Educational psychologist assessment?(2 Posts)
My DD is 4 1/2, in Reception with a late July birthday. My question is whether an educational psychologist assessment should be something I try to follow up with, and how difficult that may be to get, and what help I should expect to get out of one if this is the path I should be going down with her. She has been slow to meet all developmental targets (eg, slow to crawl, walk, talk). My concern is how her speech delay has affected her socially. I saw this start to affect her in nursery, when she became quite aware that she wasn't always understood and she refuses to say anything to anyone she doesn't know for fear that they won't understand her. I've seen her become frustrated and angry at home, and her teachers have commented she is particularly stubborn. I feel that these are the repercussions of not being able to express herself and her feelings. Since starting Reception I've had great support from her teachers. She is on Special Action and receives small group help for her fine motor skills. I put her problems down to her speech and her teachers agreed that she would benefit from speech therapy. She had an assessment at school last week and after speaking to the speech therapist following her assessment, they concluded that her speech isn't significantly delayed. They did, however, conclude that she has other issues, mainly to do with a weak short term memory and the way she learns (visually) which isn't compatible with learning in a class of 30 children. Also, although she talks and plays with peers one to one, when she's in a big group or in a setting that is unfamiliar to her, she refuses to talk and will make excuses to escape (eg, when a lesson become interactive, she'll decide she needs to go to the toilet). I agree with the speech therapists' assessment, as I have seen the same behaviour in her myself. The speech therapist suggested she should have an educational psychologist assessment and now I'm wondering if I went down the wrong path pushing for the speech therapy, when my concern all along was more about how her slow speech development has affected her socially and emotionally. My question now is how difficult is it to get an educational psychologist assessment if your child is not disruptive in class and doesn't need one to one help? Would there be any benefit to an assessment, and what would the likely outcomes of such an assessment be?
Your daughter is on School action, which is the first stage of 'extra help' - if she isn't making progress with the things in place already, then the school might agree that an Ed psych assessment/input might be helpful. It absolutely shouldn't be about being disruptive - it should be about whether your daughter is meeting her potential, and there seems to be good reason to suspect that she isn't.
Your speech and language assessment was definitely helpful - but a cognitive assessment might really help you to get a full picture of her strengths and difficulties. If the school seem unwilling, then you could consider a private Ed psych assessment - likely to be a couple/few hundred pounds. Did the speech therapist give you any ideas on developing emotional skills at home?
Your ideas about what might be underlying your daughter's development seem sensible, and following them up while she is still so young is definitely a good idea - any help (no matter how light touch) that can be started young is a good thing.
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