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clinical psych vs ed psych - what's the difference in an assessment?

(16 Posts)
iwearflairs Sun 13-Jul-08 15:03:57

DH and I hedged for a long while about getting DS a full dx for a long time -mainly because he hates going to the doctor and understands everything -- but with school coming up we finally decided to go.

The developmental paediatrician said he presents as high-functioning ASD but that 'time would tell'. This is pretty much what we thought. What mystifies me is that this is based on a brief conversation of what our concerns were, plus her observation of him whilst in a state of high anxiety because he hates going to the doctor, so all his worst behaviours were at the fore. But I digress...

Getting back to the point, she has referred to a speech and language therapist for an assessment - which is fine - but also to an educational psychologist.

We do want advice on what kind of school setting would be best, but why isn't this a referral to a clinical psychologist?

Does anyone know what the difference is between the assessments that they do?

bullet123 Sun 13-Jul-08 15:44:09

Ds1 had a multidisciplinary assessment which included observations and decisions made by a clinical psychologist/psychiatrist (can't remember exact title) and an educational psychologist. I think that the clinical psychologist/psychiatrist looked at his overall behaviour, whereas the Ed Pysch checked his cognitive skills, particularly in non verbal areas. There were others involved in the assessment procedure but these two were the ones who gave us the final decision.

Tclanger Sun 13-Jul-08 15:44:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Sun 13-Jul-08 16:04:31

clinical psychs would deal with assessment, diagnoses and behaviours at home/general behaviours.

Ed psychs work within the school and are usually employed by the LEA (in other words don't expect them to bend over and suggest help).

Traditionally clinical psychs have required doctorates (well for the last few years at least) whereas ed psychs haven't. That's changing though and ed psychs will require doctorates soon as well.

PipinJo Sun 13-Jul-08 19:33:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iwearflairs Sun 13-Jul-08 21:03:19

thank you very much all of you - that clears it up -though it sounds as though I would really need to try to get a clinical psych involved because I do want advice on behaviours at home as well, particularly re obsessive counting which has been replaced by obsessive playing of snakes and ladders - though a happy offshoot has been development of pretend play pretending to be an Indian cobra...

does a child psychiatrist trump a clinical psychologist? DS's GP mentioned that as a possible next step

daisy5678 Sun 13-Jul-08 21:27:26

I think child psychiatrist trumps clinical psych in that psychiatrists train longer and can prescribe. Don't think clinical psychs can.

Here, it's consultant child psychiatrists who dx, via CAMHS. Not sure if it's the same in your area, but worth asking for CAMHS referral as it doesn't sound like they've gone down that route with you. Here, the will only see from age 5 though.

magso Sun 13-Jul-08 21:32:18

The Paed may have asked for the Ed Psych to see Ds because he is due to start school. If he is likely to need support at school then this is perhaps more urgent than a definative diagnosis (which the dev paed can give anyway).

PipinJo Sun 13-Jul-08 21:37:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Aefondkiss Sun 13-Jul-08 21:58:30

Iwearflairs it does seem to vary so much from area to area.... do you have muti-disciplinary team in your area?

Ed psychologist is very much just observing my ds briefly in nursery atm, whereas we saw the clinical psychologist ( me, dh, ds and dd) for over an hour recently (where he asked us questions and got to know ds, took loads of notes) and he is arranging (for one of his minions) to observe ds at nursery , followed by home observation(on the same day).

After which - they want to see him in observed play (behind the mirror all the professionals sit and take notes whilst ds plays)... then he wants to see dh and I without ds, probably to discuss dx.....

afaik the ed psych is concerned only with the educational side of things - what help your ds needs at school, whereas clinical psych is more involved with the broader picture/dx ????

When we saw the paediatrician, he said our ds had asd traits, but was in no hurry to dx, which was last September, the clinical psychologist said something similar in June this year - we are under multidisciplinary team and I suppose my ds is given the support a child with a dx of ASD would get.

deeeja Sun 13-Jul-08 22:07:33

My 3 year old ds, who has autism, was first seen by a paed at 2.5, and also by salt. He was seen by clinical psych shortly afterwards, and has only been seen by ed psych for assessment for statement. He has also been seen by a consultant child psychiatrist, who gave dx.
My 5 year old,(aspergers syndrome) was referred straight to camhs, and after being observed by psychiatrist, he was referred to consultant child psychiatrist who gave formal dx. He was observed by educational psych at school, but only for school purposes, for i.e.p and he needs a statement for next year. My 5 year old has never seen a paediatrician. Both of them are under the sole care of the consultant child psychiatrist, who appears to be the top doc in my are for autistic spectrum disorders.

PipinJo Sun 13-Jul-08 23:58:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

deeeja Mon 14-Jul-08 00:45:15

Pipinjo, I have discovered that the paediatricians in my are are pretty useless when it comes to asd's. The clinical psychs are not too bad, the salts are not great but try hard with limited resources. The consultant pscych, however is wonderful. He is well-known in my area and appointments with him are like gold-dust. The waiting list to see him is around 2 years long. I got to see him by getting a private dx for my 3 year old, and then stamping my feet until I saw him and he rubberstamped the private dx. He found out that my 5 year old was being assessed (I didn't tell him) and phoned me and asked to see him. He has close links with all asd support groups in area, and also sits on SEN panel. He is fantastic, always available by phone, answers emails, etc. I feel ecstatisticaly happy that my children on his list. I have been through so much turmoil in my area. Now if only I could get dla sorted out!

PipinJo Mon 14-Jul-08 14:16:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

iwearflairs Mon 14-Jul-08 21:28:00

hello again -- thanks so much everyone for your posts. You all know so much! I think that magso you may have hit the nail that the paed is looking at school and the functional side of things but DH and I also need the bigger picture, esp if someone thinks he might be good with ABA or anything like that. I am a bit scared of the word psychiatrist other than hearing about your lovely ones but will probably go down the route of this or psychologist. He is so non-compliant I am feeling very much the bad parent today and that I have underestimated his difficulties. His Salt today told me I have to set boundaries on his obsession with numbers which is a relief, tbh, but he is not going to like it sad

iwearflairs Mon 14-Jul-08 21:28:02

hello again -- thanks so much everyone for your posts. You all know so much! I think that magso you may have hit the nail that the paed is looking at school and the functional side of things but DH and I also need the bigger picture, esp if someone thinks he might be good with ABA or anything like that. I am a bit scared of the word psychiatrist other than hearing about your lovely ones but will probably go down the route of this or psychologist. He is so non-compliant I am feeling very much the bad parent today and that I have underestimated his difficulties. His Salt today told me I have to set boundaries on his obsession with numbers which is a relief, tbh, but he is not going to like it sad

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