Academic Performance Problems and Psychological Testing

Troy Todd, Ph.D., BCN

Sometimes it is hard to tell if children are just choosing not to focus on school work or if they are having real trouble achieving academically. Unfortunately, it is unlikely they will be provided any type of intervention in the school until they are failing badly. By that time, the child and the parents have become frustrated enough that recovery is difficult. Understanding what their strengths and weakness are will help you as a parent reduce their frustration and help you know how they can best succeed. Psychological testing can identify the strengths and weaknesses of any student from age six to college age. This can help the parents and teachers understand how to present material so the student can best comprehend it. It can also help them predict what subjects, concepts, and assignments the student will have difficulty with, and know when and how to provide extra assistance to ensure success. It can help the parents to know what things to encourage the student in to increase their confidence.

When determining where to get psychological testing done, you should consider several factors. Psychological testing can be costly and insurance may only cover testing for specific disorders. You will want to find a clinic that takes the time to determine exactly what you need to know about your child and help you understand why they are using the specific tests they recommend to answer these questions. You should be given the opportunity to prioritize what questions are most important to answer, since each test will cost in time and money. The way the tests are administered are also critical to get a good value. Administration should be conduced by someone that is well qualified to interpret your child’s behavior as it relates to your questions. Interpretation of testing results is a very complex process requiring a strong understanding of tests used and how each test relates to each other. This will allow them to interpret the tests accurately as they relate to your specific questions. Finally, the person writing the test must be able to represent the results and the interpretation in such a way that it will comprehendible by those that will use it to assist your child.