Frequently Asked Questions
Does my child need a psychoeducational assessment?
Every child is different in terms of their needs and abilities, but here are some of the signs that your child may need a psychoeducational assessment:
- If your child consistently studies hard but the marks don’t reflect his/her effort
- If your child is clearly intelligent but, because of procrastination and poor planning skills, cannot deliver their homework or assignments on time
- If your child’s teacher notes in his/her report card that they need to pay more attention or stay more focused in class
- If your child presents with any behavioural or emotional problems related to school or home
- If your child consistently doesn’t want or doesn’t like to go to school
- If your child’s marks are good in all areas except one or two, such as Math or English
- If you think your child would benefit from school accommodations
Assessments are valuable to learn about what your child’s learning potential is and how they learn and process information. Part of the assessment also involves identifying specific learning strategies and the types of support they are likely to benefit from both at home and at school.
Contact us for a free consultation to discuss whether an assessment would be valuable for you and your child.
Does my child have ADHD?
ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that can create many problems for children in different areas of their lives. The difficulties children with ADHD vary from child to child and can be difficult to recognize. Many of the individual symptoms of ADHD are normal for children to experience. However, if they persist and affect the child’s successful functioning across contexts, such as at home, at school, or with friends, it is important to speak with a professional to discuss next steps. Don’t wait to get help – it is essential that children get the support they need as soon as possible so that they do not miss out on any more valuable learning and/or social opportunities.
If your child exhibits several of the following symptoms, seek consultation to promote your child’s success as soon as possible:
- Difficulty sitting still/always fidgeting
- Talks a lot
- Difficulty playing quietly or relaxing
- Short attention span
- Daydreams/stares into space
- Difficulty waiting (e.g., for their turn, in lines)
- Moves between activities before finishing the first activity
- Easily distracted
- Make careless mistakes
- Interrupts others
- Difficulty staying calm/regulating emotions
- Don’t think before they act
- Loses things
- Forget things/instructions, even when reminded
- Difficulty staying engaged in activities that are boring, hard, or take a long time to finish
- Does not seem to pay attention when directly spoken to
Contact us for a free consultation to discuss whether further assessment would be valuable for you and your child.
What do I need to know about the assessment process?
Many parents have questions about what to expect about the assessment process. Psychological testing may sound intimidating, but it’s designed to help you and your child. The information gathered from the assessment will help determine your child’s strengths and areas to work on, as well as provide invaluable information regarding best support strategies. The results of the assessment can change a child’s educational future in significant ways, allowing him or her to meet or exceed educational expectations.
A comprehensive assessment typically includes an evaluation of your child’s cognitive functioning, academic performance, behaviour, and social/emotional functioning. Additional assessments may be conducted, as necessary, to further explore strengths and challenges. Assessment information will be integrated and a written report will be provided, which includes a detailed analysis of information obtained with appropriate recommendations.
What is involved in the assessment?
Psychological testing isn’t like taking a multiple-choice exam that you either pass or fail. Rather, psychologists use information from a variety of sources to make clinical decisions and to develop a treatment plan. Parents are important collaborators in the assessment process. They are involved in an initial interview to discuss their concerns and goals for their child, as well as to provide important information about their child’s developmental history, family history, and current areas of functioning. When possible, assessments may also include interviewing other people who are close to the child, such as teachers or other family members.
Assessment tools are used to measure and observe a child’s behaviour to help figure out the child’s unique strengths and areas to work on, as well as to identify the best strategies to support the child’s overall success. The instruments used depend on the difficulties the child is having. For instance, children who are experiencing difficulty in school, for example, may complete tests looking at their intelligence and academic achievement. Other tests evaluate whether the child is experiencing social difficulties, worries, or low mood. The underlying cause of a child’s difficulties isn’t always clear. For example, if a child is having trouble in school, does he or she have a reading problem such as dyslexia? An attention problem such as ADHD? Difficulty with impulse control? Psychological tests and assessments allow a psychologist to understand the nature of the problem, and to figure out the best way to go about addressing it.
Questionnaires or checklists are also often used to gather information regarding the child’s social/emotional/behavioural functioning at home and at school. When possible, it is helpful for the psychologist to review any school or medical records that are available.
How long does testing take?
The assessment process usually requires two or more office visits, depending on the nature of concerns, the developmental level of the child, the course of treatment, and a number of other factors. Testing sessions are usually scheduled during the morning when most children function at their best. We don’t want to exhaust children over one testing session; as such, it is best to schedule a few testing blocks to prevent mental and physical fatigue and to optimize your child’s motivation and performance.
How do I prepare my child for an assessment?
It is important to talk to children about what will happen before any procedure. Children feel less anxious when they know what to expect. Be sure your child knows that this is not a medical exam, so there are no needles or medicine. For younger children, you may wish to emphasize the play aspect, focusing on the puzzles and games. For older children, it is often helpful to describe both games and school-type work, but there are no marks or grades given and the results have no bearing on their report card. Avoid using the word “test.” Let your child know they are coming to see someone who helps figure out how kids learn so that he/she can help teach parents and teachers how to teach him/her the best. They will play a couple of games, answer some questions, and do some puzzles. It will be fun!
What happens when testing is complete?
After testing is complete, we will meet to go over the assessment results. You will also receive a detailed written analysis of the assessment results, and personalized intervention strategies for your child to increase his or her success across all contexts exponentially. We also offer follow-up support in implementing recommendations as needed. It is important teachers also understand the outcomes to provide the right support for your child’s learning in the classroom; as such, debriefing with the school/teachers is important. We will also link parents with a variety of community resources and supports.
Do I really need counselling? I can usually handle my problems.
Counselling is an empowering process that helps individuals engage in self-reflection while promoting self-reliance and self-confidence. Often times, people maintain emotional beliefs and reservations that restrict, and even sabotage, them from meeting their goals. There are many emotional issues that find a corner in our heart, and refuse to die down. With time, these issues can transform into a sort of emotional tumor that negatively effects our daily life, such as lack of concentration, enthusiasm, self-respect, will to change, encouragement, and so on. These issues can spiral into our lives in various ways and channels into other zones, which can create problems in the relationships, professional life, and health.
Counselling can help to reprogram these beliefs and rewire the brain to change habitual patterns of thinking and behaving to revive your psychological well-being and improve the quality of your life. Accessing support is a sign of great strength. By engaging in counselling, we will help you embrace life, the way it is meant to be.
Contact us for a free consultation to discuss any additional questions you may have about counselling.
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