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There are many reasons to have your child assessed by a member of Kids First’s experienced allied health team.
Perhaps your child’s GP or paediatrician has concerns for your child’s development and needs objective clinical information in order to provide you with further guidance or make a formal diagnosis.
Maybe your child’s teachers have highlighted that your son or daughter learns, communicates or behaves in ways that are slightly different from their peers. Whether your child is a Gifted or struggling learner, educators may need documentation to demonstrate your child’s eligibility for resources, support or special programs at preschool or school.
You may have a family history of skills or challenges and require objective testing so that you can make informed choices for your child’s future education.
You may be applying for support through the NDIS or your school aged child may be approaching important exams and standardised testing is needed to support an application for specific exam considerations.
Family doctors, paediatricians, teachers, school counsellors and families commonly refer children to Kids First’s child psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists and dietitians for clinical assessments of kids’ academic, social, behavioural and emotional functioning.
Can we help a child you care about?
The aim of a Cognitive Assessment is to discover what your child’s learning potential is. In other words, what they might be capable of achieving given their ability to absorb, process and recall information. Formally identifying your child’s strengths and weaknesses can make a big difference to the opportunities your child receives because it ensures that you and their teachers are best equipped to support their learning. A Cognitive Assessment can also help you to make informed decisions about your child’s education, such as school choice, extra-curricular programs or applying for extra consideration in exams.
At Kids First, Cognitive Assessments are conducted by experienced Educational and Developmental Psychologists who understand how kids think and learn. They will take the time to get to know you and your child, and they will speak with your child’s teachers too. Our aim is to help your child to achieve to the best of their ability so that you are empowered with objective information that you can use to support and resource your child now and in the future.
Has your typically bright and engaged child found that learning to read and write has been a struggle? Do you feel that your child may be falling behind their peers? Did another member of your family struggle with literacy and do you think your child may have inherited these learning traits?
As you may have heard, dyslexia is not a reflection of a child’s intelligence, but rather, it’s defined as the ‘gap’ between a child’s intellectual ability and what they are actually achieving.
At Kids First, psychologist Cleo Eshun-Wilson can conduct a comprehensive dyslexia assessment that will test your child’s intellectual capacity and reading skills to determine if there is an achievement gap. Using gold standard clinical testing, Cleo can provide you with the information that you and your child’s teachers need to make learning easier.
Provisional ADHD Assessments
Children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) often find it hard to concentrate on tasks, remember instructions and control their impulsive behaviour. In classrooms, they may struggle to ‘tune in’ to lessons and to persevere when tasks become challenging. If you suspect, or if it has been suggested to you, that your child may have ADHD, it may be helpful to find out for sure.
At Kids First, our psychologists conduct provisional ADHD assessments that take all of your child’s skills, habits, relationships and behaviours into account. They make sure that they get detailed information from you and your child’s teachers to guide their clinical thinking, and they perform thorough observations of your child to determine if your child meets the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD. This gives you all the information you need to be able to discuss your child’s learning and behavioural needs with their paediatrician.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is developmental condition that affects approximately 1 in 150 Australian children. Commonly, kids who are ‘on the Spectrum’ struggle with things like communication, socialisation, restricted or repetitive behaviours, rigid interests and sensory sensitivities. ASD can affect how they build relationships, learn and manage social demands of life, but with early identification and support, many children with autism go on to fantastic futures.
Finding out if your child has Autism – or not – can have major benefits for parents, families, teachers and, of course, the child involved. Not only will a diagnosis help you to understand your child’s needs better, but it may also provide access to funding from the NDIS, Medicare and Centrelink and as well as resources to support your child at preschool or school.
Kids First psychologist, Cleo Eshun-Wilson, collaborates with many paediatricians by providing the assessment required for provisional Autism diagnoses. This means that families are able to quickly identify if their child does or does not meet the criteria for Autism, saving them time, money and stress.
Highly qualified, and with years of diagnostic experience, Cleo ensures that ‘all bases are covered’ so that families have the information they need to support their child and to access the resources their family will need for the future.
Speech, Language and Literacy Assessments
If your child is struggling with one or more aspects of their communication, the potential for this problem to interfere with their social, emotional and academic progress is significant. At Kids First, our experienced speech pathologists conduct formal assessments for children with a wide range of difficulties, providing advice to doctors, teachers, the NDIS and of course, families so that children get the support they need.
Contact us for a speech therapy assessment if you child is struggling with:
- Difficulties with language
Your child may be developing typically in other areas but be behind with their language skills. You, or your child’s educators, may have noticed issues such as a delay in starting to talk, problems understanding or retaining vocabulary, or problems using words in the correct order.
- Problems with producing speech sounds
Does your child have difficulty with specific sounds (such as saying ‘t’ instead of ‘c’ – so ‘car’ becomes ‘tar’) or speak with a lisp?
- Social communication issues
Perhaps your child struggles with the social side of communication, like holding conversations, making eye contact or talking about topics that interest other people.
- Spelling, reading and writing
If your child has struggled with literacy, there may be underlying phonological and language development difficulties that have caused their challenges. You may have found that your child’s problems have arisen after Kindergarten as the curriculum has become more demanding, and if this is the case, an assessment of your child’s foundation skills may be wise.
- Medical or developmental needs
If your child has a condition like cleft palate, cerebral palsy, autism or a hearing impairment, regular assessments of their speech and language is important to monitor progress and create a therapy plan that is relevant to their evolving needs.
Handwriting & Fine Motor Skills Assessments
For many children, confidence and success in the classroom and playground is built on what they can do, and not just what they know.
Well-developed fine motor skills enable children to complete important school and home-based occupations such as writing, dressing and tying shoelaces. Without the ability to complete these activities, your child may be left behind academically and socially when compared to their peers.
At Kids First, our handwriting and fine motor skills assessment process is conducted by a paediatric occupational therapist who can identify the nature of your child’s difficulties with fine motor skills, and the reasons for them.
We also support high school and HSC students who require a clinical assessment report to support their application for special exam conditions.
A handwriting and fine motor skills assessment at Kids First may be appropriate if your child struggles with:
- An awkward or immature pencil grasp
- Messy or slow writing, drawing or colouring
- Excessive tiredness after short periods of writing or drawing
- Difficulty when using scissors or performing precise manipulations such as fastening buttons, zips or shoelaces
- Problems performing independent self-care tasks, such as dressing, brushing teeth and
- Reluctance to engage with tasks that hand-eye coordination such as building Lego®
If your child’s doctor, teacher or NDIS coordinator needs objective information about your child’s motor coordination and developmental needs, contact Kids First for an assessment on 9938 5419