Ed Psych assessment/report - what is involved/what can it tell you?

(16 Posts)
Periwinkle007 Sun 15-Sep-13 23:36:28

I am seriously considering paying to have my DD1 assessed if school won't do it.

reasons? she seems to to be showing signs of being 'dual exception' or whatever the gifted children association calls it, signs of dyslexia but an exceptionally good reader, emotional and behavioural problems which are quite ASD like but not true ASD symptoms, very bright, quite off the wall, extreme perfectionism, can't deal with change, oversensitive, questioning on a very different level to the other children we know, reception teacher said 'not sure we have ever had anyone quite as brilliant as her before'. Drs suggested autism when she was only very little but the health visitors and we always felt it was just intelligence and an imbalance of brain development so emotional maturity wasn't in step with intellect. I don't know. something isn't right and doesn't add up properly and I can't see any other way of finding out what support we can give her to help.

BlackeyedSusan Sun 15-Sep-13 23:45:18

the dyslexia association do testing I think.

there are private ed psychs who specialise in gifted and dylexia.

honestly, if you can afford it, it is worth considering it for your peace of mind and confidence in advocating. it may not help with school. though a dyslexia diagnosis would, depending on the school. (i hear a lot about how school is not terribly helpful for a child with dyslexia, from her mum)

Nickmom Mon 16-Sep-13 09:15:51

How old is she peri?

Periwinkle007 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:52:45

she is 6, in Yr1, so still very young and I know that as time goes on they grow out of a lot of things but whilst she is slightly less difficult than she was, now that she can read and do things she is still just not quite right and I can't put my finger on it.

To be honest I am not hugely worried about whether school take any notice of what an ed psych report says or not, it is more a case of finding out how WE can support her. She seems bright enough that she will 'manage' at school but may not reach her full potential but her happiness worries me more.

mummytime Mon 16-Sep-13 10:13:21

I would suggest that you start by keeping a diary to try to help you put your finger on what things are causing you anxiety.

6 is young, and having paid for an Ed Psych for my son at 7; I kind of wish I had put it off for a couple of years. As he was young, and gauging just how much and what kind of difficulties he had were hard at that age. But having a diary will help an Ed Psych focus on what areas are causing her difficulties.

I would also push for a good eyesight and hearing tests. Also do talk to her about what she sees, andhow she feels about things.

Finally don't compare with other parents, a lot of parents "exaggerate" their children's abilities.

Periwinkle007 Mon 16-Sep-13 11:18:11

Her eyesight and hearing have been checked and are fine (well other than the seeing letters in the wrong order but eye convergence and so on checked)

yes I do wonder if she is too young but the behaviour issues worry me that she needs the support now.

Her abilities are part of the problem - she says the work at school is easy so she never gets it wrong (which is true but that will change shortly I am sure), she gets upset by the immaturity of her class mates distracting her and so on and I feel it is only a matter of time before she erupts in class rather than waiting until we get out of school before having a meltdown. I know that when she gets home it works best if she has some time on her own (if she can be persuaded) even if it is only 5 minutes to let her calm herself down. I think she finds everything overstimulating but then she is constantly pushing for information and things. I try to keep life relatively simple, she doesn't do lots of activities, just one and we don't rush around all over the place, she gets time to just play with her toys, look at her books, play with her sister, play outside etc rather than always being rushed from a to b to do something. she doesn't have computer games, watches some tv but not excessive and likes to play imaginative games with her sister.

I will start a diary - thank you

mummytime Mon 16-Sep-13 11:24:13

I would be more inclined to ask for a paediatrician referral than pay for an Ed Psych (who might not be able to identify the problem).

Have you read anything about girls and ASD? Maybe by Tony Attwood?

A diary though is always a good idea.

Periwinkle007 Mon 16-Sep-13 13:17:35

I haven't no, I think because I have always felt it isn't actually ASD or if it is she is only on the very edge of the spectrum (aren't we all). You are probably right though, I should do.

insanityscratching Mon 16-Sep-13 13:53:04

Would second a referral to a developmental paediatrician too although can pm you the name of a very good ed psych if you wish.
My dd aged 10 has ASD although you'd probably not spot it and she is far from typical and nothing like ds who also has ASD. Dd is pretty clever, her school say she is exceptional and she uses the intelligence to mask the autism. This comes at a price though and like your dd she needs some space at the end of the school day to self regulate (it's pretty common in ASD). Dd becomes emotional rather than meltdown and because she has her own TA it's not extreme as the TA helps school be less stressful for her.
Dd has encyclopaedic knowledge about all sorts of things but she researches things under her own steam and finds it very relaxing. Can you help dd to discover for herself by teaching her how to research and then with those skills she'd maybe feel less pressured.
For all dd's abilities I wouldn't say she is more mature than her peers she is intolerant of them though although again she has support with friendships and so there are few difficulties at present.
Have school mentioned any concerns? Dd had a diagnosis before school entry but tbh had she not I doubt that school would have been concerned tbh as she's bright and well behaved and can manage to apear NT for the majority of the time.

mummytime Mon 16-Sep-13 13:56:19

I think with girls it can become more of a problem as they get older, I know one girl who I would have said definitely wasn't ASD at 5, but at 10 has just been diagnosed.

