Follow Child Psychologists in South Africa on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook


Reading is one of the most fundamental skills children need to learn to be successful. Not only do good reading skills benefit students academically, they are also a skill required for lifelong success. Reading develops vocabulary, increases attention span, and promotes stronger analytical thinking.

Getting Your Child Interested in Reading

The key to encouraging reading habits in kids is reading with them at home from a young age. By reading together often, your child will learn first-hand the joys reading can bring, helping him or her develop a motivation to read.

However, every student learns and processes information differently. This means that some children may have a natural love of reading, and some may not.

If your child falls into the second category, don’t fret. As parents, there are many different strategies you can use to motivate your child to read.

First, it’s important to figure out why your child doesn’t like reading.

Why Does My Child Hate Reading?

Not every child loves to read. Some common reasons children don’t like to read include:

  • Your child feels like reading is a chore
  • Your child has difficulty reading
  • Your child thinks reading is boring
  • Your child hasn’t found the right book yet

The good news is that when you know why your child doesn’t like to read, you can address the issue and begin to make reading more enjoyable.

By learning to make reading fun, your child is more likely to develop a love of reading, encouraging better reading habits and making learning easier.

10 Ways to Encourage Good Reading Habits in Kids

Try these 10 easy tips to encourage good reading habits in your child by making reading fun.

Create A Reading Area

Make an area for your child to read in with his or her help. Grab a bean bag chair, fun accessories, a variety of books, and your child will have his or her own cozy reading corner.

Encourage Reading at Home and Everywhere In Between

Teach your child that reading is more than just for books. Practice reading menus, movie names, road signs, game instructions, and more—show your child reading is everywhere.

Set an Example

Act as a role model and read in front of your child. Watching you reading magazines, newspapers, and books shows your child that reading is important. Encourage your child to join you with his or her own book while you are reading.

Make Connections Between Reading and Real Life

Help your child apply what he or she is reading to everyday life. Making connections between books and your child’s own experience can help increase his or her interest in reading.

Keep Reading Materials in The House

Give your child easy access to books and other reading materials at home. This helps him or her understand that reading doesn’t only happen at school—it can happen anywhere.

Visit Your Local Library

Making reading fun can be easy with a library card. Take advantage of the selection at your local public library by letting your child pick out a book that catches his or her attention.

Talk About What Your Child Is Reading

After your child has finished a book, talk about what happened and ask what his or her favourite part was. This will enhance your child’s comprehension skills, and make reading a family activity.

Expose Your Child to Different Book Genres

Find a book that interests your child. Explore different genres like mystery, science-fiction, comic books, and more. The more interested your child is in a subject, the more he or she will be excited to read!

Support Your Child

If your child has difficulty reading and gets frustrated, take a step back and see where he or she is struggling. Talk with his or her teacher and address the issue as soon as possible.

Read Each Night

Make reading part of your child’s night-time routine. This habit helps your child learn to associate reading with relaxation.

Reading Should Be Fun, Not Frustrating!

Use these tips to get your child interested in reading so he or she can become an even better learner. With a little focus and direction, you can help give your child the reading boost he or she needs.

For more information about the importance of reading, or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at  anel@childpsych.co.za.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The importance of reading cannot be emphasised enough in young children, and we as parents need to make every day reading a high priority.

Many studies show that toddlers and pre-schoolers who are reading every day have a larger vocabulary than those who aren’t read to at all. It turns out that reading there are many advantages and benefits of reading.

Not only does reading enhance a child’s vocabulary, and to help them understand how to read and write, but reading aloud to children also helps them to understand different topics about the world and everyday life.

Below are some benefits and advantages that highlight the importance of reading with kids.

1. Reading to young children sets them up to succeed

The more you read to your children, the more knowledge they absorb, and knowledge is important in all aspects of life. There have many studies that show reading to babies and toddlers gives them a head start and helps to prepare them for school later down the line.

After all, reading with your children gives them the skills needed for when they start to read themselves.

2. Reading is important to develop language skills

While you may speak with your children every day, the vocabulary you use is often limited and repetitive. Reading books ensures that your child is exposed to vocabulary on different topics, which means they hear words or phrases which they may not hear otherwise in their day to day lives.

The more words they know, the better. For children who speak more than one language, reading is an easy way to help develop their language skills and is important to develop their fluency. These skills alone show the importance of reading.

