Educational psychologist assessments for children and young people
Dr Aimee Swithenbank is an experienced freelance educational psychologist (EP) registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (see Practitioner Psychologist, registration number PYL32205). She provides individual assessments for children and young people who are struggling at school/college and facing barriers to their learning and education.
An EP assessment with Aimee will pinpoint the specific difficulties, provide an explanation of the presenting concerns and give highly tailored advice on how to help the child make progress and reduce/alleviate the barriers to their education. This may include a formal diagnosis of a specific learning difficulty (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia) where there is evidence from within the assessment data. Strengths are also identified so that parents and teachers can build on what is already working and nurture the skills and talents the child may already have.
Understanding your child's strengths and barriers to learning
Our EP assessments consider the range of child factors that can impact on learning such as:
Literacy – e.g., reading accuracy and fluency, phonological processing, reading comprehension, spelling, writing composition and the physical aspects of handwriting.
Numeracy and maths problem-solving – e.g., basic concepts and application of number.
Cognition – e.g., logic, verbal reasoning, working memory and processing speed.
Children’s self-perceptions about learning – e.g., self-esteem and confidence.
Approaches to learning and behaviours affecting learning – e.g., problem-solving strategies, emotional regulation, resilience and response to challenge when learning.
Social communication and interaction.
Attention and executive functioning skills – e.g., inhibitory control and self-regulation when learning.
Online questionnaires are used prior to the assessment to gather relevant information from parents and school staff. The individual assessment (typically 2.5 hours) is immediately followed by a parent feedback meeting (45 minutes) to discuss the findings. The written psychological report is sent three weeks after the assessment; it details the findings, provides an explanation of the presenting concerns and includes highly tailored advice and recommendations for parents and school to implement.
Your child must be six years or over.
You must be willing for us to contact the school to gather background information via a questionnaire.
Formal testing requires the child to be able to communicate verbally and to follow adult-led instruction. If your child has any significant difficulties in these areas, please discuss this with us before booking an assessment so that we can consider their suitability and how best to support them.
We use the gold-standard tests Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC-V) and the Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests, Third Edition (WIAT-III). If your child has been assessed using either of these tests within the last year, please inform us before booking an assessment so that we can consider their suitability.
EPs are required to maintain integrity, honesty and objectivity in our work. We do not accept referrals where we've been asked to support a certain viewpoint, as it's not possible to say what the findings will be before the assessment is complete.
We do not offer an 'expert witness' service/accept referrals for SEND tribunal cases. This is a specific type of work that goes beyond the scope of our educational psychologist assessments.
How much does an assessment cost?
An assessment costs £950. This includes an individual assessment, parent feedback meeting and a written psychological report.
When do you take payment?
Full payment is required to make a booking.
Where does the assessment take place?
Our assessment room is in Colchester. Parking is available and directions/address are provided in the welcome pack.
How long is the assessment?
This can vary, but typically 2.5 hours. Breaks are offered as required.
Will a diagnosis be made?
Where there is evidence from within the assessment data, a formal diagnosis of a specific learning difficulty (dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia) can be made.
We cannot diagnose ADHD, ASC, sensory processing disorder, dyspraxia, anxiety disorder, attachment disorder, depression or developmental language disorder. These are medical conditions which fall under the remit of the health service/a multidisciplinary team.
When will I receive the report?
You will receive the report three weeks after the assessment.
What can I expect from the report?
The report is a comprehensive document which details the findings, provides an explanation of the concerns and give highly tailored advice and recommendations for school and parents to implement.
Can I submit the report with an EHCP application?
Yes, the report can be submitted as evidence of your child's special educational needs, and LAs cannot refuse to consider a report from an HCPC registered educational psychologist. Please note, however, that the report is not Psychological Advice -Psychological Advice can only be commissioned by the local authority in which the child resides and is written specifically for the purpose of the Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment (EHCNA). There are certain stipulations and specific guidance on writing Psychological Advice that do not necessarily apply to our reports. If the LA agree to an EHCNA, they will usually request a LA EP to write the Psychological Advice. This will be free of charge to you.
Do you offer an 'expert witness' tribunal service?
No, this is a specific type of work that goes beyond the scope of our educational psychologist assessment. We do not work with lawyers, prepare reports in an expert-witness format or attend SEND tribunals.
Is my child's school obliged to implement the recommendations in the report?
We are an advisory service and cannot enforce schools to implement the recommendations in the report. However, under the SEND Code of Practice, schools are obliged to meet the needs of their students. They cannot reject a report from a HCPC registered educational psychologist on the basis that it was privately commissioned.
Request an assessment
If you have any questions about the assessment process, please check our referral criteria and FAQs.
For all other enquiries, or to request an assessment, please submit the Parent Referral Form.
We aim to respond to enquiries within two working days. If you have not had a reply within this time, please check your junk mailbox.
"I experienced a very professional and compassionate approach by Aimee to the assessment of my son. She gave a helpful feedback session and comprehensive report which we were able to share with the school. I would recommend Aimee to any parents who are seeking an assessment to understand and support their child’s needs within an education setting."
"Honestly I couldn’t be happier with the service provided. Professional from start to end, the whole process felt easy and most importantly my son was comfortable and at ease. The report was very thorough and helped myself and others understand his way of learning. I would definitely recommend your services and just wish I had done it sooner."
"Very knowledgeable assessment carried out. Was very happy to leave my child for the assessment. Excellent feedback and detailed report."