When to Refer

Some signs that suggest problems for which students should be referred for assessment are:

  • Manifests an abrupt, unexplained, or bizarre change in personality; i.e. goes from being actively involved to quiet and withdrawn, or goes from being quiet to more agitated or demanding
  • Begins to display aggressive or abusive behavior to self or others; i.e. exhibits excessive risk-taking
  • Shows signs of memory loss or difficulty creating new memory; i.e. distraction or inattention
  • Shows loose or incoherent thought patterns; i.e. has difficulty focusing thoughts, or displays nonsensical conversation patters (word salad)
  • Exhibits behaviors or emotions that are inappropriate to the situation
  • Displays extreme suspiciousness or irrational fears of persecution, withdraws, does not allow others to be close; i.e. believes he/she is being watched, followed, etc.
  • Exhibits signs of hyperactivity; i.e. unable to sit still, difficulty maintaining focus, gives the impression of going “too fast,” or appears agitated
  • Shows signs of depression; i.e. no visible emotions or feelings, appears lethargic, loses weight, looks exhausted and complains of sleeping poorly, displays feelings of worthlessness or self-hatred, or is apathetic about previous interests
  • Talks about unusual patterns of eating, not eating, binging or purging
  • Shows signs of self-injury; i.e. suspicious cuts, bruises, or sprains
  • Experiences deteriorating academic performance; i.e. incapacitating test anxiety, sporadic class attendance, or extended absences from class
  • Begins or increases alcohol or other drug use
  • Makes statements regarding suicide, homicide, feelings of hopelessness or helplessness