If your child or adolescent is struggling in school it can be overwhelming and frustrating to understand the reasons why. Could it be an attention problem such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Is it a learning difference? Difficulty with impulse control? Or might it be anxiety or depression? Psychological evaluations help a psychologist to understand what is behind the difficulties and figure out the best way to address them.

A psychological evaluation is conducted by a psychologist who uses assessment measures to better understand a child’s behavior, arrive at a diagnosis and guide the course of treatment. When a child’s strengths and difficulties can be identified, the child can better reach his or her potential in both academic and social settings. For example, psychological evaluations provide recommendations which can potentially be used in developing interventions and accommodations in a child’s school and social setting. Evaluations also provide parents with helpful treatment recommendations and guidance. When treatment and resources are built around your child’s specific strengths and diagnosis, a child is better equipped to experience success in their academic and social worlds.

The psychological evaluation includes an initial appointment with parents to gather detailed background information regarding their child so that the psychologist can individualize the psychological evaluation. The following sessions are with the psychologist and child/adolescent and include the assessment process (typically two sessions, each approximately 3 hours long). The psychologist may collaborate with other professionals to gather information as well. The assessment results are then written into a report that is shared with the parents and recommendations are discussed. The psychologist can provide guidance to the parents regarding how to implement the recommendations, make appropriate treatment referrals and possibly attend a meeting at the student’s school to discuss possible interventions.

Please contact us if you have further questions about the psychological evaluation process and if this could help understand the why’s behind your child’s struggles.