When To Refer For A Psychological Assessment

We expect to see fluctuations in a child’s daily functioning. Changes in schedule, lack of sleep, illness, and temperament can all impact everyday academic performance, a child’s mood, and their behavior.

To determine the appropriateness of a referral for a Psychological Assess- ment it is useful to look at the intensity and frequency of a problem. If a child is has been struggling all semester with their reading, or having fits daily for the last two weeks then the frequency criteria may be met. However, if the “fits” last for less than a minute, or the child’s reading skills are on grade level, then the intensity criteria may not be met. On the other hand, if the fits last for several minutes (or hours in some cases), or the child’s reading level is below grade placement, than both the frequency and intensity criteria are met.

When in doubt it is usually better to refer than wait for a problem to worsen. We always conduct an initial interview before initiating a full Psychological Assessment battery.