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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Where would I go to, to have my 9 year old's written expression assessed ?

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    Vikki Rose Graydon

    Speech Pathologist

    Executive Principal of CHI.L.D. Association since 2005. CHI.L.D. runs The Glenleighden School in Fig Tree Pocket, Brisbane, the only school in Australia providing a multidisciplinary … View Profile

    Hi Catherine,  My advice is to find a team of professionals who can look at not only the skill level of a child's written expression, but also at the underlying features or skills which may be the reason that written expression is not up to scratch.  As the act of writing is one of the most complex functions that a human being can learn, it is important initially to rule out any hearing or visual problems.  Assuming that these are okay, you may then want to look at an auditory processing (or central auditory processing) assessment with an audiologist and a visual processing assessment with an occupational therapist.  As Carly has indicated, a thorough language assessment (including an in depth phonological awareness assessment) with a speech language pathologist may be indicated as well as a fine motor assessment by an occupational therapist as writing incorporates the use of the fine motor muscles in the hand. A psychologist may also be able to give some insight into the executive thinking skills a child might need for writing language.

    To narrow this down, your initial step is to see someone with an experienced overview of all aspects of development contributing to written language (eg an educational developmental psychologist) who may be able to analyse the nature of the written expression diffiulties and recommend which field or fields in which to conduct further investigation (eg are the difficulties primarily spelling, grammar, or legibility, or a combination?).

    It is important to get to the root of the problem as early as possible.

  • Aphrodite Zoitas is a qualified Psychologist specialising in Educational and Developmental Psychology. She has experience in working with children, adolescents and their families to provide … View Profile

    An educational and developmental psychologist can assess written expression. The assessment should include a lengthy educational assessment, which is not limited to written expression, but one which examines other ares of educational concern for the child; including but not limited to oral expression, reading ability and comprehension, spelling, listening comprehension and mathematics.

    Teachers with specialised training can also offer assistance in the assessment of educational difficulties, including written expression.

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