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What to expect at Joint Clinic assessment?(5 Posts)
(NC for this and apologies in advance for essay...)
After nursery raised some concerns about DD's PSE development early last year, we've been on a bit of a journey. Via the nursery, she's been regularly observed by someone from the council's Early Help team and an educational psychologist (more to help the setting to support her, rather than any diagnosis). Via the GP, she's had two sessions with a community paediatrician, 6 months apart and someone suggested we attend a SALT stay and play at local children's centre (we did, but the SALT specialist said it wasn't really for us as DD's challenge seems to be communicating with other kids, not her parents or other adults). We've been referred to OT, too (form filled in, long wait for an assessment) but we've also now got a date for her Joint Clinic Assessment soon. DD is now 4.3
The trouble is, I don't know what a Joint Clinic Assessment involves, except that there'll be a Clinical Psychologist and a Consultant Community Paediatrician there. Googling just brings up lots of things about arthritis!
Any pointers? Tips how to prepare? We've been told to expect it to last 90 minutes and to bring any reports we have from other teams and services. Is it really down to us to join the dots between the various assessments she's had? And is this a diagnosis or just another assessment? What will happen next? Will they really be able to make an assessment based on an hour of observation? She tends to be better in the morning and her habits/tics/behaviour all emerges when she gets more tired or stressed.
FWIW, the CP has already indicated that there are markers for HFA, ADHD and SPD, so we've been researching and know roughly what might emerge. Doesn't mean we know what to do about it though - but feel strongly that we need to be on this path in order to know how best to support her especially as she starts school in September.
Any advice welcome!
Unfortunately no two areas do things the same way, which is probably why you didn't get a response. It isn't even called the same thing in different areas.
It's hard to know how to prepare, but what I would do, if I were you, is write your own report. You can share this or not, but what you have is a document that has made you think through all the things that you are worried about or concerned about.
To give you a starting point you can go through ASD ADHD and SPD symptoms that you find online (or elsewhere) and without trying to diagnose yourself, write one or two lines of real life examples against any you feel fit your dd. Think if you can give a historical one as well as a current one, ensure different settings are covered.
It is perfectly reasonable too, to phone the Clinic and ask them some of the questions you have. Tell them you want to be prepared. Ask them if a diagnosis is usually given at these things. Ask who exactly will be attending and whether you will be staying with your child the whole time, or be interviewed separately, and by who.
Hope that helps.
Ds1 had what was called a 'multi-disciplinary' assessment when he was 8. That involved collating information from his paediatrician, OT, Ed Psych and ASD Inclusion/School Outreach Teacher, as well as us and his school.
In our case he had been under various professionals quite intensively for over a year, so there was already a lot of information available. We were seen by a clinical psych, who was accompanied by his Ed Psych and later joined by the team's Head OT and after going through the history we provided (we had prepared a chronological history of observations and other relevant points from birth) they did the ADOS test with him, before sending us off for lunch. We dropped ds back with his Grandma and went back to be told his diagnosis.
However, we knew in advance that they would be doing the ADOS and also that the diagnosis was almost a forgone conclusion.
I agree with Star. It's perfectly acceptable to phone up and ask what will be happening, who will be there etc. They are used to people needing to prepare their dcs for the appointments and won't be at all phased by you asking.
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