There are several different types of assessments out there from brief evaluations that take a 3-4 hours to forensic evaluations that can take up to 40 hours. Here at CDK we focus on Psychological Assessments.

Psychological Assessment is the fastest, most effective tool for diagnosis. It provides you with increased access to services. It reduces the risk of misdiagnosis, often seen when only a brief screener is given, and provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the areas that are most challenging for your child. 

Strengths and limitations are assessed using both observational data from parents, teachers, doctors, and any other important people in your child’s life— as well as a few instrumental measures (or “activities,” as I like to call them), given to your child to measure their level of functioning and ability in an array of areas: social, academic, behavior, in both the conscious and unconscious level. Although it can be challenging at times for children to complete the activities, I’ve found that most enjoy the process and are willing to try their best.

Psychological Assessments.

PA’s are comprehensive reports used to give to the school or medical provider to inform them of your child’s diagnosis, strengths and limitations regarding their diagnosis, and suggestions for possible services they may be eligible for and to inform potential medication choices.

A Psychological Assessment (PA) is focused on answering diagnostic questions such as:

What is my child’s diagnosis? What can I do as a parent to help my child succeed? What services is my child eligible for? What areas does my child need more help with? I’m thinking about medication, but I want to know what is going on first.

How Calm Down Kids can help.

Public schools can offer Educational Assessments conducted by a school psychologist, counselor, or the teacher. The purpose of these assessments is to determine if the child meets state criteria for being eligible for an Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or 504 Plans. You child’s eligibility for one of these services is not the same as receiving a diagnosis. This is because schools cannot diagnose students, only psychologists can. And yes, a school psychologist is different from a clinical psychologist.

There are several challenges to receiving services through the schools. First, school assessments are conducted based on need. The higher the child’s need, the sooner they will be assessed. Second, there is very little funding and schools are very strategic with how they use their funding. Third, there are very few service providers in our area. This leads to a long waiting list and children are often waiting the entire school year before testing is completed.

If your child’s symptoms are impacting their work, but they test well they could be denied services. If during observation in the classroom your child does not appear to be disruptive, they can also be denied services.

Even if your child receive the assessment, there is a deficit of providers and they may have to wait to be assigned recommendations like a 1-on-1 aid or private speech therapy.

And those are just the issues with public schools! Most private and charter schools do not have a psychologist on staff to conduct any assessments, and they refer out to an agency like Calm Down Kids (CDK) for a diagnosis and recommendations on services they may be able to offer in class.

If your child was denied an educational assessment or you want a second opinion, contact CDK to see how we can help.

What to expect from a CDK Psychological Assessment.

In the first appointment only parents and caregivers come in and I would gather historical data about your child. This is done so that you can speak freely without little ears overhearing.

Testing with your child can take 2-4 hours, though in more complicated cases it could be closer to 6 hours. Observations are 1 hour increments over 2 days. After all information is collected results are scored, interpreted, and written into a report which can take over 4 hours. Then you would come in for the results approximately 2 weeks after the last day of testing, which is an hour of feedback and answering any questions you have. The entire process can take 4 to 6 weeks to complete.

You will leave with a signed copy of the assessment report which I encourage you to share with the people who work directly with your child.


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