WHAT IS AN EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGIST

Educational psychologists are qualified to work with children and adolescents. Their training includes child development and all aspects of learning. They are also trained teachers and have spent at least two years working as a teacher in the classroom. In this way educational psychologists are able to combine their knowledge of child development and knowledge of the education context.

Educational psychologists can use a range of techniques to put together a picture of a child's strengths and weaknesses and to identify the important factors affecting their learning and behaviour. Information is gathered about the child through discussion with parents, teachers and the young persons themselves. In addition individual strategies, for example intelligence tests or tests of literacy and numeracy can be used to measure the child's abilities against expectations and potential. Other strategies can be used to evaluate their social and emotional development. Observations can take place in school and in the home. The educational psychologist puts these elements together to provide an effective picture to help us to understand a child's needs, and provides a framework for discussing solutions to difficulties.

Educational Psychologists are also aware of other specialists who may assist with the difficulties, e.g. paediatricians, psychiatrists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, and will advise team working where appropriate. In addition they have a thorough knowledge of the educational provision for children in your area and can provide advice in relation to educational placement.