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Ability Therapy Specialists

Individuals, Couples, Families, Children ~ NDIS Registered Provider of Behaviour Support, Counselling Therapies with Creative Arts, Rehabilitation, Employment, Paediatric Early Childhood Intervention ~ Serving Armidale, New England, NSW, Australia and Online

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Intellectual Disability

Psychometric and Educational Assessments

ATS offers a range of psychometric and educational assessments upon request. This post is dated and will not be revised in future. To see a more up to date list visit the page on this topic found via a link on the site menu.

The following tests and assessments we may be able to provide. This list may change without notice, and may depend on third party availability of testing materials. This being said, please contact us to discuss your needs. If an assessment tool is not listed here, send us a note via the Contact page to inquire whether we can provide the test you are seeking.

  1. Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System Edition 3 (ABAS 3). The Adaptive Behavior Assessment System Third Edition (ABAS-3) is used to assist assessment, diagnosis, intervention planning, and progress monitoring with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Developmental Delays, Learning Disabilities, Neuropsychological Disorders, and Sensory or Physical Impairments.
  2. Brief Infant Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment Screening for Issues (BITSEA), 12 to 36 months.
  3. Autism Spectrum Rating Scales (ASRS).
  4. Independent Living Scales (ILS).
  5. School Functional Assessment.
  6. Vineland 3 – Adaptive Behaviour Scales. To assist toward diagnosis of Intellectual Disabilities and Developmental Disabilities.
  7. Adolescent and Adult Sensory Profile.
  8. Quality of Life Inventory (QLI).
  9. Quality of Life Questionnaire (QLQ).
  10. Behavioural Assessment of Dysexecutive Syndrome (Adults).
  11. Brief Cognitive States Exam.

Restrictive Practices and NDIS Part 2

Essentially, when the states hand over certain controls of the disability sector to the #NDIS, existing standards for safety, dignity, and human rights once covered by state policies will translate to national standards. For example, the NSW Behaviour Support Policy and Practice Guide.

The assumption is that existing standards will actually remain if not become subject to increasing quality assurance measures. Over time standards may also raise and in ways this is already happening. No one would suggest standards may fall or become less.

If anything the NDIS vision indicates a rather comprehensive overhaul of disability service standards quite unlike anything Australia has seen in past.

This development may be combined with other changes across the sector, and influenced by external forces like legal and community expectations, leading to higher standards of care and professionalism among disability service organizations.

The role of the Disability Support Worker is due for reappraisal. We often consider the DSW role as defined so far by common sense as quite inadequate to the tasks and demands of the job. We see a new role emerging in practice where staff gain greater skills across a range of areas particularly within mental health support. Something we have called a Disability Support Clinician.

In similar ways we are seeing the disability sector slowly shifting away from one stop shops, orgs offering everything under one umbrella, toward a greater emphasis on multi-professional input and collaboration. Naturally no one org can do nor specialise in everything and often by trying to do too much orgs become top heavy and inflexible. In these settings behaviour support and access to counselling and other therapeutic services often become overlooked if not avoided for the simple fact that therapeutic work often involves question of the status quo.

Not at all beside the point, we are well into this discussion and we have not even defined key terms like #restrictivepractices and behaviour support. The reason I have not looked at the practical details yet is that our current situation in Australia demands seeing the big picture within the transition to full NDIS jurisdiction. Dispelling a few key myths. And setting the stage for clearly looking at standards for behaviour support.

As you might guess this article is turned into a mini series… a bit of a drama really… but a discussion that actually often involves extremely important values. For example?

Health. Safety. Individual and staff rights. Human rights more broadly but often in cases where maintenance and oversight of these rights becomes critically important. Dignity and duty. Freedom and responsibility. Ethics and standards of care… and these are only a few of the values applied in #behavioursupport and the closely related field of #mentalhealth.

Restrictive Practices and NDIS

Behaviour support in Australia has evolved in significant ways over the past five years. The NDIS has created a new social, political, and legal environment. One of the areas of most significant change is around restrictive practices.

On one hand, the disbanding of state based systems in some states like NSW has left some with the illusion of deregulation and less oversight of complex cases and restrictive practices. Orgs that used to engage state resources to cover governance of restrictive practice panels and annual review no longer have this support.

On the other hand, many factors are converging to encourage higher standards for disability support and around restrictive practices. These factors include greater legal recognition, the emergence of a national scheme, international standards, professionalisation of the disability sector, and changing community and social expectations.

From Behaviour Support to Trauma Counselling

ATS are NDIS Registered Providers, and we do private work with a wide range of clients.

The NDIS allows participants of the Scheme to access our services under the guidelines of funding. We have developed a number of tailored solutions for people with disabilities and mental health concerns. As specialists in this area our work adapts counselling, psychotherapy, psychology, education, and other methods to individual needs and capacity.

Assessment and offering suggestions for treatment and support planning have become central to our work, and helps to inform many client’s NDIS planning. Addressing complex needs is often part of this work.

We have taken on many psychometric and educational tools for assessment like the ABAS 3. These may assist with diagnostic observations and in some cases may inform funding programs that request assessments.

Clients across these areas from Scheme to private interests access counselling, psychotherapy, trauma therapy, grief and loss counselling, couple counselling, and other specialist methods like clinical hypnotherapy.

Contact us via our contact page form with questions.

Importance of Independent Behaviour Support

So many people rely on professional supports. We all need doctors, nurses, therapists of many disciplines, and specialists.

Yet in disability support many still accept in house practitioners for behaviour support and counselling. Even though these fields are highly specialist – or should be… the complexity of therapy in disability and mental health really requires at least masters qualified and experienced practitioners. But most orgs are lucky to have a bachelor qualified person on staff with little experience.

At Ability Therapy Specialists we have two doctoral qualified specialists on staff. We are independent. So we no longer need to be influenced by the policies and cultures of organizations and the politics this invariably brings. Having worked many years in different settings we have a heart of compassion for ways to deal with institutional cultures – but our focus is on advocacy for the NDIS participant and their family.

Contact us via our Contact page. We look forward to hearing from you.

Ask A Therapist Video Series, Episode 1 What is Intellectual Disability?

“Ask a Therapist” Video Series is based on participant’s questions and topics of interest. “Episode 1 What is Intellectual Disability?” covers the cognitive intellectual and adaptive social aspects of Intellectual Disability. Dr Joseph Randolph Bowers is our host to this question and answer series. Questions are welcome please send them by email via the Contact page at http://www.abilitytherapyspecialists.com.au and thank you for your participation.

Facebook users can send questions in comments or direct message, thanks heaps. Linkedin users please message Dr Bowers, or visit our website as above.

 

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