It is a big decision to have your child assessed, whether it is for speech and language skills, motor skills, or other areas.  With the emphasis being placed on early identification and intervention, paired with long wait lists for publically-funded services, our team is evaluating many children younger than 18 months.  Whatever your child’s age, it is beneficial to understand the assessment process and prepare for it.

Our Agenda:

  1. Help you and your child to feel welcome and comfortable.
  2. Learn about the background history and reasons that you are looking for an assessment.
  3. Hear what other professionals have had to say about your child.
  4. Answer questions that you have about what we do and our professional opinion of your child’s needs.
  5. Learn as much about your child as a unique individual as we can.  We will evaluate your child’s skills through numerous activities, both unstructured and structured.  This process typically involves challenging your child beyond his/her comfort zone as he/she is able.
  6. Help you to develop an intervention plan that takes into consideration not only your child but the family as a whole.

Helpful things you can do prior to the assessment:

  1. Evaluate your readiness for the assessment.
  2. Get information in advance.   Visit our website, talk to other parents who use our services, or research what various professions evaluate.
  3. Prepare your questions.  In spite of our best intentions, it is easy to forget or miss opportunities to ask questions.  Bringing a list ensures that you won’t leave without having your key questions answered.
  4. Prepare your child.  Depending on his/her age, you can explain that he/she will be playing and working with a new person.  If your child is older, give them more detailed information that the session will be both fun and hard work and that we want to find ways to help him/her succeed.  Older children may be able to identify areas that are problematic in their lives, which will help them to ‘buy in’ to the assessment process.
  5. Bring some ‘comfort’ items for your child.  Snacks and favourite toys or books not only provide your child with something familiar to do while adults are talking, they can also provide a starting point for interaction and conversation with a shy or reluctant child.
  6. Bring written information.  If you are missing reports from other professionals, it is helpful to request copies.
  7. Bring another adult.  The amount of information can be overwhelming and it can be extremely beneficial to have someone else with you.  That person could take notes or entertain your child to provide an opportunity for you to talk with the therapist without distraction.
  8. Follow-up review.  It is very common to formulate more questions and comments in the days and weeks after an assessment as you reflect on the session.  We welcome the opportunity to review and discuss with you.