We are an independent practice based in Central London, United Kingdom consisting of Educational Psychologist, Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech Therapists who work closely with Families, Nurseries, Primary and Secondary Schools, Colleges, Paediatricians and other professionals to support children and young people for whom there are concerns about learning, emotional well being, and developmental progress. . We also have other professionals such as a Specialist Teacher and an Applied Behaviour Analyst on our Team. The Ed Psych Practice was established in January 2010.
Our philosophy is to provide in-depth evidence based assessments to support children and young people with a range of developmental needs across educational and home settings so that they can achieve.
Emotional well being and emotional literacy impact significantly on a student’s academic achievement and developmental progress. These are important factors that affect our ability to reach our maximum potential. Life events such as bereavement, serious illness or parental separation can affect one’s emotional well being resulting in difficulties such as: sleep disturbances, anxiety, eating disorders, anger issues, and low self esteem.
The Ed Psych Practice offers therapeutic and counselling services to help identify and address emotional difficulties. We offer a confidential place to talk about things that might be concerning the child, young person or family with an aim to move things forward. The therapists offer a range of approaches that include:
A range of services are available for independent and state schools including nurseries, primary and secondary schools, sixth form colleges and special schools. In order to ensure that we are able to provide a service that is tailored to your requirements, we will be happy to meet you to discuss the needs of your educational establishment.Read More
Our team of professionals are experienced and are able to deliver a high quality of services that are research and evidence based. This can range from individual work or group work with children and young people, family work, and school staff support through training. The support we offer is based on the needs of the school.Read More
The Ed Psych Practice provides an international service where a therapist or multi-disciplinary team will travel to your home or school in most places around the world. Our international service has proved to be a popular choice for parents living in countries where services for children with special needs may not be particularly well developed, or for expatriate families keen to maintain appropriate support for their child while abroad. Our therapists ensure that each child’s needs are managed in a holistic manner.Read More
Schools can commission an Educational Psychologist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, therapist or other any other professional on our team on a daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis depending on needs. Alternatively, we can be commissioned to complete a one-off piece of work. We are also available to come and speak at staff meetings to talk about various topics and about the work that we do.
The following is a list of services that we could offer:
Regular termly or half-termly visits to the school for whole or half days. Work can include consultation with your SENCo or member of staff in charge of students with additional learning needs to discuss the learning, language, emotional or behavioural needs of students. Classroom observations, work with individual children or groups can also be arranged with prior parental consent. We can attend joint meetings between school staff and parents in order to discuss or review learning and developmental or behavioural support plans.
Early identification of developmental disorders and children “at risk” for school related problems can result in effective intervention at an early age. Research has provided strong evidence of the effectiveness of early intervention compared to no intervention to address developmental issues in children. Children presenting with delays in language, gross and fine motor skills development, and learning can be identified in the Foundation Years and Key Stage 1. We can provide tailor-made programmes that can be implemented to target areas to enhance development so that children can manage the school curriculum effectively. Our team of professionals work with schools and parents to support their child’s development by planning and delivering school and home programmes. Schools regularly consult with our practice to develop group intervention programmes for children with Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy needs to support the development of key skills in these areas.
We also carry out group intervention work for educational establishments targeting children and young people and parents. Group work for children may include building resilience, developing effective social and communication skills, building self esteem, developing life skills, managing anxiety, and developing appropriate study skills. Group work for parents may include parenting programmes, stress management, and activities to develop language and thinking skills. Parent coffee mornings can be offered focusing on various themes so that parents have an opportunity to work with us in an informal setting.
Training for school staff is offered on a range of topics including dyslexia, learning and memory, managing ADHD or autism, supporting social skills development, managing emotional and behavioural difficulties, language development and support for difficulties, developing study skills and metacognition. Training can be tailored to your needs; it can be delivered in a number of short sessions or as a whole or half day for staff development. Twilight sessions can be organised for parents on a range of issues such as supporting children during exams, developing study skills, balancing home life and work, and encouraging positive behaviour in children.
