Assessment services for pre-school children
Our assessment centre is committed to providing high quality services to children and their families who are referred to us. Our approach is inspired by the best practices standards with respect to diagnostic evaluation of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disabilities (ID) and global developmental delay (GDD). We insist on an individualized interdisciplinary process that takes into account the broader social context of the family and is based on the latest research.
The family referred to us is at the heart of our process. We determine a pathway for their evaluation based on their reason for referral and particular needs. Professionals with expertise in psychology, developmental pediatrics, applied behaviour analysis, speech-language pathology and occupational therapy may be solicited to be involved in the assessment based on the unique characteristics of the child.
At the end of each meeting, we take a moment to share our initial impressions and answer the family’s questions. Once the evaluation process is done, we meet the family and provide a written report including individualized recommendations based on applied behaviour analysis.
We have developed an individualized support program led by our family support coordinator. Once a diagnosis of ASD, ID, or GDD is concluded, follow-up is offered based on the specific needs of the family. We continue to offer this follow-up until the public sector establishment opens a dossier for the family.
Our team is composed of professionals from a variety of disciplines with a particular clinical expertise in developmental difficulties. They work together throughout the assessment process, stepping into the assessment at various points to offer their clinical opinions, observing the child, and participating in interdisciplinary meetings for each family to share their learning from each step. They exchange with their counterparts and jointly arrive at a common understanding of the child’s development.
We adopt a model that takes into account all the living environments of the child. In order to understand the child’s profile, we communicate with the multiple caregivers and educators working with the child in various settings.
Understanding the environment and community in which the child is developing is key for us as these factors influence the development and functioning of the family. Thanks to the partnerships we have established with multiple public sector partners, including existing assessment centres, the Minister of Health and Social Services (MSSS) and the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS), we are helping to reduce waitlists for evaluation and intervention services as well as to allow families to move more seamlessly from referrals, to assessment and finally to services.
Research and development.
Another important aspect of our approach is our commitment to continually improve. As such, since the date we opened our doors in March, 2015, we have been affiliated with a team of researchers at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) to evaluate the quality of services that our assessment centre offers. We have also assembled experts in diagnostic evaluation to form an advisory council that helps us to continually improve. Both the research project and our advisory council will enable us to develop a model of evaluation that can be replicated elsewhere in Quebec and abroad.
Advisory Panel Members.
- Dr. Edvokia Anagnostou
- Dr. Jessica Bryan
- Dr. Harriet Greenstone
- Dr. Mimi Israel
- Dr. Lucyna Lach
- Dr. Catherine Lord
- Dr. Rebecca Simon