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Assessment takes between 1 and 2  hours and is typically clinic based. It can usually be done in one visit but can take place over 2 visits if needed.

The assessment process aims to:

  • identify the underlying mechanisms contributing to the presenting functional difficulty 

  • provide a baseline against which progress can be measured

  • clarify how your child’s current skills/abilities compare to a typical child of the same age (taking onto account that children develop at their own pace and that there is a broad range for what is considered 'normal')

  • provide a professional opinion as one part of a diagnostic process

  • identify the most appropriate pathways of intervention


Assessments are:

  • well-recognised by and usually familiar to other health and education professionals, which facilitates information sharing and an understanding of the child’s assessed needs

  • well-established and research-based

  • robust, valid and reliable (they measure what they are supposed to measure)

  • the very latest revisions/versions

  • usually an enjoyable experience for the child (most forget very quickly that they are 'being assessed' and find it fun)


Wherever possible, standardised assessments are used. When this is not possible, for example if the child is unable/unwilling to engage or follow the protocol, qualitative assessment will be used (play based observation).


Examples of assessments used:

  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test

  • Movement Assessment Battery for Children

  • Sensory Profile

  • Detailed Assessment of Speed of Handwriting

  • Motor-Free Visual Perception Test

  • The Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration

  • The VMI Developmental Test of Visual Perception

  • The VMI Developmental Test of Motor Coordination

  • Gilliam Autism Rating Scale

  • Gilliam Asperger's Disorder Scale

Assessment frequently also includes:

  • Structured Clinical Observations: observation of behaviours following a specific well-established protocol

  • A variety of play based activities, depending on age

  • Discussions with parents/caregivers and education staff (with parental consent) including questionnaires to help gather information



Assessment results are detailed in a report

  • Explains the nature of the child’s difficulties and contributing components

  • Provides percentiles to quantify and better explain how the child is performing compared to other children of the same age (unless it was not possible/appropriate to use standardised tests, in which case results will be reported in a descriptive way)

  • Explains why/how these underlying difficulties are impacting on the child’s functioning

  • Provides advice and recommendations for further therapy input if appropriate 

  • Provides specific advice on strategies

  • Therapy programmes for home/educational setting to follow are also often recommended

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