School policy development around bullying, supporting children with special educational needs, and monitoring student’s academic progress etc can be commissioned to The Ed Psych Practice.We can offer Staff Consultation Clinics where individual staff members can sign up for a half-hour session to discuss any issues or concerns they have. These are run in complete confidence: ‘no names of children’ and no notes are taken. Sometimes staff members might want some support on issues that arise in their classroom or in school.
Academic skills : Using active teaching and learning skills based on sound educational and psychological research to support all students; running study skills and exam preparation groups for students; and setting up whole school thinking skills programmes.
ADHD : Building personalised intervention programmes for students; training teachers and re-designing classroom layout and management.
Anxiety : Identifying ‘at risk students’; organising training and running regular group sessions.
Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome : Setting up personalised programmes and support provisions in mainstream schools, training teaching assistants and teachers.
Behaviour management : Setting up and managing consistent whole school systems for behaviour management. Individualised programmes for students with social, emotional and/or behavioural issues.
Social Skills Training : Setting up individualised, group and whole school intervention programmes aimed at developing student awareness, social understanding and social skills.
Bullying : Setting up and managing whole school anti-bullying programmes.
Dyslexia and Dyscalculia training : Setting up dyslexia friendly classrooms and providing ongoing training in identification, assessment and intervention packages.
Emotional Well-being : Completing individualised programmes and interventions for students: Setting up group, class and whole school emotional wellbeing support intervention packages.
Gifted and Talented : Choice of group based work (founded on a screening, assessment and intervention model) specifically for Gifted and Talented students or whole school work based on developing thinking and discussion skills in all students.
Underachieving students : We run exam preparation,study skills and learning groups for students who are not achieving. Besides focusing on academic attainment, we also work on issues around motivation and self esteem and explore other factors that might be affecting learning.
Group work : Running anxiety, anger management, social skills, and study skills groups.
Early Intervention : Groups for nursery, reception and Year 1 children to develop language, fine and gross motor skills.
Memory : Systems to identify students with working memory difficulties at a young age to provide appropriate intervention.
Supporting on-going casework : Including assessment, consultation, managing and evaluating interventions.
SENCo support : Preparing statutory assessment requests; supporting students with a range of needs.
Direct classroom support : Working alongside teachers in the classroom to support more challenging classes and/or to raise standards and achievement in particular subject areas..
Drop in sessions : For teachers and parents to confidentially discuss student issues.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy : We train teachers how to use this model of intervention to provide students with a target setting and problem solving methodology to develop personal independence and manage daily life.
When international schools or families contact us we have a detailed discussion on what we can offer to meet their needs and work is carefully planned so that the visit is productive. After our visit we continue to support families and schools via telephone and email communication and will re-visit on a regular basis to review, re-assess the programmes and targets, and provide additional support as required
Examples of work carried out with families:
Examples of work carried out with schools:
Dr Anne Kurian is a community paediatrician with over 25 years in the NHS. She has extensive experience in primary care involving identifying, assessing and managing children and young people [0-19 years] with additional needs and advising the local education authority through the statutory process. She’s contributed medical reports for Education Health and Care Plans [EHCP] to the local authority and has done considerable work in helping children with developmental and complex health needs.
Anne has carried out joint Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule [ADOS] assessments along with her Speech and Language Therapists colleagues. She has supervised medical oversight for children in special schools through regular visits. Her work in the NHS also involved seeing referrals and providing medical reports for social services and for schools for children with safeguarding concerns. She has worked and liaised with allied health professionals within a multidisciplinary setting involving the following professional groups: Local Child Adolescent Mental Health Services [CAMHS], Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Specialist Health Visitors.
Karen trained as an Educational Psychologist and Psychotherapist at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. In addition, she has an honours degree in Learning Support. Karen is registered as a Chartered and Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council and British Psychological Society. She is also registered as a Psychotherapist with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Karen is a certified Theraplay Therapist. Theraplay is an effective therapy for attachment issues. She has completed her level 1 training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, which is a therapy used for attachment issues. Karen is a level 2 certified Sensorimotor practitioner. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy is gentle treatment for developmental and complex trauma and PTSD. Karen is trained in Janina Fisher’s Trauma Informed Stabilisation Treatment model for trauma and dissociation and has adapted this for work with children. In addition, she is currently completing her SPIM30 training as a psychotrauma therapist specialising in complex trauma and dissociation in adults and children. Karen works with schools and with individual clients - adults, teenagers and children. She works with a range of issues including parenting, anxiety, depression, trauma and dissociation. She also provides specialist teaching for learning difficulties.
