Getting Into Rapport

The examiner's first task is to win the confidence of the child and overcome his

timidity. Unless _rapport_ has first been established, the results of the first tests

given are likely to be misleading. The time and effort necessary for accomplishing this

are variable factors, depending upon the personality of both the

examiner and the subject. In a majority of cases from three to five

minutes should be sufficient, but in a few ca
es somewhat more time is


The writer has found that when a strange child is brought to the clinic

for examination, it is advantageous to go out of doors with him for a

little walk around the university buildings. It is usually possible to

return from such a stroll in a few minutes, with the child chattering

away as though to an old friend. Another approach is to begin by showing

the child some interesting object, such as a toy, or a form-board, or

pictures not used in the test. The only danger in this method is that

the child is likely to find the object so interesting that he may not be

willing to abandon it for the tests, or that his mind will keep

reverting to it during the examination.

Still another method is to give the child his seat as soon as he is

ushered into the room, and, after a word of greeting, which must be

spoken in a kindly tone but without gushiness, to open up a conversation

about matters likely to be of interest. The weather, place of residence,

pets, sports, games, toys, travels, current events, etc., are suitable

topics if rightly employed. When the child has begun to express himself

without timidity and it is clear that his confidence has been gained,

one may proceed, as though in continuance of the conversation, to

inquire the name, age, and school grade. The examiner notes these down

in the appropriate blanks, rather unconcernedly, at the same time

complimenting the child (unless it is clearly a case of serious

retardation) on the fine progress he has made with his studies.