Next week we'll be travelling to KKI in Baltimore for an evaluation for 5 year old DD. It'll be 4 hours of testing (ADOS by a SLT and dev. ped. appt after that)....We'll be leaving at 5am and driving 2.5 hours. Then the testing itself. My mom is going with me. Any tips on preparing DD and things to do that day to make it go a little smoother? I'll probably end up telling DD the night before (too far ahead and she gets more anxious). I'll definitely be packing lots of snacks and some activities for the car/waiting room. I'm waiting for a call back from KKI asking for details about what to expect that day so I can plan.
Also, how do you explain the eval to your older child? DD is very observant and sensitive and feels very put on the spot during evals, so it's important that I'm positive and confident (easier said than done)....She's had evals before, but they've all been local and with the same group of therapists. This is going to be a lot for her (the travelling--she doesn't travel well; early wake up, new environment, etc.)
first of all, good luck! it sounds like you're dealing with a lot of juggling to get this done, so i hope it all goes well. my advice is this - remember that "going well" may not necessarily mean it goes smoothly. i KNOW that it's really hard to see our little ones have a hard time, but i'm actually grateful dd had a hard time the day of her eval. during her ados, she was really her easiest self, but during the psych eval, she was a MESS. it was awful, but it allowed the evaluator to see the parts of dd that weren't obvious during the ados - i.e., extended tantruming, aggression, etc.... dd was younger at the time, but i didn't tell her much about the eval on purpose. if i prep her for things, she's more likely to be able to "hold it together" a bit for a short while. putting her into an unexpected situation flipped her a bit, in a way that the evaluator could see was not typical.
as far as what to tell her, that's tough. when we eval kind of things, i typically tell her we're going to a class where a teacher will play some games and learn more about how dd learns, and what are helpful ways to help her learn. is that 100% accurate?- no. but it's pretty close, and at four, i don't want my dd to feel like she's being "evaluated" all the time, kwim?