Does my Child need an Assessment or Therapy?

If your child is struggling with schooling or having some behavioural difficulties, you may have been approached by a teacher or a school psychologist about having an assessment completed for your child. It can be a lot to sift through with opinions of teachers, psychologists and whom ever else may be involved with the challenges your child is facing.  Let’s look deeper into the process of assessments and therapy to help you make the most informed and confident decision for your child.

Formal Assessments

Assessments through the school systems can be a lengthy and involved process.  It is important to consider what benefits a formal assessment will provide.  For example, some schools will provide funding for the assessment process.  Some schools may also require these assessments in order to gain access to services and support for your child.  Ultimately the goal of a formal assessment would be to provide a diagnosis for your child.  This diagnosis can be used to guide treatment. Most assessments provide immediate recommendations to assist in the support of the child.


Choosing to take you child to a psychologist or to receive other therapy services is a proactive approach you can take to address your child’s challenges.  Therapy will begin with strategies that you can incorporate into your home as well as in a school setting. Oftentimes the drawn out process of assessments tend to focus on the problem as opposed to really diving into finding a solution. Skipping an assessment and diving into therapy may be an option for a family who is concerned about the diagnosis process.

Better Together

Typically assessments and therapy go hand in hand, as one helps to identify the problem and the other works on establishing the solution. The two benefit one another, as assessments provide a great foundation to begin therapy. Oftentimes, private psychologists and therapists will utilise similar, if not the same assessments offered in schools to help guide their treatment. Some may argue that “true therapy” can’t take place without an assessment with the argument being that understanding the problem and case conceptualisation is needed in order to be effective in treatment. While that statement could be argued depending on the practitioner, it is an important opinion to consider when looking at assessments and therapy for a child.

If you are struggling with what approach to take when helping your child with learning or behavioural issues, you can book in a time to speak to a psychologist. Call us on (02) 6262 6157 or book an appointment online. A psychologist can walk you through the details of the process and give you an outline of what their treatment may include. Hopefully this can provide you with confidence to make an informed decision for you and your child.

Related reading:

Difference between ADHD and an active child
Can Psychologist “fix” my child?
Diagnosed: Benefits of Receiving a DSM-5 Diagnosis

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