At Cumberland Education we use a range of clinical assessment tools such as:
- IQ assessments
- Speech & Language assessments
- Auditory and visual perception assessments
- Achievement tests (such as literacy and numeracy)
- Behavioural assessments
- Fine motor assessments
- Emotional scales
- Developmental scales
- Play and social interaction assessments
The needs and desired outcomes of each particular client drive decisions as to which assessment tools are used. We tailor the types of assessments we provide, to the specific needs of the individual.
Frequently Asked Questions
What type of Assessment do I need?
Before any appointments are made we discuss the specific needs of the client over the phone. We take into account what (if any) assessments have been conducted previously. We then determine and recommend what (if any) assessments are needed.
For example, some clients may require only one type of clinical assessment. Others may require a combination of clinical assessments which would be conducted by different clinicians (e.g. Speech Therapists, Psychologists and OTs) – depending on the specific needs of the client. See Frequently Asked Questions below.
Additionally, clients often have completed assessments with other professionals at school, or at other centres, and consequently, we don’t need to do any further assessing. If clients have recently undertaken such comprehensive assessments, often they request for us to explain how all their previous assessments ‘go together’ or what they mean in totality for the client. This is usually done within an appointment/consultation.
It must be noted that many clients have completed previous assessments, but for a variety of reasons it would be beneficial to do further assessment at our Centre. When booking these assessments over the phone, we will ensure we deliver the most useful assessments to the client, that are designed to gain the information needed to maximise learning outcomes, without “over assessing” the client.
At the completion of our assessments, we give comprehensive verbal feedback of the results, and written feedback is provided in a timely manner.
Do I Need a Speech Therapy Assessment?
If there are any concerns for the client’s communication, particularly their expressive and/or receptive language, then we refer them to our Speech and Language Therapists for an assessment.
A speech therapy assessment may be recommended if the client experiences difficulties in any of the following areas:
- Improve production of a speech sound - e.g. lisp, or /wabbit/ for /rabbit/.
- Improve intelligibility (ability to be understood) in conversation - e.g. do other kids have difficulty understanding your child and/or do teachers ask them to ‘stop mumbling’ / ‘speak slowly’?
- Following directions
- Understanding instructions
- Confusion at home or in the classroom, accused of ‘not listening’ (when in fact they are listening)
- Short term memory recall issues
- Difficulty remembering and correctly placing in order events/occurrences
- Learning and retaining vocabulary
- Late talkers – e.g. usually at 2 years of age children are using two word utterances (e.g. ‘up daddy’) and at 3 years of age children’s language has ‘exploded’ and they have a vocabulary of approximately 500 words and speak in 2 to 3 word sentences.
- Concepts – e.g. children know and use concepts such as all/none, forward/backward, first/then, before/after, in/on/under/behind etc.
- Pronouns –e.g. the correct use of ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’, ‘his’, ‘her’.
- Plurals – e.g. children can correctly use ‘one mouse’ or ‘two mice’.
- Narrative production – e.g. has difficulty telling a story in order (in its correct sequence), it’s often all mixed up.
- General difficulty with spelling, punctuation, grammar and language rules - e.g. producing subject + verb + object sentences.
- Word Finding difficulties.
- Reluctant talkers and/or selective mutism.
- Using/expressing correct vocabulary - e.g. using specific terms such as 'astronaut' instead of 'space man' & using sophisticated language.
Phonological awareness is the ability to hear, remember, and manipulate sounds that make up words in spoken language. For example, this includes recognising and being able to produce rhyme, deciding whether words begin or end with the same sounds, understanding that sounds can be manipulated to create new words, separating words into their individual sounds, and blending individual sounds to make words.
Issues with phonological awareness can be a predictor of future reading and writing disorders such as dyslexia.
Dyslexia is one type of learning difficulty. At Cumberland Education, we take a multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating any type of learning difficulty, and so for Dyslexia, our Speech and Language therapists and our Psychologists work together when assessing and treating dyslexia.
Autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder)
The most sophisticated and professionally preferred assessment for ASD is via a multi-disciplinary approach. Our team, working with leading Paediatricians, provide a thorough assessment and treatment process.
Specifically our Speech Therapists work with high and low functioning clients and their families. These clients have a spectrum of social communication issues and ASD like behaviours and interests.
- Early onset /Preschool
- School aged
Resultant post-surgery speech errors and/or language issues.
