Children

Psychodiagnostic Assessment

A psychodiagnostic assessment aims to clarify, and if appropriate, diagnose, concerns in the areas of behavior, emotional functioning, mood, anxiety, and personality traits. Typically, the process involves a combination of clinical interviews, observations, and questionnaires to collect all pertinent information. In some cases, cognitive tests may also be appropriate. Based on the findings, a comprehensive report will summarize the assessment activities and findings, as well as provide recommendations for treatment and management of symptoms at home and in other contexts (e.g. school or work).

Psychoeducational Assessment

A psychoeducational assessment aims to clarify, and if appropriate, diagnose concerns related to academic functioning. Typically, the process involves a combination of clinical interviews, observations, behavior and symptom questionnaires, as well as cognitive, memory, and academic testing. Cognitive testing involves assessing cognitive skills, such as verbal reasoning, spatial reasoning, problem solving, and more. Memory testing involves assessing specific memory skills, such as visual and verbal recall and recognition. Academic testing involves assessing specific academic skills in the areas of reading, writing, math, and oral expression. Based on the findings, a comprehensive report will summarize the assessment activities and findings, as well as provide recommendations for addressing these difficulties at home and at school. The recommendations outline specific strategies to use to support a child’s learning by relying on their areas of strength. If necessary, school consultations may also be provided to assist in the implementation of the recommendations.

Giftedness Assessment

A giftedness assessment aims to identify children and adolescents who would be considered gifted. Giftedness is a term that applies to individuals who perform in the extremely high ranges compared to others of the same developmental level. Importantly, it is possible to display giftedness in some areas and not in others, and this can actually cause some academic, social, and emotional challenges, making it important to assess. Similar to a psychoeducational assessment, a giftedness assessment involves a combination of clinical interviews, observations, behavior and symptom questionnaires, as well as cognitive, memory, and academic testing (described further above). Based on the findings, a comprehensive report will summarize the assessment activities and findings, as well as provide recommendations for supporting the individual’s needs at school and at home.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism spectrum disorder is a diagnosis that describes individuals with difficulties in social communication and social interaction, as well as difficulties with restricted behavior, interests, and/or activities. It is important that a child who displays difficulties in these areas be specifically assessed for these symptoms. Usually, an assessment involves in depth observation, clinical interviews, and symptom rating questionnaires. In some cases, cognitive measures may also be used. Based on the findings, a comprehensive report will summarize the assessment activities and findings, as well as provide recommendations for supporting the individual’s needs at school and at home.

Neuropsychological

A neuropsychological assessment aims to comprehensively understand a child or youth’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Compared to a psychoeducational assessment, a neuropsychological assessment involves measuring additional cognitive abilities, such as auditory and visual processing, sensory perception, motor functions and executive functions. Based on the findings, a comprehensive report will summarize the assessment activities and findings, as well as provide recommendations for supporting the individual’s needs at home and in other contexts (e.g. school or work).

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Individual therapy is a process by which clients work with a trained professional in a warm and supportive environment to help them understand how their thoughts, beliefs and past experiences may be contributing to their negative emotions and maladaptive behaviours. With the professional, clients identify personal goals and work towards attaining those goals through evidence-based approaches. People seek individual therapy for many reasons. It can treat specific mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, it can provide an understanding of how past experiences contribute to an individual’s current state, or it can be used as a means for growth and self-actualization.

At CAFCO, we provide individual therapy for the following presenting problems in children:

  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Depression
  • School refusal
  • Trauma
  • Opposition
  • Aggression
  • Emotion regulation
  • Self-esteem
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Social skills
  • Learning Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Intellectual or developmental delays
  • Giftedness
  • Parent-child conflicts
  • Adjustment difficulties
  • Grief
  • Parenting
  • Co-parenting
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An alternative to individual therapy is group therapy. Group therapy is an effective way to deliver evidence-based treatment.  In group therapy, one or two therapists facilitate a group of individuals dealing with similar issues. Group therapy can be as effective as individual therapy and it offers many benefits, including support, encouragement and understanding of other people who are overcoming similar problems. Groups are typically covered by most health care benefits and private insurance plans.

FRIENDS for Life is an evidence based social skills and resilience building program developed by Dr. Paula Barrett in Australia. It has been recognized and endorsed by the World Heath Organization as an effective means to prevent anxiety for children aged 8-11. FRIENDS for Life has been shown in scientific studies to reduce anxiety, both in the short term and over time, and to provide participants with tools to cope in stressful and challenging situations across a number of settings and cultures:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12310-010-9042-5
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15374424jccp3503_5
https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-12-86
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/camh.12030/full

In addition to anxiety treatment, FRIENDS for Life also helps to improve participants’ social and emotional skills, ability to focus, confidence, and the capacity to relax and regulate emotions.

We currently have two tutoring groups being offered at CAFCO:

  • Reading Support Program
    Children in grades 2-4 who have learning difficulties or who have been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disorder in reading (dyslexia) work in small groups with a qualified tutor following evidence-informed reading programs. Children will learn strategies to help them decode, read with fluency and read with confidence. They will also learn skills to help promote reading comprehension. To register for the next group please click here
  • Homework Program
    Completing homework with parents can often result in tension and frustration. The homework program provides children the opportunity to complete their weekly homework with a qualified tutor, allowing you to spend more positive time with your children. On weeks with no homework, the tutor will provide children with age and developmentally appropriate educational material. The homework program is appropriate for students in Grades 2-6. To register for the next group please click here

In this group, children will explore a unique blend of mindfulness meditation, yoga, relaxation techniques, self-compassion and gratitude practice that will help children build better coping strategies for life’s challenges – be it school, everyday hassles, stress, or dealing with illness, anxiety or low mood.

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