Why You Should Have Your Child Tested over Summer
Where are you on the road to finding answers for your child? Are you researching IEPs and choosing between getting your child evaluated through their school or a private practice? Maybe your child has been evaluated by their school but denied an IEP.
Regardless of where you are on this journey, I want to encourage you that you are not alone. In addition to countless other parents that are facing similar questions, there are professionals, like me, who are passionate about providing answers and insight.
With more than 30 years of experience providing assessments, counseling and educational consultations—as well as working as a public-school psychologist—I am very familiar with the difficulties you may be facing in the process of getting your child evaluated.
That is why I want to share with parents that having an academic evaluation done over summer break comes with many benefits.
Here are four advantages to getting your child evaluated during summer break.
No fear of falling further behind academically
Students are often taken out of class to do testing during the school year. This is especially the case when the evaluation is done by a child’s school. For the student who is already struggling to keep up, missing class can add an extra stressor to the process.
If the evaluation is being done through a private practice, testing is not limited to school hours, but scheduling often still conflicts with sports and other activities. Doing an evaluation over summer break helps with these issues.
I don’t say all of this to dissuade parents from ever doing evaluations when school is in session. Circumstances might make it impossible for you to choose a private evaluation or to even wait until summer. If you do have the option, however, you will want to consider summer.
Get the evaluation done quicker
Scheduling evaluations around school and other seasonal obligations usually means that the six to eight hours of testing are drawn out across two months or more. This can be taxing on kids and families that already have busy schedules. Summer schedules allow for a shortened testing process.
More appointment times available
The greatest push to have kids evaluated happens around parent-teacher conferences. Once parents and teachers are on the same page about what they have been witnessing at home and in the classroom, the need for a student to be evaluated becomes evident. Urgency drives many families to begin evaluations.
Conversely, as the summer months get closer, parents begin to put off evaluations for a later date with statements like, “Let’s wait and see what happens down the road.”
For the families that can choose to do an evaluation during the summer or even the week of spring break, the process is quick and more appointment times are available.
Peace of Mind
As I said earlier, many parents put evaluations off as summer approaches with the idea that time will tell what needs to be done. I would like to point out that this can lead to a difficult beginning to the following semester. As summer wraps up, you will wonder if this new year will be like the last one. Your child may be nervous going back as well.
Having an evaluation done during the summer months can give you peace of mind. The results may show that your child just needs a little guidance or strategies for doing homework, taking tests, or completing tasks. The results could also show that your child is struggling with an undiagnosed learning disability. At this point, I would begin suggesting a plan of action and discussing what the next semester should look like. Either way, you would be prepared to send your child back to school.
If you would like to learn more about what is involved in an academic evaluation, please reach out to me. I would happy to discuss any questions you have about the process.
Wondering what you should be looking for when choosing an educational psychologist for your child? You may find some helpful information in my blog, Picking an Educational Psychologist for Your Child.