POLICies AND PROCEDURES
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Helping children with learning difficulties through LEARN, LIVE, GROW.
HEALTH POLICY UPDATE
PAYMENTS AND PROCEDURES
ACADEMIC INTERVENTION SERVICE AGREEMENT
NDIS SERVICE AGREEMENT
MEDICARE SERVICE AGREEMENT
HELPING CHILDREN WITH AUTISM OR BETTER START OR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITY
CHRONIC DISEASE MANAGEMENT PLAN
BETTER ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH
How do I decide which assessment my child needs?
There are many different types of assessments that we offer at PosAbility and each has a different purpose. Our academic assessments can provide information regarding your child’s current achievement level when compared to their same aged peers to inform the type of program or support they may need. Our diagnostic assessments are more comprehensive and provide a detailed assessment of your child’s processing and academic skills to determine if they meet the criteria for a Specific Learning Disorder diagnosis, such as Dyslexia. Our comprehensive psychometric assessments offer a broad and detailed assessment of your child’s intellectual functioning, processing skills and academic achievement, as well as screening for attention and other developmental concerns. If you are unsure of which assessment your child needs, we can guide you based on the information you provide on your initial appointment request form and through our initial intake process. We will take into account the purpose of the assessment, the information that you would require and the child’s age and current presentation.
What kind of improvement can I expect from a learning intervention program?
There are many factors that impact on the amount of improvement a child makes from any intervention program. At PosAbility, we only used evidence-based approaches and methods, which means that we know the programs and methods we use are effective for most children. However, there are many factors that impact on a child’s rate of progress, which include the frequency of sessions, the amount of practice completed at home, a child’s motivation as well as cognitive factors including attention, language skills and reasoning ability. We customize our programs to suit each child’s needs, which means we are regularly evaluating the effectiveness of our programs and the child’s rate of progress to ensure that we can make changes and adjust the program if needed.
I’ve heard that my child needs six months of intervention before a diagnosis of Specific Learning Disorder can be made. What does that mean?
To diagnose a Specific Learning Disorder, our psychologists use the DSM-5 criteria, which requires that a child has difficulties in the academic skills being tested that have persisted for over six months following targeted intervention. This is to rule out a lack of educational opportunity or poor instruction as the cause of the child’s delay in learning. Targeted intervention must be specialised intervention or tutoring in the skills that are being assessed. For Dyslexia, this includes explicit and systematic instruction in phonics, word reading, reading fluency and comprehension. For Dysgraphia, this would include instruction in spelling, punctuation, grammar and text structure at the sentence, paragraph and whole text level. For Dyscalculia, this would include instruction in number sense, place value, fluency in math facts, calculation skills and problem-solving. It is important that the intervention is evidence based and administered in a small group or individual basis. It should be planned around the child’s individual needs or skill level and include frequent opportunities for guided and independent practice of skills.
What programs or approaches do you use for academic intervention?
At PosAbility, our experienced consultants only use evidence-based methods and programs. We believe that there is no one program that addresses all the aspects of literacy and numeracy that should be incorporated into an intervention program and so draw on the best programs and methods for each child. For reading and spelling, we adopt a systematic synthetic phonics program based on Multisensory Language (MSL) or Orton Gillingham approach. We have a wide range of resources and programs that enable us to explicitly and systematically teach the five keys to reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. In spelling, we use a combination of direct instruction programs, such as SRA Spelling Mastery, and explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonology, orthography, morphology and etymology to build a child’s spelling skills. We explicitly teach writing skills from the word to whole-text level targeting individualised goals. In numeracy, we draw on the evidence-based methodologies to focus on number sense, numeration, numerical operations, math fluency and problem-solving skills. In addition, we assist children in generalising their number skills to curriculum areas, such as measurement and geometry. For more information about our approaches, we invite you to attend our information evening, where we outline the current evidence basis and PosAbility model for intervention.
What is the Intensive Intervention Program?
The intensive intervention program was created to provide an option for children that are experiencing significant learning challenges impacting on their ability to access or participate in the regular school curriculum. It is designed to support children at “Tier 3”, which means that they continue to have difficulties following some intervention at school and may have a range of difficulties in reading, spelling, writing and/or Mathematics. It draws on the latest scientific evidence regarding intervention for children with specific learning difficulties, including Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia. The intensive intervention program provides 8-12 hours of specialised intervention each week to cover at least two skills, such as reading and writing or reading and Mathematics. Each child receives a customised and individual program delivered daily for four days each week in a term, created by a program manager using evidence based programs and methods. For more information about our Intensive Intervention Program, please contact our admin team to find out the next date for our free information evening.
What does an Occupational Therapist do to help my child?
An occupational therapist assesses and provides support for children to develop the skills required for daily living. This includes developing their fine or gross motor skills, play and social skills, emotional regulation and sensory processing skills. The occupational therapists at PosAbility focus on the skills required for learning and developing independence within the home, school and community domains. Our occupational therapists provide programs to improve handwriting and literacy skills, planning and executive functioning skills and independence in tasks of daily living. Our occupational therapists focus on your child’s strengths to work in a family-centred way, considering the unique needs and goals of you, your child and their family.