Psychological Assessment for Children
Developmental and Educational Assessment
Recognised by the Department of Education
Should I get my child assessed?
Firstly, not all children need to be assessed educationally; however it’s vital for those children who, for whatever reason, are struggling in school with the normal curriculum. Every effort should be made by the teacher in terms of extra attention and variety in teaching methods before an assessment is requested. Sounds like good advice but the reality is that there is a lot of pressure on the average primary school teacher, especially with large, overcrowded classes of pupils with varying abilities and languages. Understandably it can be difficult for the teacher to flag a child’s difficulties. So, a parent or primary caregiver should be attuned to how the child is performing and waste no time in sharing concerns with a teacher or principal. Sometimes they can just slip through the net in the early years of primary school and their learning difficulties remain unidentified and therefore, unsupported. There is no doubt that the earlier problems are confronted the better the outcome for the child and their family.
At the Apex Clinic, the observation of the parent and educator are an important part of the assessment process. We listen carefully to the concerns and opinions of the parent and educator because they know the child best.
What are common disorders we assess for?
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopment disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior. Autistic disorder, sometimes called autism or classical ASD, is the most severe form of ASD, while other conditions along the spectrum include a milder form known as Asperger syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS).
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that appears in early childhood. You may know it by the name attention deficit disorder, or ADD. ADD/ADHD makes it difficult for people to inhibit their spontaneous responses—responses that can involve everything from movement to speech to attentiveness.
- Specific Learning Disabilities
Dyslexia- A common Learning disorder in Ireland. Child will have problems in reading, writing, spelling and speaking.
Dyscalculia- Problems with understanding math, telling the time and counting money.
Dysgraphia- Problems with handwriting, spelling and gathering/collecting ideas
Dyspraxia- Another common disorder in Ireland. Previously known as the ‘Clumsy Child’ disorder, there is issues with fine motor skills. Individuals with Dyspraxia experience problems with hand–eye coordination, balance, manual dexterity.
Dysphasia/Aphasia- Problems understanding spoken language, poor reading comprehension
Auditory Processing Disorder- Problems with reading, comprehension, language
Visual Processing Disorder- Problems with reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures.
What happens during an assessment?
Each assessment is based on an individual childs needs. Psychometric tools, questionnaires and observation schedules are all adopted based on the type of assessment being conducted. When assessment is complete, the psychologist analyse data and prepares a psychological educational report.
What information does a psychological educational report contain?
A report should include an evaluation and statement of the nature and extent of the child’s disability… and an evaluation and statement of the services which the child will need so as to be able to participate in and benefit from education and, generally, to develop his or her potential. In order for a child to receive remedial services at school, a report needs to be prepared and submitted with a request for additional services.
If you are concerned about your child or a child in your class, speak with the teacher or principal. When it is agreed that a child needs assessing, it can be quite a difficult and lengthly process to obtain an assessment.
Here at the Apex Clinic, we have a panel of highly respected and experienced psychologists who will discuss your concerns prior to scheduling an appointment. We endeavour to make the assessment process as easy as possible for the child & parent/s.
Call us on our 24 hour hotline number now: 087 6970574 or email us on: email@example.com
You’ll be glad you did.