FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT FROM AN ASSESSMENT?
During an assessment the educational psychologist tries to find out as much as she can about your child's needs.
An initial appointment is offered to discuss your child and your concerns fully without your child being present. At this stage questions are asked about your child's development and his/her reactions to everyday life. This will help to determine what should be done next. Advice might be given in relation to their difficulties.
Following this it is possible to meet with the psychologist to continue receiving support and advice as parents and/or for your child to have an educational psychology assessment.
If you decide that you want your child assessed arrangements are made to see them either at the clinic or in school. It is preferable for parents to be present at the assessment so that we can talk about the assessment when it is completed.
During assessment a number of strategies may be used: -
- Talking to your child to see what they think about their needs and the situation that they are in.
- Using a combination of standardised and non-standardised assessment tools or tests to identify possible specific areas of difficulty in relation to the areas you have discussed.
- Using a combination of standardised and non-standardised assessment tools or tests to evaluate their social and emotional adjustment.
The implications of the assessment will be discussed with you fully and it is possible to provide a written report.
If problems are school based it is usually helpful for the educational psychologist to discuss your child’s progress with the school as well. This can be done over the phone or by a visit to the school in person. If a child's difficulties are in school it is usually important to work out a strategy with school in order that the child's needs can be met. This can be based on the assessment that has been carried out. Arrangements to review progress by discussion with school staff and parents or through further assessment can also be made.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FIRST APPOINTMENT
At the first appointment the educational psychologist will be interested to talk to parents regarding their concerns so that as full a picture as possible can be obtained. It is not usually necessary to meet with the child at this stage.
A referral form is usually provided before the meeting. It is helpful if parents are able to have completed this, as it will provide a focus for the discussion. If this is not possible then basic information is also gathered at the first meeting.
Following this meeting it is possible to discuss what kind of help I can give and to agree the next steps as appropriate.
DO WE HAVE TO FILL IN THE REFERRAL FORM?
It is very helpful for you to do this, as it will save time in the meeting. In addition the school information is an important part of the picture.
If however you are unable to do this, the educational psychologist will ask you similar questions at the first appointment.