Children sometimes think that visits
to a doctor will involve shots. It is important to reassure your
child that no shots or painful procedures will be involved in
the visit to the psychologist. For school age children, it is
appropriate to describe testing as being like in school. You can
tell your child that he/she will be doing many different activities.
Some activities involve listening and talking, while other activities
involve looking at pictures, building things, and drawing. Parents
are not typically allowed to be present during testing. Let your
child know that you will be close by while he/she works with the
psychologist. Reassure your child that she/he can have breaks
to use the bathroom and to eat lunch. For preschool children,
you can describe psychological assessment as playing games involving
listening, talking, and remembering. Let the child know that the
psychologist will have toys like blocks and puzzles that he/she
will get to use. Your preschool child may wish to bring a toy
along to the appointment. Try to choose an object that will not
be too distracting for the child (e.g. a small stuffed animal
as opposed to an action figure or toy with many small parts).
You can help your child get ready for the assessment by making
sure that he/she gets a good night sleep prior to testing. Make
sure that your child has eaten so that he/she will not be hungry
during testing. Make the assessment day a special day for your
child by leaving brothers and/or sisters at home.