Assessment sessions are typically carried out either at home, in nursery or in school, allowing your child to feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. An initial assessment typically involves an informal discussion with you, your child and sometimes nursery or teaching staff. This is followed by a 1:1 session with your child, which usually involves a combination of structured assessment activities and fun, play-based interaction.
"What will my child have to do?"
I may use a published assessment with your child. Published assessments may involve naming or describing pictures, following instructions, or copying sounds and words. These have been carried out with lots of children, so that your own child's results can be compared with the average population. Because of this, they have clear instructions, so that they can be carried out in the same way each time. This might mean I can't repeat an instruction, or I may have to complete some sections of the test which may be a bit too easy or difficult for your child in order to complete the test. I apologise in advance if I have to ask you not to say anything during this part of the assessment - I promise you can get involved lots once the therapy starts!
I usually also use some informal assessment, which will involve me playing and interacting with your child. I might ask them to describe a picture from a book, or tell me something about themselves, so that I can record them talking. It often helps if the child has something fun and motivating to talk about, so if they have a particular favourite toy or a photo of a favourite person or place, please do bring it along.
"What sort of questions will you ask me?"
I will ask you some questions about your child's development so far. It is useful to know when they met the main developmental milestones, so it might be useful to have your Personal Child Health Record (the 'little red book') with you for the assessment. I will also ask you about how your child communicates now and what your main concerns are. Finally, I will ask you about the things your child enjoys, so that I can make the therapy as fun and motivating as possible.