We offer a range of services to meet the needs of people.
We assess children for a wide range of learning difficulties. We use a range of standardised tests, which give a detailed profile of the intellectual and educational development of a child at a particular time in their lives. It is a snapshot of their performance, but it does enable predictions to be made regarding their future potential.
Apart from specific problems, such as dyslexia, we also assess the full range of learning difficulties, neurological dysfunctions and disabilities, including Attention Deficit Hyper-activity Disorder (ADHD), Asperger syndrome and Autism. There are of course many difficulties which have no specific diagnosis, but these can nevertheless the degree of disability can be appraised and any effect they may have on the child’s educational progress measured.
All assessments are conducted at our consulting rooms in Northampton and last approximately two hours. After the assessment has been completed a detailed report is written and sent to you, within two weeks. Once you have read the report we offer a free 30 minute consultation, when we can explain the findings of the report and discuss the recommendations made. No referral to the service is required and all reports are confidential.
WHY HAVE YOUR CHILD ASSESSED?
The educational standards in our schools are rising to meet the need for ever higher levels of literacy, as well as advances in science and technology, and schools have now become very effective at determining the standards reached by their pupils.
We believe that it is often helpful for parents to find out their child’s potential, separately from the educational standard they reach in the classroom. Parents may become aware of a mismatch between potential and achievement, where children who are doing reasonably well could be doing even better, whilst others who are achieving relatively modest standards might have considerable potential, but are held back unnecessarily by a specific problem; perhaps a lack of confidence or possibly a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia.
THE ABILITY PROFILE OF YOUR CHILD
As parents, we like to know as much as we can about our children. We have put together the following scheme to identify your child’s strengths and weakness, so that you can fully understand and help your child.
We begin with an assessment of your child’s potential with a psychological ability test appropriate for your child. Either all or relevant parts of the following tests will be used for this part of the assessment:
- Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC IV)
- Weschler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI II)
- British Ability Scales (BAS III)
We can examine your child’s progress by:
- Discussing your child’s achievements at home and at school
- Using any necessary attainment tests
We can provide guidance on the ways you can enhance your child’s educational performance:
- Advice about the educational materials currently available
- Using a positive encouragement programme.
Concern that a child may be suffering from dyslexia is a common reason for referral. In these circumstances a full assessment is carried out including specialist tests relevant to the child’s difficulties.
WHAT IS DYSLEXIA?
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty, which can affect a person’s reading, spelling, memory, concentration and personal organisation. If your child has difficulty with several if the following, then an assessment may be helpful:
- Was your child slow in acquiring reading and spelling skills?
- Are they able to recognise common words without difficulty?
- Are you they able to ‘sound out’ unfamiliar words?
- Do they frequently lose their place as they read along a line of print?
- Does your child ever complained that the text ‘moves’ while they are trying to read it?
- Are they often able to read text, but unable to understand it?
- Are they unable to remember how to spell the new words they encounter?
- Does your child have difficulty recalling the correct spelling of common words?
- Do they reverse letters and/or numbers?
- Do they need to concentrate much more on spelling than other children?
- Does your child frequently lose track of his/her personal belongings?
- Do you need to prompt them many times about important matters?
- Do they have difficulty carrying out instructions?
- Are they confused by left and right?
- Does your child have difficulty finding the words he/she need to express their ideas?
- Do they work very hard, but their results fail to reflect this?
AUSTISTIC SPECTRUM DISORDERS
Autism, Asperger Syndrome and ADHD are seen as Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Whilst each disorder has its own unique range of characteristics, there is often a degree of overlap between them, which can result in a child receiving diagnoses for more than one condition. The focus of our assessment is always to find the best way to help your child.
An autistic child usually has difficulty with social interaction, communication and imagination, often with learning difficulties.
If you child displays one or more of the following characteristics, an assessment may be helpful:
- A strong resistance to change.
- Repetitive behaviours e.g. insisting on completing tasks in exactly the same way, copying speech
- Delayed or no speech
- A lack of appreciation of other people’s view of the world e.g. they may not draw a parent’s attention to things they see
- Unable to understand what other people say
- Unable to take part in activities with other children
Children with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence, but may have difficulty understanding and processing language. They do not usually have the accompanying learning disabilities associated with the condition, but they may have specific learning difficulties.
ADHD – ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
Children with ADHD are often inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive.
If you child two or more of the following characteristics, an assessment may be helpful:
- Has difficulty focusing on tasks
- Does not appear to listen when being spoken to
- Has difficulty following instructions
- Unable or organise themselves and frequently loses track of personal belongings
- Easily distracted
- Fidgets or squirms frequently
- Runs around when it is not appropriate to do so
- Unable to play quietly
- Has difficulty taking turns