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Why The Ed Psych Practice?
The Ed Psych Practice is comprised of an independent multi-disciplinary team supporting children and young people with developmental difficulties. We have extensive experience in diagnosing developmental disorders in children and young people. Much of our work has been in child development and specifically within the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder. We also provide a range of assessments and work closely together to provide outstanding outcomes for the individual child/young person and the whole family.

Our commitment, experience and skill ensures that you are able to achieve the correct diagnosis for your child, access support and achieve the correct intervention. These are vital factors in helping your child reach their unique potential. We specialise in early diagnosis and also provide adult assessments. We also provide Medical Assessments, Learning Disability Assessments, Speech and Language Assessments, Sensory Assessments and a range of screening protocols.

The Ed Psych Practice understands the difficulties and stress that multi-disciplinary assessments can cause. This is why our assessment processes are carried out in a friendly environment. We also encourage family members to attend the assessment and plan next steps.
What will a Diagnosis do?
‘If your child is on the autism spectrum, getting a diagnosis can be a positive thing. It means you have an explanation for some of the difficulties your child may be experiencing and it also gives you access to services and support.’ - National Autistic Society

Here at The Ed Psych Practice we hope to support your child and family through the diagnosis and then offer suggestions for next steps. We understand that it can be a worrying time for your family and in some cases your child. The diagnosis is the beginning to understanding your child’s strengths and weaknesses and how they can be supported at home and in school. With the support of an experienced and diverse multidisciplinary team, we are able to guide and advise.

There is no one test for diagnosing Autism. Children can be diagnosed with autism when they’re quite young. But not everyone is diagnosed early. It’s quite common for older children, and indeed adults, to be diagnosed with autism, particularly if they don’t have accompanying learning difficulties.
What Will Happen at the Assessment
Once you have decided to proceed with a diagnostic Assessment, you can expect an initial consultation with a Consultant Paediatrician followed by a multidisciplinary assessment if appropriate.

Diagnostic Assessment Tools

The assessment tools used for identifying Autistic Spectrum Conditions are the ADOS 2 (used with the individual) and ADI-R (used with parents/carers).

ADOS 2

The ADOS 2 assessment will be carried out by a Speech and Language Therapist or Psychologist. It looks at the social interaction between the assessor and the individual. It consists of a series of play based and/ or table top tasks (dependent on the child’s strengths) and takes between 30 and 60 minutes. It is very helpful if the ADOS 2 assessment is video recorded in order to enable the assessor to revisit the assessment prior to writing the report.

ADI-R

The Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) is a structured interview conducted by a Consultant Paediatrician or Psychologist with someone who has known the individual closely since early childhood. The questions in this test aim to assess the subject’s pattern of reciprocal social interaction and communication, as well as identifying examples of unusual behaviour that are seen in individuals with autism. In the case of a child being assessed, this will be the parent or carer. For adults being assessed this would preferably be a parent or carer, but it may be possible to carry this out with an older sibling or other relative. The ADI-R takes between one to two hours to complete.

School or nursery report

In order to gain a full picture of your child’s functioning and behaviour pattern outside of an assessment setting, it will be very helpful to have the school or nursery’s account of your child. For example, it would be extremely helpful to have information on how your child interacts with other children, as well as his/her pattern of social communication functioning on a day to day basis in a familiar environment. As part of the diagnostic assessment, your child’s school or nursery will be asked to complete a specific questionnaire, with your consent.

Speech and Language, Occupational and Cognitive Assessment is also available as a separate service depending on the child/ young person’s needs and this will be discussed with you if it is needed.

Meet The Team

Dr Anne Kurian [Paediatrician]

Dr Anne Kurian is a community paediatrician with over 25 years in the NHS. She has extensive experience in primary care involving identifying, assessing and managing children and young people [0-19 years] with additional needs and advising the local education authority through the statutory process. She’s contributed medical reports for Education Health and Care Plans [EHCP] to the local authority and has done considerable work in helping children with developmental and complex health needs.

Anne has carried out joint Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule [ADOS] assessments along with her Speech and Language Therapists colleagues. She has supervised medical oversight for children in special schools through regular visits. Her work in the NHS also involved seeing referrals and providing medical reports for social services and for schools for children with safeguarding concerns. She has worked and liaised with allied health professionals within a multidisciplinary setting involving the following professional groups: Local Child Adolescent Mental Health Services [CAMHS], Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Specialist Health Visitors.

Dr Ben Ko, Consultant Paediatrician

Dr Ben Ko is a Senior Consultant Paediatrician, with over 20 years’ experience as an NHS Consultant. After graduating from Edinburgh University with Distinction in Paediatrics, he continued his training in paediatrics in the UK, rotating through tertiary centres including Great Ormond Street Hospital, London and Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh. He was an Honorary Consultant to Great Ormond Street Hospital, prior to his current NHS appointment.