Alix is a Chartered and Practitioner Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and the British Psychological Society. She trained in South Africa and has experience of assessing and conducting psychotherapy for children, adolescents and parents. Alix has a particular interest in the emotional development of children and has a wealth of experience of working therapeutically with families who have experienced significant change, loss, bereavement or trauma. She also has specialist training and experience of working with teachers and school leadership teams to enhance school processes and practices to meet the needs of children with special educational needs. Alix offers full psycho-educational assessments, play therapy, psychotherapy and family therapy at the practice.
Anna-Maria is a Chartered Educational Psychologist and registered Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council with many years of experience of conducting assessments of dyslexia for children, young people and adults. She worked as a Consultant for Dyslexia Action in both Scotland and London and ran her own Adult Assessment Service when she lived in Scotland. The research undertaken in her academic career focused on the impact of a range of disabling conditions such as cerebral palsy, conductive hearing loss, semantic processing difficulties and photoscopic sensitivity in addition to dyslexia. She also headed a project that identified the support needs of young people with a range of disabilities, including dyslexia, in the university sector. For the past seven years Anna-Maria was also the Head of Research at Sense, the organisation that supports children and adults who are affected by dual sensory impairment.
Bruce trained as an Educational Psychologist at University College London and took his first degree in Experimental Psychology at Sussex University. He is registered as a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and is registered as an Educational Psychologist with Health and Care Professions Council. Bruce has worked in Local Authorities both as an Educational Psychologist and a teacher in specialist educational provision at primary and secondary level with moderate and severe learning difficulties as well as running units for children with speech and language and Autistic Spectrum Disorders in mainstream settings. He has been working in private practice for many years offering services to families, schools, colleges and universities. He practiced at Dyslexia Action and the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre. Bruce specialises in working with children, young people, and young adults with specific learning difficulties/dyslexia and numeracy difficulties.
Tracy trained as an Educational Psychologist at the Tavistock Clinic. She is a registered Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and also a registered Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council. Tracy has many years of experience as an Educational Psychologist in Local Authorities. She practices as an independent Educational Psychologist providing services to families and schools. Tracy has also done further training at the Tavistock Clinic around children and young people’s emotional and social well-being. Her interests are dyslexia/dyspraxia/dyscalculia/specific learning difficulties, understanding and promoting children and young people’s emotional well-being, ADHD, attachment, and supporting parents. Tracy is also a trained practitioner in Video Interaction to Promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline, (VIPP-SD). She works mainly with school aged students attending primary and secondary school and young adults.
Ceri trained and worked as a teacher in the UK & internationally before moving to New Zealand where she completed her post graduate studies to qualify as an Educational Psychologist at Massey University. Ceri is a Chartered Psychologist & is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. She has been employed as a psychologist in international schools across Asia and has worked for many years in private practice and in the public sector. Ceri has a particular interest in social and emotional well being, 'third culture' and international perspectives in educational psychology. She also maintains an active interest in neuropsychology and its application in education after completing her first degree at neurobiology at Sussex University.
Allison gained her masters in Educational Psychology from University College London. She worked for a local education authority in London for many years before moving with her family to Tokyo, where she worked independently, with clients from the international community. Allison has worked closely with a wide range of primary and secondary schools, at the level of the individual child/young person where she adopts a holistic and problem solving approach through consultation with parents and staff . She also has experience of training staff in schools. Allison has also worked extensively within multidisciplinary teams. She has developed her experience of and interest in working with families by completing the foundation course in systemic family therapy. Allison speaks Spanish and Portuguese and has assessed and supported many bilingual children. She is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Lucy is a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist, and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Practitioner specialising in working with children and young people with Autism Spectrum Condition. She has experience of working with children aged 2 to 18, with their families and carers, and with a wide range of associated professionals. Lucy has worked in Early Years settings, mainstream and special schools, and community clinics. She currently works part-time for the NHS (Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust) and privately for the Portland Hospital and for Psicon carrying out Autism Assessments as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Lucy is a registered Elklan trainer. One of her main areas of interest is mental health and autism. Lucy has a post graduate diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for children and young people specialising in Autism from University College London (UCL) and the Anna Freud Centre. Lucy uses Intensive Interaction, VERVE, PECS, Social Thinking (Michelle Garcia Winner), Therapeutic Listening, SOS Feeding and Floor Time in her work. Lucy offers supervision to Speech and Language Therapists carrying out the ADOS 2 assessments. She also offers supervision to Speech and Language Therapists and Learning Support Assistants supporting children and young people on the autism spectrum.