3. Exposure to reading exercises your child’s brain

Reading to young children affects their brain activity and may just give them that boost they need to support and promote their early reading skills.

Research shows that specific areas of the brain are affected when young children have reading exposure at home from an early age. These areas are critical for a child’s language development.

4. Reading enhances a child’s concentration

While you may think it is useless reading to a toddler who wants to constantly turn pages, swap books, or throw them around altogether, reading with your little one is extremely important at this age.

By consistently reading to your child every day, your child will learn to concentrate and sit still for longer periods of time, which can help later on when they go to school.

5. Reading together encourages a thirst for knowledge

Reading to your children leads to questions about the book and the information within. It gives you a chance to speak about what is happening and use this as a learning experience. It may also develop an interest in different cultures or languages. There is nothing better seeing a child who loves to learn.

6. A range of books teaches children about different topics

Don’t underestimate the importance of reading diverse books. Providing your child with different types of books on different topics, or even in different languages for bilingual kids, gives them a wide range of information for them to learn.

There are informative books on topics such as different animals, places or objects etc, and there are also different books to help teach children about important life skills such as sharing, being kind, and diversity. There are also some amazing personalized books which make great gifts!

If you can’t afford, or don’t have access to many books, there are many free online books for kids.

7. Reading develops a child’s imagination and creativity

One of the great benefits of reading with children is watching their growing imagination. When we really engage in a book, we imagine what the characters are doing. We imagine the setting as reality.

Seeing the excitement in a child’s eyes when they know what is going to be on the next page, or having them guess what is going to happen is one of the most amazing things to experience.

8. Reading books with children helps to develop empathy

When a child can put himself into the story it helps them to develop empathy. They identify with characters, and they feel what they are feeling. Children begin to understand and relate to emotions.

9. Books are a form of entertainment

With so much technology these days, it is difficult not to get caught up in all the hype of it all. TV, Video games, smart phones and apps are popular among children. However, reading a good book that your child is interested in can be just as entertaining.

With all of the negative effects of screen time, choosing a book that interests your child, and either reading it together, or letting them flick through pages alone, is definitely a better option.

One of the main benefits that highlights the importance of reading with babies and toddlers, is that they are more likely to choose a book to read for pleasure over another activity when they are bored.

10. Reading together helps to create a bond

There’s nothing better than cuddling up to your little one and reading a book or a bedtime story together. Spending time with one another, reading, and talking, can bring parents closer to your children.

For parents who work, or have a busy lifestyle, relaxing with your child and simply enjoying each other’s company while reading can be a great way for you both to wind down, relax, and bond.

For more information about the importance of reading, or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at  anel@childpsych.co.za.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Patterns of reading difficulty provide an educationally useful way to think about different kinds of reading problems, whether those are mainly experiential in nature (those common among English learners) or associated with disabilities (those typical of children with dyslexia).

We look at how teachers can use assessments to identify various reding problems in children and help them overcome it.

Types of Reading Difficulties

the three common patterns (often termed profiles) of poor reading involve specific word-reading difficulties (SWRD), specific reading comprehension difficulties (SRCD), and mixed reading difficulties (MRD).

Children with SWRD have problems related specifically to reading words, not to core comprehension areas such as vocabulary or background knowledge. Those with SRCD have the opposite pattern: poor reading comprehension despite at least average word-reading skills. And those with MRD have a combination of weaknesses in word-reading skills and core comprehension areas.

Knowledge of these patterns is useful for helping students with many kinds of reading problems—not only those involving certain disabilities but also more experientially based reading difficulties, such as those sometimes found among English learners or children from low-socioeconomic-status backgrounds.

Determining Patterns of Reading Difficulties

The three types of difficulties mentioned in the preceding section involve underlying patterns of strengths and weaknesses in specific language and reading abilities, sometimes termed components of reading. Important components of reading include phonemic awareness, word decoding, fluent text reading, vocabulary, and listening comprehension.

The first step in determining a struggling reader’s pattern involves assessment of these abilities that underlie reading development.

Effective Instruction and Interventions for Each Pattern

Interventions differ in various ways. Children with SWRD typically require highly explicit, systematic phonics intervention. More advanced students with SWRD — those learning to decode two-syllable or multisyllabic words — often benefit from learning syllabication strategies and structural analysis.

Children with SRCD need interventions focused on the specific comprehension areas in which they are weak. Children with MRD need phonics interventions and opportunities to apply decoding skills in reading text, coupled with explicit teaching targeting their specific comprehension weaknesses.

