How can I prepare my child for the evaluation?

For younger children, you may choose to downplay the label “doctor” if this is a frightening term and feel free to refer to your clinician by their first name. Reassure the child that this is an office with lots of toys and games, there are no medical or invasive procedures utilized. Parents may spend some portion of time in the testing room with their child. However, when possible, the child is tested independently from the parents.

For school age children, it may be helpful to inform them about the process and clarify expectations. A child may want to have more information about why the testing is happening. A simple explanation is that we are trying to understand how he/she learns so that you can make sure that his/her teachers “know the best ways of teaching” her/him. You can let your child know that he/she will spend about two hours working with a doctor who wants to understand how he/she learns and solves problems. The doctor will be asking the child questions, telling stories, showing pictures and asking him/her to draw. You may also inform the child that some things may be like “school work” and other things will be more like different games or activities. The testing process is broken down with opportunities to take breaks, play, and have a snack. Parents are encouraged to bring a snack or preferred food items that they may have on a break.