Each assessment differs slightly based on the child’s unique needs and the parent’s concerns. However, in general, most assessments will include the following steps:
Parents can phone or email to refer their child for an assessment, or to find out more about the types of assessments offered and fees. A doctor’s note is not required. The office staff will collect basic contact information, as well as information about your main concerns, and schedule your first appointment for you.
Parent meeting (first appointment)
Assessments typically begin with a parent-only meeting, where concerns are discussed and a detailed interview about the child’s developmental history is completed. Together, the parent and psychologist will make a plan about how to proceed. The intake meeting is usually about 1 hour long. At the end of this meeting, parents will have a good idea of the plan, the assessment process, and which documents they should bring in to the next session. Testing sessions for the child will be scheduled after this meeting is completed.
Parents may be asked for copies of previous assessment / diagnostic reports, relevant medical reports, school documents (such as report cards or individual education plans), letters from teachers, incident reports, work samples, or school-assessments. Parents may also be asked to complete several forms and questionnaires, and to have the child’s teachers complete similar forms.
The one-to-one standardized testing with the child takes place over 2-3 separate mornings. Sessions last 1-2 hours each, for a total of approximately 4-6 hours of testing. The number and length of sessions depend on the age of the child, and how long they are able to maintain their optimal concentration and performance. Every effort is made to ensure that your child is happy, comfortable, and that the session is as fun and engaging as possible. Children are given as many breaks as they need, play is included as much as possible, and fun prizes are given at the end of sessions. For very young children, parents may be invited to stay in the testing room with their child. For older children, parents may wait in the waiting room or leave and pick up their child at the end of the session. If you choose to wait, coffee/tea and free wifi is available in the waiting room. Afternoon and evening appointments are avoided when working with young children, to ensure that fatigue does not contribute to test results. Afternoon appointments can be made for older children and teens.
Scoring and Report Writing
Your psychologist will score all tests, compile all information and data, and spend time interpreting the results. This will be combined into a detailed report, which will include background information, test results, observations, diagnoses (if made), and detailed recommendations personalized to your child.
A feedback meeting is scheduled 2-3 weeks after the final appointment, where the written report will be provided to the parents and fully explained, along with any diagnoses and recommendations for supporting the child at home, school, or in the community.