Of course, most classroom teachers have very limited time for implementing interventions with struggling readers. However, information about common types of reading difficulties can still be helpful to general educators in differentiating classroom instruction.

A primary-grade teacher could differentiate instruction through small flexible groups, with one group to meet the most frequent needs of third graders with SWRD (e.g., additional explicit phonics instruction focused on syllabication and decoding of two-syllable and multisyllabic words) and another to meet the most frequent needs of those with SRCD (e.g., additional instruction in vocabulary and background knowledge).

Children with MRD might participate in both groups. This approach is unlikely to meet the needs of all struggling readers in a class, but it could still benefit many students.

Additional Information About the Patterns

Each pattern of reading difficulties may emerge relatively early or relatively later in schooling, with early-emerging problems generally defined as reading difficulties evident by grade 3 and late-emerging problems as those first manifesting in grade 4 or later.

Early-emerging reading difficulties often involve problems in decoding — that is, either an SWRD or MRD pattern (Leach et al., 2003)—because learning to decode is central to children’s early reading development.

Take Action!
  • Identify a struggling or at-risk reader in your classroom.
  • Consider available assessment data, and administer any additional assessments of language or reading needed to help you identify the child’s pattern of reading difficulty.
  • Think about whether the child’s difficulties involve decoding only, comprehension only, or a combination of both areas. If the child has problems in reading fluency, consider whether those problems involve decoding, language comprehension, or a combination of both areas. Also, consider the child’s strengths.
  • If you are struggling to identify exactly what aspect of reading is struggling with, refer them to an educational psychology assessment to help pinpoint the problem and advise the correct action plan going forward.  
  • Decide on the child’s pattern of reading difficulty.
  • Use this information to differentiate instruction or plan an intervention. Also, decide the best way to monitor the child’s progress.

For more information about reading problems in children, or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at  anel@childpsych.co.za.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

It’s undeniable that a child’s reading skills are important to their success in school, work, and life in general. And it is very possible to help ensure your child’s success by reading to them starting at a very early age. Here are some of the top reasons that reading to your children is beneficial to them in the long run.

Supported Cognitive Development

Reading to young children is proven to improve and help along the process of cognitive development. Cognitive development is the emergence of the ability to think and understand; it’s “the construction of thought processes, including remembering, problem solving, and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood”.

It refers to how a person perceives and thinks about his or her world through areas such as information processing, intelligence, reasoning, language development, and memory.

Improved Language Skills

Reading daily to young children, starting in infancy, can help with language acquisition and literacy skills. This is because reading to your children in the earliest months stimulates the part of the brain that allows them to understand the meaning of language and helps build key language, literacy and social skills.

In fact, a recent brain scan study found that “reading at home with children from an early age was strongly correlated with brain activation in areas connected with visual imagery and understanding the meaning of language” (TIME.com).

This is especially important when you consider that, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than one in three American children start kindergarten without the skills they need to learn to read.

About two-thirds of children can’t read proficiently by the end of the third grade.

Prepare for Academic Success

Reading to your child is a true one-on-one opportunity for children to communicate with their parents and parents to communicate with their children.

Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well when they reach their period of formal education.

According to a study completed by the University of Michigan, there are five early reading skills that are essential for development. They are:

  • Phonemic awareness – Being able to hear, identify, and play with individual sounds in spoken words.
  • Phonics – Being able to connect the letters of written language with the sounds of spoken language.
  • Vocabulary – The words kids need to know to communicate effectively.
  • Reading comprehension – Being able to understand and get meaning from what has been read.
  • Fluency (oral reading) – Being able to read text accurately and quickly.

While children will encounter these skills once they reach elementary school and beyond, you can help jumpstart their reading success by reading to them during infancy and their early years.

When it comes to reading to your children, the benefits range far beyond the development of a close bond with them, although that’s certainly one of them.

Reading aloud to children is truly the single-most important activity for building these understanding and skills essential for reading success that your child will carry with them all throughout their life.

For more information about the importance of reading, or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at  anel@childpsych.co.za.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Play is critical for children’s development because it provides time and space for children to explore and gain skills needed for adult life. Children’s playtime has steadily decreased due to limited access to play spaces, changes in the way children are expected to spend their time, parent concerns for safety, and digital media use.

