How to prepare

1) There is no way to “prepare” your child for the testing content. The tests psychologists use are protected and confidential so that they can be novel for all children and maintain their validity. I believe that developing rapport with your child is an extremely important part of my job, as feeling comfortable is part of what allows a child to perform at their best. Please know that I am very experienced working with children with different temperaments and needs, including those who are slower to warm up, are anxious in new settings, or become easily frustrated. 

2) If you have a younger child, avoid using the word “tests” and instead explain that he or she will be doing some “activities”. Avoid using the word “games” because most parts of testing are problem-solving and thinking tasks, rather than “games” that children are familiar with. For some children it is helpful to see the picture me of on the website so they know who they are coming to see.  With older children who have a greater understanding of the purpose of the evaluation, you may say “you are going to work with someone who can help understand how you think and learn” or “who can help us make sure your teachers know the best ways to teach you” or “who can give us some ideas of what to do to make (school, friends, homework) go a little better for you.”

3) Please bring in copies (not originals) of any records such as prior evaluations, IEP’s (especially trienniel evaluations containing test scores), report cards, and school-based standardized testing. This will enable me to best understand your child’s development over time.

4) Children should maintain their regular schedule prior to the testing day. Please ensure that your child eats a good breakfast prior to the appointment and that he or she is well-rested.

5) Please bring a snack and drink for your child, as this is often helpful for maintaining a child’s energy throughout the testing session.  

6) You may bring whatever small toys or items your child needs to feel comfortable, as long as you are fairly certain that the presence of these items will not be distracting to your child. 

7) If you know your child will need extra incentives aside from the incentives I typically use, feel free to bring any particular motivators or rewards that your child responds best to.

© Samantha Simms Piper / Piper Child Psychology 2013