Has your child been recommended for educational psychological testing? The hesitancy you may have about getting your child tested for learning difficulties is understandable. As parents, we like to think our kids are kind of perfect – not truly perfect, of course. However, we do come to be familiar with their quirks and love them for their uniqueness. Won’t getting them tested just give them a label that makes that uniqueness appear like a bad thing? And why bother getting a diagnosis if this is just the way they are? If nothing can be done about their struggles, why would we want to label it anyway?
First of all, if you suspected that your child had allergies, wouldn’t you want testing done to find out which allergens were the problem? Saying, “Well, it seems that Johnny is allergic to something. We aren’t big on labels though, so we’ll just hope that he grows out of it or works around it,” is foolish. And dangerous! If you label the sensitivity as a peanut allergy, a milk allergy, a pollen allergy, or so on, you can then make appropriate changes to your lifestyle to help your child maintain his health and to help him to function well in all areas of his life. The same holds true for educational labels. Saying, “Well, Johnny doesn’t seem to be doing too well in school. We aren’t sure why exactly, but we aren’t really big on labels, so hopefully he just outgrows the issue, or learns to work around it,” is a sure recipe for both Johnny’s failure in school and a decrease in confidence.
Next, it is not true that there is nothing to be done about your child’s struggles. No matter what the label is, identifying and understanding it will help you to prepare, plan, support, and guide your child through the parts of their lives that may be more difficult. Knowing your child’s diagnosis can help you find the right therapists, the right classroom help, or the right at-home resources to help your child succeed.
Additionally, getting the educational testing done gives you, your child, and the therapist a benchmark measure of your child’s abilities. After interventions are undertaken, you can reassess and discover which therapies have helped and made a difference. You can also prove to your child and to yourself that progress is being made. Being able to see the progress through testing and informal re-testing is a great encouragement to everyone involved!
There are many more reasons why agreeing to the testing and embracing that label is a good thing for you and your child. Testing is expensive, it’s true. But the value of having proper psycho-educational testing done is well worth the financial sacrifice. It’s true your child is more than just the label. But knowing what you are dealing with, and giving your child words to describe what he or she is experiencing, is incredibly valuable.
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