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Tips For Parents

Taking your child to a psychological evaluation can sometimes feel scary for parents because it's difficult to know what to expect.  Dr. Gourvitz works hard to make each evaluation fun, individualized and low stress.  Try these four tips to help prepare your child for their appointment:  

Image by Alexander Dummer


Avoid The Word "Test"

Avoid using the word test when speaking with your child because it can incite stress and anxiety!  If your child is having challenges in school, the idea of going to take a test can be daunting or overwhelming and stress can impact their performance during the psychological evaluation. This applies too for children that have a tendency toward perfectionism or anxiety in general. They may wonder how they can study for the “test,” or feel unprepared, which, again, can impact their performance.   Use words like "activities", "fun challenges", etc.


Friendly Framing

Frame it to them as something you know won’t worry them or something they may even enjoy (without lying, of course!)Essentially, a child psychological assessment is a doctor’s appointment involving activities! So if your child doesn’t mind going to the doctor or enjoys different types of activities (especially the learning kind), you can use either of those descriptions to explain it to them.   There are puzzles, drawings, “playing” with blocks, story-telling, and some “silly” questions.  Some kids enjoy the overall challenge of the tasks. 

Kids Stacking Blocks
Image by Thomas Park


Avoid Online IQ or Preparation Sites

It is important that children are not prepared via any form of “practice tests” prior to psychoeducational/ evaluations because this impacts the accuracy of the results in two possible ways. One, it can inflate their results, leading to a higher estimation of their abilities which interferes with the psychologist’s ability to understand what the child truly needs help with.  It could also result in recommending a class placement that is too advanced for them, which can lead to a lot more challenges in school down the road.  Secondly, it may tire them or lead them to feel too familiar with the tasks so when they do the real IQ test they may not put forth their full effort. This can result in a lower estimation of their abilities, which we wouldn’t want either.  We want our results to be the most accurate reflection of your child’s strengths and challenges, in order to give the best possible recommendations tailored just for them. 


A Typical Day Routine

Keep your bedtime/morning routine as normal as possibe and ensure your child gets a good night’s rest and has a decent breakfast.  Pack a lunch & snack for full psychoeducational evaluation which can last up to four hours (with breaks).  Let your child know what the schedule for the day will be, so they know what to expect.  

Image by Thomas Bormans
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