My child needs an assessment

My child needs an assessment

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My child’s school want to arrange an assessment with an Educational Psychologist.

This can be an upsetting and confusing time, but you are not alone. It is good that a difficulty has been recognised. If this problem has been spotted early then intervention at this stage is the best thing for your child. The school have asked the psychologist to get involved so they can work out how best to support your child in school. The best outcomes for children happen when parents and schools work together so even if you are unsure about the process at this stage it is best for your child for you to work as closely as possible with the school.

The information below may help you to make sense of the process and if you would like a listening ear or have any questions please contact the helpline.

An Educational Psychologist is employed by the National Educational Psychological services (NEPS)

General information

http://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/National-Educational-Psychological-Service-NEPS-/NEPS-Home-Page.html

Information for parents

http://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/National-Educational-Psychological-Service-NEPS-/Information-for-Parents.html

Leaflet for parents

http://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/National-Educational-Psychological-Service-NEPS-/neps_parent_leaflet.pdf

A new model for allocating Special Education Teaching Resources to mainstream primary and post primary schools was introduced in September 2017. This new model has been proven to be a fairer and better way to allocate resources to support children with Special Educational Needs. 

“The school may allocate additional teaching support to pupils where it has identified learning needs using school based assessment, the NEPS Continuum of Support and the Guidelines provided to schools. Schools can also draw on professional reports where available. Under the new model, a child should receive additional teaching support based on their identified learning needs, rather than primarily on diagnosis of disability.” 

“Medical and other professional assessments should, where available, continue to be used to help explain, and provide a better understanding of a child’s needs, the nature of difficulties, and to inform relevant interventions. Such assessment, or diagnosis of a particular condition will no longer be necessary for pupils to access educational teaching resources in schools, nor will there be a requirement for schools to submit assessments annually in order to apply for additional teaching resources.” For more information see the department of Education and Skills Circular No: 0013/2017 or click on the following link:  https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0013_2017.pdf

The assessment will typically begin with the psychologist gathering information from the parents, the school and any other professionals who work with the child. This will usually involve completing a number of forms. Following this the psychologist will usually visit the school and work with the child, possibly observe them in class and in the yard, speak to the teachers who work with the child, the parents, the principal and look at some of the child’s work.

If possible, the psychologist will give an oral assessment of their findings to the parents at this stage. This will be followed a number of weeks later by a written assessment. This assessment will typically confirm what the issue is. It will often include some direction for the teachers, parents and anyone else who works with the child on how to support the child’s learning.

The school has said my child should have an educational psychological assessment but their allocation has already been used and they are suggesting I get a private assessment.

This can be an upsetting and confusing time, but you are not alone. It is good that a difficulty has been recognised. If this problem has been spotted early then intervention at this stage is the best thing for your child. The school have asked you to take your child to a psychologist, so that they can work out if there is a particular problem and if so, work out how best to support your child in school. The best outcomes for children happen when parents and schools work together so even if you are unsure about the process at this stage it is best for your child for you to work as closely as possible with the school.

The information below may help you to make sense of the process and if you would like a listening ear or have any questions please contact the helpline.

A new model for allocating Special Education Teaching Resources to mainstream primary and post primary schools was introduced in September 2017. This new model has been proven to be a fairer and better way to allocate resources to support children with Special Educational Needs. 

“The school may allocate additional teaching support to pupils where it has identified learning needs using school based assessment, the NEPS Continuum of Support and the Guidelines provided to schools. Schools can also draw on professional reports where available. Under the new model, a child should receive additional teaching support based on their identified learning needs, rather than primarily on diagnosis of disability.” 

“Medical and other professional assessments should, where available, continue to be used to help explain, and provide a better understanding of a child’s needs, the nature of difficulties, and to inform relevant interventions. Such assessment, or diagnosis of a particular condition will no longer be necessary for pupils to access educational teaching resources in schools, nor will there be a requirement for schools to submit assessments annually in order to apply for additional teaching resources.” For more information see the department of Education and Skills Circular No: 0013/2017 or click on the following link:  https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0013_2017.pdf

In the school year 2018-2019 there is a scheme in place to provide supplementary assessments to schools that need them. You can get more information by following the link below.

https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/National-Educational-Psychological-Service-NEPS-/Guidelines-for-SCPA-Psychologists.pdf

It may be possible to get an assessment done privately but there is a significant cost involved. If you choose to get a private assessment you should use a NEPS registered psychologist. There is a list on the link below.

https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/National-Educational-Psychological-Service-NEPS-/NEPS-SCPA-Panel.pdf

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