Sophie is a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist working with children and young people, their parents and carers, and associated professionals in healthcare and education. She is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and the Association of Speech and Language Therapists in Independent Practice (ASLTIP). Sophie has worked with children with a range of speech, language and communication needs and associated developmental conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Sophie has experience of working in community clinics, nurseries, primary schools, a language unit, special secondary schools and further education colleges. She has a special interest in children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) and Selective Mutism.
Ciara is a HPCP registered Occupational Therapist who qualified from Brunel University. She has many years of clinical experience working with children and young people in both healthcare and education settings. Ciara has completed postgraduate training in Sensory Integration and Bobath along with other courses such as Therapeutic Listening, Floortime, SOS Feeding and The Alert Program. She works with children and young people with a range of physical, sensory and learning needs in a variety of community settings such as pre-schools, mainstream schools, special schools, homes and clinic. Ciara aims to support individuals to participate in desired daily activities or “occupations” and to increase independence in daily living skills that are meaningful to the child and family using a client centred holistic approach. Ciara is a member of The Royal College of Occupational Therapists; The Children, Young People and Families Specialist Section of the College of Occupational Therapists and The Sensory Integration Network.
Michelle trained as an Educational Psychologist at University College London. She did her first degree at Cambridge University and trained as a teacher at the University of Oxford. Michelle has also done further training at the Tavistock Clinic around children's emotional and social well being. She is a registered Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and also a registered Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council. Michelle has many years of experience as an Educational Psychologist in Local Authorities. She currently practices as an independent Educational Psychologist providing services to families and schools. Michelle's interests are dyslexia/specific learning difficulties, supporting students in Further and Higher Education, and promoting children and young people's emotional well being.
Mira has bachelors honours qualification in Developmental Neurophysiology and Genomics and a Masters qualification in Clinical Social Work from The University of Queensland, Australia. She has also completed a Masters in Dance and Movement Psychotherapy at Roehampton University, London. Mira has had many years of therapeutic clinical experience working with issues ranging from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, post traumatic stress and trauma related disorders, to stress management, goal setting, and life coaching. Her practice is informed by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Psychotherapy, Narrative Therapy, Mindfulness Based Therapies, Social Constructionist Family and Relationship Therapy, and the Creative Arts Therapies, in particular Dance and Movement Therapy and Rhythm Therapy. Mira is an accredited Clinical Mental Health Practitioner with the Australian Association of Social Workers. She is also a member of the International Federation of Social Workers, the Australian Dance and Movement Therapy Association and an Associate Member of the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK. Mira is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Heather is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist who trained at the University of Ulster and has experience of working in a range of different settings including clinics, special and mainstream schools in Singapore and the UK. She has training in the use of Zones of Regulation, Yoga Therapy, and the Handwriting Without Tears programme. Heather has trained with the world renowned Dr Julia Harper in Sensory Integration Therapy. She personalises therapy to each individual child/young person to help them perform at their optimum functioning level. As part of her therapy Heather feels it is important that the child/ young person enjoys the sessions and that every progress is celebrated to encourage confidence and independence. Heather is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) in the UK and the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) in Singapore.
Tomi qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist at the University College London. She is a registered Speech Therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council and a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Tomi's experience as a Speech Therapist has included paediatric work with pre schoolers, primary, and secondary school students within special and mainstream schools. In addition, she has worked within the NHS with adults who have learning difficulties and swallowing disorders. Tomi has a special interest in children with hearing impairments and has completed her BSL level 2 with the intention of continuing her studies and work within this field. .
