The pre-assessment process is a great way to start to explore concerns with you.
Copyright Grow Communication Limited 2019

Families often contact us to enquire about an assessment for possible Autism Spectrum Condition.

Our pre-assessment is a good starting point for considering a private neurodevelopmental assessment. It can also be used to help the referral process to mainstream services such as CAHMS.

Examples of when a pre-assessment might be helpful:

  • It may be that this is a new concern for a young child who may be showing differences in their social communication and language development.  Families would like to better understand what their child is experiencing and how best to support them including which services they could be engaging with within NHS/Education
  • Some families contact with longer standing concerns which may be of a more subtle or complex nature, making it more challenging for a clear diagnosis to be made through mainstream services. 

We also offer a pre-assessment which allows families a holding place to set out their concerns, feel listened to in a non-judgemental supportive setting and for recommendations to be made regarding the most appropriate next steps. 

This assessment is with a specialist speech and language therapist who is experienced in assessing and identifying a range of difficulties/conditions.   

The Assessment Process

ENQUIRY STAGEInitial chat(via email, telephone, message)
Screening questionnaires sent out  
ASSESSMENT PREPARATIONParent/Carer returns the screening questionnaires a week before the assessment session.  
Grow therapist reviews and plans assessment based on information gathered so far
 ON ASSESSMENT DAYAssessment takes between 2-3 hours usually at the Grow Clinic. This is direct (but informal) assessment with the young person and their carer(s) in the clinic setting.
This is a relaxed and gentle session. The aim is to create a comfortable low-demand atmosphere to be able to explore with the young person and their family how they experience the world and the challenges that they face.   For younger children this is a play-based process and Grow has a well-equipped clinic. 
This may involve seeing the young person alone, or together with their family – we are always guided by the wishes of the young person and what is comfortable for them.   Some families arrange for their young person to be there for part of the session then arrange for them to return home while they continue their discussion with us.  This can be helpful so that the more challenging aspects can be discussed openly.   If attending the clinic is not feasible (for some young people attending a new place is not possible) then an alternative location could be used.
FOLLOWING ASSESSMENTOnce the direct assessment is over the Speech and Language Therapist will formulate what they have assessed, write this up into a profile formulation report. 
We identify key support strategies and recommendations for moving forward.
FEEDBACK SESSIONA telephone feedback session is offered following receipt of report to discuss the recommendations and agree next steps
POST ASSESSMENTFollowing the pre-assessment, Grow Communication is able to promptly offer input for the agreed next steps.  

Due to unprecedented demand, we are putting a hold on accepting new enquiries to ensure that we can continue to offer our high standard of service to families. This is a temporary measure.
We will start accepting enquiries again on Friday 11th of June. We understand that there is a high level of need for support and the team are working hard to be available to as many people as possible.
We appreciate your understanding and patience

Katy Laing/Jude Philip Directors