Concerned adults have many questions relating to child behaviour. In advance of a consultation, it might help to read through some of the more common questions we encounter.
1. I am concerned that my preschool child is behind in their development.
At The Children’s Clinic, we are experts in the field of child development and so can support parents with the many concerns that can arise during a child’s preschool years (for example in the areas of learning, behaviour, mixing with peers, language or motor skills). We offer consultations to parents where we discuss your concerns and provide support and recommendations. In some cases, this may be all that is necessary. If the issues are more significant, we may offer additional consultation or therapeutic intervention sessions or recommend that further assessment is necessary.
2. I think my child might have dyslexia.
If you feel your child needs a dyslexia assessment, you can be assured that as Senior Educational Psychologists who have been diagnosing dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties for over 25 combined years, we will provide you with a clear picture of how your child is performing in relation to literacy, numeracy or spelling. Our assessments take place in our clinic in Ranelagh, where we will look in detail into how your child is performing in the areas of reading, writing, spelling, as well as investigating if there are any areas of your child's cognitive functioning that might be causing these difficulties (for example, working memory issues). Following this assessment, you (and your child if appropriate) will be provided with feedback and a report that will include detailed recommendations for both home and school. If any further letters or forms are needed for the school or Department of Education, these will of course also be provided. If it is necessary, one to one support in some of the areas of need highlighted in the report can be provided through The Children's Clinic.
If you are not confident that an assessment is necessary at this time but would like to talk about your concerns with an expert, you are welcome to book a parent consultation session with us.
3. I think my child might have autism.
Children can experience difficulties in language, behaviour or mixing with their peers for a wide range of reasons. If you are unsure that you want to go ahead with a comprehensive assessment to investigate autism at this time but would like to talk about your concerns with an expert and figure out what to do next, you are welcome to book a parent consultation session with us.
However, if you wish to go ahead with an assessment, our Senior Educational Psychologists have over 40 years combined experience working with children on the autism spectrum (including working in specialist autism teams within the HSE). The Children's Clinic assessments at all times follow best practice guidelines and so our reports will be accepted by the HSE and Department of Education and Science. For younger children, the assessment will include a full developmental history and parent interview in our clinic in Ranelagh, in addition to a cognitive assessment and a play based assessment which will be observed by a second member of our team (a Speech & Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist or Psychologist). A school or home observation will also completed. Adolescents may not need all of the steps above, your psychologist will discuss this with you prior to your assessment. Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy assessments are also available on request.
Our assessments are undertaken in partnership with parents, and so we will support and communicate with you every step of the way so that you aware of what’s involved in the process. Following this assessment, you (and your child if appropriate) will be provided with feedback and a report that will include detailed recommendations for both home and school. If any further letters or forms are needed for the school of Department of Education, these will of course also be provided. If it is necessary and appropriate, one to one support in some of the areas of need highlighted in the report can be provided through The Children's Clinic.
4. I think my child might be gifted.
For most very able children, it is usually unnecessary to go ahead with an assessment if your child is well adjusted, has friends and is doing well in school. However, if you feel that your child is being negatively impacted due to their high intelligence, for example they are unhappy and bored in school or are having difficulty making friends, there may be benefits to looking for some professional advice and support. We recommend that you first book a parent consultation with us to discuss your concerns and get some recommendations including where to go next from here.