SMART

Socrates Multidisciplinary Assessment and Review Team

 

Our SMART team comprises of a range of highly experienced professionals including:

  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Educational Psychologist
  • Senior Mental Health Practitioners
  • Speech & Language Therapists
  • Consultant Psychiatrists
  • Occupational Therapist

The team specialise in assessing children and young people with complex presentations. Assessments include: Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC), Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Sensory Processing Difficulties, Dyspraxia and learning difficulties (specific and global) including exploration of carer/child relationship difficulties.

Our aim is to help, parents, carers, young people and other professionals to gain a better understanding of a child’s needs through comprehensive assessment, diagnosis (if appropriate) and needs led plans. We are committed to putting the child’s best interests first. It is important to the team that a carer/child receives the right assessment and advice, so our assessment process is designed to facilitate this.

Screening appointment

This is usually an hour and a half appointment with one of our highly experienced, senior members of the team and allows carers/ parents and other professionals, if appropriate, the opportunity to discuss their concerns about a child. The clinician will ask about the child’s development and early history as well as their current strengths and difficulties. At the end of this appointment the clinician may recommend an assessment plan, which will follow one of the following pathways detailed below. During the screening appointment, it may become clear that further assessment is not recommended, the clinician will discuss the reasons for this and may signpost parents to other agencies. On occasion, a child may require a wider initial assessment to determine the appropriate pathway, if this is not clear at the screening appointment. The clinician will advise on this if required, at the screening appointment.

 

 Specialist Assessments

Cognitive Assessment

A stand-alone assessment assessing the young person’s overall cognitive ability including verbal and visual processing, working memory and processing speed. This assessment is undertaken by a Clinical or Educational Psychologist.

Specific Learning Difficulty

Some children struggle with very specific aspects of their learning which can affect their attitude to learning and school generally. They may have a condition referred to as a Specific Learning Difficulty, such as dyslexia or dyscalculia. We can provide specifically tailored assessments to identify such conditions. These assessments are undertaken by a Clinical or Educational Psychologist.

Learning Disability Assessment

A Learning Disability is a reduced ability in terms of learning and everyday activities. People with a learning disability may need support to do things and understand things and can take longer to learn new things. There are different levels of Learning Disability (mild, moderate and severe / profound). It can be helpful to assess the level of Learning Disability a person has so they receive the right support. This assessment looks at the young person’s overall cognitive ability (cognitive assessment) and also assesses their adaptive and social skills. This assessment is undertaken by a Clinical Psychologist.

Speech and Language Assessment

Undertaken by a Speech and Language Therapist, this assessment is dependent on the age of the child and can employ a variety of standardised tests and observation, examining the use and understanding of language, as well as speech production.

Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC)

Autistic Spectrum Conditions (also known as Autistic Spectrum Disorder) are lifelong neuro-developmental conditions characterised by difficulties with social interaction, social communication and rigidity/obsessionality. It is a developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people and how they experience the world around them. Our comprehensive assessment is undertaken in accordance with the National Autism Plan for Children and takes account of the NICE guidelines for children, young people and adults and includes: Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, school observation, speech and language assessment and a cognitive assessment in order to gain a good understanding of the child’s needs. Clinicians involved may include Consultant Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist/Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Senior Mental Health Practitioner. The team is often assisted by an Assistant Psychologist who may undertake some observation, information gathering or spend some individual time with the child.

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological condition characterized by a group of behavioural symptoms that include inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Children may have difficulties paying attention, following instructions, sitting still, acting without thinking and little or no sense of danger. To gain a clear picture of a child’s needs, this comprehensive assessment, undertaken in line with NICE guidelines, includes school observation, cognitive assessment, individual time with the child, rating scales and QB Check (a computer-based screening tool which identifies core features of ADHD). This assessment may involve a Consultant Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist and Senior Mental Health Practitioner. The team is often assisted by an Assistant Psychologist who may undertake some observation, information gathering or spend some individual time with the child. ASC and ADHD Assessment for both presentations.

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD, otherwise known as Dyspraxia).

DCD is a lifelong disorder affecting fine and/or gross motor coordination in children and adults. It may also affect speech. Children may present with difficulties with self-care, writing, typing, riding a bike and play as well as educational activities. Other associated difficulties include social and emotional difficulties as well as problems with time management and planning and personal organisation. This assessment will involve a comprehensive movement assessment with an Occupational Therapist, a Cognitive assessment with a Clinical Psychologist and a Speech and Language assessment.

Sensory Integration Assessment

Sensory Integration (SI) are the neurological processes that organise sensation from one’s own body and from the environment to make it possible to use the body effectively within the environment. Sensory information is received through the integration of vestibular, tactile, auditory, proprioception and visual systems, as a direct result of interactions experienced through the environment. Sensory integration difficulties describe the difficulty some people's nervous systems have taking in, integrating and making use of sensory information.This assessment is carried out by an Occupational Therapist who will take a detailed history and carry out observations of your child. A specific assessment tool (SIPT) will be used if appropriate to the child’s ability. This is assessed on a case by case basis by the therapist. In order to be able to complete this assessment the child needs to be able to demonstrate an ability to participate in adult directed activities, follow verbal instructions and demonstrate reasonable concentration and attention.