Why should I have my child assessed?
Is your child having difficulty at school, with learning or being social? Is your child being called hyperactive, withdrawn, or distracted? Is your child seem angry, sad, worried, or nervous? Do you wonder if your child might benefit from special education services? Or if they need therapy? Do you wonder if your child is functioning at a level that is comparable to children within their peer group? Having a Psychological Assessment or Psycho-Educational Evaluation can help you learn how to help your child develop and grow in a safe manner and give your family answers to the above.
What does an assessment/evaluation involve?
Evaluations involve various steps and include obtaining a diagnosis which help determine the types of recommendations could help your child, your family, or others involved immediately in your child’s care (i.e., therapists, teachers, pediatricians, or psychiatrists). Most evaluations include gathering of the child’s history, a school observation, gaining feedback with teachers, IQ or cognitive testing, academic testing, and assessing social/emotional functioning. Child Assessments are frequently used to help determine special education services.
Common diagnoses assessed for include: autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders, trauma/abuse, grief/loss, social problems, noncompliance, aggression, communication problems, learning disorders, anxiety, depression, as well as other complexities.
What is the difference between these assessments?
The goal of a psychological assessment is to evaluate one’s cognitive functioning (IQ) , academic skills (attention, concentration, reading, writing, math, social skills, and concerns related to mood. These assessments are comprehensive and cover all facets of one’s functioning and include school observations. The purpose of a social/emotional testing is to evaluate one’s social skills, and concerns related to mood problems (i.e., anxiety, fears, nervousness, rigidity, depression, sadness, withdrawal, anhedonia, lack of motivation, and aggression). Differential diagnoses include autism spectrum disorders, mood disorders, trauma/abuse, grief/loss, noncompliance, aggression, or other complexities.
The purpose of psycho-educational testing is to evaluate one’s cognitive and academic skills. Psycho-ed evaluations include academic testing which deciphers strengths and weaknesses in learning; attention, concentration, reading, writing, and math. The purpose of this portion is to decipher whether or not your child has a learning disorder or attentional difficulties.e goal of the cognitive assessment is to evaluate different aspects of one’s intelligence (verbal skills, visual spatial skills, memory, and processing speed). The purpose of the IQ testing portion, is to decipher one’s innate strengths versus weaknesses. Treatment plans are geared for school purposes, primarily to help aid in determining if special education services would be helpful to your child.
Cognitive Assessments are primarily done to discern whether or not your child has cognitive delays or difficulty with solving problems. Learning about one’s cognitive functioning helps build recommendations which are geared to support the child in adapting to various facets of their life.
Which assessment would benefit my child and my family?
Determining which type of assessment would benefit you and your child is key as it also speaks to treatment recommendations which would be helpful. This is something that you and I would discuss and determine together.
When should I have my child assessed? Re-evaluated?
Whenever you feel concerned about your child’s social, emotional, learning, or ability to solve problems you should consider having your child assessed or evaluated.
Often, assessments are done annually as a means of measuring one’s growth, development, and response to treatment.