If you suspect slow processing may be why your child is struggling, what can you do? Basically, you have three options. You can get a formal evaluation, either through your child’s school or through an outside agency, you can wait and see if things change as they mature, or you can do nothing.
There are pros and cons to each choice. The school evaluation is free, but some parents don’t want to share the results with the school. Also, in some cases, if your child is not struggling a great deal, the school may be reluctant to do a formal evaluation. They may want to try other things first, to see how your child progresses with some other helps in place prior to evaluating. During that time, your child may be falling farther behind.
An outside evaluation gives parents the option to receive the results and decide whether to share the information with the school. This testing is typically expensive (although not through Metro Learning Solutions. See the steps here.) There is typically a long waiting period to be seen by these private testing agencies. (Although not with Metro Learning Solutions)
Doing nothing is certainly a choice to consider, particularly in a few instances. If your child is very young, you may want to wait and see how they do when they are more mature. However, the reason there is an early intervention push is because in early grades the amount of information the child needs to absorb is much less than when they get into 3rd grade or above. If your child has had no problems, and all of a sudden they have a tough year, you might want to wait and see what happens the following year. If problems persist over time, however, that is a clear indication that something is not working quite right and should be evaluated. You may want to consider making an appointment for testing and giving your child time to mature. If the problem goes away, cancel the appointment. If it doesn’t, you are ready for the evaluation. During this time, be sure to be vigilant, evaluate their performance both in the classroom and at home, and communicate with the teacher and ask for his/her input.