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How can I help your child?

If you are looking for someone to support you and your child, to find ways of working with the environment they are in, to find solutions to the problems you face as opposed to telling you what is “wrong” with your child, to find your strengths, as well as your child’s and teacher’s strengths and work with these, then perhaps I may be the Educational Psychologist you are looking for.

When working with me through my Educational Psychology service – BlackLight Learning - I will be using a process called “consultation” to better support you, your child and hopefully their teacher as well. Educational Psychologists mean something quite particular when they use the term “consultation”. In this case, it means working with the supporting system, through the adults that know and support your child regularly, including you and their school.

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Many children have barriers to their learning or have different learning styles. This can be unpicked further through consultation. It doesn’t always have to be through an assessment, which can be time consuming, stressful for children (and parents), expensive and may not shed any new light on a situation or create the changes parents often seek.

The term ‘consultation’ is an evidence based approach, where Educational Psychologists work in partnership with others, to empower and encourage a sense of ownership over plans. Through consultation, the Educational Psychologist does not work in a detached way or carry out assessments. Consultation is not about ‘diagnosis’ or about telling anyone what to do. It respects that everyone has a voice and understanding of the situation presented.

Consultation is a solution focused approach, where we will identify what is going well and perhaps what could be a little better, but by always acknowledging that the strengths are within those supporting the child already. Change is seen through consultation, and it is these changes that benefit children, families and schools.

I believe that the experiences, observations and knowledge of those who do know your child well is enough to make a plan of support, and it is this plan of support that is important. It is the “what are we going to do to help?” that is important, not “what is wrong?”. Consultation is a way to find that path towards being helpful.

I will bring my knowledge of psychology and everyone else will bring their understanding of your child and their school system. In my many years of experience as an Educational Psychologist I have done numerous assessments and lengthy reports, but this experience has shown me that the most helpful part of my work is the consultations with those that are directly involved in supporting the child, in other words the parents and school.

What is the process of consultation?

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I offer a virtual consultation meeting with parents and school where I meet with the SENDCo, teacher and parents. Since Covid, we can work virtually now, and being virtual means that I can work with anyone in the country. It also means that I can help much more rapidly to a situation compared to the lengthy waiting lists for assessments.

It means we can get the conversation going quickly and a support plan in place, rather than waiting for a long report to arrive. It means that everyone agrees to the actions that could be helpful within their context. If people are signed up to the interventions and support, they are much more likely to happen than if they are told what to do.

First of all, it is really important that your child’s school is on board with this process if you would like my support to be in school.

During this consultation meeting, we come together, with everyone bringing their knowledge of your child's needs and strengths, and I bring my experience and psychological knowledge to make a plan of action to help move towards the positive changes that the adults in the child's life would like to see, which of course is different for everyone. So if you would like your child to be more confident in their social skills, or would like to help them with their literacy difficulties, for example, then that is what we would work towards.

Once the action plan is set, we have a review consultation all together a few months later to see how your child is getting along. Usually this is enough, but another meeting can always be scheduled if not.

Before we work together, I will email you a parental consent form and a school information form to complete prior to the consultation (if school are to be involved).

I will produce a report including an overview of your child's strengths and needs and agreed interventions to support your child. This is important as it captures the concerns but also what is going well and what everyone is going to do next. This will be the same process for the review, with a very brief report at the end.

Having worked in this way for some time now, I have seen only positive changes and I have not needed to assess any children to make these changes when using consultation. In my experience assessments usually tell people what they already know about the child but do not always make the impact that consultations can in terms of making life feel better for a child, their parents and their teacher.

What if I don’t want my child’s school involved and would like support at home?

There may be some circumstances where you don’t want to have the consultation with the school and may wish to have some support at home with your child, perhaps with their behaviour, social skills, what you can do to help with their literacy / numeracy skills etc. I can also offer support with this through a similar process.

What next?

If you think you would like to work with me then please email me the following information:
  • Your child's name and age
  • Your child's school or educational setting
  • Your concerns
  • Your contact details
  • Confirmation that your child’s school is on board for being supported through consultation and/or you would like a consultation with me on your own.

I will get in contact with you as soon as I can.

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My hourly rate is £100.