Many children have problems with their development and learning at some point in their lives. Most improve with the help of their families, their schools and their friends.
The educational and child psychologist can offer additional advice if schools or families are having difficulty helping the child to improve. Our job is to assess the needs of these children and advise their parents/carers, school or the Council about the best way to help them.
Every school has the support of an educational and child psychologist - a specialist on how children and young people develop and learn.
They offer assessment, advice and support to parents and teachers where there is a concern about the development, learning or behaviour of children and young people.
Educational and child psychologists only work with young children with a parent/carer's agreement.
If parents/carers are concerned that their child may have special educational needs they should, in the first instance, speak to the special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo) at the school or pre-school setting.
The school or setting will be able to intervene and monitor progress.
If the difficulties persist, the SENCo, with parental permission, will inform the educational and child psychology service. If a parent of a very young child is concerned, a discussion with the allocated health visitor or doctor would be advisable.
Educational and child psychologists usually assess a child in school. They do this in a number of ways, which may include:
- discussing them with their parents/carers, teachers and others who know them well
- observing the child in their classroom or playground
- reviewing the work they have been doing in class
- speaking to the child
- testing to check on the child's skills and/or intellectual development
They can see how the child responds to what they have recommended. Educational and child psychologists offer parents suggestions about how they can help their child's development and learning.
The advice that they offer to teachers is usually to suggest ways to improve a child's learning or behaviour and ways to help the children with learning difficulties to cope with their work in class.
School is the best place to discuss whether your child may have special educational needs. They will explain the procedures and what action, if necessary, is being taken to help your child. School will explain what exactly happens at the various stages of the SEN procedures.
If you want any further information regarding the educational and child psychology service, please contact us.
Education and Children’s Service Group
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council,
Telephone: 01443 744000
Fax: 01443 744023