My child needs an assessment

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

Each school is given an allocation of assessments per year (depending on the size of the school). 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.

Each school is given an allocation of assessments per year (depending on the size of the school) but this does not always cover the need in the school.

In the school year 2015-2016 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