Tip 1: Healthy body, healthy mind.
Leading up to the testing session, make sure your child:
- Gets a good night’s sleep
- Eats a balanced breakfast
- Drinks plenty of water
- Rests the mind
- Avoids stress
Tip 2: Let your child know what’s going on
In order to help your child understand the process and soothe any nerves, have an honest conversation about WHY they are seeing a “professional helper” and WHAT is involved on the day.
For the why, you might start the conversation with:
“You know how you have been getting frustrated at school with your reading and not being able to concentrate in class? We are going to meet someone who is trying to help us make these things a little easier for you.”
For the what, you might add:
“You will be hanging out with a really friendly adult called 'Jess'. You guys will get to do some activities together like games, puzzles, quizzes and challenges.”
In most cases it will be helpful to give children plenty of warning in the lead up to their first session. We need to encourage kids to try their best but avoid words like “test” or “assessment” as these terms may cause undue stress and anxiety.
Tip 3: Think of an appropriate reward
Getting through a lengthy testing session is challenging for most kids. Your child will likely feel a sense of achievement and relief after each appointment. It may help to use a small reward as an incentive for effort and positive behaviour during testing.