s/he understands what will happen and that testing is a normal part of school and life. Acknowledge frustrations and challenges your child is experiencing. Listen.

2) Tell your son or daughter this is not a game, and in an encouraging, comforting voice help your child understand the need to take this seriously.

3) Your child needs to get a good night’s sleep prior to testing. Poor sleep may render the results of the test inconclusive or result in an improper diagnosis.

4) Make sure the testing does not conflict with anything else your child has going on. Distraction or resistance will influence the test and its results.

5) Your child needs to eat a healthy meal on the day. High sugar or junk food intake will alter the results of the assessment.

Making the choice to have your child assessed is a difficult one. If you have concerns about your child, York Region Psychological Services can help. Our trained professionals will be happy to discuss what options you have for testing and how to best help a growing young person develop confidence and perform better at both school and within society.