One of the most common questions we are asked is “Should I get my child assessed?”
The answer to that question varies as everyone is different. It will depend on the individual needs of each family.
There are a range of reasons why you may choose to have an assessment for your child.
Our most common response to this question is “If you believe that, on the basis of the information you learn, you will do something differently.”
Just getting an assessment so that you have a piece of paper that tells you what you already know about your child, can be a very expensive exercise.
What are the reasons for an assessment?
What might people do differently after they have had an assessment?
Confidently advocate at school for your child’s needs.
It will give you confidence when talking to the school, individual teachers or people with whom your child interacts about their needs. It provides you with objective information, coming from a professional who has interacted with your child, rather than just your own observations. That confidence may then lead you to be able to advocate for a different or enhanced educational opportunity for your child, depending on what information the assessment has provided. It is also important that it provides you with additional information, so that it will help you in the decisions that you are making on behalf of your child.
You are looking for the right school placement.
To assist you with school placement decisions for your child. Should they start early (early entry), or enter a program which will be an acceleration program or one that is slower paced but more in-depth? An assessment will help you to think about, what are the characteristics of your child as far as their learning, thinking, and processing; and what sort of environment might be the right environment for them?
You notice that there is a mismatch between their potential and their performance.
If you are starting to notice that their progress or performance at school is inconsistent with some aspects of potential you have seen in your child. Maybe, when they were younger they were quite precocious, maybe they started to talk early, use complex language, show an interest in the patterns of things in the world, a fascination for the mathematical way the world operates. Perhaps they taught themselves to read before they started school. And now, having arrived at school, they are not progressing in the way you or others would have predicted, based on their earlier behaviours and characteristics. An assessment allows us to find out what might be the underlying reasons for this change.
Your previously excited learner is now starting to switch off.
They are starting to lose interest in school and starting to switch off. You may be wanting to understand why their love for learning is not the same as it once was. We have found that there are often underlying reasons for why this may happen and an assessment can pinpoint these.
You are starting to see some emotional behavioural issues.
Emotional behavioural issues can develop and these can impact day to day life. It is important the remember that every behaviour has a purpose, and an assessment may help to explain the underlying reasons for these behaviours.
An assessment allows us to find out a child’s strengths and also their weaknesses and challenges.
In our experience with bright children, often there can be a masking effect so that we see something different from what we may have predicted for our child based on their earlier characteristics. Their strengths are likely to mask their weaknesses and at the same time their weaknesses might be dragging down their performance in their areas of strength.
A Comprehensive Developmental Assessment allows us to hone in on what those strengths are; what are the interesting ways that they think and what style of learning environment would work best for them. Also, our comprehensive approach to assessment allows us to find out where their weaknesses are; are there areas of challenge; and what exactly are they? Then we can look at what we can do about it.
Strengths needs to be nurtured, extended and challenged. Challenges and weaknesses need to be accommodated, remediated and supported. It is only through this comprehensive approach to assessment that we can get a blueprint for the best way to support our children.
If you would like to know more about what assessment is, what is available, where it might lead you, how it might assist your child and your child’s teacher (who will be supporting them in the classroom), please send us a message, visit our website and look at what we have to offer and how we can support you.