What is a Psychological Evaluation?

A psychological evaluation usually includes interviews of the parents, child, and teachers if possible; formal testing; checklists measuring current functioning on behavior, adaptive skills, emotions, and development; observations; and projective measures such as drawings. Particularly for children, it is important that observation be conducted in a “natural” environment, such as the child’s school. This is because we all tend to exhibit different behaviors in a doctor’s office than we do in settings with which we are comfortable. Also, depending on the referral question, it might be important to observe during a particular activity such as an academic task or during play situations. Multiple observations are even better. The parents should be part of the process and should feel comfortable asking questions. You are the expert on your child, so your input is very important!