Esther trained as a Speech and Language Therapist at the University of Manchester. She is a registered Speech and Language Therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council and a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Esther has years of experience working with children and young people with speech, language, communication and learning difficulties in mainstream and special educational settings. She specialises in working with preschool children and children with social communication difficulties (including (ASD). As well as working independently, Esther currently works part time as a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist for children with ASD and ADHD for a local authority in London. She is trained to assess children’s social communication needs as part of a multiagency diagnostic team.
Monal qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist at City University. She is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and is a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Monal has worked primarily as a paediatric therapist. Her experience includes working with pre-school and school-aged children with a range of difficulties, in mainstream and specialist settings. She has extensive experience of working in a Language Unit for primary aged children. Monal has specialised in Bilingualism and Specific Language Impairment. She has a keen interest in working with students with dyslexia and literacy difficulties.
Kathy is a fully qualified nurse who has experience of working in private practice with doctors and other professionals. She manages client enquiries and appointments and makes sure that things run smoothly at the practice. Kathy has a knack of ensuring that all our clients feel comfortable while at the practice.
Aurelie is a British Psychoanalytic Council (BCP) accredited psychodynamic psychotherapist for children, adolescents, young people and families. She is also a member of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists (TSP). Aurélie has a clinical Masters in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Children, Adolescents and Families from the Tavistock and Portman NHS Clinic in London. As well as private practice, Aurélie works as a child and family therapist in an NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. She has worked across a variety of clinical settings and schools offering both short and long term therapy. Aurélie has extensive experience working individually with children and adolescents from diverse cultural backgrounds. She is fluent in French. Aurélie offers assessment and treatment for a wide range of difficulties including relationship problems, divorce and separation, parenting issues, challenging behaviour, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-harm, post traumatic stress and trauma related disorders.
Anna is an experienced psychologist having worked as a senior educational psychologist for many years within a Local Education Authority and as a consultant psychologist for Dyslexia Action. Anna enjoys working with both children and adults and is passionate about helping individuals identify their strengths to enable them to reach their potential and experience success. Anna has specialist qualifications in dyslexia and autism spectrum disorder. She has supported school staff in developing dyslexia friendly approaches to teaching and has tutored adults studying for certificates and diplomas in specific learning difficulties/dyslexia. Anna has been part of an autism diagnostic service, provided psychological advice to mainstream and specialist provisions and an early intervention home based programme for young children with autism. Anna is interested in the role of creativity as a protective factor in supporting wellbeing and mental health in young people. She has presented at conferences, delivered training courses to teachers and parents and contributed to the publication: Primary Child and Adolescent Mental Health, A Practical Guide, 2nd Ed. 2011, Quentin Spender, Radcliffe Publishing. Anna is a Chartered Psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, and a member of the Health and Care Professionals Council.
Eleonora qualified as an Occupational Therapist in Italy. She is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT). Eleonora is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist with experience of working with children and young people with a range of needs in school and clinical settings and in their home environment. As well as private practice, Eleonora works in a NHS Children Occupational Therapy Service. She uses a holistic and functional approach based on the needs of the child, in order to reduce the difficulties they experience and to maximise their independence and participate in daily living activities. Eleonora has a special interest in working with children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Nashrin has a first degree in Psychology and Criminology. She is an experienced and qualified Specialist Teacher (Level 5) with experience of using a multisensory, structured and cumulative approach to teach children and young people. Nashrin specialises in working with students who have Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD, dyspraxia, dysgraphia and other learning differences. She also has experience teaching students where English is an additional language. Her teaching methods are learner centred tailoring each pupils learning needs, ability and style to improve their literacy, numeracy, handwriting, touch typing and self-management skills. She also supports her students to develop their self esteem and confidence. Nashrin is passionate about encouraging students to embrace their learning differences, identify their strengths and see their own potential through an integrated and holistic approach to education and wellbeing.
