EduPsych

Psychological Services

07957-203826

mike@edupsych.net

EduPsych offer the following services to parents:

  • Testing/assessment of cognitive ability/functioning using both psychometric and dynamic assessment tools.
  • Testing/assessment & advice on Executive functioning and Working Memory difficulties in children.
  • Assessments of attachment for Contact, care, and residency issues in cases of family breakdown and Family Law cases.
  • Assessment of family relations to assist parents in their understanding of their children’s perceptions of the family unit.
  • Assessment of aspects of the educational impact of Acquired and Traumatic Brain injury.
  • Educational assessment in cases of possible specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder).
  • Advice and identification of Autistic Spectrum Conditions.
  • Assessment of possible Special Educational Needs (SEN).
  • Independent professional opinions on children’s needs for the purposes of SEN Tribunals.

We offer an initial free telephone or drop-in consultation of 40 minutes in order to explore client’s concerns and requirements.

Parents worry about their children. That is axiomatic. They also worry throughout their children’s education that their children's needs are not being met appropriately, or, sometimes even adequately in our education system.

All too often they feel that decisions are made based on available resources rather than on children’s needs, and, unfortunately, this is often appears to be true.

Equally, decisions about children’s education may appear to be made on the basis of political ideology rather than on the basis of any real understanding or concern about children’s development and welfare.

Most fundamentally, children are frequently ‘labelled’ by various people and then treated as though they are somehow ‘different’ and all of a type, rather than as individuals with their own vulnerabilities, talents, and perspectives. After all, from the perspective of a child with an Autistic Spectrum Condition it is we who are somewhat strange, incomprehensible, and odd! A label is only really useful if it allows us to understand a child better, or at least tells us what approaches are least damaging and most useful to help him or her.

As an example of unhelpful labelling, three children may appear to have the same difficulties with literacy, and all may be sloppily labelled as ‘dyslexic’, when in fact the reasons for each child’s difficulties may be as varied as early hearing loss in one, Cerebral Visual Impairment in the second, and executive functioning and attentional difficulties in the third.

Testing vs. Assessment

Testing of cognitive ability has a long history. However, whereas cognitive ability testing is one way of looking at a child, it is also necessary to know about a child’s cognitive functioning in order to begin to understand the child’s view of the world. Add to that the context in which the child learns and functions, both at home and at school, and genetic makeup and experiences, and the picture becomes very complex.

Here’s a thought: a child may read out loud quite well, yet seems not to understand what they are reading. Is this ‘reading failure’? Or, are we placing such a strain on the child’s executive systems that the simple (to us) task of reading overwhelms the child’s mind so that questions about the text cannot be answered. After all, we are asking the child to decode words, convert them to motor movements, understand the context of each word in a sentence, decode meaning, understand the situational context, self-monitor for mistakes, and reproduce the words orally. Doing this in front of an audience only adds another layer of complexity to reading out loud. What would happen if we asked that child to read silently after we had forewarned him what the questions would be that we would later ask?.....

Then again, how do we respond when we are interrogated by someone rather than asked sympathetically to answer some questions? Learning is about encouragement and empowerment, so if we ask a child how and why they answered a given question in a particular way, we encourage them to think about their own thought processes and perhaps apply this to subsequent problems. Surely, this is a better way to judge what a child knows or can do than a sterile set of questions delivered with no emotional or verbal feedback?

This is the essence of Dynamic Assessment as a concept. Even a ‘standard’ ability test can be administered in a dynamic and empathic manner; how children approach a task, how they respond, what strategies they use, how well motivated they are, and what they bring emotionally to the test situation are all crucial aspects of the assessment process.

If you are concerned about your child’s abilities, how he/she is responding at school, whether his/her needs are being addressed, or what may be concerning him/her feel free to contact me.

*Charges

These will vary according to the type of work undertaken.

An estimate is a quote, so if we underestimate we do not charge extra, and if we overestimate we pass the saving back.

Details can be discussed after the first consultation. Payment can be with any major credit or debit card, cash or cheque, in person or over the telephone.

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