News and Notes from The Johnson Center

Q & A: My child just completed their evaluation with a psychologist. Now what?

JCCHD | Tue, June 12, 2012 | [Autism Treatment][Assessment Corner][Q and A ]

Assessments for children with developmental delays can sometimes be a time consuming process, but the real work comes once you have the evaluation report. This report is a valuable resource for getting your child the help they need. Here are some tips on how to use the results.

1. Learn all you can about common tests and measurement. Understanding test scores is complicated, but it’s very important. You will feel more confident when you know what your child’s assessment results mean, and how to apply this information to treatment. A great resource for understanding the usual tests and measurement can be found through Wright’s Law on their website:, or their book From Emotions to Advocacy, chapters 10 and 11.

2. Review the evaluation from start to finish. Highlight, take notes, and write down questions. Follow up with the person who did the evaluation on areas that you think need clarification. 

3. Review the recommendations.  The recommendations provide you with direction on what interventions are most appropriate for your child (in the opinion of the evaluator). Make note of any questions you have, and discuss these with the evaluator.

4. Compare new results to previous results. The most helpful aspect of regular evaluations is tracking change.  Identifying change shows your child’s response to treatment, as well as any areas of the treatment plans that should be adjusted.  These steps will yield information best:

  • Make a chronological list of all tests that have been given to your child.
  • List tests that have been given more than once.
  • Log both standard scores and percentile ranks.
  • Compare scores to see whether your child is improving, staying the same, or falling behind.
  • Make a graph of scores on the computer (MS Word, Excel etc) or with graph paper, if you want a visual aid.

5. Apply the information you have gathered. Provide a copy of your child’s evaluation to relevant support service providers, such as the school, or private therapists.  Discuss with the appropriate people how these results will be integrated into your child’s treatment plan. (It is always a good idea to follow up and make sure these changes are being applied.)

6. If you don’t understand results or how to implement treatment, consult with an independent expert. This might be the evaluating psychologist, or an educational advocate.

The Johnson Center provides a variety of assessment and evaluation services. If you are interested in learning more about our assessment services, call our office, and we will be happy to discuss them with you.