Why have my child assessed?
Testing for giftedness and gifted program admission.
Many parents have their child tested to assess for giftedness or gifted program admissions. Some parents notice qualities of giftedness in their child and want to have these explored further (qualities such as excellent problem solving, abstract reasoning, curiosity, vivid imagination and sensitivity). Boredom in the classroom and underachievement are also concerns parents feel warrant assessment. Often very bright children underachieve in order to fit in with their peers. It is helpful to identify giftedness as soon as possible so that a child's environment can be adapted successfully to best fit their ability.
Testing for problems in the school and/or home setting.
Some parents may have noticed their child exhibiting academic or personal problems at home or at school. A bored, gifted child may be showing their frustration by being disruptive in school, refusing to do homework, or displaying anxiety and/or negative moods. Similarly, children with learning difficulties often show their frustration through disruptive behaviour and/or negative moods. An assessment will provide parents with critical information about their child's current cognitive and academic ability.
Testing for a Specific Learning Disorder
Often parents have their child assessed if they suspect their child may have learning difficulties. They may have noticed their child exhibiting academic or personal problems at home or at school. Their child may be struggling in a certain academic area, such as reading or writing, or may be performing significantly below their peers. Learning difficulties or boredom in the classroom can often manifest itself in disruptive behaviour, aggression, withdrawal from activities, school refusal, self-doubt, social conflicts, anxiety and/or negative moods. There are 3 more common specific learning difficulties: With impairment in reading (Dyslexia), written expression, and mathematics.
Testing for ADHD (inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity)
Parents may have their child assessed if they are showing signs of inattentiveness, impulsivity, or hyperactivity across multiple settings (e.g., school and home) that is interfering with their social, emotional or academic functioning.
Children who have signs of Inattention:
- Fail to give close attention to details or make careless mistakes
- Have difficulty sustaining attention
- Do not appear to listen
- Struggle to follow through on instructions
- Have difficulty with organisation
- Avoid or dislike tasks requiring sustained mental effort
- Lose things
- Are easily distracted
- Are forgetful in daily activities
Children who have signs of Hyperactivity/Impulsivity:
- Fidget with their hands or feet or squirm in a chair
- Have difficulty remaining seated
- Run about or climb excessively.
- Have difficulty engaging in activities quietly
- Act as if driven by a motor; adults will often feel internally as if they were driven by a motor
- Talk excessively
- Blurt out answers before questions have been completed
- Have difficulty waiting or taking turns
- Interrupt or intrude upon others
Testing for enhanced understanding of a child's learning style.
Often parents simply want to understand more about their child's abilities - their strengths and weaknesses, and preferred learning styles (e.g., visual-spatial versus verbal learners). Some parents are interested in knowing if their child is performing academically in the normal range for their age. Knowledge in these areas can greatly assist a child's school performance, behaviour, and self-esteem.