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Psychological Testing: What It Is and Does My Child Need It?

Psychological Testing: What It Is and Does My Child Need It?

Children cannot always tell their guardians and parents exactly what support they require to thrive, but this information is available to guardians and parents through Psychological Testing. 

What is Psychological Testing?

If your child or teen is demonstrating exceptional genius behavior or appears to be struggling, then psychological evaluations can help you identify where to concentrate your efforts so that the child’s collective support system is aligned on how to best nurture your child’s potential and needs. 

A Psychological Evaluation can be assessed in a variety of ways, but Psychological Testing typically involves interviews, background research of the child’s family and environment, interactional tests, and interviews to determine aptitude in core development areas. 

Core development areas to be evaluated include:

  • Intellectual – A series of comprehensive tests and interviews will identify any developmental delays, disabilities, exceptional levels of intelligence, and/or giftedness, and also rate the child’s communication and analytical reasoning skills.   
  • Academic / Scholastic – Academic learning tests will grade the child’s level of reading, writing, arithmetic, and other related topics. This portion of the examination will clarify any learning disabilities (ie: dyslexia) or special needs that may exist which is essential to have for the development of a Special Education Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). 
  • Neuropsychological – The child’s memory, attention span, and ability to organize and prioritize objectives will be evaluated to determine any neurological disorders that may exist such as ADHD. 
  • Relational – This portion of testing focuses primarily on social-emotional aspects of the child’s life to determine any emotional and mental deficits that might be present. Behavioral habits, emotional coping methods, and mental health assessments will provide specialists with the relevant information required for successful treatment structuring and administering. 

The results of the testing process will be evaluated against rating scales, learning styles, and cognitive functioning benchmarks to determine your child’s aptitude, potential, and needs.

Psychological Testing vs. Psychoeducational Testing

It is important for caregivers to understand the difference between Psychological Testing and Psychoeducational testing. Psychoeducational testing focuses on socio-emotional aspects and learning styles specific to helping determine educational and strengths and needs for appropriate school placement, educational support services, or acceptance into a school or program. Psychological Testing is more holistic and all-inclusive. 

Where do I go for Psychological Testing?  

Clinicians must be specifically trained to administer Psychological and Psychoeducational testing and requirements for who may administer specific tests vary by state.   Evaluations may be conducted in a school setting, or by independent clinicians through their private practice or through a designated child testing or evaluation center. 

It's important to note that specializations within Child Psychological Testing do exist, and license requirements for psychological specializations vary from state to state. For instance, each state has it’s own requirements for Licensed Child and Adolescent Psychologists and Neuropsychologists. Parents who want a specialist to conduct their child’s academic evaluation may want to search specifically for a Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSP) or a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP). 

Benefits of Psychological Testing

There are many reasons why children may require psychological evaluations. Ultimately, parents and guardians find tremendous value in arming themselves with information on their child’s unique abilities and/or limitations. The results of Psychological Testing can reveal priceless knowledge regarding giftedness, learning disorders, mental health concerns, disabilities, or learning style – all of which can help align a child’s collective support system specifically in the areas where it is most needed so that the child grow and develop as successfully as possible. 

Find a Psychological Testing Clinician 

Visit KidsTherapyFinder.com and search our directory to find a Clinician for your child today.

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