Learning and Developmental Assessment information for parents

Connect Psychology is a group of psychologists with many years’ experience assessing children and teenagers with a wide range of developmental and learning difficulties; social, emotional, and relationship problems; and challenging behaviour. Clinical Director Jenni Pearce is recognised as one of South Australia’s leading child Clinical Psychologists with particular expertise in developmental and learning assessments; she personally oversees all assessments and reports.

What happens in a learning assessment?

If you are concerned about your child’s progress, a cognitive learning assessment will provide you with useful information about your child’s particular strengths and learning style. An assessment usually takes place either in a “block” of 2 to 3 hours, or over two 50 minute appointments. Initially, the psychologist will talk to you to gain an understanding of your child’s progress so far and your concerns, drawing on information you have supplied in questionnaires, including where possible information gathered from your child’s teacher, and past reports. Please bring these with you to the first appointment. Your child’s skills and development will be assessed using puzzles, activities and questioning. This will include assessment of your child’s intellectual strengths, memory and processing, using the Weschler Scales ( WISC- V and WPPSI- IV) , which are internationally recognised tests of intelligence. Depending on your concerns, various other tests may be used to assess progress in areas such as early reading skills, literacy skills, writing and memory. Most children enjoy the activities. You are welcome to stay in the waiting room or leave your child with us for the time of the assessment. If your young child will settle better with you, you may prefer to stay in the room for part or all of the assessment. Feedback is provided to you at the end of the assessment or in a further appointment, which is usually without your child. This is a crucial part of the process at Connect Psychology: it is an opportunity for you to discuss the outcome of the assessment and how best to support your child. Later, we send you a detailed written report which will suggest useful strategies to boost your child’s development.

What issues can be assessed?

  • slow progress in learning
  • early entry to school
  • attention
  • early developmental progress
  • school/class placement
  • behavior
  • reading difficulties /dyslexia
  • gifted development
  • self-esteem
  • writing difficulties
  • eligibility for Carer’s Allowance
  • organization

Is my child’s school or preschool involved?

That’s completely up to you. Most teachers are very keen for an assessment and are happy to complete a questionnaire to provide us with their observations. The report is emailed to you and it is up to you to pass onto the school. It is written in a way that is helpful for schools. You may also like us to help your child’s school develop strategies to meet your child’s needs more effectively. Our psychologists are well known and welcomed at all DECD, independent and Catholic Education SA schools and have the necessary DCSI and checks to visit schools.

Referrals and Fees:

A referral is not needed. For a school aged child, the fee for the assessment and report is $990 for Jenni Pearce, $960 for our Clinical Psychologists and $840 for our other Psychologists, usually billed as separate appointments of $250 for a Clinical Psychologist, and $200 for a Psychologist, and a report fee which is not claimable from health funds or Medicare. The fee for a preschool child is $740 for Jenni and $720 for others. We may offer reduced fees to low income families. Claims for rebates can be made by families who have private health fund extras cover for psychology. Most families with private health cover find that they pay around $400 “out of pocket”. Unfortunately, Medicare does not allow these assessments to be claimed under a Mental Health Care Plan, other than in some exceptional circumstances.

For clients accessing NDIS Agency/Plan managed funding, the fee for the assessment and report is $968.66 for Clinical Psychologists (3.75 hours) and $904.09 (3.5 hours) for Psychologists.

How do I arrange an assessment?

Simply phone Connect Psychology on 8357 0043 between 9:30 and 5:30. Our Receptionist will be happy to answer any further questions and offer you the next available appointment.