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Risks and Benefits of a Child and Adolescent Assessment


1. Increased awareness or understanding of your child’s neurocognitive functioning, behaviour, emotional state, school performance and/or relationships.

2. Formal identification of  neurocognitive, behavioural, emotional, learning and developmental disorders, that may help you advocate for appropriate supports/interventions for your child.

3. Better understanding as to whether your child’s development is proceeding as expected relative to others his or her age.

4. Provide specific recommendations for treatment and/or accommodations at school and in the community, such as educational placement decisions and individualized programming.

5. Monitor progress and change over time (in the case of multiple assessments).

6. Clarify complex historical and diagnostic pictures.

7. Integrate information from multiple sources to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of a child’s history and current functioning.

8. Arrive at a new understanding of the child’s views and beliefs of himself/herself, others and the world.

9. Children often find the assessment process enjoyable, and appreciate receiving one-on-one attention and interest from a supportive adult.



1. Assessment can uncover underlying problems/difficulties that you had not expected or the basis for your child’s problems may be different from what you expected.

2. Your child may receive a diagnosis, which can be a difficult process for parents and children.

  • Diagnoses may be associated with social stigmatization (for example, some parents feel that children receiving different educational programs are being unnecessarily singled out from their peers).
  • Parents and children may have to come to terms with the child’s limitations/weaknesses.
  • Can be experienced as a loss of what you had expected from life with your child.
  • You may need to learn about what that diagnosis means.

3. What you learn about your child may highlight the need for changes in the family.

4. Although this information is helpful for schools in making decisions about placement and accommodations at school, we cannot guarantee that your child will receive the interventions/accommodations that you are hoping for.

5. What you learn about your child may not necessarily lead to a cure or complete resolution of your child’s difficulties.