Benefits of an Assessment
An assessment, whether for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or other complex developmental needs, offers a comprehensive understanding of the child, youth or adult. Not only do you get a fuller picture of the person's unique abilities and challenges, the assessment will determine the person's eligibility for accessing disability services, and the person's support network will be able to develop appropriate expectations for him or her in school, at home and in the community, based on the assessment results.
In addition, having an assessment:
- Provides directions and guidance for intervention. Many of the presenting difficulties may have a good chance of being improved with appropriate interventions.
- Opens opportunities for assistance and support for caregivers (e.g. resources and services).
- Expedites interventions. The earlier a diagnosis and interventions are put into place, the greater the likelihood for the reduction of associated symptoms (school disruptions, mental health problems, etc).
- Provides the client's personal and professional support system with increased understanding of his or her abilities and needs, as well as in the development of appropriate methods for assisting him or her more effectively.
- Helps explain the person's behaviour, thereby reducing frustration.
- Reveals (through physical examination) additional important conditions that need to be treated, such as cardiac problems, seizures, etc.
- Helps establish realistic expectations about what the person may achieve.
- Establishes awareness. The assessment can be a positive turning point in the repairing of relationships. Knowing that the cause of the problems is not bad parenting, the caregiver can experience personal healing - they are not to blame.
- Helps build self-advocacy skills which can be key to positive outcomes later in life through the sharing the results with the person in a way that respects his or her developmental capacity.
- A psychological evaluation (in isolation or as part of a multidisciplinary assessment) helps the client's support network to better know his or her abilities and challenges in multiple areas.
A mother's response to an Asante Centre evaluation:
Question: How did you feel about the assessment / diagnostic process?
Response: "I feel this assessment was the best thing we ever did for (our child), and for us too. We learned a lot about her and ways to handle different situations that come up daily. It was needed years ago."
A few weeks after the assessment was completed and the community strategies had been implemented, the parent added: "This assessment has made a great difference at the school level. The teachers now listen to us."