What to Expect at Your Child’s Feedback Session
A few months ago, I worked with a young child who spent most of our testing sessions sitting on a yoga ball, bouncing.
When she came in for her feedback session with her parents, she grabbed the yoga ball. As we started talking about her testing results, she began bouncing again. Her mom interjected:
“Stop! Dr. Liz is trying to tell you something.”
After I walked the child through her highways and construction zones, I asked if she had any questions. “Nope,” she said.
When the session was over, mom pulled me aside.
“I don’t think she was paying attention at all. She didn’t get any of it.”
At that moment, I wasn’t quite sure what to say. Had the session been a failure?
However, a few weeks later I spoke with her teacher who reported quite a different story. “It’s night and day! Alex is asking for what she needs and she is so proud to have a different kind of brain. It’s like the depression just lifted!”
Given this child’s profile, it made sense that she would make use of the ball to self-regulate while we talked. It also made sense that she’d have difficulty formulating a question in the moment and that she’d need time to process what we talked about.
It made sense to me. But it was not as obvious to her parents.
Helping Parents Know What to Expect
After this experience (and a few others just like it) I realized that while I had done a lot of work to prepare kids for their feedback sessions, I had not done the same for their parents.
Many parents are nervous about talking to their child about their diagnosis. They may be unsure how their child will take this news, or what affect it will have on their self-esteem.
This session can also be vulnerable for parents, especially if they have a similar profile to their child.
Finally, as testing psychologists, we are used to kids processing information in all kinds of different ways – bouncing, pacing, even hanging upside down on the couch!
On the surface, this may look like the child is not absorbing the information, or that they are being disrespectful.
Of course they are not. They are doing what their brain needs to do.
In fact, the feedback session can be an incredible opportunity for parents to experience just how powerful it is for their child to learn in the way that works best for them.
- Some kids sit at the table with us. Others will lap our office like a racetrack.
- Some kids listen while looking at us. Others listen while looking out the window.
- Some will ask questions about what we say. Others will suddenly remember a VERY important story about their dog.
- Sometimes we can cover everything that we want the child to know. Other times just one small piece of information is enough.
- Sometimes kids have their “aha” moment right there with us, but often it happens days or months down the road.
All of these are ok!
To help parents have a better idea of what to expect, Dr. Megan Helmen and I put together a handout to send to families before their child’s feedback session.
The infographic has been an easy way to let parents know that as a different kind of learner, their child may process their testing results differently, too.
The handout also reminds parents that this is the beginning of a discovery journey for their child, and not their only shot at understanding their brain.
This handout is meant to be edited so please make it your own!
I hope this handout is helpful for the families you work with! If you know a practitioner who would find it useful, please share!
Improve Your Feedback Sessions
Join us for our upcoming workshop…
Feedback to Empower Every Child!
Practical, adaptable strategies to help kids understand their testing results
Saturday, 2/25/23 10am – 2pm EST (7am – 11am PST)
Feedback can be an incredibly empowering experience for children. But it’s challenging to find the right tools to fit each unique child you work with.
On Saturday, February 25th, join Stephanie Nelson, Alison Wilkinson-Smith, and me for:
- Visuals you can customize for your clients
- Creating personalized fables
- Kid-friendly metaphors
- What to do when there’s no time for feedback
- 4 CEs
- And more!
Early bird discount available until 1/31/23. 4 CEs available.
Can’t make it? A recording will be sent to all registrants, though CEs are only available for live participants.
You can also check out additional recorded webinars here.
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