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What do you get from an Ed Pysch assessment?

(26 Posts)
bigmouthstrikesagain Mon 01-Feb-16 10:39:10

We have been instructed by our dds paediatrician to ask her school to arrange an assessment by an Educational Psychologist. The school have reluctantly agreed to this - the Senco was frank that she thought it was unnecessary and it is very expensive.

Her question was "what do you think it will achieve?" My instinct is that the Ed Pysch is the professional and therefore I am not in a position to anticipate what they may observe/ recommend. I was rather put off by the Senco's attitude but we remained resolute so it should be happening. To be honest it is not for an untrained Senco to question a paediatricians opinion - it seems likely we will have a wait 2-3 months at least.

Is this negative attitude the norm in school regarding ED Pyschs - are they useless? Or is the teacher totally wrong? I am confused.

DD is 9 and in yr5 she is High Functioning ASD with coordination difficulties. The school seem to think she is coping well at school and all her problems are out of school - I am not so sure that is correct and think they need to look differently at how she 'copes' at school.

frazzledbutcalm Mon 01-Feb-16 10:44:01

Watching with interest. We're in very similar position with dd, age 12 in yr8. We're still no further forward. I think ed psyc is the way to go next ... no idea what they do or how they'll benefit dd. Dd is off school today due to tiredness and anxiety. I'm waiting for the senco to email me with an appointment time to discuss things further .. again.

Good luck to both of us big.

bigmouthstrikesagain Mon 01-Feb-16 11:33:55

Oh dear frazzled - It does seem that a schools definition of 'coping' is very narrow and as dd is well behaved and personable she does appear fine much of the time - but that is not the same as achieving her potential and actually progressing as she should/ could. Stiil my job is to advocate on her behalf but I hate being 'that' parent - getting better at it mind!

My ds in yr 7 is getting close to the point where I think he will need time off for his anxieties and I really want to avoid that because he will then get anxious about missing lessons! It is a constant cold war against creeping angst in this house - brew and cake and sympathy to your daughter frazzled

frazzledbutcalm Mon 01-Feb-16 12:54:07

It's awful big isn't it? I'm so reserved and apologetic about everything! I'm getting better at being assertive but I'm still nowhere near where I should be sad

Dd masks and is very, very quiet at school (almost fully selective mute). She never, ever speaks up, never says when there's a problem, never uses her timeout card ... she just can't do any of those things sad

My meeting is on Friday but I honestly don't even know where to begin! School are good/sympathetic etc ... but they just don't see the problem. I tell dd every day and night that she doesn't have to go to into school if she doesn't want to. Last week she stayed off 2 days, today so far this week. She's back in bed now. She takes about 2 hours to go to sleep at night, then is up a few times in the night so she's just exhausted all the time.

Good luck to your dd and ds, and to you of course.

PolterGoose Mon 01-Feb-16 13:45:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Missisdoyle Mon 01-Feb-16 14:17:36

Hi ,my DS is 5 & has HFA (semantic pragmatic disorder). He changed nursery in Nov 2014 & they recommended that DS see the Ed Psyc,( up until this stage I had always felt that there was something different about DS, but suspected that it was my lack of parenting skills making him behave in this way!) ,who visited DS twice at nursery, in March & a follow up/pre-school visit in June. She was very informative. She gave me lots of advice & recommended that nursery give him 1 hour a day 1on 1 time to help with turn taking, social skills etc. She constantly used the term Autism, yet told me that diagnosis may hinder my son's development, as "he seemed HF".Anyway, he began school in Sept & still has 1-1 with TA, 1 hour per day.He had a visit from 'Additional needs' team in Nov & is doing 'Time to talk', which is help for kids with social comm' special needs.
Ed Psyc's view aside,we are still going to pursue diagnosis route,as Ds needs SALT. We are privately funding a SALT 2 times a month & this is helping, but It would be good to get any available extra help( I have heard it is very difficult to procure much help, let alone a diagnosis for HFA now). He attends his second appointment with the Paediatrician tomorrow.

Big -not sure if your DD gets any extra 1 on 1 TA time, but the ED Psyc will hopefully arrange that, if there is none/not enough at the mom'. I have read that girls are much better at hiding ASD than boys( now there's a surprise !), so perhaps that's why school are being reluctant. You would think that a SENCO would realise as such !
I can sympathise with you both on being pushy ! I also hate confrontation & find navigating the whole ASD diagnosis/ education arena perplexing & over whelming. Good luck !

Ineedmorepatience Mon 01-Feb-16 16:03:31

We scraped the money together for an independent EP assessment for Dd3 and what a lot of surprises we got! Well actually we werent as surprised as school who then continued to deny that she had the difficulties that had been discovered and got very stroppy when the panel at tribunal took the findings very seriously!

