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Straight Talk about Psychological Testing for Kids

Is My Child Delayed? Expert Advice on When to Seek Help and What to Expect from the Testing Process

Many parents worry that something might be "not quite right" with their child. Whether the child is struggling at school or appears to be "behind" others their age, parents often wonder if they are being overly anxious or if their intuition is correct. Expert child psychologists, Ellen B. Braaten, Ph.D. and Gretchen Felopulos, Ph.D., recently published an informative guidebook for parents called, "Straight Talk about Psychological Testing for Kids."

"Nearly one in five children receive some form of psychological, academic or intelligence testing each year," said Ellen B. Braaten. "Every day thousands of parents are confronting the possibility that their child might have a learning disability or developmental delay. Not knowing what to do, what might happen and where to seek help can add stress to the situation. Our book helps parents decide what to do, when to do it and what to expect."

Figuring out what is "wrong" might involve a testing evaluation to assess behavioral and social skills, language development, motor skills, intelligence, attention, memory and learning skills. Results of these tests can diagnose learning problems or conditions like autism, ADHD or giftedness. Braaten and Felopulos offer the following tips for concerned parents.

1. Follow Your Intuition

Often a parent's gut reaction is right. You are your child's advocate and closest ally. Take action right away. Your first stop should be an appointment with a pediatrician, who may refer your child for further testing.

2. Do Your Homework

Being informed about the testing process can ease the fears of both parents and children. Learn everything you can about the testing process and ask pertinent questions.

3. Use a Trained Professional

Any diagnosis must be performed by a trained professional. Your own or a friend's diagnosis might send you down a path full of unnecessary worry.

4. Prepare For the Diagnosis

Finding out that nothing is wrong can relieve, or even worry, some parents. If something is discovered, try not to worry - your child will soon be getting the help they need. Find a support group and talk to others who have been through the process.

"Straight Talk about Psychological Testing for Kids" is published by Guilford Press and is available in both hardback and paperback editions.

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