If your child is of nursery or school age then the first thing to do is to make an appointment to talk to their key worker or class teacher and the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) at their nursery or school about your concerns. Some SENCo’s may carry out some initial observations or assessments of your child. Depending on the outcome of these assessments they may suggest some support strategies for your child in school and may also have some ideas about how you can help your child at home. They may also suggest a referral to a professional such as a Paediatrician, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, or Educational Psychologist.
Depending on whether your child attends a state or independent school they may be able to access Local Authority/ Children’s Services such as Educational Psychology Service and NHS services such as Speech and Language Therapy or Occupational Therapy for support and advice. It is advisable to check with school staff whether these services are available and what the referral criteria are. These services are free but your child would need to meet the criteria for referral and you could be put on a waiting list.
You can also call The Ed Psych Practice to discuss with us your concerns and ask any questions you may have about the services we offer and the costs involved. When you decide to go ahead and book an appointment, we will link you to a relevant professional on our team who can best address your child’s presenting concerns.
A full assessment of your child will depend on the presenting concerns. If an Educational Psychologist is carrying out a learning assessment, it will include a detailed examination of their cognitive abilities, academic attainments in literacy and numeracy, and diagnostic tests where appropriate.
If your child is being seen by an Occupational Therapist, relevant assessments are carried out to assess their fine and gross motor skills and sensory profile.
For therapeutic support, an initial meeting with the parents and child or young person is carried out to explore presenting issues and to agree the goals for the intervention.
If a Speech and Language Therapist is seeing your child, relevant tests are carried out examining a child’s expressive and receptive language skills
Information is also gathered from parents and schools using pre assessment questionnaires. Other professional reports are also taken into consideration. Sometimes observations are carried out at the child’s learning environment as a starting point to the assessment depending on the presenting concerns.
It is very difficult to get an all round picture of how your child is developing socially, emotionally, and cognitively without information from people who work with your child in their learning environment. So yes, it is important that your child’s learning environment knows about your concerns and that you are consulting an independent professional for advice. However it is quite normal for parents and the school to have a slightly different view about how a child is progressing or coping in their learning environment. For various reasons you may not want to inform the school that this independent assessment is taking place. We will respect your views and it is your choice whether to inform the school or not but we hope you understand that part of our role is to ensure that your child’s well being and development is supported in their learning environment.
Children develop at different rates. Some children may find some things particularly hard such as:
For various reasons they are not reaching their full potential or struggling to keep up with their peers. If this is the case an EP Assessment might be useful to identify areas of strength and weaknesses to support your child’s development.
Children all learn to talk at different rates and some children develop more quickly than others. We do know however that there are 'typical' ages by which we expect children to have developed certain skills, and most children do. However there are some children that do struggle with learning to talk and understand and they will need extra help to support development. If you are concerned about the way your child is talking or understanding, ask for a Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) assessment. This assessment will tell you exactly how your child is getting on and if there is a reason to be concerned.
An assessment session will typically last between 30 minutes and an hour. A Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) will usually start by talking to you about your child's early history and development and gathering some information about your concerns. The assessment they do will look at how well your child's speech and language skills are developing compared to what we would expect for a child of their age.
Depending on the age of your child and the type of difficulty that they have they will do a number of different tasks and activities. For some children, particularly younger ones, the assessment may be done through the SLT or parent playing alongside your child, or watching them play. This is known as 'informal' assessment. They will be looking at the way your child understands language, how well they are talking and which sounds they are able to use in their speech.
Sometimes an SLT will carry out a 'formal' assessment. This means they work with your child using a number of published assessments, many of which are standardised. Standardised tests mean that they are able to give your child a score comparing them to other children of the same age. Doing this lets them see if a child is developing, as they should be, or if their speech and language is delayed.
The SLT will then tell you how they think your child is doing, and whether they feel your child needs to get some extra help with their speech and language development. They will usually write a report about the assessment.
A multi-disciplinary assessment means that more than one professional will assess a child or young person, and they will talk to the other people involved to help them work out where the main difficulties are.
A multi disciplinary assessment may involve an Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist or other professional, depending on the needs of the child. We work closely with some paediatricians and psychiatrists who might be part of this assessment depending on the presenting concerns of the child or young person.
