Assessments

We are able to offer individualised and timely assessments which will be of value to you, your family or your child.

Many families have concerns that their children or young person's needs have not been recognised or the significance of the needs have been underestimated. This can be a particular concern when your child is struggling academically or socially in school or college. 

Our team offers assessments of:

  • social communication disorders
  • challenging behaviour
  • sensory integration difficulties
  • developmental coordination disorders
  • speech disorders
  • learning disabilities
  • neurodevelopmental disorders

ASSESSMENT FOR POSSIBLE NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DIFFICULTIES

INITIAL CONSULTATION

Our clinical team is led by Dr Sue Zeitlin (Consultant Paediatrician) and Mr Richard Gilham (Consultant Clinical Psychologist) who between them have been involved in the assessment of over 2,000 children and young adults.

Children and young people can experience learning and behavioural difficulties for many reasons. They may be struggling with poor self-esteem because of subtle learning problems, problems with focus and concentration, difficulties in making and keeping friends or struggling to make sense of the relationships within the family.

We offer parents the option of a one-hour consultation with one of our clinical team to discuss their child (face-to-face, over the phone or via Skype) to get a feel for the young person’s difficulties. This is charged at £95.00. We do not provide a written report following this initial consultation.

If an assessment of ASD/ADHD or other emerging emotional or behavioural problem is needed, we will arrange to meet with you and your child for a more formal consultation followed by screening assessments if appropriate.

Depending on the outcome of the consultation we are able to provide:

ADHD Assessment

We recognise that ADHD is a complicated disorder and we offer a comprehensive assessment comprising:
  • Analysis of questionnaire data (home, school and child/young person)
  • Clinical interviews with parent/carers and child/young person
  • Classroom observation and meeting with teacher/SENCO
  • Written report
  • Meetings with school and parents to discuss assessment conclusions and recommendations
  • Medical and psychological interventions
ASD Assessment may include
  • Initial assessment and medical screening with parents/cares and young perosn
  • Developmental history
  • Classroom observation and meeting with teacher/SENCO
  • ADOS assessment
  • Written report
  • Meeting with school and parents to discuss assessment conclusions and recommendations for support at home and school
In all cases we will arrange a school observation and collection of questionnaire date from your child’s school and will arrange a feedback meeting to share the report with the school at the end of the assessment. If you wish, the school and your GP will be provided with a copy of the report.

We are able to provide a cognitive assessment if necessary. Although a cognitive assessment is not an essential part of an autism or ADHD assessment, it can be very useful. Most neuro-typical children have reasonably similar abilities in the different areas of the assessment (e.g. verbal and non-verbal reasoning, working memory and processing speed). However, many children on the autistic spectrum or with ADHD will have an uneven or ‘spiky’ profile of strengths and difficulties. Some may be extremely able verbally but struggle in many other areas. They may have difficulties retaining and manipulating information or copying information off the board. Others may have significant language difficulties but process non-verbal information much more efficiently. Results of a cognitive assessment can be shared with school and used as supporting evidence to secure an EHCP.

If indicated, we are able to recommend and provide Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language assessment and therapy.

Costs: Clinical psychology and paediatric assessment will be charged at £95.00/hour
Occupational therapy and speech and language assessment/therapy £70.00/hour

Please note longer journeys (more than an hour), will be charged at £40.00 per hour travelled and at 45p per mile

 
Medico-legal Services

CATS provide medico-legal assessments of children, adults and their families.

We work with suitably qualified experts and will ensure that we can provide reports within an agreed timetable.  

We recognise that in some circumstances assessments will need to be undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team. On other occasions a single professional opinion is required.

All reports are peer reviewed and opinions are always evidence-based. Where professionals differ in their opinion these differences are clearly identified for the court.

