Embracing Our Children’s Strengths and Weaknesses

When all of its complexity is stripped away, facilitating success and confidence is at the core of a good child neuropsychological evaluation. I say this because the evaluation process is meant to embrace and celebrate your child’s strengths, taking care to identify tools and settings that will build upon them. Now I’m sure you’ve seen moments of success in your child, and as a dad I’ve experienced the joy, sense of pride, and relief that these moments bring.

Yes, RELIEF. I say this because I know firsthand that success is by no means a constant or guarantee when raising my children. From the get go we ask our kids to thrive, attach, adapt, and learn. This presents a rather infinite number of “developmental hurdles” that many clear with ease as they grow. At the same time, the vast majority of our kids will struggle with certain “hurdles,” sometimes for unclear reasons. This is where understanding weaknesses through neuropsychological testing can be so important.

Specifically, when we understand our child’s weaknesses we are presented with an opportunity to act. We gain clarity on sources of frustration, feelings of being overwhelmed, and anger. We also gain clarity on why certain “hurdles” are difficult to clear, whether it’s making a friend, reading as fluidly as a classmate, or finishing a test with enough time. In this sense, equally embracing our kid’s weaknesses should be the goal.

I appreciate that no one wants to hear that their child has a weakness. The reality, however, is that all of us have at least a few, and that when they are understood and addressed they have less of an impact on our lives. When this occurs, the opportunity for success and confidence grows, and this growth only builds on our child’s ability to achieve and smile freely.