He has an extensive clinical portfolio in the field of neurodisability and child development, covering physical disabilities, learning difficulties, autism and the full range of developmental disorders. His approach is parent and child centred, so that parents and young people are able to make decisions and choices with the best possible opinion and options. He provides robust, evidence based developmental diagnosis, which many parents find invaluable in helping to choose intervention for their children.

Ben has gained national recognition for his contribution to paediatrics. He holds a Department of Health national level Clinical Excellence Award, which is bestowed to only the top 10% of UK Consultants. He has held numerous offices at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and is currently an Advisor to the Neurodisability Training Committee.

Lindy Tyrwhitt, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

Lindy is a highly experienced Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist and Specific Learning Difficult (SPLD) Teacher. She qualified as a Speech and language Therapist at University College and as a SPLD teacher at Helen Arkell Centre. Lindy is registered with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the Health Care Professional Council. She has years of experience working with children of all ages with speech, language and communication needs in a range of settings in the private sector and the NHS. Lindy specialises in assessing children with social communication difficulties and dyslexia. She is currently working independently as part of a multi-disciplinary team assessing children for Autism and other complex disorders at The Portland Hospital. In addition she provides clinical supervision for other Speech and Language Therapists.

Dr Becky Bayele, Consultant Paediatrician

Dr Becky Bayele is a consultant Community Paediatrician at the Royal Free Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; she works across three sites where she is the Lead for Complex Neurodisability and Chronic Childhood Epilepsy and named Consultant for the special school for children with severe physical and mental disability. Dr Bayele had held previous Consultant appointments at Barts Health NHS Trust and Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust where she held a variety of senior including Lead for Tower Hamlet Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment Service (ASDAS), Lead for Lambeth Autism & Neuro-Disability Diagnostic Service (LANDS) and Lead for Autism and Neurodisability British Forces Germany Health Service (BFGHS). Additionally, Dr Bayele also set up joint Autism-CAMHS tertiary diagnostic assessment services in Tower Hamlet and BFGHS which provided a second opinion on complex cases. Dr Bayele’s extensive and broad experience of general paediatrics, community paediatrics, neuro-disability and epilepsy enables her to provide the highest standards of care to patients and their families, relatives, and carers.

Lucy Sanctuary, Speech and Language Therapist

Lucy is a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist, and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Practitioner specialising in working with children and young people with Autism Spectrum Condition. She has experience of working with children aged 2 to 18, with their families and carers, and with a wide range of associated professionals. Lucy has worked in Early Years settings, mainstream and special schools, and community clinics. She currently works part-time for the NHS (Guys and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust) and privately for Psicon carrying out Autism Assessments as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Lucy is a registered Elklan trainer. One of her main areas of interest is mental health and autism. Lucy has a post graduate diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for children and young people specialising in Autism from University College London (UCL) and the Anna Freud Centre. Lucy uses Intensive Interaction, VERVE, PECS, Social Thinking (Michelle Garcia Winner), Therapeutic Listening, SOS Feeding and Floor Time in her work. Lucy offers supervision to Speech and Language Therapists carrying out the ADOS 2 assessments. She also offers supervision to Speech and Language Therapists and Learning Support Assistants supporting children and young people on the autism spectrum.

Jennifer Warwick, Speech and Language Therapist

Jennifer trained as a speech and language therapist in 2003. She has wide ranging experiences working across the NHS, Charities and in Independent Practice.

She has specialised in working with children with complex communication needs in particularly assessment, diagnosis and intervention for children and young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Jennifer is author of 'supporting SLCN in children with ASD' and also joint author of the early sociocognitive battery (ESB).

She works collaboratively with families and educators to support children and young people develop their communication and interaction skills.

Esther Hiley, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

Esther trained as a Speech and Language Therapist at the University of Manchester. She is a registered Speech and Language Therapist with the Health and Care Professions Council and a member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Esther has years of experience working with children and young people with speech, language, communication and learning difficulties in mainstream and special educational settings. She specialises in working with preschool children and children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. As well as working independently, Esther currently works part time as a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist for children with ASD and ADHD for a local authority in London. She is trained to assess children’s social communication needs as part of a multiagency diagnostic team.

Kathy Alison, Office Administrator

Kathy is a fully qualified nurse who has experience of working in private practice with doctors and other professionals. She manages client enquiries and appointments and makes sure that things run smoothly at the practice. Kathy has a knack of ensuring that all our clients feel comfortable while at the practice.

What we stand for

We are a life-span service
We know that mental health, and in particular neurodevelopmental disorders have a deep and long lasting impact on the lives of people and the families that they affect. They are often life-long problems with symptoms and problems manifesting in different ways throughout the life-span. We are a life-span service that can oversee care from diagnosis in childhood to problems at work and within relationships in adult life.

We are a multi-disciplinary group practice
We know that the best care is delivered by motivated and well-functioning teams, with staff that are approachable and can bring their own expertise. We only invite the best clinicians, many of whom we have worked with personally in the past to join our team. We emphasise the importance of regular clinical meetings and team discussions to ensure the best care for our clients.

