What par­ents need to know go­ing in to a psy­choe­d­u­ca­tional assess­ment

The Kids Post - - Education Feature -

Con­sider a con­sul­ta­tion

Though not all prac­ti­tion­ers re­quire a con­sult­ing visit, Dr. Ford and Dr. Kenny Bridg­man both ask that par­ents meet with them be­fore assess­ment. At Kenny Bridg­man’s clinic, par­ents par­tic­i­pate in an in­take ses­sion, where the psy­chol­o­gist will ob­tain in­for­ma­tion on the de­vel­op­men­tal his­tory of the child, ex­plain the assess­ment process in full and an­swer any ques­tions par­ents may have. Ford adds that a con­sul­ta­tion al­lows him to get to know the par­ents and can also de­ter­mine if a child re­quires testing at all (as op­posed to other op­tions such as coun­selling or tu­tor­ing). At this time, psy­chol­o­gists also go over the in­formed con­sent process: re­view­ing con­fi­den­tial­ity, record­keep­ing pro­ce­dure and fees.

Al­ways be pre­pared

At Kenny Bridg­man’s clinic, par­ents are asked to com­plete in­take forms in ad­vance as well as other ques­tion­naires about their child re­lat­ing to at­ten­tion, ex­ec­u­tive func­tion­ing and so­ciale­mo­tional de­vel­op­ment. These will be passed on to the testing psy­chol­o­gist at the assess­ment. Par­ents may also be asked to bring in other rel­e­vant doc­u­men­ta­tion such as re­ports from other prac­ti­tion­ers and re­cent re­port cards.

Re­view and re­form

Once the assess­ment is com­plete, par­ents meet with the psy­chol­o­gist — usu­ally without the child — to re­view the find­ings. They will also re­ceive a re­port that ex­plains these find­ings and out­lines the psy­chol­o­gist’s rec­om­men­da­tions. Kenny Bridg­man and Ford agree that chil­dren may ben­e­fit from sit­ting down with the psy­chol­o­gist them­selves to re­view the assess­ment find­ings, and that this may help them bet­ter un­der­stand their needs and self-ad­vo­cate (this will de­pend on the age and ma­tu­rity of the child).

“I might say, ‘ You need a pair of glasses for your hand,’ ” Ford says, to ex­plain a child’s weaker mo­tor skills, which might re­quire a key­board, lap­top or spe­cial pen, and dis­tin­guish this need from an in­abil­ity to learn. “The goal is to em­power the child and show them that we all have dif­fer­ent strengths and needs.”

“Par­ents may de­cide to share the psy­chol­o­gist’s re­port with the child’s school,” says Kenny Bridg­man. “At this time, the school will re­view the re­port and put sup­ports in place as re­quired and as avail­able at the school.

Ford says that the child’s re­port will of­ten con­tain a re­lease for schools if find­ings re­veal a di­ag­nos­able learn­ing is­sue, but he re­it­er­ates that it re­mains up to par­ents to in­volve ed­u­ca­tors.

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