Therapeutic Services

Our services are for:

  • Adults
  • Children
  • Couples (parents)
  • Whole families

You may have concerns about:

  • Low mood and depression
  • Worries and anxiety
  • Self harming behaviours
  • Eating and sleeping problems
  • Family conflict, separation and breakdown
  • Loss and bereavement.
  • Self harm
  • Developmental trauma and attachment problems

Our therapists use a variety of approaches to address different issues. This includes behavioural methods, cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), creative therapies, play therapy, family therapy, and attachment-based therapies focusing on the relationship between the child and parent/carer. We will sometimes use a combination of these and interventions are tailored specifically to the individuals needs.

We would always offer an assessment session to discuss the concerns and to talk through the range of interventions available.

Where will assessments take place?

We are happy to discuss with you where it is most convenient to meet.

How will we work with you?

  • We will arrange an initial meeting to find out what your concerns are. This usually takes an hour.
  • We will make a plan with you to set some goals for the therapy.
  • During the therapy sessions, we may see you individually, in couples or as a family.
  • We will usually plan to review these goals after a maximum of six sessions.

Costs:

Clinical psychology and paediatric assessment/therapy will be charged at £95.00/hour

Occupational therapy and speech and language assessment/therapy £70.00/hour

 
Training

Please check our website for details of news and events.

We are able to provide training for groups of parents and carers, professionals and organisations.

Our team offer training covering the following:

  1. Attachment disorders and related topics
  2. ADHD
  3. Autism and other related disorders
  4. Safeguarding training
    CATS provides a range of specialist training programmes focusing on safeguarding children and adults. We provide training at Level 2,3 and 4 tailored to the specific needs of both statutory and independent providers/ contractors. We are also able to assist you in developing programmes that are appropriate to the needs of your organization. All training programmes and the descriptive levels are designed to be compliant with those outlined in the Intercollegiate document. We can assist organisations establish systems to monitor both the uptake and impact of the training packages provided for staff.
  5. Organisational Training
    1. Safeguarding Workshops CATS provides workshops to assist organisations to take up the learning from both National and Local serious case reviews, changes to statutory guidance and thematic reviews.
    2. Report Writing
      The preparation of reports for Serious Case Reviews and other similar multi-agency case reviews can be challenging. CATS is able to provide organisations with training and support in the preparation of these complex documents and can provide a writing service for those organizations unable to access this resource internally.
    3. Review of organisations safeguarding processes and practice
      Individual practitioners within CATS are experienced in completing organization reviews to ensure that safeguarding practice is effective and compliant with National Standards.
Consultancy

CATS Consultation Service is an important element in helping professionals offer a more informed response to individuals in the most complex situations. We are available for support and advice where there is an unresolved issue that may involve an individual, group or whole setting.

Consultations can take place as frequently as the client requires and can occur either individually, in groups or via the telephone/tele-conferencing. Subsequent to consultation, professionals could be offered a more comprehensive and intensive package of assistance. We employ various theoretical models and have expertise within the fields of clinical  psychology, parenting assessment, developmental disorders, learning disabilities and attachment.

A consultation may aim to:

  • Identify and clarify difficulties
  • Support the implementation of a plan to address concerns
  • Supporting the monitoring, reviewing and evaluation of the plan

How consultation helps:

  • Improves professional confidence
  • Provides additional skills
  • Provides good collaborative practice across the whole setting and this leads to wider lasting improvements

We have experience of using systemic models to explore how different services and individuals are able to utilise their strengths to solve the problem.

If you are interested in learning more about the consultancy services that CATS have to offer, please contact the Directors who will then identify an Associate clinician within the practice to contact you.

Higher Education

Working with individuals in university and higher education settings

We recognise that clients who may have neuro-developmental or learning difficulties may require assessment and support in order to achieve their potential in university and other higher educational settings.

Working in partnership with clients and their educational setting provides a collaborative approach to determining how best to meet the client’s needs.

CATS are able to offer detailed assessments, support and advice about a range of neuro-developmental and behavioural conditions including Autism Spectrum Conditions, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and mixed neuro-developmental disorders.

Our clients

Many young people entering university or college will have already had assessment and additional support whilst they were in school. However we recognise that many talented young people who have complex needs may have coped well within the protective environment of home and school but are less able to manage once these facets of their lives change.

