Q: Why should I choose a comprehensive psychological evaluation when I can get a diagnosis from my child’s physician? What value does testing offer?

A: This is a great question! The value of a comprehensive psychological evaluation (often referred to as “testing”) by far outweighs the costs. To begin, it provides you with a holistic image of your child, highlighting their strengths along with their vulnerabilities. With testing, you can approach the next steps in your child’s care with a firm understanding of areas they need help in, and areas of strength they can use to compensate and thrive. Simply put, a diagnosis alone does not tell psychologists what your child needs; testing does. Also, if you are seeking a diagnosis, testing gives a more accurate diagnosis. Our psychological and psychoeducational testing psychologist, Dr. Megan Burleson explains that this is because testing involves collecting many data points across a variety of methods- allowing there to be more confidence in the answers the report gives. Additionally, due to its comprehensive nature, testing considers non-clinical variables that may impact your child, like solving problems or peer issues, which could lead to misdiagnosis if not taken into account. Furthermore, Dr. Burleson mentions that if your child is struggling in school, testing provides teachers, 504 teams, and IEP teams with valuable information on accommodations and modifications your child requires at school. Overall, testing is empowering for your child. Children and adolescents enjoy the opportunity to put their minds to work and learn more about themselves. Look for a psychologist who can make testing an experience enjoyable. Dr. Burleson says, “when I work with youngsters, it is a priority for me to make testing sessions feel both fun and a little challenging, balancing the concentration needed for our testing with tons of fun breaks in our Nature Room!”