Dd3 has Asd and was found to have excellent skills verbally [despite the obvious difficulties with being literal and not understanding inference] but her written work was found to be exceptionally low ie below the bottom 5% of the population.
Her reading was good but her reading speed was poor meaning that she needs more time than most children! Her understanding of phonics was rudimentary, she could word build small words that she had never seen but multisyllabic words were beyond her!

Her primary school had assessed her as a level 5 for the statutory assessment paper work! The EP assessed her as no higher than a 2b!

Having that report helped us to fight her corner and show that she was struggling even though school couldnt see it! She now has a statement with 17.5 hrs of support on it to include 2 hrs per week with a literacy teacher trained in working with children with autism!

Its not really helping her at the moment because we removed her from the school that wouldnt help her but one day she will go somewhere and the support will be in place for her!

So yes, if you are offered an EP assessment my advice would be to take it smile

Good luck flowers

Ineedmorepatience Mon 01-Feb-16 16:04:53

Sorry that should have said "Her primary school had assessed her writing as a 5 for the statutory assessment"

imip Mon 01-Feb-16 18:12:16

ineed that's fantastically useful information.....

Op, an Ep assessment wasn't on the cards for us until after diagnosis. It took just over two years to get the diagnosis. School thought I was mad, neurotic; said I needed to put in place better boundries at home. Dds CT as the time said she had an autistic nephew and she knew autism, DD defiantly didn't have autism. It was always thrown back in my face that did was academically above her targets, proof, clearly, that she was NT hmm. Now, dd7.5 has been diagnosed with HFA PDA.

I've fought such a battle to get here, that I really didn't know what to expect from the EP. wasn't great, only picked up social issues, esp as DD was coping at school. Dh and I piped up pretty quickly that she was not coping at school, or why would she be self harming at home?? I did point out that they keep putting her in the top or second from top group without actually ever listening to her read (PDA - always refused to read at home!). There was no comeback for them, the diagnostic report clearly illustrates that did is constantly showing signs of anxiety at school sad.

Further reading after the meeting shows that perhaps did should have an iq test and an assessment of her learning profile. How could they not think that was important? We spoke to dds psych and she said why she can't tell them what to do, she was happy to come to school to meet with senco/ed psych and ask them what they had done and make suggestions. So, ineed your account is a good example of best practice/what to expect. I agree with polter that a through EP assessment should be a part of the overall assessment, as should Salt and OT (not given to us).

So, op, would your pead be able to make that call to school to ask them on your behalf?? Shame them into doing the right thing, perhaps? Or, could they write a letter detailing how dd is not coping at school? Then, I think ensuring that you get a good EP assessment. I think that ours was shit. We had to describe dd, and they are building a plan around that? I'm not an EP, why are they letting me decide?

shazzarooney99 Tue 02-Feb-16 19:00:01

We are due as assessment soon to, school say my son is ok in school, i am hoping things will show through when he comes xx

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 10-Feb-16 10:25:10

Hello - thank you for the replies I have been researching the whole thing and the insight here has been invaluable. We have had to be very firm but the Ed psych request should be going through. It may take a while but I will try and find out who it is and get a set of objectives clear before s/he arrives.
Thank you again and luck to any trying to pick through this SEN minefield.

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 10-Feb-16 10:52:13

imip - I sympathize with your frustration. It is definitely the case that unless a child's struggles demonstrably and is way behind then the school is reluctant to put in place support - my dd is struggling with elements of the curriculum but overall they place her as average or above national level so she doesn't get much class support.

I can see she is going to start falling behind in some subjects but this is not a priority until it actually happens - which seems to be short sighted as by then she will lose confidence in herself and her abilities. It is difficult to do homework with her as it is, in the evenings she is out of energy after the day at school, at weekends she gets worked up if I contradict her understanding of the teachers instructions and it impossible to get through to her while she is flapping and shrieking... This is what I want to get to the bottom of with EP insight. What are the risks and strategies to avoid them.

OneInEight Wed 10-Feb-16 12:07:48

My two have been assessed by an LA EP - or at least as much as they were able too given non-cooperation. The main thing it showed for ds2 was how stressed he was at school at a time when the school was attributing his behaviour due to copying his brother and showing off! Slightly more useful for ds1 as it showed his aptitude was way higher than his progress. I think if you want one as detailed as Ineeds then you would have to go private.

imip Wed 10-Feb-16 14:53:42

oneineight ultimately I do think you're right, and to get a proper educational profile of dd, I will need a private assessment. But to get school to recognise her true educational needs, I think I do need to put up a bit of a fight.