Often characterised by inconsistent speech errors and/or issues with rhythm, stress and/or intonation.
The voice can take on characteristics such as harsh, whispery, rough, and/or tremor. Techniques and programs used at Cumberland can alter voice quality and decrease/inhibit development of further voice issues such as vocal nodules by inconsistent speech errors and/or issues with rhythm, stress and/or intonation.
Developmental delays can be seen from the absence or out of order appearance of many very early developmental milestones such as joint attention and eye contact through to the inability to engage in play using developmentally appropriate skills such as sharing and turn taking which is the precursor and necessary step for early speech and language.
Do I need a Psychological Assessment?
If there are any concerns for the client’s learning, behaviour or social/emotional development, then we refer them to our Psychologists.
A psychological assessment may be recommended if the client experiences the following:
- Not working to their full potential at school
- Taking longer than their peers to complete set work
- Specific Learning Difficulty (SLD)
- Literacy difficulties (including Dyslexia).
Dyslexia is one type of learning difficulty. At Cumberland Education, we take a multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating any type of learning difficulty, and so for Dyslexia, our Speech and Language therapists and our Psychologists work together to diagnose and treat such conditions.
Specifically, Literacy difficulties may occur in some or all of the following areas:
- Word attack (knowledge of sounds and ability to blend them together)
- Letter Identification
- Word Identification
- Accurately remembering and using spelling rules, as well as spelling phonetically
- Written expression
- Written fluency
4. Phonological Awareness
- Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear, remember, and manipulate sounds that make up words in spoken language. For example, this includes recognising and being able to produce rhyme, deciding whether words begin or end with the same sounds, understanding that sounds can be manipulated to create new words, separating words into their individual sounds, and blending individual sounds to make words.
- Issues with phonological awareness can be a predictor of future reading and writing disorders such as dyslexia.
5. Reading and Writing Fluency
Specifically, Numeracy difficulties may occur in some or all of the following areas:
- Number and Algebra
- Measurement and Geometry
- Statistics and Probability
- Working Mathematically
- Problem Solving
- Communicating mathematical ideas
General Learning, Behavioural and Social/Emotional Issues:
- Displays behaviours such as avoidance, inattention, day-dreaming, aggression, hyperactive, and/or attention seeking, disruptive behaviours.
- Displays patterns of strengths and weaknesses in learning. For example, may be good at reading (decoding words) but has difficulty comprehending what has been read.
- Works slowly, takes longer than peers to complete work
- Has difficulty making and/or maintaining friendships
- Has fixed interests and/or repetitive behaviours
- Difficulty rote learning information
- Low self-esteem/ self-concept or anxiety around learning
- Doesn’t like school and/or appears unmotivated
- May have an intellectual disability and requires assessment for funding purposes
- Gifted and Talented students who may need extension or enrichment programs
Do I need an Occupational Therapy Assessment?
If there are any concerns for the client’s fine/gross motor skills, sensory processing or planning skills, then we refer them to our Occupational Therapists.
If you have concerns for any of the following issues, an occupational therapy assessment may be recommended:
Difficulty for his/her age in:
- Tying shoelaces
- Doing and undoing buttons
- Sensory processing/integration
- Planning and completing tasks such as homework, cleaning bedroom etc
Who assesses and why?
Our Psychologists, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Literacy & Learning Specialists are able to conduct a full range of different assessments.
The use of appropriate assessments helps us better understand the client’s unique learning and performance profile. That is, his/her unique patterns of strengths and weaknesses. Where relevant and appropriate, clinical assessments can be used to diagnose intellectual disabilities, learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Autism Spectrum Disorder, communication (speech & language) difficulties and disorders, motor difficulties or disorders.
Assessments are also a tool to monitor a client’s progress and particular skill development. For example, our literacy specialist can also perform a range of literacy and achievement tests, to provide information on a client’s current level of literacy performance, and also map and monitor the client’s progress in literacy throughout his/her time at Cumberland Education.
When and where are assessments conducted?
Assessments are usually conducted during the week in school hours, both during school terms and school holidays.
Typically assessments are conducted at our Centre in Oatlands, but we do travel to rural and remote areas throughout the year.
How much does it cost?
We pride ourselves on our affordable and competitive prices. All assessments are designed on the individual needs of the client. Assessments can range from approximately 1-4 hours. All assessments come with written reports and verbal feedback as part of this cost.
Please call us to discuss appointment times and price.