An individual’s learning and social behaviour can change for many reasons. They may have undiagnosed neuro-developmental disorder or learning difficulties.

We provide a flexible service that will include:

  • Obtaining informed consent from our clients
  • Taking a detailed clinical and developmental history.
  • Discussion with teaching staff
  • Consideration of the individual’s health needs
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Possible contact with the client’s family

Once the assessment is completed, we will discuss the outcomes of assessments with our client (and their family if they wish us to involve them). We will share the outcome of the assessment with the university or college and together plan a package of support.

This may include:

  • Direct support and advice to teaching staff
  • Psycho-educational sessions for support staff
  • Assistance with the production of written reports and/or attendance at reviews, conferences, etc.
  • Referral for individual work with the child/young person (counselling, CBT, art therapy, sensory integration)
  • Referral for additional medical support, assessment or treatment
Schools

Supporting young people and professionals

CATS work with children, young people and their families in both independent and maintained schools pre-school settings. Children with complex behavioural and neurodevelopmental difficulties often require multi disciplinary assessment and intervention which takes account of their life at home and at school. We believe that by facilitating work with the child at school and within their family, we are providing the setting for their optimal learning and development

Building relationships

Good relationships are essential in promoting learning and encouraging pro-social development. Children make the best progress when trusting relationships are established between the school, therapist and family.

That’s why we work hard to build relationships with the child and family and help them to forge positive relationships with their teachers, support staff and other agencies.

Although our assessments focus on understanding the child’s strengths and difficulties, we work alongside parents and teachers providing support and advice.

Children's learning and behaviour can be affected for many reasons. They may have complex emotional and social needs or an underlying neurodevelopmental disorder or learning disability.

Some children have complicated needs which present many challenges in the classroom and at home both for them and for the adults working with them and for their families.

Providing the most appropriate support often requires expert assessment, taking into account medical and psychological needs and the child's immediate and wider environment.

An initial assessment may involve:

  • Classroom observation and discussion with teaching staff
  • Consideration of the child's health needs
  • Neuropsychological assessment
  • Discussion with the child's family

Once the assessment is completed, we will discuss our recommendations for support and intervention. This may include:

  • Direct support and advice to teaching staff (e.g. 6 sessions over the course of the school year).
  • Psychoeducational sessions for teaching and support staff (e.g. 1 - 2 sessions)
  • Production of written reports and/or attendance at reviews, conferences, etc.
  • Referral for work with the child and family (family therapy)
  • Referral for individual work with the child/young person (counselling, CBT, art therapy, sensory integration)

Supporting professionals in schools

In addition to providing individual work for children and families, CATS are able to work closely with school management and teaching staff. Our Associates bring a variety of experience to assist in the assessment of children who may be finding it difficult to cope in school.

We are able to offer general advice on neurodevelopmental and behavioural conditions to schools.We also can also offer pupil specific advice to those staff who will be working closely with a young person. Our associates have experience in the assessment and support of children with very challenging behaviour, including autism spectrum disorders, ADHD and mixed neurodevelopmental disorders.

Associates are able to call on the skills and experience of colleagues within CATS for additional expertise as required. We will also work closely and cooperatively with those professionals that may already be involved in the support of your child.

In addition we have links with other independent providers if we feel that the child or young person would require input from other specialists.

Supervision

Professional groups likely to benefit from high quality supervision are:

  • Child Psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists
  • Community paediatricians
  • Counsellors
  • Nurses
  • Social workers
  • Children’s guardians
  • Staff working in the voluntary sector
  • Staff working in residential facilities

At CATS, our associates have expertise in the fields of social communication disorders, challenging behaviour, sensory integration difficulties, developmental coordination disorders, speech disorders, learning disabilities, neuropsychological assessment and are available to offer supervision services.

Our associates all receive regular supervision and are required to maintain good levels of professional development and are able to support other groups of safe, informed and ethical practice.

 

“CATS has been established with the aim of providing benefit to children and young people who are vulnerable by virtue of their social, emotional and developmental needs”.