If you are worried your child will resist coming in for an assessment, you are not alone! The following tips may help you set up the evaluation for success:
Use his/her own words to describe the problem. Many children resist testing because it feels like adults don't get it. For this reason, it can be helpful to think about how your child is describing the problem. By using his/her language, you are assuring your child that we will help solve his/her problem, not ours.
This might sound like:
"I've noticed that you really don't like your math teacher this year. I'm wondering if there's a way we could make that class better for you."
"I've noticed that we are in a bad nagging cycle around homework. I know you don't like it and I don't like it either. I wonder if there's a way we can break out of it."
"I've noticed you're getting in trouble a lot this year and it doesn't seem to make sense. I wonder if there's a way we can figure it out together."
"I hear you say that you hate school, and I can totally see why! Let's see if there's a way to change that."
Let him/her know that it's not mandatory. If your child is having a really hard time, see if you can work with his/her doctor to figure out a solution. The evaluator can often get a lot of information about what might help your child from other sources (e.g., parent and teacher report, rating scales, school observations). In addition, if your child is resistant and not putting forth full effort, the results of testing will likely be invalid or unable to be interpreted.
Give choices and reward compliance. Giving kids choices actually makes them more likely to participate because it shows them respect, establishes trust, gives them a sense of a control over the situation, gives space for them to voice questions or concerns, and allows adults a way to address these concerns.
This may sound like: