Services for parents
We provide a clear, valid diagnosis of strengths and weaknesses in your child’s learning. We advise you on ways of remediating weaknesses and building on strengths.
Our standard assessment for children of school age measures cognitive ability (IQ), learning skills, information processing skills, educational attainments (reading, writing, spelling, maths) and motor co-ordination. The tests measure different areas of neurological functioning, knowledge and skills and we draw profiles of results that show significant strengths (what the child is good at) and significant weaknesses (what the child needs help with). These profiles enable us to plan, with you, the next steps to help the child.
We use standardised tests of proven validity and reliability and are trained and experienced in test administration and interpretation. We each hold Certificates in Testing Competence, updated annually by the British Psychological Society, the governing body for chartered psychologists. Most of the tests we use are only available to HPC registered educational psychologists.
We offer full diagnostic assessments for school age children and students up to age 18. Shorter versions of the full diagnostic assessment are used with young children, ages 3 - 5 years.
Assessments can take place where it suits the child; at home, school or in our consulting room. We also have a mobile consulting room.
What is included in a Full Diagnostic Assessment?
1. Intelligence testing
A minimum of 6 tests of cognitive ability, comprising 3 tests of verbal ability and 3 tests of perceptual reasoning (non - verbal ability). These provide an overall measure of General Cognitive Ability, or ‘IQ’ as it used to be known.
2. Diagnostic testing
A minimum of 2 tests of Auditory Working Memory
A minimum of 2 tests of Visual Processing Speed
A minimum of 2 tests of gross motor co-ordination and balance
A minimum of 2 tests of fine motor skills and eye - hand co-ordination
A minimum of 2 tests of phonological processing (mental manipulation of units of sounds)
3. Attainment testing - How well is the child learning in school?
The General Cognitive Ability score is used to predict educational attainments. This tells us if the child is underachieving in reading, writing, spelling or maths, and by how much.
Reading. 4 aspects of reading skills are tested: single word reading, phonic decoding, reading comprehension (understanding of texts) and reading speed.
We assess pre - reading skills if necessary.
Analysis of reading behaviour, scores and the errors made by the child give insights into how they are learning, and how they need to be taught to remedy weaknesses. These recommendations are explained to you after the assessment, and included in our report.
Spelling 1 standardised spelling test is given, plus analysis of other samples of writing (spelling in context). Analysis of spelling errors enables us to advise on teaching methods and programmes to remedy weaknesses; these are included in our report.
Writing up to 3 tests of writing skills are given: Alphabet Writing, Word Fluency and Prose Writing. These tests can be modified and easier tasks can be used for children who very much lack confidence when writing.
Maths up to 3 tests of maths are given: mental arithmetic, written maths and mathematical reasoning (orally presented with spoken responses).
4. Information from parents We ask parents to complete a short developmental questionnaire about the child and to tell us briefly what the main concerns are and what has been done so far (e.g. speech therapy, special visual exercises, private tuition etc.)
5. Information from School We give parents an optional school form for passing on to the child’s teacher to complete. This contains brief details of strengths and weaknesses, main concerns, and what has been done to help. We ask for copies of IEPs (Individual Educational Plans) and any reports by other professionals.
We ask parents to bring school reports for us to see, and if we are seeing a child in school, we look at their work in the classroom.
6. Child’s views We ask the child to tell us what they think they need help with.
Is your child learning in different ways and falling behind in school?
If so, does he /she need to be taught in different ways, and for how long?
Our reports help you to answer these questions and to plan the right steps to help the learner.
Our reports belong to the parent and copies are not sent to schools or local authorities.
Our reports contain full details of all test results, detailed advice on what needs to be done to help the learner, advice on other resources and help for the learner.
If the child meets the criteria for special arrangements in exams (Common Entrance, SATs, GCSE, A level) our reports provide the necessary evidence for the school, as specified by exam boards.
We advise on possible future strategies such as attendance at a Tribunal or the need for alternative individual specialist tuition. We advise parents on Statementing and our reports can be used in statutory assessment procedures.
If we assess a child in school, it is often helpful to discuss the results of the assessment with the parents and the SENCO (and sometimes with the child present if they so wish) so that we can plan ways of meeting the child’s needs.
Our reports enable primary schools and parents to plan smooth transition to secondary schools, with learning support in place.
Our quality assurance to you is that reports written by the psychologist who conducted the assessment are reviewed by at least one other member of the team of associates within psychology4education.
Contact us if you would like to discuss an appointment.
We can review the progress made by the child after 9 months of specialist teaching or learning support.
We use standardised tests of educational attainments and observe the child working in class. We look at all the available class work to judge progress, and ask the child how they are progressing.
If the teaching is correctly matched to the child’s needs there should be accelerated gains in skill acquisition. There may still, however, be a need for learning support, which may need to be modified in content or frequency.
The review assessment also includes a meeting in school with the parents and the learning support teacher, (and sometimes the child) to plan next steps.
The review report contains full details of all tests, precise measures of gains in skill acquisition, and the agreed next steps.
"Thank you for your time and the assessment that you made of W. yesterday. I am relieved that there will now be a way forward to help him with his education and will progress with this as we return to school."
Parent of an 8 year old with dyslexia and mild dyspraxia, August, 2011.
"Thank you so much for seeing F on Thursday-it was very positive & as a parent I now feel I have a better understanding of what is going on with him & how I should be supporting him with homework etc."