BY SUSANNA PINKUS
Often when I meet a new family, there is real confusion about what is going on for their child and how to help.
Whilst I carefully note existing explanations for the situation, I very much consider the situation with fresh eyes, making no assumptions about what is or is not going on.
And one way I do this is by undertaking a holistic review.
Whilst each review is bespoke and tailored to the needs of the young person and their situation, a short review often includes:
1. A thorough examination of any historic or current assessments, school reports, and work samples.
2. An in-depth consultation with the parents (only) so that they can speak openly about the present situation and what led up to it.
3. A consultation with the young person themselves. I plan these very carefully so that the tone and setting is sensitively positioned, strengths-based, and is positive from the start. Sometimes, depending on the age and stage of the young person, I break this up into smaller chunks.
4. I provide my observations and thoughts to parents, and the young person too wherever possible. The young person often stays in for the first part of the feedback to receive the affirming key take-aways – there are always so many – and in most cases chooses to head off before the in-depth discussion takes place.
5. I write a summary report of my key observations and recommendations for home and school.
I also often weave in communication and conversations with school teams, and other professionals, throughout the process. Sometimes, other family members wish to contribute their views too.
By piecing the information together in this careful fashion, identifying where information has been missed, not acted upon or indeed misunderstood, I can often bring clarity to the young person’s situation. And from there, navigate a positive pathway forward.
Image Credit: Nikolay Klimenko/Shutterstock