The assessments take place at the Kidz Therapy centre. Most of the assessments are conducted at the offices in 642 New North Road; Morningside; see our exact location on the map.
An assessment is undertaken to "find out more". Parents know their kids best and intuition often tells us “something is not quite right” about their child’s learning and this is usually backed up by school reports and observations. Generally a school meeting will indicate “It might be a good idea to get an Educational Psychology report done”.
Make a booking online, via email or telephone. One way is to send an email from the website outlining the types of challenges your child might be facing etc so it can be determined what sort of assessment is best suited. A booking can be thus confirmed via email or our administrator can call to discuss if the situation is not clear cut. Messages can also be left on the landline (09) 849 4232. Booking times vary but it is not unusual to wait 2 months for a booking; this is because the assessment process and report writing takes a significant amount of time. After the booking is confirmed a questionnaire and instructions for the process, location, parking etc are forwarded via email.
Sessions are 2 x 2 hours for the younger children and 1 x 3 for secondary school students. To complete a Cognitive and Educational assessment for the younger children two sessions are required – the first one is 2 hours duration and the second approximately 1.5-2 hours although this is age and developmentally related; if we see your child is tired or not focussed we may arrange an additional session. A short break is taken mid-way through the first session. For children Year 9 and above one session of about 3 hours session is usually adequate although sometimes it may require two sessions, again it is dependent on the child.
Try and avoid talking about the assessment too early – for most kids a few days out is fine and speak of ‘activities’ rather than tests or assessments Most children and adults worry about new situations, this is a normal reaction. In our experience it is best not to ‘over-talk’ the assessment, rather say things like "We are going to see Marie; she is like a teacher who can help us discover the best way you can learn". "Marie and you will do different activities to help both of you discover your best learning style". This is age dependant of course, you know your child best but avoid speaking of tests, assessments especially to the younger child.
The child and parent come to the Kidz Therapy centre for a chat before the parent/adult leaves. A parent or adult comes to the centre with the child and spends about 10-15 minutes chatting with the psychologist and including your child mainly to ensure the child is relaxed and ready for the assessment. At the same time a discussion about any relevant history and or concerns is held with the child present before the parent leaves the centre. The child and the psychologist then work together on the activities which while they are different to school based tasks tell us about a child’s learning abilities and potential. Near the end of the session the parent comes back.
You will leave the assessment with initial verbal feedback. Brief verbal feedback will be given at the time of the assessment(s), it will be in language both understand.
The report will be comprehensive and useful for school and home. The report will include the assessments used, the results, observations and the interpretation of results and recommendations provided to support your child at home and school. They generally have a life span of three years but for senior students they can ‘roll over’ into tertiary years. The aim is to provide a plan that gives you results, understanding about your child, direction and a way forward.
A report is value. Most parents recognise the value and expertise they are receiving in order to assist their child. Some parents have a perception that a report is expensive – have a read below and see why an Ed Psych report is valuable. Educational Psychologists attend university for a minimum of 6 years; they undertake a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Post Grad Dip Psychology which is an internship. Others have trained as teachers and two of our psychologists have an additional doctorate qualification. Educational Psychologists have a wide scope of expertise not just supporting children but also adults and families. We can assist with not just academic matters including Special Assessment Conditions but also behaviour management and social and emotional issues. Educational Psychologists use a full battery of assessments most of which can only be accessed by them. Only a registered psychologist is able to use the Wechsler battery of tests which are the gold standard world-wide assessments to determine intellectual abilities, we are also trained to identify co-morbid or accompanying issues such as anxiety, dyspraxia, the list is long. Teachers may know ‘something is not right’ but they do not have the qualifications to determine if a child say for instance presents with a reading disorder (often referred to as dyslexia). Our profession dictates annual registration, membership of professional bodies, indemnity insurance, copyright assessment kits and associated forms, professional resources such as journals and books, ongoing professional development, updated software, professional supervision, previous and ongoing university costs and the list goes on... Every office has costs including rent, IT equipment and furniture, insurances, website building and maintenance, stationery, printing, lighting, heating etc. Compliance costs e.g. administration staff, accountant, GST, IRD, ACC levies, staff expenses, car and travel expenses.
Invoices are sent by the administrator prior to the report’s release. The report must be paid in full – at this stage we only have the facility of online payments, cash or cheque (which must be cleared first), but we are currently seeking alternative methods.
The report is emailed via PDF. The reports are usually available within a 2-3 week window and following receipt of the payment. The time factor is because the reports take a lengthy time to think about and write up-mostly between 4-8 hours. A second psychologist reviews each report.
If you need extra support we will help. After reading the report if you have any queries or further explanation please send your question via email or alternatively book a one hour chargeable session with our administrator. This is not usually needed. Generally the SENCO (Special Needs Co-ordinator) at your child’s school should be sent a copy of the report and a meeting arranged by the parent to discuss the outcomes and recommendations.
We look after your child’s records. All information and subsequent reports are treated with privacy and confidence. Psychologists are bound by the Psychologist's Code of Ethics which includes a strict commitment to client confidentiality. Reports are only disclosed to additional parties with prior consent from the parent/caregiver.