Depending on the age of your child and presenting concerns the EP will advice you on when your child should be reassessed. Some standardized assessments have a retest period of 18-24 months to reduce practice effects. Thus we carefully consider the presenting issues, developmental history and time of the previous EP assessment (if appropriate) to decide when or whether a reassessment is necessary.
Prior to the assessment we gather as much information as possible from different sources such as the school, parents and other professionals who might be involved with the child. Information gathering is through questionnaires, school reports, development history, and areas of strengths and weaknesses. On the day of the assessment, the EP will first meet parents to have a structured interview based on information shared. After that the EP will complete various assessments with the child or young person, which might include cognitive tests (IQ tests), attainment tests (literacy and numeracy), emotional tests and some diagnostic tests. The testing can vary from 1.5 – 2.5 hours depending on the age of the child and the speed they work at. After that the EP will give the parents feedback on ways forward.
The assessment can take place at the practice, in the child’s learning environment, or at the family home. We decide the best environment for the assessment to be carried out taking into account the presenting concerns. Many children feel shy or nervous about meeting someone new and this is normal. You can help to prepare your child by treating the visit as a ‘normal everyday’ event. It’s best not to talk about testing, as this can be off-putting for a child; for some children when it is viewed as a ‘test’ they feel that something is ‘wrong’ with them. Most children will respond positively to the idea of doing some fun activities that will help us to find out what they do well.
When the assessment takes place at the practice, following your arrival, the first few minutes will be spent allowing your child to relax and feel comfortable. We encourage parents to bring something along such as books to read or games to keep their child busy while the professional first explores presenting concerns with them. If your child needs to be closely supervised please bring a responsible adult along with you. After the initial discussion with parents, the professional will assess your child and after that, feedback is given on suggested ways forward. We do have a waiting area but if the assessment is long, there are a number of cafes and shops within walking distance.
If your child is coming for therapeutic support, often the child is dropped off at the practice and the professional will agree on a time when the parents can return for the child to be picked up.
A full report is sent to you within three weeks of the assessment. The report will include information about tests that were used, results, conclusions, and recommendations for supporting your child. The aim of the report is to give you, the parents, and any other adults working with your child, information and advice that will enhance the understanding of your child’s strengths and needs in order to support their ongoing development.
Having an assessment with an EP/SLT/OT should be a pleasant event in a child’s life. Here are some tips to help ensure a good assessment experience:
There are many different ways to carry out an assessment of a child’s speech, language and communication needs and occupational therapy needs. Part of the assessment process will involve gathering information from parents, carers and teachers. Depending on presenting concerns observations and informal play based activities may be part of the assessment process, which may be carried out, in the home or educational setting. Formal assessments using standardised tests are also used depending on the age of the child. We will always carry out assessments in a sensitive manner and do our best to ensure that the process is fun and engaging for the child.
No, you can refer your child directly to The Ed Psych Practice
Therapy sessions take place at our practice, in your home or at your child’s nursery or school depending on the age of the child and presenting concerns.
The sessions will depend on your child's individual needs, response to therapy and your commitment. You may be offered a block of therapy sessions followed by a review of your child’s progress at which point next steps will be discussed. A standard therapy session lasts 45 - 60 minutes depending on the age of your child. Most of this time will be spent working directly with your child but may include time to discuss your child’s progress and new activities to work on. Sessions are charged on a pro rata basis.
Occupational Therapy enables children and young people to participate in daily life to improve their health and wellbeing. Daily life is made up of many activities (or occupations). Occupations for children or young people may include self-care (getting ready to go out, eating a meal, using the toilet), being productive (going to nursery or school, or volunteering), and leisure (playing with friends or doing hobbies). Children who have sensory needs and weak motor skills may find it difficult to engage in activities described above.
An Occupational Therapist will need to identify and understand a child or young person’s usual occupations to discover what difficulties they face. They will support the child or young person, their family and other relevant people such as teachers, to evaluate challenges and strengths in doing occupations.
The Occupational Therapist may suggest alternative ways of doing things, providing advice on learning new approaches and techniques, or making changes to the environment, for example, through using equipment or adaptations.
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