As part of complying with the send code of practice, the school website says that the class teacher will have a strong need of my child's needs and learning style. I don't believe that this is the case at all. They completely rejected any idea of her being autistic for two years. Constantly told me that she was going better than expected, and wasn't that what any parent wants to hear? So I feel I do need to challenge them to do better for dd (and other children at the school tbh). The la have a ed psy drop-in and I've been encouraged to go by dds clinical psyc and another ed psych I met at a drop in today. But at the end of the day, I do concede I'll probably get nowhere at the end of it!

bigmouth it's exactly what I see with dd, that it is a car crash waiting to happen. She copes well now at school, but if she starts kicking off at school like she does at home, and is unable to mask at school, I'd hate to think what would happen. My own db I believe is undiagnosed ASD and now in his mid 30s, he has never worked a day in his life. He is HFA, but he just cannot work. I dont want this to be the same for dd. I feel like if we lay the ground work now, she lead a relatively ok life; we let her down, fail to spend the money now, and she ends up needing more services and support through to adulthood.

Maki79 Thu 11-Feb-16 08:12:28

Gosh, so many similarities in reading these stories to my own dd (7 in yr2). She is achieving to a low level for her age at school but is so frustrated and capable of so much more. Her confidence is so low I don't think the teachers have seen these capabilities.

She began to try self harming at home, ran out in front of a car once, still the advice was for us to go on a parenting course which we agreed to. This was 6 months ago and still not heard when the course will start!

In desperation, we employed an Ed Psych. The achool weren't happy, said it was a waste of our money. She has only completed half of the assessment (the IQ test) but it has already been hugely helpful. She has a good general intelligence (logic, reasoning etc) with a poor working memory and extremely slow verbal processing speed. I believe she has ADD, and mildly ASD, possibly PDA as she goes into meltdowns for hours if she feels out of control. Only stops when she harms herself. But understanding why she can't be expected to go upstairs, fetch her cardi and her book is really helpful to me.

Unfortunately the school wouldn't even read the interim report. The Senco said 'with the greatest respect, an Ed Psych employed privately will always find something 'wrong' because you're expecting it and paying them to diagnose something!' I am now left hugely stressed wondering if I should change schools, which will have a massive impact on my lovely daughter who despises change. And my son who's buddies will all be going to that school with him in September.

I am so furious that this is such a battle for so many of us.

thedevilinside Wed 17-Feb-16 10:45:39

My DD is waiting for an assessment, which the school have reluctantly organised. Their attitude is that assessments are not usually given to children who are not struggling academically. Never mind that my daughter has obvious communication issues, is being bullied and has no friends in year six

bigmouthstrikesagain Wed 17-Feb-16 13:25:45

Thedevilinside and Maki79 - I am sorry to hear your dds are in this situation. I understand your frustrations. I am dealing with a few around the difficulty of getting ds assessed in a county without the provision for an ASD assessment at all at the present!¬ But that is a whole other thread!

I have seen dds mid year report now and it is highlighting my concerns. DD is not going to be reaching expected levels in several subjects though her effort grades are generally good. With the exception of the Accelerated Reader scheme where I have been hassled to ensure she reads '20 mins' a day. As dd is already above national expectations in English and has a reading age of 14 I am struggling to find a fuck to give, especially as her maths attainment is well below and so are other subjects where she clearly needs support. But no the issue is I am not ensuring she reads books she can quiz on every night... grraghh. So yes I still think an Ed Pysch is worth a punt.

bigmouthstrikesagain Tue 17-Jan-17 10:30:57

Hello - I thought I would resurrect this thread as - surprise, surprise! hmm we are not much further forward, as far as getting an EP assessment for dd1 today, than we were 12 months ago.

Well - to be fair the SENCO has had a conversation with the EP and mentioned dd1 - so the SENCO - who has thought the ED Psych was unnecessary has asked the ED Psych who amazingly coincidentally agrees that a report is not needed - shocker. Sorry for extreme snark - I am stressed today.

The upshot is that I can email the Ed Pysch with some questions and she will phone me back with some answers presumably - I mean why bother getting dd1 involved - far too expensive and time consuming. I should be grateful I am getting a phone call I suppose but I am having trouble sourcing gratitude when frustration is so much closer to the surface!

I had an email from our Senco explaining about the email/ phonecall offer yesterday but I have yet to respond as I want to stay civil and proactive.

I have two objectives - come up with a list of questions and query the decision that an EP assessment is completely out of the question.

Any ideas/ wisdom/ meditation methods ... ? I am so torn between sympathy for state school sencos and the lack of resources/ difficult decisions that they have to make every day, and my concerns for my two HF ASD children - who need support to make it through school successfully and need advocates to get that support

frazzledbutcalm Tue 17-Jan-17 21:13:22

We're still in the same position too big

I guess a bit better in that dd is now in high school,and getting much more support, but really school is just not for her. I'm now trying to decide if it's worth applying for an EHCP .. she's now year 9 so just not sure if it's worth it.

