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Many children are referred to the Child Development Service due to difficulties with learning, especially when these difficulties cover a broad range of academic areas or are present in addition to other difficulties. The reasons why some children struggle with areas of learning are complex and a number of assessments may be required to understand why your child struggles in a particular area. In most cases where children are referred for concerns around learning, one of the first pieces of assessment will be a cognitive assessment.

Learning requires a number of different cognitive skills and a cognitive assessment helps us to understand your child’s strengths and weaknesses across these areas as well as giving us an overall estimate of their learning ability. Cognitive assessments require your child to participate in a number of small activities such as answering questions, completing puzzles, and playing with blocks. If your child is scheduled for a cognitive assessment, you can find further information about the process here.

One of the most common subsequent assessments looks to understand your child’s ability to function in everyday life. A standardised questionnaire is often used in conjunction with information about their adaptive functioning obtained during conversations with you, to understand how much their difficulties are impacting them in everyday life. For difficulties specifically about self-care, you can read more here.