Between 1981 and 1997, the amount of time children spent playing dropped by 25 percent. During this same time period, children ages 3-11 lost 12 hours a week of free time and spent more time at school, completing homework, and shopping with parents.

What Counts as Play?

Play can be defined as “any spontaneous or organized activity that provides enjoyment, entertainment, amusement or diversion.” When children play, they engage with their environment in a safe context in which ideas and behaviours can be combined and practiced.

Children enhance their problem solving and flexible thinking, learn how to process and display emotions, manage fears and interact with others. Free, unstructured play allows children to practice making decisions without prompted instructions or the aim of achieving an end goal. They can initiate their own freely chosen activities and experiment with open-ended rules.

Children’s playtime continues to decrease as a result of:

  • Electronic media replacing playtime – 8 to 10-year olds spend nearly 8 hours a day engaging with different media, and 71% of children and teenagers have a TV in their bedroom
  • Less time spent playing outside – a study following young children’s play found that kids under 13 years old sometimes spend less than 30 minutes a week outside.
  • Perceived risk of play environments – in one study, 94% of parents cited safety concerns, e.g. street traffic and stranger danger, as a factor influencing where their children play.
  • Limited access to outdoor play spaces-only 20% of homes in the U.S. are located within a half-mile of a park.

As a result of reduced playtime, children are spending less time being active, interacting with other children, and building essential life skills, such as executive functioning skills, that they will use as adults.

Increasing Playtime for Children

To help provide advice to families with different values, styles of play, and communication, health professionals can offer these recommendations:

  • Allow for 1 hour a day of unstructured, free play
  • Limit child’s media time to less than 1 to 2 hours a day
  • No media usage for children under 2
  • Establish “screen free zones” by keeping TVs, computers and video games out of children’s bedrooms
  • Limit “background media” use during playtime and family activities because it is distracting for children and adults
  • Establish a plan for media use, e.g. when and where media is used and length of time child uses media

These are just some of the ways you can re-introduce playtime for your children. If you are unsure of the benefits, or how it can impact your child, you can speak to a professional child psychologist for helpful tips and guidance.

For more information about the importance of play, or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at  anel@childpsych.co.za.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

If you are looking to understand more about your child’s educational development, you may choose to have a professional educational assessment done. But there is more than one type of assessment, so how do you know which one is best?

We look at the three main types of educational assessments that are often performed by qualified educational psychologists.

Career Choice Assessments

Career choice assessments are aimed at anyone who wants to make a decision about their career. Educational Psychologists work both with adolescents nearing the end of their school career, as well as older individuals who have already set out on a career path and are considering a change in this path.

A career choice assessment usually consists of the following:

  • Aptitude Test
  • Personality Test
  • Values Assessment

The results of all the above tests are then integrated and recommendations made with regards to career choice.

School Readiness Assessments

School-readiness assessments are a subset of psycho-educational assessments and are usually recommended for children in the last term of their Grade R year.

Parents are often confused by the term school-ready. They might be told that their child is not school-ready, while the Schools Act stipulates that all children must start school (Grade 1) in the year that they turn 7. Put very simply, a child is considered school ready when deemed to be able to cope with the formal demands of schooling.  

Here are some of the things that are tested for in these assessments:

  • Intellectual assessment (IQ test)
  • Visual and auditory perceptual skills
  • Concept development
  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills
  • Emotional screening
Learning Difficulties Assessments

The earlier learning difficulties are identified and an effective intervention program is started, the better the chance of improving long term outcomes.

In fact, research shows that when the right learning strategies and support are put in place early enough, positive results can be quickly achieved and maintained over the long term.

When a learning difficulty assessment is completed and it is determined that a child has a learning difficulty, an application for a concession can be made.

Concession assessments are generally required by schools, education departments and the IEB when applying for learners to be granted the following concessions during examinations:

  • Extra time
  • A prompter
  • A scribe (someone to write down their answers)
  • A reader (someone to read the exam paper for them)
  • Amanuensis (A person who reads and scribes for the learner)
  • Spelling concessions
  • Handwriting concessions (for learners who suffer from Dysgraphia)
  • Braille
  • Enlarged print
  • Use of a computer

In order to qualify for a concession, learners need to have been assessed and to show at least average intellectual ability and a significant long-term learning disability which will compromise examination performance.

For more information about the different types of educational assessments or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at  anel@childpsych.co.za.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

When it comes to education, all children have difficulties at school from time to time. It’s normal for an otherwise bright child to, for example, struggle with math. It’s also normal for children to have difficult weeks or months socially and behaviourally.

