Category Archives for "Testing"

Predictability During Uncertainty:

Tools for parents and children

  • Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time.
  • Get dressed.  Getting dressed really does have an impact on mood, depression in particular. 
    • Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes.
    • wash your face.
    • brush your teeth.
    • Put on some bright colors.
  • Go outside.  Try for at least once a day for thirty minutes.
  • Move.  Find some time to move each day for at least thirty minutes.
    • You can find free exercise classes on YouTube.
    •  Dancing counts too; turn on the music and have a dance party!
  • Stay Connected.  Reach out to others (daily is best).  Try FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, text—connect with other people to seek and provide support.
    • Don’t forget to do this for your children as well. Set up virtual playdates with friends daily via FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Kids, Zoom, etc—your kids miss their friends, too!
  • Stay hydrated and eat well. This one may seem obvious, but stress and eating often don’t mix well, and we find ourselves over-indulging, forgetting to eat, and avoiding food.
  • Self-Care.  In times of stress we tend to neglect our self-care.  Remember the airline safety talk about putting your mask on first and then your child’s…this same concept applies to self-care.  When you take care of yourself you can better help your child!  Self care is not a “one size fits all” strategy.  Find what works for you. 
    • Don’t forget the sensory component.
    • Seven senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell, vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (comforting pressure).
      • An idea for each: a soft blanket or stuffed animal, a hot chocolate, photos of vacations, comforting music, lavender or eucalyptus oil, a small swing or rocking chair, a weighted blanket. A journal, an inspirational book, or a mandala coloring, bubbles to blow or blowing watercolor on paper through a straw are visually appealing as well as work on controlled breath. Mint gum, Listerine strips, ginger ale, frozen Starburst, ice packs, and cold are also good for anxiety regulation. For children, it is great to help them create a self-regulation comfort box (often a shoe-box or bin they can decorate) that they can use on the ready for first-aid when overwhelmed.
  • Find space. Create a work/school space and a separate retreat space. 
    • Help children identify a place to retreat when stressed. You can make this place cozy by using blankets, pillows, cushions, scarves, beanbags, tents, and “forts”.
  • Expect hiccups and behavioral issues.  We all struggle with disruption in routine, especially children. They rely on routines constructed by others to make them feel safe and to know what comes next. Expect increased anxiety, worries and fears, nightmares, difficulty separating or sleeping, testing limits, and meltdowns. Do not introduce major behavioral plans or consequences at this time—hold stable and focus on emotional connection. 
  • Limit social media and COVID conversation.  This is especially true when around children. Find a few trusted sources that you can check in with consistently, limit it to a few times a day, and set a time limit for yourself on how much you consume (again 30 minutes tops, 2-3 times daily).
  • Find the good (the helpers).  There are also a ton of stories of people sacrificing, donating, and supporting one another in miraculous ways. It is important to counter-balance the heavy information with the hopeful information.
  •  Find something you can control.  In moments of big uncertainty and overwhelm, control your little corner of the world. Organize your bookshelf, purge your closet, put together that furniture, group your toys.
  • Find a project. Now IS the time to learn how to play an instrument, put together a huge jigsaw puzzle, have a marathon monopoly game, READ, build something, stream a new show, bakes or try out a new recipe. Find something that will keep you busy, distracted, and engaged to take breaks from what is going on in the outside world.
  • Find humor. There is a lot to be worried about, and with good reason. Counterbalance this heaviness with something funny each day: puppy videos on YouTube, memes, or a funny movie—we all need a little comedic relief in our day, every day.
  • Remind yourself this is temporary. It seems in the midst of this quarantine that it will never end. It is terrifying to think of the road stretching ahead of us. Please take time to remind yourself that although this is very scary and difficult, and will go on for an undetermined amount of time, it is a season of life and it will pass. We will return to feeling free, safe, busy, and connected in the days ahead.
  • Find the lesson. This whole crisis can seem sad, senseless, and at times, avoidable. What can each of us learn here, in big and small ways, from this crisis? What needs to change in ourselves, our homes, our communities, our nation, and our world?

Does my child need testing?

Hearing the word "testing" can leave people feeling intimidated. 

However, the purpose of testing is to provide clarity and be helpful.  What’s confusing is the many different types of tests, evaluations, or assessments available.  Testing can be provided within your school district or privately with a psychologist.  This article will provide information about types of testing and what they can and cannot tell you. 

Should Testing Be Separate From School Evaluations?

When a school provides an evaluation, they typically have a specific area of concern.  These evaluations are usually focused on your child’s academic performance or needs at school.  For instance, if your child is struggling with reading, you will receive a “dyslexia evaluation.” This is the same for concern with mathematics and written expression.  

This type of focused testing will provide information about your child’s academic performance and if they meet criteria to receive help at school through a 504 Plan or Individual Education Plan (IEP).  Another important detail about school evaluations is that they are free. 

Private evaluations are generally provided by a psychologist for a fee.  Licensed clinical psychologists are expertly trained to administer assessments and tests and interpret the results.  There are several types of evaluations or assessments offered.  The overall goal of testing it to provide data on the individual’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses.

Below is a list of evaluations offered by psychologists:

  • Neuropsychological Evaluation - Neuropsychological assessment has at its core the goal of identifying individual cognitive strengths and weaknesses. A good neuropsychological assessment tailors the evaluation to the child’s needs as well as being comprehensive. Thus, not all children will be administered the same measures. It is designed to provide parents, educators, and medical personnel not only with what the child knows, but how the child thinks and arrives at solutions. Children can have difficulty for many different reasons and a neuropsychological evaluation provides a window into understanding what is problematic, what is a strength, and what are the treatment recommendations. The main areas that are evaluated in a neuropsychological assessment include the following: Cognitive functioning, academic achievement, attention, executive functions, learning and memory, language, visual-spatial skills, adaptive behavior, social and emotional functioning. 
  • Psychological Evaluation - A psychological evaluation can include numerous components such as norm-referenced psychological tests, informal tests and surveys, interview information, school or medical records, medical evaluation and observational data. A psychologist determines what information to use based on the specific questions being asked. This is a formal way of making accurate conceptualizations and formal diagnoses.
  • Attentional Evaluation - There is no "one test" to diagnosis ADHD. Rather, a diagnosis is often made as part of a neuropsychological evaluation. This is the most objective and ethical method for diagnosing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  • Autism Evaluation – Developmental screenings can detect signs of an autism spectrum disorder as early as 9 months.  These tests help medical professionals track developmental milestones.  When a child is older, the use of formal measures is indicated.  Professionals like developmental pediatricians, child neurologists, and child psychologists provide testing to make a formal diagnosis.  Like an attentional evaluation, a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is reached through a neuropsychological evaluation. 
  • Gifted and Talented Evaluation - Testing provides an objective and systematic way for identifying gifted children. This evaluation includes a formal measure of cognitive (intellectual) functioning. In additional to intellect, a variety of characteristics are considered to identify gifted children (creative, artistic, leadership, and specific academic fields) which often require more than one test to identify.
Hopefully this article provided a bit of clarity into the types of testing offered and providers.  If you have additional questions or would like to discuss testing please contact Dr. Kristin Rose at