Preparing Your Child for a Psycho-Educational Assessment

EDUCATION | Feb. 14, 2020

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Special education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. 


Preparing Your Child for a Psycho-Educational Assessment

A psychological assessment is outlined in the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education as part of the process to determine special education eligibility, a requirement for children to receive special education programs and services in school. The results of psychological testing are used to analyze a child’s strengths and weaknesses in ability when planning for appropriate programs and services.

The testing situation can often create an atmosphere where the child may experience “…discomfort, confusion, anxiety, motor planning and sensory challenges.”

The following are ways you can prepare your child for a ”psychological assessment” in school so that they can perform to the best of their ability, with minimum negative impact:

• Be honest, let your child know they are going to go with a school psychologist, and any other school staff who will be administering a test, to do some work.

• Talk to your child about the psychologist, social worker, occupational therapist, any educational professional that they are going to work with, tell them their name.

• Ask that the psychologist, and other professionals,  meet with your child prior to the testing and perhaps engage with them in some enjoyable activity so that the child may feel more comfortable during the test.

• Do not use the word ”test” as it has a negative impact.

• Do not say they will have fun, that it will be easy.

• Tell them what types of activities they may be doing: answering questions, listening, talking, remembering things; they may also be working with blocks and puzzles, writing.

• Ask that the test session(s) be scheduled, if possible, during the time of day when your child functions best.

• Share with the staff what helps make your child feel calm and at ease.

• Share with the staff any incentives that your child may enjoy.

• Stay away from on-line IQ tests or test preparation sites so that the test results may accurately reflect your child’s strengths and weaknesses in ability and performance; this will help enable the team to develop an appropriate and effective educational plan for programs and services.


God Bless,

Barb Brish, DMA Head of Education

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