If I am taking medication, should I take it the day of my evaluation? Should I give my child his/her medication before an evaluation?
Yes, absolutely. This is especially important if children are taking medication for ADHD/ADD because the medication can help them cope more successfully with the demands of the evaluation. We want to see the optimal performance of the person being tested.
How should I prepare my child for an evaluation?
You can tell your child that you are taking them to have some tests done to find out more about how they learn and where their strengths and weaknesses are. You might want to tell them that the results of the tests will help you and their teachers understand their individual capabilities. A better understanding of the situation will help reveal more effective ways to enhance your children’s strengths and talents and also will allow teachers and you to help with any problems your children have. Children who are brought for testing usually are aware that something in their lives is uncomfortable or needs to be changed. Because they are likely to already be aware that they need help, they are likely to be relieved that someone is taking their situation seriously and wants to learn more about them to make it possible to provide help.
I can usually handle any testing concerns children raise in the course of an evaluation, and I always address their perceptions of why they are here before testing starts. Making sure your children get adequate rest and a nutritious breakfast is helpful, but your child will also be given breaks as needed during the evaluation. A lengthy lunch break is included during the more complete evaluations. Parents are encouraged to take younger children somewhere for lunch where they can run around or get some exercise before returning for the rest of the evaluation. In rare cases, a child needs to be tested on more than one day, but most people can have their testing completed in one day. Sometimes adults complete some tests at home, but children usually complete all their testing here in the office.