How long will I wait for an assessment date?
This varies depending upon how many referrals we have received at the time you apply. When we have reviewed your referral, we will be able to give you an idea of how long you are likely to have to wait for an assessment. Please do ring the centre and ask about current waiting times for up to date, specific information.
What should I bring to an assessment?
If you have a young child then please bring along whatever you think might put them at ease (e.g. a favourite toy). For older children, it is often useful if they bring their current school reading book. They may also want to bring a favourite book or computer game to keep them occupied while you are talking with our professionals.
Please make sure you bring your child’s hearing aids or cochlear implants and any batteries you may need. Also, if your child wears glasses or uses any other aids while in school (e.g. colour overlays when reading) then please bring these with you. Please also bring any recent reports that you were not able to send to us prior to the assessment day.
The Burwood Centre is equipped with tea, coffee, squash and biscuits. You might like to bring other snacks for your child. You can choose to bring a packed lunch to eat at the Centre or to go out for lunch. We are a short drive away from a Waitrose Restaurant and the Chieveley Services off the M4.
Who should I bring to an assessment day?
Occasionally parents like to bring along another relative or friend who can support them and this is fine. Local professionals, such as your child’s Teacher of the Deaf are also very welcome. Sometimes it is necessary for families to bring siblings along with them and if you have to do this, it is a good idea to bring something that will keep them amused. Please inform us before the assessment of any additional people who will be attending.
Please indicate on your referral form if you need an interpreter.
What happens on a typical assessment day?
We do tailor each and every assessment to suit the individual needs of the child and family. Typically, when a family arrives at the Burwood Centre they are given a little time to settle into our family room, which is equipped with kitchen facilities and toys. The professionals then meet with the parents to discuss relevant background information and clarify the aims of the day. The child is then assessed by team members. The assessments happen at the child’s pace and breaks occur as needed. Assessments are geared to the child’s developmental stage, which may include formal assessment tasks, observation and playbased assessment. Feedback is given as the day progresses and there is plenty of time for parents to discuss their concerns with our multidisciplinary team. The length of the day varies from child to child,. Assessments often begin at 9.30am and may last until 4pm.
How do we work with other professionals?
The Burwood Centre is occasionally commissioned by Local Authorities to provide a second opinion or a more in-depth multidisciplinary assessment. This tends to be for very complex children and/or where the Local Authority does not have access to any staff of their own with sufficient specialist training or knowledge. Sometimes the Local Authority might have a specific question; for example, does the child have an additional language or learning difficulty?
Whenever parents give us permission we are very happy to share assessment results and recommendations with the child’s local professionals. Sometimes we find that although a family has referred their child to the Burwood Centre themselves this has been recommended to them by a local professional, such as a Teacher of the Deaf or a Speech and Language Therapist.
Many families find out about the service provided by the Burwood Centre from their National Deaf Children’s Society’s representative. In this instance we are happy to liaise with the family’s NDCS representative to ensure that we give the information that is needed in order to address the family’s current needs from our assessment.
We are happy for professionals to join families on their visits to the Burwood Centre, provided that this is the family’s wish. We have welcomed families who have been accompanied by their local Teacher of the Deaf, Social Worker or NDCS representative.
Although we send the child’s Burwood report directly to the parents where they have commissioned the assessment, most parents then share this report with their local professionals so that what is known about their child is enhanced and any recommendations can be considered.
How Long will the report take to be written and issued?
We do get on with writing our reports as soon as we possibly can after the assessment day. It does take some time to write the detailed reports, put these all together and make sure they are proofread. Typically our reports are with families within 20 working days following their assessment, but we cannot guarantee that your reports will be with you any sooner than a month after your assessment. If you do need a report very rapidly, please let us know before your assessment day. The completed report reflects the final opinions of the professionals and will be amended only in the case of factual errors.
Are you able to visit and assess children in their schools or homes?
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide assessments in the child’s educational setting or home. We are only able to assess in the Centre or sometimes over a video link.