It is not uncommon for children, adolescents, or teens to undergo forensic or comprehensive clinical evaluations. Such evaluations can provide diagnostic clarity, provide insight on the severity of symptoms the child is experiencing, examine current psychological functioning, and examine how the child learns. An evaluation can also assess a child’s emotional, social, and behavioral functioning and personality traits. A court may also request an individual evaluation for a specific child to answer diagnostic or educational questions, particularly if the parents disagree about the child’s mental health or treatment.
A child evaluation usually includes diagnostic interviews (with child and parents), testing (for child and parents), observation, as well as collateral contacts (with third parties like therapists and teachers). Records from school, mental health professionals, or medical providers may also be reviewed. This assessment will often provide a summary of the child and any psychological diagnosis as well as treatment recommendations.
Evaluations can also be helpful for the school system to help them determine proper placement, educational plans, or other educational needs for the child to ensure the child receives adequate, targeted support.
A psychological assessment should consider the “whole child, including family, school, and the community.”
– Cardona-Wolenski, Psy.D.
Tips for helping a child prepare for an evaluation:
For more information, please view our Evaluations Page.