Laura is an educational psychologist, based in Co. Mayo, who provides psychological services to families, schools and other educational institutions in supporting the needs of children and students. This service is available to preschools, primary and post-primary schools.
Laura strives to be client-focused in accurately identifying the child’s or student’s strengths and needs across different areas including learning, social, emotional and behavioural development. This information is used to develop evidence-based recommendations to enable the client to further develop skills in these areas.
Psycho-educational assessments provide information about a student’s strengths and areas of needs. Initially, information will be sought from parents, guardians and/or teachers who are referring the student. Generally, a standardised cognitive assessment is conducted to provide a general estimate of the student’s intellectual functioning, areas of strength and areas of difficulty. Often, an assessment of the student’s educational achievements is also carried out to obtain an insight into the student’s progress in learning. In cases where there are concerns regarding social, emotional and/or behavioural difficulties standardised tools which assess these areas are used. The assessment may also involve the use of questionnaires, checklists, interviews and observations as well as access to previous reports and assessments conducted with the student.
Based on the information obtained from these different sources, a summary of the student’s strengths and needs is provided in the form of a report with recommendations to support his/her learning and development and inform educational planning. These may include interventions and supports, access to additional classroom and teaching supports, eligibility for certain exemptions and accommodations as well as appropriate onward referral, where necessary.
In some cases, a full psycho-educational assessment may not be necessary or suitable and instead, a consultation may be more appropriate. Consultations may be requested by parents, teachers or students themselves regarding a wide range of issues. Often, the client presents a problem or difficulty and is seeking advice. The aim of consultation is to be goal-oriented and solution-focused so that it will result in practical recommendations and agreed actions to be carried out by interested parties.
Laura is available to develop and implement a wide range of interventions in the areas of literacy, numeracy and maths, social skills, behavioural support plans as well as study skills and organisational skills.
Laura has a keen interest in research and would be interested in participating in suitable research projects.