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  • Writer's pictureDr. Niemeyer

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Psychological Testing?

Updated: Mar 13, 2019

Psychological assessment sounds serious and the process itself may be mysterious to many people. Determining whether to take your child to a psychologist to be tested can be emotional and overwhelming.

Here are some questions to consider:

1. Have you reached out to other experts available to you and are you happy with the support you received? Have you spoken with your child’s pediatrician, therapist, teacher, school counselor, or school psychologist? Do you feel these professionals have given your child the attention and understanding that he or she needs? Do you feel they were able to answer your questions and give you direction towards addressing your concerns?

2. Did any of these professionals suggest psychological testing? If someone who is knowledgeable about this process has already suggested your child may need to be tested, often that can be a good place to start! Trust those who know your child and follow up on referrals.

3. Have you been working with a therapist or with the school system but you feel like there is a piece missing? This is not to say that people are not doing their best, but sometimes there may be missing information about how your child processes or interacts with the world. Having this information can help guide other professionals to better do their jobs.

4. Has someone recommended medication or an academic change but you are just not sure? As a parent, making a decision about medication can be one of the most difficult decisions. Making that decision armed with standardized numbers that quantify your child’s functioning can help you to better decide what to do. (Please note: I am not a medical doctor and cannot tell you what decision to make surrounding medications, but I can provide you with data to share with your doctor).

5. Do you just feel there is something different that is being missed about your child? Oftentimes a parent will come to me and say, “I just know there is something else.” When I provide them with results of testing they often report feelings of relief that someone has helped to explain to them what they already felt to be true. Whether this is surrounding academic concerns, giftedness, attention problems, or social concerns, testing can help clarify what is really going on.

I cannot stress enough that when it comes to testing, it is worthwhile to give me a call and ASK QUESTIONS. I treat each phone call with respect and provide each person with my attention and consideration, whether or not you end up proceeding with testing or choose to proceed with another psychologist. I understand that this process is confusing and can be time consuming and costly. I truly want parents to be informed in making this decision.

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