Many parents contact our centre to provide their child with the help they need following recommendations from teachers, healthcare professionals or advice from others. Beginning the journey to access therapy for your child can be daunting and stressful. Parents often have many questions about therapy and how therapy can help.

Asher-Solomon therapists believe in working in partnership with parents and strive to support them through the assessment and therapy process. As such, Asher-Solomon therapists are available to liaise with parents and answer questions through every step of assessment and therapy intervention pathway.

Asher-Solomon believes in administering assessments in a manner that caters to a child or teenagers’ needs, conducting assessments over 2 or 3 hours in separate 1-hour sessions.

1. The Initial Consult

The initial consult enables the Asher-Solomon therapist to gain in-depth information about your child or teenager (e.g. their strengths and challenges) and performance expectations (e.g. at home, school, extra- curricular activities and within the community). At this stage, parents will also gain more information about assessment and therapy services, have an opportunity to ask the therapist questions and tour the Asher-Solomon centre.

Parents have the option to book an assessment or commence therapy (if their child has been assessed previously in the last 12 months elsewhere) following an initial consult. Parents are under no obligation to book an assessment or undertake therapy following an initial consult.

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2. The Assessment Period

At Asher-Solomon, we conduct various occupational therapy and speech therapy assessment services. Depending on the child’s age and ability, a full assessment usually involves a combination of standardised assessments, clinical observations and feedback of the child’s performance both at home and, with parental permission, at school. Assessment results are used to create an individualised therapy programme, including targeted intervention goals.

Occupational Therapy Assessments

Occupational Therapy Assessments may include assessment of fine and gross motor skills, handwriting or pre-writing skills, visual perceptual skills, sensory processing skills, self-care skills (e.g. dressing or self- feeding) and organisation skills. Depending on the child’s age and ability, the full assessment usually involves a combination of standardised assessments, clinical observations and feedback of the child’s performance at home and, with parental permission, at school. Assessment results are used to create an individualised occupational therapy programme, including targeted intervention goals.

Occupational Therapy Assessments for Specific Needs:

Handwriting Assessments

Handwriting assessments analyse foundation skill components of writing (e.g. letter/number formation, fine motor skills, visual motor skills, upper limb stability and postural stability) and more complex skills (e.g. spatial organisation of sentences, sequencing and planning written work, handwriting speed and endurance).

Often, students are referred for handwriting assessments by their teachers. Our therapists also conduct handwriting assessments to gain permission for students to use alternate means of communication for written tasks (e.g. laptop or scribe) at school, university or in controlled exams (e.g. HSC and GCSE).

 

Feeding Assessments

Children are typically referred for a feeding therapy assessment by their parents, upon recognising that their child’s diet has a limited variety of foods. Restricted diet may be unhealthy for the child and become worrisome and frustrating for parents. It can also limit the social and cultural experiences of sharing meals with family and friends.

Trained Asher-Solomon therapists perform feeding assessments to provide an analysis of the many different skills required for the successful intake of foods. The therapist will assess the oral cavity and upper body structure and function, and also take a behavioural approach to assessing any sensitivities, aversions to, or preferences for types of touch/ textures, smells or tastes and any behaviours that may be impacting upon feeding. Based on the assessment, recommendations are made for individual or group feeding treatment or use of feeding strategies through parent consultation.

Feeding therapy at Asher-Solomon provides intervention for children with no known medical issues impacting upon their feeding, but whose difficulties are related to sensory and behavioural factors.

 

Pre-School Assessments

Pre-school assessments aim to evaluate the development of foundation skills that children typically acquire between the ages of 2 and 6. Development of strong foundation skills is necessary for children to leap successfully between pre-academic learning (pre-school) to the academic classroom. Foundation skills include the development of pre- writing or handwriting, self-care skills (e.g. dressing or self-feeding with utensils), following classroom routines, gross motor play, visual perception, sensory processing and self-regulation skills.

Teachers, healthcare professionals or parents may refer a child for a pre-school evaluation. Asher-Solomon recommends that children who are transitioning into an academic setting from pre-school are assessed at least six months before commencing formal schooling to allow sufficient time for therapy gains to take place.

To find out more about our occupational therapy services and how we can help, click here.

Speech and Language Assessments

Speech and language assessments typically consider expressive language (use of language), receptive language (e.g. understanding of concepts and instructions), the production of speech sounds and pragmatics (the social use of language). Assessments typically involve a combination of standardised tests and informal observations during conversation and play. The therapist may also ask permission to observe the child at home or school to gain further information about their communication skills across different environments. The therapist will use the assessment results to provide feedback to parents and create their therapy plan.

Speech Therapy Assessments for Specific Needs:

Stuttering Assessments

Stuttering assessments evaluate your child’s speech fluency and are specifically for children who demonstrate weakness in this area. It will also involve an in-depth parent interview to determine if and what therapy will be most beneficial.

 

Pre-School Assessments

Pre-school assessments are for young children who may be using little or no verbal language. Pre-school assessments aim to evaluate the pre-requisite skills required for academic success. Skills assessed include language development, play, attention and listening and non-verbal skills such as eye-contact and imitation skills (for example imitation of gestures, sounds and language).

 

Speech Sound Assessments

Speech sound assessments are for children who may not be easily understood by others. Speech sound assessments analyse the production of individual speech sounds and help us figure out why your child may be confusing sounds or why others do not easily understand their speech.

To find out more about our speech and language therapy services, click here.

For more information about our services and the ways we can help your child, speak with us.

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3. The Post Assessment Feedback Session

In the post assessment feedback session, the therapist will explain the comprehensive assessment report. This includes:

  • Assessment results
  • The child’s identified strengths and weaknesses
  • Therapist recommendations

Therapy reports are useful for schools, local authorities and providing information for other professionals working with the child or teenager. The feedback session provides an invaluable opportunity for parents to discuss the findings and ask questions to understand further the challenges their child may be experiencing.

When recommending therapy, therapists will set targeted intervention goals in partnership with parent input. At this point, you can decide whether you wish to proceed with therapy sessions for your child. If you’re unsure, it’s perfectly okay to think about it. At Asher-Solomon, we understand the journey a parent takes.