What happens during and between therapy sessions?
We provide a safe, confidential space, carefully attuned to your needs, in which to develop an understanding of your struggles, and progress towards meeting and overcoming your difficulties. During the initial sessions your therapist will be working with you to explore a shared understanding of what has brought you to therapy, how this is impacting upon you and what you would like to be different. These initial ‘assessment’ sessions, will support you in determining where the focus of the work needs to be. If, after initial assessment, you decide to commence therapy, you will work with your therapist to decide upon goals for therapy. Working towards these goals may involve thinking and talking about your day-to-day life, your memories, thoughts, feelings, hopes and worries, etc. Your therapist may ask you to participate in exercises and practices tailored to help you with your difficulties.
How often will I have to attend therapy?
We draw upon a range of evidence-based approaches to create an individualised treatment plan, focused on your specific needs. We usually offer weekly sessions, regularity and consistency being central in supporting you to move forward in therapy and make headway with your difficulties.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) share two core features: difficulties with social communication and social interaction, and restricted patterns of behaviour, interests or activities. ASD is a developmental disorder, so symptoms will be present in the early developmental period, but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed capacity, or may be masked by strategies learned in later life.
People with ASD may experience difficulties with:
· Engaging in ‘small talk”
· Recognising the consequences of their actions
· Changing their communication style according to whom they are speaking with
· Making or maintaining friendships
· Engaging in two way conversation
· Understanding social situations and rules, leading to people saying they are blunt or rude when this was unintentional
· Understanding non verbal communication
· Sensory sensitivities
Such difficulties may lead to anxiety and low mood for some individuals.
What is involved in an Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment?
In the first instance we will arrange a complimentary 15-minute consultation as an initial screening appointment. This will ensure that a full autism assessment is appropriate for your child, as well as explaining the process and answering any questions you may have. If autism seems indicated at this screening stage we proceed to the next stage to complete further, more detailed, assessments. We will ask you to fill in a number of questionnaires, and also give you some forms to ask your child’s teacher(s) or SENCo to complete. We will book in appointments to complete specialist assessments.
The specialist assessments we may use are:
The Autism Diagnostic Assessment Observation Schedule (ADOS 2) with your child.
A standardised autism assessment interview called the 3di with yourselves, to obtain a detailed developmental history of your child, their current functioning and family circumstances.
Following completion of the assessments, the multi-disciplinary team of professionals who have been part of the assessment meet to reach a conclusion about your child.
Lastly we will meet with you to discuss the outcome of our assessment, and whether or not your child meets the criteria for an autism diagnosis or not and recommendations.
Please be aware that in a very small minority of cases it is not always possible to reach a diagnostic conclusion.
What is Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder (ADHD)?
ADHD is a condition that affects people's behaviour. People with ADHD can seem restless, may have trouble concentrating and may act on impulse. These aspects can interfere with a child or young person’s functioning or development.
ADHD is one of the most common disorders of childhood. Globally, it’s estimated that prevalence is around five per cent (Polanczyk, 2007). More boys than girls are diagnosed and treated for ADHD, possibly due to differences in how types of ADHD present in relation to gender.
The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems. People with ADHD may also have additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders.
What is involved in an Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder Assessment?
Our comprehensive ADHD assessments, informed by NICE guidelines, include a full clinical and psychosocial assessment of the individual along with a detailed developmental and psychiatric history. We also request information from your child’s school to obtain information about presentation in different contexts. This package will include a detailed report.
What should I tell my child about the assessment?
We find it helpful to be open and straightforward about the assessment with children. We often explain how all children have things they are good at and things that they struggle with. We say that we want to see what he or she is good at so we can use these super skills to help with the things that are trickier. Please emphasize to them that there is no ‘pass and fail and he or she just needs to have a go and try their best. It is helpful not to mention to your child that they will be playing games.