Assessment for children, adolescents, and teens
In addition to the basic expectations about the assessment process found here, parents should consider some additional advice when preparing to have their child evaluated.
Before the assessment:
In the days leading up to the appointment, it's a good idea to speak with your child, give him or her an accurate idea of what will happen and why it is being done, and offer an opportunity for the child to ask questions and get answers. Instead of calling it "testing," some children may be more at ease if you describe the process in a different way or using different words. It is very important that the child not walk in to the appointment believing that he/she is going to "pass" or "fail" anything. They will be engaged in some activities, some of which may be fun and challenging for them, in order to find out how best to help them be happy and successful. This is the message that should be communicated clearly. Under no circumstances should the assessment appointment come as a surprise to the young person.
Day of appointment:
Please ensure that your child has had a good night's sleep and a full, nutritious breakfast. Bring snacks to any appointment scheduled for two or more hours in length. Breaks will be given as necessary in order to avoid fatigue and to ensure that the child is able to sustain his/her best effort at the various testing tasks.
Most testing tasks require the child to be alone in a quiet room with the examiner. Particularly for young children, it is a good idea to let them know about this ahead of time, but also to reassure them that a parent will be nearby if needed.
Ideally, testing should take place on a day when there are no other committments or scheduling conflicts that your child needs to be concerned about - if the child is preoccupied with soccer practice, a recital, a sleepover at a friend's house later on, or something similar, it may negatively impact his/her capacity to remain engaged and focused, diminishing the integrity of the testing results. This may not always be possible, but it is advisable just the same.