However, if your child continues to struggle greatly and consistently in certain areas despite classroom accommodations, it would likely be valuable to seek out a professional educational assessment.

Additionally, some signs that your child would probably benefit from such an assessment include:

  • A progressively worsening attitude toward school
  • Persistently disruptive behaviour in class
  • A failure to learn basic intellectual, social, or behavioural skills

It’s important to note that a child who is exhibiting disruptive behaviour at school but not at home is likely suffering from a learning disability rather than a behavioural issue.

A child suffering from an undiagnosed LD will often act out due to confusion, frustration, or simply the desire to create a distraction (either to avoid doing work he cannot easily complete or to avoid looking vulnerable in front of his peers).

What are Educational Assessments?

Children are often referred to Educational Psychologists when they have behavioural, academic, or emotional difficulties. An educational assessment aims to measure intellectual, cognitive, academic, and emotional development to assist in understanding your child’s overall functioning.

This is necessary to identify specific strengths and weaknesses, with the aim of optimizing potential through appropriate support and intervention. The earlier barriers to learning are identified, the better. Timely intervention increases the likelihood of improvement and progress.

A psycho-educational assessment is the first step to identifying correct interventions to assist in overcoming challenges your child may be experiencing in the classroom or at home.

How Does an Assessment Work?

An educational assessment typically begins with an interview with the parents. This is an important part of the process, as the child psychologist uses this opportunity to understand your child’s history and background. It is necessary to gain a clear picture of the reason for the assessment, as this will determine the types of tests used.

After the initial interview, the assessment sessions take place. This can be a lengthy process. The psychologist will spend time with your child, administering a selection of psychometric assessments.

Following the completion of these sessions, the psychologist will write the report according to the results of the psychometric tests. The report is usually explained to the parents during a feedback session, and they may be provided with resources to support where needed.

For more information about the educational assessments or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at  anel@childpsych.co.za.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

There are often challenges in early childhood development, especially in terms of learning. Younger children across the world often have challenges that result in them having difficulty learning in the same way others do. In Europe, for example, around 15% of school children have special academic needs. These barriers to learning are important to understand, especially from a teacher or parent perspective, in order to help children achieve their goals.

What are Barriers to Learning?

Barriers to learning range from Severe and Complex learning difficulties at the low end of the spectrum to Giftedness at the high end of the spectrum. Between these two extremes will be a range of more specific learning difficulties which include Dyslexia, Dyspraxia (DCD), Dyscalculia, ADD and ADHD; conditions nowadays common in our homes and classrooms.


In primary school, increasing workloads can be hard for students to keep up with. For some kids, this is when symptoms of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) first become noticeable – and teachers may see signs before parents do.

Here are some ways ADHD can impact learning in primary school:

  • Starts assignments but doesn’t complete them
  • Is always talking
  • Doesn’t do well in groups
  • Appears to be daydreaming during classes

Research indicates that from 30-50 percent of children with ADHD also have a specific learning disability, and that the two conditions can interact to make learning extremely challenging.

ADHD is a condition that becomes apparent in some children in the preschool and early school years. It is hard for these children to control their behaviour and/or pay attention. The principle characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

There are three subtypes of ADHD recognized by professionals:

  • Predominantly hyperactive or impulsive – does not show significant inattention;
  • Predominantly inattentive – does not show significant hyperactive-impulsive behaviour;
  • Combined – displays both inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive symptoms.

Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability in math. Kids with dyscalculia may have difficulty understanding number-related concepts or using symbols or functions needed for success in mathematics.

Dyscalculia is a lifelong condition that makes it hard for kids to perform math-related tasks. It’s not as well known or understood as dyslexia. But some experts believe it’s just as common.

Here are some of the possible signs of dyscalculia:

  • Has trouble learning to count and skips over numbers long after kids the same age can remember numbers in the right order.
  • Struggles to recognize patterns, such as smallest to largest or tallest to shortest.
  • Has trouble recognizing number symbols (knowing that “7” means seven).
  • Doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of counting. For example, when asked for five blocks, she just hands you an armful, rather than counting them out.

Testing for dyscalculia should be done as part of a full evaluation. That way, any other learning and attention issues can be picked up at the same time.


