Multidisciplinary Assessment (MDA)


The Multi-Disciplinary Assessment has been devised and refined, both at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and at The Child and Family Practice, with the aim of providing a detailed multi-disciplined profile of children whose parents are concerned about neurodevelopment, behaviour or academic progress. Typically, the child’s difficulties are identified either by the parents or grandparents or by the school where he or she attends. The Multi-Disciplinary Assessment (MDA) comprises three major components: 1. A clinical assessment/evaluation following review of all relevant medical and educational (school) reports. 2. A diagnostic evaluation taking into account the opinions of the various different specialists who have been asked to contribute to the MDA. 3. A feedback meeting with the parents, with three major deliverables: – A diagnosis or series of diagnoses (there may be more than one diagnosis). – A management plan including therapy intervention or therapeutic recommendations. – An individual educational plan and liaison with the school where the child attends by one of our senior educationalists on the team. Follow up is recommended at three to six-monthly intervals, firstly to judge the impact of the initial management plan over time and secondly to fine-tune the interventional programme as necessary.

Reason why an MDA is valuable There is considerable overlap between the various neurodevelopmental conditions that are likely to be the cause of symptomatology and thus a multi-disciplinary approach may unearth subtle issues which could be responsive to therapeutic intervention with benefit to the child and family. The Clinical Assessment – Conducted by a senior experienced neurodevelopmental paediatrician. The clinical assessment begins with a comprehensive review of all relevant medical and educational reports that the child has undergone prior to starting the MDA. The child also undergoes a detailed physical examination looking for any systemic medical problem such as a genetic condition etc which may be relevant and contributory to the presenting profile Compilation of a list of multi-disciplinary specialists who could contribute to the child’s overall profile.

The Diagnostic Process The child then goes through a series of specialist consultations following the list compiled in the clinical assessment. Typically, the list would comprise: – A Psychometric Profile (Cognitive Skills Profile). – Psychiatric Assessment. – Motor Performance Assessment. – Speech and Language Assessment. – Sensory Processing Assessment. – Any other additional assessments as indicated such as audiology, neurology etc. It may well be that a psychoemotional assessment is recommended if there are complex family issues to address. For children who have suspected social and communication disorders, a specialist SCD Clinic would be recommended and a referral made after the basic initial round of specialist appointments has been achieved.

The Feedback Meeting At the feedback meeting, preliminary conclusions as to the diagnosis (or diagnoses) can be discussed. A management plan detailing recommended intervention (therapy input) is considered and a referral to one of the senior educationalists is made in order to translate the findings of the profile into practical guidelines for the school to follow. Synopsis The Multi-Disciplinary Assessment can only be provided by a clinical service that has all of the necessary specialist skills in one location.This methodology has been tried and tested over the last 15-20 years and has proved to be a robust methodology.

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About Us

The Child and Family Practice is internationally recognised for its expertise in the psychological well being and mental health of children, young people and adults. Our team includes leaders in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy and mediation for children, adolescents, adults and couples. We have a particular reputation for our multi-disciplinary child and adolescent assessments. We offer a range of services for families, including family and couple therapy, educational consultancy and a highly rated family mediation service. In addition we have expertise in speech and language therapy, nutrition for all age groups and child physiotherapy.

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The Child & Family Practice

+44 0207 034 2690


60 Bloomsbury Street, London, WC1B 3QU