Multidisciplinary Assessment Team

The purpose of the multidisciplinary assessment is to determine the specific areas where a child may require support.

The first step will be for your child to see a paediatrician or, sometimes, a child psychiatrist who will advise on those areas where your child would benefit from in-depth assessment and subsequent diagnosis. This will be followed by recommendations on therapies and emotional support, as appropriate.

Paediatricians

The paediatricians will advise on those areas where your child would benefit from in-depth assessment and subsequent diagnosis, by our team of experts. This will be followed by recommendations on therapies and educational scaffolding, as appropriate.
When a child is presenting with traits that may suggest autism, specialist diagnostic testing may be recommended (see Autism Diagnostic Assessment Service). This is generally conducted by two clinicians, in order to validate the diagnosis.

Psychiatry

The psychiatric team provides a child and adolescent psychiatric assessment of children and families. This focuses on looking at issues of diagnosis, treatment and management. If appropriate, therapeutic support or follow up are offered as part of the service.

It is particularly important to have a psychiatric view of a child, especially when looking at possible diagnosis of Autism, ADHD and depression; in these cases, medication may be necessary.

Cognitive Skills

The psychometric cognitive skills assessments are carried out by a team of clinical, educational and neuropsychologists.
The role of the Psychologist is to assess a child’s cognitive ability, using internationally recognised tests of intellectual ability and academic achievement, such as the Wechsler Scales. The assessments look at thinking skills to discover how children learn and to identify what might be impacting on learning. They can establish a level of intellectual ability and identify whether specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, processing or memory problems are present.A detailed report of the assessment findings is provided which includes recommendations that are tailored to the child or young person’s specific needs.

Counselling & Psychotherapy

The psycho-emotional assessment is undertaken by a team of child & adolescent psychotherapists, and family & systemic therapists.

The role of the child & adolescent psychotherapist is to undertake a qualitative assessment of the patient’s state of mind.

A developmental history is taken in order to evaluate current difficulties and make a prognosis for future development. The clinician will spend time observing first-hand, how a child functions in a semi-structured setting. The clinician is also trained to listen closely and observe how the child plays as part of the overall assessment. A description of the child’s current emotional state and areas of emotional strengths and vulnerabilities will be provided; these factors are key to a child’s ability to maintain healthy relationships and/or access education. Where appropriate, a psychotherapist will make recommendations for treatment that may include individual psychotherapy, family-systemic therapy or supportive parent work.

Systematic/Family Therapy

Therapists providing family & systemic support, observe family patterns, interactions and relationships, as these may contribute to the patient’s difficulties.

Speech and Language Therapy

Patients are seen for evaluation and advice regarding:

• Speech/Language Delay
• Speech-sound production difficulties
• Developmental Language Disorder
• Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
• Dysfluency (Stammering / Stuttering / Cluttering)
• Disorders of social communication
• Higher-order language difficulty
• Difficulties with oral and written comprehension or expression
• Selective Mutism

Follow-up treatment is offered at the practice whenever possible, in conjunction with a home-based or school-based programme. In some circumstances, an onward referral may be recommended.
The team is always happy to discuss parental concerns.

Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy services address concerns relating to:

• Motor skills
• Visual perception
• Sensory processing skills
• Attention control
• Handwriting
• Self -care skills ( dressing, using cutlery, toileting)
• Organisational skills

Following an assessment, the physiotherapist/occupational therapists use carefully selected activities to help children develop the motor, sensory, perceptual and organisational skills they need to be independent in everyday activities of self-care, play and schoolwork.

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