Dr. Joanne Crandall offers psychoeducational assessments for families accessing A Child’s Song services. She not only assesses the cognitive and achievement abilities of the child; she also offers a unique perspective on the neurodevelopmental impact of the early trauma and caregiver losses that the child has already experienced. Joanne works collaboratively with the therapists from A Child’s Song, the child’s school, other involved professionals, and most importantly the child’s parents to provide an assessment that will convey the lived experience of the child.
The collaboration between Dr. Crandall and your family’s A Child’s Song therapist allows a very comprehensive TRAUMA INFORMED set of recommendations focused on the relevant areas of home, school and community. Families are encouraged to engage with an A Child’s Song therapist prior to assessment for several reasons. It is important that the child perceives the testing situation to be safe which can be established through connection prior to testing. Secondly, a prior in-depth assessment of the child’s history of previous caregivers, traumatic experiences and current stresses can inform the assessment making it a more effective process. The therapist can inform Dr. Crandall of what the child’s tolerance for testing may be, what they need to feel safe during the process and how to best engage them in working to the best of their potential. Lastly, the pre-established relationship with a therapist allow the child and family to continue to integrate the recommendations into every day living to promote lasting change in all areas of the child’s functioning.
All aspects of the assessment are trauma informed including how we introduce the concept of testing and engage the child in the process. We understand that children coming to the office for assessment may have had experiences of being unsafe and shamed in previous testing situations. At A Child’s Song parents are encouraged to be available to their child during the assessment should the child require assurances of safety and co-regulation. Dr Crandall assesses the child’s ability to tolerate the clinic environment and in certain cases may choose to conduct a portion of the assessment in the child’s home or another preferred setting.
Once the assessment is complete Dr Crandall will complete a comprehensive written report, in collaboration with the child’s therapist, with a strong emphasis on recommendations for the child’s most relevant settings. Recommendations are intended to provide structured and specific suggestions for supporting the child to achieve optimal success academically, socially and in their primary relationships. Results are discussed with parents/caregivers and in certain circumstances the child as well to ensure there is a depth of understanding that allows families to move forward with confidence.