Selecting the right assessment for your child/student’s need is an important first step to a successful learning plan.
Our team of experts comprising of Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Educational Psychologists, and Educational Therapists can help tease out and isolate central difficulties that hamper development.
Speech & Language Assessment
Communication is a complex behaviour which we are all driven to do, so when communication doesn’t develop as expected, there can be a massive impact upon a child’s ability to participate in their family and community, and their quality of life. The Speech Language Pathologist will work with you to perform a thorough investigation of your child’s communication profile using evidence based tools, including but not limited to the following broad areas:
Speech: investigation of the subtle movements of the face, lips, tongue and larynx to produce speech that others can understand.
Language: looking in to how your child uses words and sentences to engage in social discourse and academic work; but further to this, looking at more subtle areas of language processing that affect how your child orders their thoughts and accesses their knowledge of their world, and their place in it, as these factors all impact how a child develops their skills with processing and using information.
Play: for young children, looking at play, particularly symbolic and imaginative pretend play, yields important information to supplement and better understand their cognitive language processing profile. Understanding your child’s play style can also help identify areas of strengths with information processing.
Interpersonal Dynamics: we all use language to connect with other people, share our experiences, and borrow perspective from others (this is particularly important for children who reference more experienced adults who can guide their learning and development) this type of communication taps in to a universal human need to participate in meaningful relationships with significant others, and so it is a crucial element of the communication assessment protocol.
Difficulties developing literacy can limit a child’s access to learning and participation in the information age, even for a child with seemingly subtle difficulties. It is important to perform a thorough investigation of a client’s literacy profile in order to ascertain any breakdowns that may be affecting your child’s access to school curriculum, their ability to demonstrate their learning in school, as well as their engagement with the rich experience of reading simply for fun! Dyslexia assessment can investigate the following areas:
Letter to sound correspondence: Phonics has been the focus of research and remediation programs for reading and spelling for the past several decades. We use phonics when we first learn to crack the code of reading, learning that letters and words correspond in written language. Later, this same set of skills is used to read and spell new words that we haven’t seen before.
Symbol Imagery: This has been the focus of recent research and refers to the skills involved in fluent reading and spelling. It is a crucial step to master reading for comprehension.
Auditory Processing: A small cohort of children experience unique learning challenges due to vulnerabilities with processing the sounds in language, despite otherwise good cognition. Sensitive and expert assessment can pick up challenges in this area in order to tailor subsequent remediation most effectively.
A child has many occupations they must engage in to live a happy and fulfilling life as they develop into independent adults, such as family member, friend, and student. Occupational Assessment aims to investigate the underlying processes and skills that are required for a child to engage in these occupations to their highest potential. The Occupational Therapist will work with you to tailor an assessment protocol, looking at the following broad areas:
Sensory Processing: We understand our world through the information that comes in to our bodies and brains through our sense. Children gradually learn to understand and process this information as they develop through infancy and well into the school years. In order to engage in their world, be effective community members, and to learn in school, a child must be able to process and integrate incoming sensory information. Thorough investigation of the different sensory systems, undertakes sensitively with the Occupational Therapists, can yield important information about your child’s strengths and challenges.
Movement Planning and Execution: A child can participate and learn effectively when they feel secure that they have developed the ability to master their own body. Assessment can identify opportunities for your child to master control of their bodies and their ability to implement their ideas and goals to increase participation.
Fine and Gross motor skills: Assessment allows parents to recognise normal and abnormal motor development that can in turn affect attention, behaviour and learning. Understanding how a child performs is an important first step in deciding on relevant strategies and appropriate motor training that may be necessary.
Handwriting Assessment: Thorough investigation of underlying processes that may be interfering with your child’s ability to demonstrate their knowledge in writing is an important aspect of the assessment. Looking at how your child holds their pencil, maintains their seating position, as well as how your child manages the repetitive demands of writing tasks in order to complete their work can identify issues impacting upon your child’s participation.
Executive Function Skills Assessment: This assessment looks at the student’s ability to pay attention; organize and plan, initiate tasks and stay focused, regulate emotions and self-monitor. Understanding whether a student’s functioning level in school is affected by these skills could help inform parents to make a better decision in allocating resources when helping the child.
Visual Motor Integration Assessment: This assessment determines the coordination of visual perceptual abilities and fine motor control. It is a skill that allows us to use our eyes and our hands in a coordinated and efficient way. This skill allows students to learn to use their visual and motor system in an organized, systematic way to participate in activities such as forming shapes, colouring, completing jigsaw puzzles, drawing, writing, just to name a few.
Psycho-Educational, Cognitive Assessment & Achievement Tests
Are you concerned about why your child seems to be lagging behind the school curriculum?
Are you concerned about his grade level subjects?
Is he demonstrating behavioural concerns?
Is the child exhibiting areas of giftedness?
Is he seeming gifted in some areas but is underachieving at school?
Is she seeking placement in other schools?
Psycho-educational assessments are important in helping school professionals and caregivers understand areas of strengths and weaknesses of the student’s performance profile. Our Educational psychologists can on the selection of assessment tools for your child’s needs.
Early diagnosis is paramount to achieving a good outcome for our clients. Our psychologists will sometimes work together with our speech language pathologists, and occupational therapist to establish if the child indeed has autism as a central diagnosis.
Our clinicians recognise that it takes hours of observation, speaking to teachers, collecting of data alongside formal evaluation to confirm diagnosis.
Benefits of a timely Autism Assessment include:
Saving parents many months, years of guesswork and frustrations
Knowing precisely where areas of deficits occur and move timely to remediate the condition
Allowing parents to make smart decisions in educational planning
Reducing parental stress as understanding of the condition clarifies responsibilities and goals
Following an autism assessment, parents may request for a few sessions of counselling to help ease into acceptance of the condition and to establish clearer goals of family involvement.
Neuropsychological evaluation is an assessment of how one’s brain functions, which indirectly yields information about structural and functional integrity of your brain.
The tests evaluate functioning in several areas such as intelligence, executive functions (such as planning, abstraction, conceptualisation), attention, memory, language, perception, sensorimotor functions, motivation, mood etc. Often, this accompanies conventional IQ based assessments for added information.
We work with many schools and professionals.
Please contact us to find out which assessments your child will be needing.