Dyslexia is a lifelong condition that makes it difficult for people to read. It’s the most common learning issue, although it’s not clear what percentage of kids have it.

Some experts believe the number is between 5 and 10 percent. Others say as many as 17 percent of people show signs of reading issues. The reason for the wide range is that experts may define dyslexia in different ways.

Dyslexia is mainly a problem with reading accurately and fluently. Kids with dyslexia may have trouble answering questions about something they’ve read. But when it’s read to them, they may have no difficulty at all.

Dyslexia can create difficulty with other skills, however. These include:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Writing
  • Math

Signs and symptoms of dyslexia in pre-school children:

  • Has trouble recognizing whether two words rhyme
  • Struggles with taking away the beginning sound from a word
  • Struggles with learning new words
  • Has trouble recognizing letters and matching them to sounds

Many kids have more than one learning and attention issue. There are a number of issues that often co-occur with dyslexia. There are also issues that have symptoms that can look like dyslexia, which is why testing for dyslexia should be part of a full learning evaluation.


If your child struggles with motor skills, you might hear people describe it using two different names. Dyspraxia is one. Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is the other. These terms aren’t totally interchangeable. But they describe many of the same difficulties.

Dyspraxia refers to trouble with movement. That includes difficulty in four key skills:

  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills
  • Motor planning
  • Coordination

If your child struggles with motor skills, there are lots of ways you can help. Working with the school and with specialists can help your child get the best possible help.

Other Barriers to Learning

There are various other barriers to learning that should also be noted, these include:

  • Emotional and health barriers
  • Financial issues
  • Cultural and social issues
  • Language and education
  • Barriers within the academic system
  • Lack of potential development

Barriers to learning can be internal (originating within the child) or external (circumstances in the child’s development). Also, sometimes barriers to learning may compound – think for instance of a physically disabled child in a poor community.  His parents may worry that he will not be able to contribute meaningfully to the family income one day and choose not to send him to school, but rather spend their resources on his able-bodied sibling’s education.

When it comes to these and other barriers to learning, it is very important for us to be aware of them, so that we can remove them for our children and also find ways to prevent these barriers from becoming an issue in the first place.

For more information about early childhood development or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at  anel@childpsych.co.za.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

When it comes to your child’s development, it’s always important to ensure that they are developing and learning as they should. However, if you feel they aren’t – and the strategies put in place by their teachers are not making a difference, getting an educational assessment from an experienced educational psychologist may be the next step.

What are Educational Assessments?

In short, educational assessment is a tool used to provide parents and teachers with important information about a child’s growth and development. The process includes gathering information, processing that information, and using it to plan educational activities that are done at the level the child can understand and learn from.

Educational assessments can be a great benefit for any child. However, with different types of assessments available, it is always recommended to speak to an experienced educational psychologist to determine the type of assessment required.

The first step in any educational assessment is an aptitude test, to determine the child’s intellectual strengths, IQ and performance on various cognitive tasks essential to learning.

Educational assessments vary greatly depending on the child’s specific background, age and the reason for the assessment.

There are generally four different types of assessments available, which are:

  • School readiness assessments
  • Assessments for learning difficulties
  • Subject choice assessments
  • Career choice assessments

Assessments can be arranged by a school and in this case an appointment with an educational psychologist will be made. Private assessments may also be required by parents.

The psychologist will look at many aspects of the child’s development and educational environment, including classwork, speaking to teachers as well as the child, and often giving the child tests to determine their intellectual development.

School readiness assessments can include an evaluation of the child’s gross and fine motor skills, visual and auditory perceptual skills, which are all essential to the child’s development.

Finally, an emotional assessment is also done to determine the emotional maturity of a child. This is important to make sure that they can cope with the demands of formal education.

The Benefits of Educational Assessments

There are many benefits to professional educational assessments, including:

  • Providing teachers and parents with important information about a child’s development and growth;
  • Identifying children who may need additional support;
  • Helping teachers plan individualised instructions for a child or group of children;
  • Identifying the strengths and weaknesses of an educational program and how well the program meets the needs of the children.

Educational psychologists are well trained to make children feel at ease and relate to them during these sessions and most children have a very positive experience – often with a lot of great fun too. Remember that the results of an assessment can change a child’s educational future in significant ways, allowing the child to meet or exceed educational expectations.

For more information about the different types of educational assessments or to book a consultation, contact Anel Annandale at 021 423 0739 or via email at  anel@childpsych.co.za.

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview