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.