Help him or her get a good night's sleep. S/he should be well rested, alert, and engaged, just like they would be for a school day.
Don't bring your child if s/he is sick. We will always find a way to reschedule.
Don't bring your child immediately following a significant life event (i.e. death in the family, separation from a caregiver, accident or injury, interpersonal trauma). We also recommend avoiding coming in on days when kids may be preoccupied by an upcoming event (i.e. a classmate's birthday party that afternoon, Halloween the next day).
Provide him/her with a healthy breakfast to support sustained energy and attention.
Offer some basic information such as where they are going, what the office might be like, with whom they will be meeting, and that you will be waiting for them in a nearby waiting area.
Communicate that your child will be meeting with someone who loves to play with and talk to kids. Let them know that we are excited to learn about what they know and all the wonderful things that they can do. Your child can expect to engage in a number of different "jobs" or "activities", most of which we hope will be sources of interest, excitement, and pride for them. Encourage them to give their best effort and to always ask the evaluator for help if they are unclear or uncomfortable in any way.
Avoid terms like "games", "play date".... As much as we always try to have fun, kids can feel confused and let down if they arrive at the office and find that there are no peers with whom to engage, no playground, no free play, etc.
Use our first names or whatever is in sync with how your family refers to other adults. Few children have a framework for understanding that there are "doctors" who don't give shots, probe bellies, and check noses. :)
Your child will often ask you for feedback on 'how they did'…. We encourage you to communicate praise for hard work and effort. Young children don't have much of a framework for making sense of this experience. Our evaluators are skilled at easing fears and facilitating positive attitudes throughout the process, but your support is key in asking your child to simply give his or her best effort, be honest, and to feel free to share any and all questions with the evaluator.
The Wechsler scales cannot be administered more than once in a one year period due to practice effects. Likewise, other forms of preparation are considered to be inappropriate and if the examiner becomes aware that a child is familiar with the testing materials, the evaluation will have to be discontinued and rendered invalid.
We know there there can be a lot of pressure to prepare...BUT...we have also seen, firsthand, how viewing similar tests or practicing in advance can impede a child's natural, stress-free engagement in the various activities. Coming in with the best possible attitude and openness to the experience is a clear winner in facilitating optimal performance. Please do not hesitate to talk to us about any related concerns. We are happy to offer situation-specific tips.