Middle Childhood Intervention: Module Four – Putting it all Together

Step Four

What will the assessment process be like, this time around? How long will it take?

In some ways, the assessment process you go through this time around will be very similar to the assessment process that you went through the first time around. In other ways it may be quite different.

It will be similar in the following ways:

  • You know what to expect for referral wait times. It may take up to a year for your child to be seen by the appropriate professional;
  • You may already be familiar with the paper work that will need to be filled out and filed  for the referral and assessment processes to begin;
  • You know about some of the professionals who may be assessing your child, including school psychologists and clinical psychologists;
  • You may already know what to expect from the report that will result from the assessment process. It will likely contain information that you may not understand. It may include words and terms you are not familiar with. But this time around  you will know where to go for help with interpreting the results in the report;
  • You may not know anything about the condition your child may have just like the first time around. You may have to conduct your own research  to learn as much as possible about this new condition.

It may be different in the following ways:

  • You may not know about some of the professionals who will be assessing your child. For example, this may be your first time seeing a psychiatrist, who diagnose your child with a mental health condition and prescribe medication for your child;
  • You may now have support from the therapists who are already working with your child. They may write a report that summarizes what they do with your child and why they may suspect that your child may have another condition affecting his or her growth and development;
  • You may have the support of the school-based team if your child has one, or at least your child’s teacher. The team, or teacher, may be willing to write a note detailing what their concerns may be and what they may have observed in the classroom. They may even be willing to fill out a few forms that may be sent to them by your child’s clinical psychologist or psychiatrist;
  • You may have the support of a parent support group. They can help you advocate for your child and fight for him or her if need be.

If what is happening with your child is medical rather than developmental or educational, here are a few points to remember:

  • The assessment process could consist of medical tests, such as blood (Fig. 1), urine and other types of tests, rather than tests or assessments conducted by a clinical psychologist;
  • You may need to visit more than one medical specialist to determine what is happening with your child, and to rule out other diseases that may have the same symptoms that your child is displaying.

blood test

Figure 1. Blood test

Whatever happens during this time  it is, we hope, for the benefit of your child. If your child does in fact have a secondary condition or special need, it is vital that this special need be identified and addressed. This will help your child function well in school, at home and in the community.


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