Developmental Evaluations

Developmental and Psychological Evaluations

What is a developmental assessment?
Developmental testing assesses your child’s progress in various areas of development, most typically including the following: nonverbal problem-solving skills, receptive language, expressive language, fine motor skills, and gross motor abilities. Results provide estimates of age equivalents to help you and our team better understand your child’s developmental progress and make appropriate recommendations. Developmental testing is generally appropriate for children from infancy to five years of age. Caregivers are typically present during developmental assessments, but we ask that you refrain from any input or prompting during testing, as we aim to provide the best estimate of your child’s independent skills.

What is psychological testing?
Psychological evaluations can answer a variety of questions regarding your child’s intellectual abilities, adaptive behavior, academic performance, and social-emotional/behavioral functioning. In collaboration with your treating developmental provider, the psychological evaluation team will determine the scope of the evaluation in order to best answer your questions and concerns.

Testing may include evaluations for autism, developmental delays, learning disabilities, anxiety, attention/executive functioning and other concerns. Evaluation procedures typically include a combination of clinical background information, direct testing/observations with your child, and rating scales to be completed by the parent/caregiver, teacher, and/or your child. Per standardized testing procedures, most psychological assessments require the child to separate from caregivers to complete the evaluation. Many children provide better focus and effort this way, as well!

Do I need to prepare my child for their testing appointment?
You do not need to prepare your child for any of the activities that we perform. In fact, results are most accurate when the activities presented are new to your child! Many of the tests we use to evaluate young children incorporate tasks and activities they enjoy in everyday play. Older children and adolescents enjoy the puzzles, word games, and various activities presented. School aged children may complete academic achievement testing, in which the activities are similar to the lessons they encounter at school.

How can I prepare for the visit?
You may prepare your child for the evaluation by making sure they are well rested and have had a meal prior to the evaluation. You may bring snacks and a drink. Scheduled work breaks are provided throughout the testing to ensure your child has fun and stays motivated to do their best. If your child typically takes medication (i.e. stimulants for ADHD) please have them take the medication on the day of testing unless otherwise instructed.

Please email (developmentalpeds@ascension.org) or fax (512-380-4274) any prior evaluations your child has received.