Stephen Baylisspsychology credentialschartered psychologistMember of the British Psychological Society
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Educational Psychology Assessments and Consultations

An adult may be concerned and want ways forward about the education (including social and emotional relationships) of their child or in relation to themselves.

Some of the things that may be of concern and people want help about:
• Literacy, numeracy and other learning skills
• Dyslexia
• Concentration and motivation
• Special Educational Needs (SEN)
• Study skills
• Thinking skills
• Social, emotional and behavioural skills
• Counselling
• Grief, loss, separation and divorce
• Critical incident debriefing
• Bully victim / bullying
• Exam / test anxiety
• Exam access arrangements
• Reluctance to attend school, including refusal or phobia
• Problems due to being gifted or talented
• Transition to nursery, primary school, secondary school, college or university
• Learning styles
• Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (autism) / Asperger’s Syndrome
• ADHD / ADD
• Severe Learning Difficulties
• Effects on learning, social and emotional skills etc of a medical diagnosis
• Progress at college / university

What might an educational psychology assessment involve?
As we are all very complex it is often very useful to undertake a detailed assessment of a wide variety of strengths and weaknesses, with a view to deciding which strategies will be best to lead to the desired improvements. Exactly what is assessed depends upon the situation and what one is trying to find out or achieve. Children and adults usually enjoy the sessions as it gives them the chance to discuss their concerns and ideas as well as to show their strengths and interests.

Examples of skills that might be assessed include: literacy, such as word reading, spelling, reading comprehension, phonic skills (sometimes referred to as phonemic skills or synthetic phonics); thinking and study skills; learning styles, numeracy; memory; understanding; language development.

Part of the assessment is likely to include an interview to investigate things such as the child / adult’s views about their situation, what they would like to change, motivation, social and emotional skills (emotional intelligence / emotional literacy), anxiety, confidence, factors that might affect them such as grief, loss and separation.

Any assessment takes into consideration information from various sources. For instance, it is very helpful if you send in advance or bring on the day of the assessment, copies of reports such as from school or other professionals such as a doctor, speech therapist or social worker. (You may need to obtain permission from the author to pass copies on to others.) It is also usual to interview the parent / carer to gain further information about the child, such as history of development, strengths and weaknesses, past influences, what has been tried already, goals for the child etc.
In some instances it is helpful to carry out the assessment over several sessions, perhaps because the child has difficulty with concentration.

What might a consultation involve?
A consultation covers background information and ways forward. If the concern is about a child, sometimes it is not necessary to meet him / her, if the parent / carer wishes to discuss ideas for themselves to carry out e.g. how to improve the child’s behaviour, help with literacy. At other times it can be invaluable to interview the child to find how they regard their situation or to assess skills in a particular area such as literacy, numeracy or other learning skills.

What outcomes could there be?
Recommendations are usually made to help others, such as the parents/ carers and school to meet the needs of the child / person concerned. It can often also be helpful for the child to meet me again for intensive support to learn specific skills e.g. thinking and study skills, learning styles, literacy (synthetic phonics, for instance), spelling techniques.

On other occasions further sessions for counselling might be recommended. This can also be done in conjunction with learning other skills such as those above.

Will there be a report?
A detailed report can be produced regarding the results of any assessments, as this can be very helpful as a record of the child / adult’s skills and recommendations for how to bring about improvements. Where requested a short report or letter can be produced.

Confidentiality
The assessment, consultations and any written reports are confidential, but you may wish to give me permission to send a copy to the school and to discuss ways forward etc.

Further support available
Some parents / carers may value requesting me to support them and help the process with things such as meetings, case conferences, planning and liaison with other professionals. Occasionally there may have been difficulties between parents/ carers and school as to ways forward and it may be helpful to request the psychologist to act as a mediator.

Stephen Bayliss - Chartered Psychologist:

Foreman and Jones
Integrated Health Practice
112d High Street
Hythe
Kent
CT21 5LE

Folkestone Complementary Health Centre
4 West Cliff Gardens
Folkestone
Kent CT20 1SP

For Both Hythe and Folkestone, Telephone: (01303) 253 304
Mobile: 07749 233 262

Email: mail@charteredpsychologist.co.uk

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