We just take each day one at a time ... [sigh]

tartanterror Tue 17-Jan-17 23:05:56

My DS is 7 and got an ASD diagnosis last year. Our school also haven't noticed his difficulties and have therefore caused him problems in some areas. I applied for an EHCP and we've been told the LA will assess. The bulk of this assessment will be an EP report. If you have a letter from your paed (or can get one) supporting assessment then that's a great start for an EHC application which you can make independent of the school. Another kind Mumsnetter shared her application letter with me so I'm happy to share mine with you if you'd like - PM me. If the school haven't acted in 12 months you need to invoke the statutory process and it's fixed timetable. Good luck!

tartanterror Tue 17-Jan-17 23:07:17

its not it's!

FrayedHem Tue 17-Jan-17 23:20:41

I've had tangles with the Ed Psych department for DS1, and despite legally being required to do an assessment (was part of statement to EHCP transfer) they refused to do see him even though they came to the school to meet me(!)

Despite this farce, the Ed Psych did actually give some good strategies for DS1's difficulties, based on what I, the school and the Specialist Teacher had reported.

How is DD1 doing since your original OP? It looked like her academic progress had slowed from being at expected level to slipping below, has that pattern continued?

I think that an Ed Psych assessment can only be forced by applying for an EHCP and the LA agreeing to assess - which doesn't impact the school budget as it's a statutory requirement so the LA cover their own costs. Otherwise, it is down to the school to deem whether it is an appropriate use of their funds and it is not unusual to have a remote consultation first.

It's a frustrating situation. Do you think the school would implement any recommendations the Ed Psych gives?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 18-Jan-17 12:06:00

Sorry things have not improved. sad

I would point out that you are requesting assessment (advised by paed) and not just requesting observation (which means that unless there are visible issues, you will be told that all is well. TBH if there were you would be fobbed off with strategies that may or may not be effective as no formal assessment has been done).

You can tell them that you are concerned with regard to any possible gap between ability and attainment (as a result of additional cognitive and/or sensory load etc) and request WISC IV and WIAT assessments.

Even where working memory and processing speed are relatively low (and how will you know if you don't carry out assessment), a kind of IQ, (GAI), is calculated which is then used to predict the level of attainment expected. The higher the GAI, the higher the predicted attainment on assessments carried out (reading, writing, maths type).

So even if your DC is attaining at the same or even higher than peers on teacher assessment, there may still be a statistically significant gap between predicted attainment and actual attainment.

The LA/school can't ignore this and so left to their own devices will not conduct all that is necessary to allow them to do this.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 18-Jan-17 21:45:15

The trick is to ask them things they can only answer through actual observation and assessment!

So how is her spelling, reading, copying, handwriting, concentration etc.

enterthedragon Fri 20-Jan-17 08:54:42

Sorry to hear you are still going through this, my thoughts on this, we had the same thing years ago when DS was in yr5, SENCO refused to get ED Psych in for a full formal assessment because DS had a "diagnosis of Asperger's and therefore he was of at least average cognitive ability" but they did get the EP in to do an observation (--because it was cheaper-- because of behavioural difficulties) the observation report stated that his cognitive ability did not affect his ability to learn but his cognitive style may do! A poor bedtime routine was blamed for his tiredness and that he had attachment issues, it also said that he needed a smaller class size and a lot of support. The sleep issues were later diagnosed as night terrors and sleepwalking related to high level Anxiety. Nothing to do with bedtime routine which was which was tea, bath, quiet play, bedtime story and bed, with me in his room because it generally took him 2hours to fall asleep.

DS ended up permanently excluded from school and on a 'managed move' (can't see how it was classed as a managed move because we were told "don't bring him in on Monday because he is no longer welcome here) to a new school. I have continued to raise my concerns about English and Maths, we've been through a transfer from statement to EHCP (without having a full reassessment -- because the LA decided that it was not necessary at that time and the reports they had were still relevant, despite never having a full EP assessment--

6 years on a full assessment has been carried out and the result is that DS has what is deemed to be 2 SpLD, his cognitive ability is within the average range for most things but is far lower than average on others.

So my advice would be, if you really think a full EP assessment is necessary and the LA/ NHS one is not going to happen anytime soon and if finances allow get one done privately. The delay for us has meant that although our sons difficulties were known about the actual severity was not known and IMO the correct interventions have not been applied.

If my son's difficulties were only behavioural then he would not still be so far behind academically.

The answers to questions I have had have been stunning in their ignorance.

One person has had me doubting myself for over 6 years, I should have had the courage to push harder for those assessments.

Oh and the attachment issues theory was de bunked as well.

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