We believe in evidence-based care
Our clients and their families deserve to be diagnosed and treated by proven methods which are sanctioned by world leaders in the medical and psychological field (DSM-V, ICD-10, NICE Guidelines). We ensure that all clinicians are up to date in research to ensure our knowledge is at the forefront of scientific developments.

FAQs

Why do parents seek an independent autism assessment?

There are various reasons but here are some of the most common

  • A child is not making appropriate progress, school unable to provide appropriate support given the child or young person’s needs.
  • To monitor the child’s progress (or the lack thereof) from a third-party perspective.
  • To investigate disparities between the goals the child has reportedly achieved and the ability to generalize those skills in multiple environments (home, school, community, etc.).
  • To get assistance in designing appropriate and challenging goals for the child.
  • To achieve a multidisciplinary assessment that uses a range of diagnostic measures
The Ed Psych Practice can help you with any of these concerns

Where will the assessment take place?

The assessment will take place at the practice in London. Many children feel shy or nervous about meeting someone new and this is normal. You can help to prepare your child by treating the visit as a 'normal everyday' event. It is best not to talk about testing, as this can be off-putting for a child; for some children when it is viewed as a 'test' they feel that something is 'wrong' with them. Most children will respond positively to the idea of doing some fun activities that will help us to find out what they do well.

Who will be there?

There will be a Consultant Paediatrician and a Speech and Language Therapist and/ or a Psychologist present at the assessment.

Will I get a report?

A full report is sent to you within three weeks of the assessment. The report will include information about tests that were used, results, conclusions, and recommendations for supporting your child. The aim of the report is to give you, the parents, and any other adults working with your child, information and advice that will enhance the understanding of your child’s strengths and needs in order to support their ongoing development.

How should I prepare a Child for an Assessment?

Having an assessment should be a pleasant event in a child’s life. Here are some tips to help ensure a good assessment experience:

  • Find out as much as you can about the assessment procedure in advance. The more informed you are the more relaxed you will be and this will be beneficial to your child.
  • Be as honest and frank as you can. For example tell the child that they are visiting someone to have a general chat. As part of this they will be doing some fun activities such as looking at pictures and stories together, finding out how they can make up stories, do some imaginative play and share some information. There are toys and activities that are used. This is to see what may work to help with school and to get on with people.
  • If they are coming for specific Educational Psychology and Speech and Language Assessments perhaps you can let them know that because they have some difficulty with reading, writing, spelling, maths, sharing their thoughts or expressing themselves they are going to see someone who will complete some activities to explore how they think and problem solve and to find out how they can be helped at school and home.
  • Be clear that this is not an exam and the child cannot fail.
  • Tell your child where you are going, at what time and how long it will take.
  • Try to ensure that the child is well rested.
  • Bring a nutritious snack if necessary. We do have snacks in our office
  • If a child is reluctant to come it is okay to build in a little treat afterwards.

What is a multidisciplinary assessment?

A multi-disciplinary assessment means that more than one professional will assess a child or young person, and they will talk to the other people involved to help them work out where the main difficulties are.

Do I need to let the school know that my child is due to have an independent diagnostic assessment?

It is very difficult to get an all round picture of how your child is developing socially, emotionally, and cognitively without information from people who work with your child in their learning environment. So yes, it is important that your child’s learning environment knows about your concerns and that you are consulting an independent professional for advice. However it is quite normal for parents and the school to have a slightly different view about how a child is progressing or coping in their learning environment. For various reasons you may not want to inform the school that this independent assessment is taking place. We will respect your views and it is your choice whether to inform the school or not but we hope you understand that part of our role is to ensure that your child’s well being and development is supported in their learning environment.

Do I need a referral from my GP?

No, you can refer your child directly to The Ed Psych Practice

Will there be a conclusion on the day of assessment?

In the majority of cases your child’s assessment will conclude on the day of the assessment and you will receive a diagnosis or not. However, children and young people are all individuals and some present with highly complex needs. It is imperative that the correct conclusion is drawn. If there is any further assessment required this will be discussed with you on the day of assessment and next steps mutually agreed.

What happens after the assessment?

One of the primary outcomes for children or young people on the Autism Spectrum is recognizing and understanding their condition. As part of the assessment, you will be provided with recommendations in order to further support your child. This will include targeted advice for your child and how to access local and national support.

In some instances, more specific intervention might be beneficial. You can source this yourself through your local authority or independent services. Here at The Ed Psych Practice, we have an experienced and enthusiastic team of Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists to offer further input and support if required.

Practitioners registered with
Royal College of Occupational Therapist
HCPC
The British Psychological Society
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapist

Contact

Keen to get in touch?

Our Office

23 HARCOURT STREET
LONDON W1H 4HJ
UNITED KINGDOM

Phone: +44 (0) 78 3344 7356 / (0) 79 9053 8654
(Enquiries & Appointments)

Email: office@theedpsych.com
info@theedpsych.com
Fax: +44 (0) 207 258 0677