We offer assessments in a variety of areas covering Autism Spectrum Disorder, Speech, Language, Cognitive, Academic Progress, and Behaviour.
What are the signs?
If your child is showing signs of delayed development in any of the following areas …
We can undertake an initial assessment and then recommend any further formal assessments that may be required.
Once an assessment has been completed we then work with you to develop a therapy program, making recommendations based on what your child needs.
We tailor therapy frequency and goals to suit your child’s needs and to fit with family circumstances.
Funding & NDIS
Many children identified with delays through formal assessment are likely to be eligible for funding through the NDIS.
If you have NDIS funding, we can make recommendations for supports that fit with your current level of funding. We can also keep you informed of other options available (such as Medicare or private health benefits) to assist you to fund therapy depending on your unique circumstances.
Autism Dual Diagnosis
We offer a dual diagnostic assessment to confirm autism spectrum disorder with two accredited diagnosticians, a Psychologist and Speech Pathologist.
Autism Dual Diagnosis Assessment
Using a dual diagnosis assessment for Autism Spectrum Disorder (formerly autistic disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome) means that you will be seen by Clinical Psychologist Carolyn Cole and consultant Speech Pathologist Charlotte Badge in a joint assessment. Charlotte and Carolyn are both accredited diagnosticians each with more than 10 years’ experience. In South Australia, while the NDIS accepts a diagnosis made by one accredited diagnostician, our education system requires two accredited diagnosticians sign off on a diagnosis. Thus, a dual assessment will ensure your child can access the supports available under the education system.
The assessment process
At Guiding Pathways, we offer a comprehensive dual ASD assessment process, which includes:
- Information gathering prior to the assessment from those people supporting your child, for example educators or other therapists, as well as the family.
- 1 hour parent-only session prior to the assessment to gather further detailed information from you about your child.
- Review of pre-assessment information gathered by the assessing practitioners.
- 2 hour assessment session, where both the Psychologist and Speech Pathologist will spend time with the both the child and the parent separately. Assessment with your child will mainly involve observing your child in a relaxed, play based social session.
- Review of the assessment outcome by the assessing practitioners.
- 1 hour separate parent-only feedback session where we discuss with you the outcome and recommendations.
- A detailed written report is then prepared explaining the assessment process, outcome/diagnosis, and recommendations.
Possible further assessments
If you have any concerns about your child’s general learning (e.g. do they pick up things as quickly as other children, are they keeping up at school) then we will require your child have an assessment of intellectual functioning as part of the assessment process (if they have not already had one). This is important as it helps us to be sure that any concerns that you have about how your child is developing are not related to a general delay in how they learn. An assessment of intellectual functioning also provides useful information for school about how best to assist your child with learning and may mean they are eligible for extra support at school.
An assessment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be warranted if you or your child/young person’s teacher has significant concerns about your child’s ability to stay focussed or sustain attention at times when it is required, or concerns related to hyperactivity and impulsive behaviours. The assessment is undertaken by a Psychologist and involves taking a history of concerns followed by questionnaires for parents and teachers to complete to gauge the presentation of ADHD traits across different settings. A computer-based assessment of attention and interactions with your child/young person is then undertaken. A cognitive assessment may be required as part of the assessment if there are learning concerns and a cognitive assessment has not been previously undertaken. This is helpful to provide a detailed picture of your child’s learning abilities as there may be other explanation(s) rather than ADHD which can explain difficulties with focus and concentration such as Intellectual Disability or Specific Learning Disorder. While we can determine a diagnosis of ADHD for your child/young person, please note that we are unable to prescribe medication for the treatment of ADHD.
Also known as an assessment of intellectual functioning or IQ test. The assessment taps different facets of ability including verbal comprehension, visual problem-solving skills, processing speed, and memory. Such an assessment is needed to clarify a diagnosis of Intellectual Disability (when completed in combination with an assessment of adaptive skills).
We also offer Cognitive Assessment for individuals that are non-verbal using the Leiter-3 which is a specific non-verbal assessment kit.
This refers to how children produce sounds in words, and a comprehensive assessment evaluates development across several areas, including: articulation (how speech sounds are made), phonology (speech sound patterns), and oral-motor function.
Language refers to how we use and understand words. Depending on your child’s development, this assessment can evaluate: early communication and interaction skills, receptive and expressive language, pragmatics (social language skills), or functional communication.
This refers to a cognitive assessment being undertaken together with an assessment of academic abilities. This assessment is helpful for clarifying any underlying difficulties for children who are struggling to keep up at school or making limited progress with their literacy despite lots of effort.
This is a rating scale completed by primary caregiver or teachers, rating a child’s everyday living skills across a range of domains, social, conceptual and practical skills.
This refers to a systematic assessment involving observing a child across environments and gathering detailed information about behaviours of concern to determine why the behaviour(s) is(are) happening and to develop strategies to reduce the frequency and intensity of the behaviour as well as how best to respond to the behaviour when it occurs.
What to expect in an assessment
The assessment process
The process involves using a combination of formal assessment tools. They may involve table top assessment ranging from 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the assessment and the child’s age and ability level, as well as gathering information from you about your child, and sometimes also from your child’s educators (or therapists).
Your child’s skills may also be observed informally during play and interactions to form part of the assessment.
Following the assessment
Following the assessment, often at a later session to allow for assessments to be scored and interpreted, you will receive verbal feedback about the assessment where we discuss with you what it all means and recommendations. A detailed written report is then prepared explaining the assessment process, outcome/ diagnosis, and recommendations.