Preparing your Child for a Psychological Evaluation

  1. Children should maintain their regular schedule prior to the testing day. Try to ensure that your child eats a good breakfast or lunch prior to the appointment, and that he or she is well-rested.
  2. You may bring whatever small toys or items your child needs to feel comfortable, as long as you are fairly certain that the presence of these items will not be distracting to your child.
  3. Please bring a snack and drink for your child, as this is often helpful for maintaining a child’s energy throughout the testing session.
  4. Please bring in copies (not originals) of any records such as prior evaluations, report cards, and school-based standardized testing.
  5. If you have a younger child, avoid using the word “tests” and instead explain that he or she will be doing some “activities”. Avoid using the word “games” because most parts of testing are problem-solving and thinking tasks, rather than “games” that children are familiar with. For some children it is helpful to see the picture me of on the website so they know who they are coming to see.
  6. With older children who have a greater understanding of the purpose of the evaluation, you may say “you are going to work with someone who can help understand how you think and learn” and “who can help us make sure your teachers know the best ways to teach you” or to “give us some ideas of what to do to make (school, friends, homework) go a little easier for you.”
  7. There is no way to “prepare” your child for the testing content.  The tests psychologists use are protected and confidential so that they can be novel for all children. Please know that I am sensitive to working with children with different temperaments and needs, including those who are slower to warm up, tend towards being anxious, or become easily frustrated. I believe that developing rapport with your child is an extremely important part of my job, as feeling comfortable is part of what allows children to perform at their best.