If you are asked to have an assessment performed on your child, we feel you should be aware of the benefits of having one done. It is a tool to help you decide the best course of action for the best interests of your child. It can be a relief to know the true nature of the difficulty you are presented with or to have a diagnosis for a variety of reasons:
• you can do your own research on the subject
• you can join a local support group of parents experiencing similar issues
• you may benefit from proven strategies at home and school
• you can help educate other friends, family members about the subject
• you may be eligible for special services or funding
Your child’s school may suggest and pay for a psycho-educational* or psychological assessment to be done and refer you to their team. It has been recommended that assessments be done every four years during elementary school.The other option is to have your own assessment done privately, which your benefits or Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through your workplace might cover. You can expect to pay anywhere from $800 – $4,000 to have this assessment completed privately. See box below for links to “Finding a Therapist.” The Ontario Psychological Association can direct you to local therapists as should your family doctor or pediatrician.
* the term psycho-educational assessment is commonly used by school personnel to describe an assessment of academic accomplishment, which may or may not include intellectual testing. These tests can be administered by anyone trained to administer these tests. Conversely, a psychological assessment is usually administered by a practitioner trained in psychology and psychometrics and includes IQ, cognitive, memory, language processing, etc., as well as personality tests and questionnaires.
Now You Have a Diagnosis
|“Even though we received this news about our child, this child is the very same one we loved yesterday, a diagnosis has not changed that. We love the gifts that are also a part of his disability.”|
If your child has just been diagnosed, don’t panic! There are other people who understand what you are going through. There are also sources of information which can help you handle problems now and in the future.
A first step would be to find and join a local support group. (see Local Parent Support Groups in Finding Support). Talking to other families experiencing similar difficulties can help you get perspective. They will often have resources such as books and videos that will help to answer your questions. They can be a wonderful source of possible new friends for your child, and for parents/caregivers also. It is comforting to be around other people who “get it”. Other sources of information are local libraries and the internet.