On the other hand as we are all on the spectrum the advice on how to deal with some aspects of reaction to ASD can help us all.

With my children dealing with; anxiety, an introvert's natural need to recharge by "alone time", keeping blood sugar stable (snack after school), making sure they get enough fluids, and maybe trying Omega fish oils; have all helped. Also little things like realising that Orange Juice made my son hyperactive. Or maybe ever ear plugs sometimes.

Have you talked to the teachers about how frustrated she gets? It might help them to spot signs of frustration and give her a chance to go somewhere quiet to calm down (book corner or computer with headphones).

insanityscratching Mon 16-Sep-13 14:07:08

I suspect dd will flounder in secondary school Mummytime and tbh I will most likely home ed from next year. Her current school is exceptionally good but I've seen nothing to fill me with confidence about y7 and her statement won't protect her from the difficulties. I suspect the reason girls struggle as they get older is that social interaction amongst girls becomes more sophisticated very quickly and the lag between them and their peers becomes even greater. Dd has a few very good friends who keep her close but she is undoutedly seen as different by the more "mature" members of her year.

chicaguapa Mon 16-Sep-13 14:10:17

My DD is a lot like this and was query ASD and Aspergers at her end of KS1 Ed Psych assessment. We've never had her statemented, but definitely without a doubt, it has helped her personal and academic progression enormously with the teachers having the information in the Ed Psych report.

It just makes such a big difference if the teacher can understand her a bit and how she sees the world. The fact that she doesn't take in anything at the end of the lesson because she's fixated on the bell being about to ring. Or that she doesn't know you're talking to her if you don't say her name at the beginning. Or that she's not being stubborn but genuinely struggles with changes in routine.

So on that basis I would probably pay to have a private one done, but in our case the school paid. DD had one before she started KS1 too, so maybe the school felt it wanted to get a more up to date position on that one. But I know how lucky we were to have the school's support.

But in the meantime, I would read about techniques for dealing with ASD and use some of them with your DD, even if she isn't diagnosed. Like one of the other posters says, we are all on the spectrum somewhere so some methods will work well with her, I'm sure.

Good luck.

passedgo Mon 16-Sep-13 14:16:30

Why did the doctor suggest autism before? It is unusual for anyone to suggest this at a young age, and I would say an indication that there are strong symptoms.

I sense from your posts that you are feeling guilty. Please don't. It's not your parentiing, your support, your lack of anything. Please don't fret or worry about any of this.

But do get an assessment done so that you can learn to understand your child and help her teachers to get her to reach her full potential. If there is a diagnosis, taking action now could dramatically enhance her development.

It's no big deal, we are all different. And above all, it's nothing you have done, or not done.

It sounds like an ed psych report would be very useful from the point of view of the school but I second (third?) getting a referral to paediatric clinical psych or developmental paed if there is any suspicion of ASD. It is not something that an ed psych can formally diagnose and you might need a formal diagnosis at some point if your DD is on the spectrum. I am not a fan of labels but they can be a great way of getting people to take notice and take unusual/quirky behaviour into account.

My DS1 has mild AS and his favourite pastime is research too. Google and Wikipedia are his favourite websites and the starting point for many long hours of looking stuff up . smile

summersgone Mon 16-Sep-13 14:41:44

I would also say get a referral to a paed, or possibly a psych. An EP is useful as well, but won't diagnose and it's better to get an assessment for ASD first before getting any educational recommendations.

DD has ASD, diagnosed at 6 and she is also highly intelligent and had her symptoms masked by this. She also has a diagnosis of dyslexia, despite being an excellent reader - but her processing speed is far behind than her cognitive abilities, which she finds frustrating. She's been statemented since she was 7 and we got an independent specialist secondary named on her statement, which meets the needs of her quirks as well as being academically demanding. She managed well in mainstream primary with a full-time TA but like others here, she would have floundered in a big secondary school. It probably feels a long time away for you to think about, but provision like this isn't common and very hard to get on a statement, so you need to start thinking about it from now. Having your child's needs recognised through a diagnosis and from a professional like an Ed Psych is the first step.

Periwinkle007 Mon 16-Sep-13 16:49:12

thanks everyone - quite a bit to think about there. I think our Dr would be very surprised if I turn up now about it, we moved from the other surgery and since being at this one over 3 years we haven't seen the health visitor for either of the children (met her once briefly when we moved in because of my PND but that is all) and I have never mentioned DDs behaviour to the Dr at all. Have left a message for the SENCO at school so hopefully will get to speak to her in the next couple of days and get her view of it as she knows DD. I can see what you are saying about the medical side of things first and then the educational side though, that makes sense.
thank you

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