Copyright 2016. Brighton Center for Pediatric Neurodevelopment. All rights reserved.
How do I know if my child needs testing?
If you feel there is something "not quite right," parental intuition is often accurate about concerns that others do not pick up on until later.
A pediatrician or school may make a referral.
It is your right to seek out an evaluation at any time.
Why is assessment important?
For many children, psychological testing is the gateway to services. In other words, schools or other agencies may not accept a diagnosis unless a formal assessment has been completed.
Standardized tests yield data that compares a child's performance in a very specific area to a large number of children of the same age. Thus, a formal assessment provides data that is more reliable than clinical opinion alone.
A formal assessment provides a 'road map' of your child's strengths and weaknesses (i.e., how your child learns).
What does a full assessment include?
Intake: The purpose of intake is to obtain a history, review available records, and understand parental questions and concerns so that tests can be tailored to the ultimate purpose of the assessment.
Testing must assess ALL areas of suspected difficulty. These may include:
Attention, Impulsivity, Distractibility
Fine (handwriting, fastening snaps or zippers) and Gross Motor Coordination (balance/coordination)
Intelligence and Academic Achievement
Emotional Functions (anxiety, depression, stress)
Behaviors (aggression, opposition, difficulty with transitions)
Testing must be delivered in the mode that the child can understand. We are able to evaluate children from birth through late adolescence and offer specialized assessments for children who do not yet have expressive language, are hearing impaired, or who speak English as a second language.
Testing must take into account input from parents/caregivers and teachers. In order to accomplish this, questionnaires will be provided for these individuals to complete and interviews will be performed when possible.
How will I receive feedback?
Parents are provided with a full assessment report documenting the findings. These results will be discussed with the family in detail during a feedback session and individualized recommendations will be provided and explained.
What do I tell my child?
Reassure them that the reason for assessment is to figure out why some things continue to be difficult despite all of the child's hard work. Many children are concerned that a learning disability equates to 'dumb' or 'stupid' when in actuality, a learning disorder means at least average intelligence but difficulty doing schoolwork despite this level of intelligence. Numerous bright and successful people have struggled with learning disabilities (e.g., Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill).
Explain that they will answer questions, but will also do puzzles, drawing, tell stories and play some other games as well.
They only have to do their best. They cannot "fail." There is no grade for this like in school.
Reassure them that they are not 'stupid' or 'crazy.' We are doing this to make life more comfortable.