Psychotherapists are not qualified to diagnose learning disorders. However, they can conduct psychoeducational assessments in order to identify a learner's strengths and areas of need. Heather has expertise in conducting cognitive, behaviour and academic achievement testing in order to identify an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as making recommendations to assist parents, therapists, care providers and educators to address an individual's learning profile. She reports her findings to parents/care providers and/or therapists/educators to assist them in making informed decisions about the best ways to support the individual. While she will not provide a diagnosis, she can identify characteristics suggestive of a disorder or need, which can then help inform a diagnosis to be made by a registered health professional (i.e., psychologist, developmental paediatrician, etc.).
Parents, therapists or schools frequently opt for a psycho-educational assessment because the information obtained helps inform how best to support a student in the classroom and while completing homework. Usually, a psycho-educational assessment is substantially more affordable than that of a private psychologist and the wait period for the assessment and results is significantly shorter than for psychological services available publicly (e.g., through school boards, hospitals, etc.). A psycho-educational assessment may take place over a day, or over several days, depending on the complexity of the case and the available information.
Once a child's needs have been identified, ensuring his/her educational goals are suitable to him/her is an ongoing process. Heather can consult with parents to review their child's progress and needs. She can assist them to identify goals and develop strategies for meeting those goals at home, in the community and at school.
When selecting a psycho-educational consultant to assess your child, you should consider the following:
Education: s/he will have completed a Masters degree in psychology, and has completed specific courses in assessment. Experience: s/he will have experience conducting psychological/psycho-educational experience under the supervision of a psychologist or psychological associate. Results: s/he will identify the client’s unique learning and developmental profile. S/he will not provide a diagnosis; the results obtained by a psycho-educational consultant may inform a diagnosis, which can be made by a psychologist, psychological associate, paediatrician or developmental paediatrician. Recommendations: she will make recommendations to assist the client to achieve his/her potential at school and at home, based upon the findings of the assessment.
Blue Heron Psychotherapy Services does NOT offer crisis or emergency services. If this is an emergency or crisis, please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital emergency room.