Psychological Testing Q & A: The key to a successful new school year for the struggling child?

With the school year almost half over, children and parents become excited for the challenges and adventures the new year can bring. For some children and adolescents, however, school can be daunting, confusing, and scary. For their parents and teachers it is crucial to find out why some children are struggling and help them make the transition to the joys of learning, making new friends, and rewards of finding success in their young lives!

Psychological testing can seem like a complicated process. Often parents don’t know when to ask for help or where to go for it. Some common behaviors of kids struggling in school can be seen as signals that a well designed and administered testing regime can lead to answers leading to the prospect of a whole new school experience.

For instance:

Is he/she just bored or is there an attention problem?
Psychological Testing can answer this question by assessing all areas of executive functioning, which is the core deficit in Attention Deficit Disorders. Furthermore, if your child is exceptionally bright, or even gifted, he/she may be bored in class. Intelligence testing will assess your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Will the child just grow out of it?
I complete a comprehensive intake process that examines the unique developmental profile of your child. Since I am a child psychologist by training, I will help you understand if your child’s difficulties are developmentally appropriate or if there is a problem which requires intervention.

Why is he/she behind others in the class? Maybe all that is needed is a bit more effort or perhaps something else is getting in the way?
I will not only complete cognitive and achievement testing for your child, but I will observe your child in the school setting at least once to assess how he/she is doing compared to his/her peers. An objective view is helpful when assembling all the pieces of the puzzle. Upon request I will also complete a comprehensive review of your child’s school records to assess how he/she has been doing since beginning school. If your child is not “putting in enough effort,” there may be a social/emotional reason for this. One of our specialties is personality testing and we will be able to identify what emotional issues may be causing your child to get behind.

Does he/she have too much energy, or is treatment needed to deal with hyperactive behavior?
Hyperactive behavior could very well be a sign of an Attention Disorder, but it could also be many other things. Through my comprehensive assessment process, I will help you figure out what the cause is and the appropriate interventions for home and school.

I take the feelings and emotions of children very seriously. If your child is sad, I can assess whether this is a depressive state in need of treatment, or if this is related to an undiagnosed learning problem. Working with the parents and the school as part of the “treatment team,” my goal is for your child to feel happier and more successful.