We aim to keep the waiting times as short as possible.
Generally we can arrange an appointment for assessment within 2 to 4 weeks and, when appropriate, a Cluas @ Home programme can start shortly thereafter – usually within 3 weeks.
Simply phone or email us to arrange an appointment and establish a suitable location and date for an assessment.
The aim of our assessment is to gather information that enables us to decide if a Cluas programme would be appropriate and of benefit to a young person. It also provides the initial information which we can use in order to create a young person’s individual programme at Cluas. We do not assess people in order to give a formal diagnosis.
A developmental Questionnaire is completed in advance by the parents.
The assessment itself generally takes about two hours, depending on the age of the young person and the assessment procedures that they are able to complete. Where possible two parents should attend with the young person. For younger children, a second parent or other adult may be needed – so that we can speak with one parent, while the other parent or adult is with the child.
Typically for a child aged five plus, the assessment will start with Pascal Maher, Clinical Director Cluas or with Ronan Maher, Programme Director Cluas, or with Louise Quinlan, Cluas Consultant, meeting the family and explaining the assessment procedure and reviewing the developmental Questionnaire with the parents. The child will then complete the assessment tests with Pascal, Ronan or Louise, supported by a parent if needed.
We explains in detail the programme we offer, discusses the child’s developmental history and answers any questions the parent may have.
When the child has completed the assessment tests and the results are ready, these will be discussed with the parents and a recommendation will be made.
If we do not feel that a Programme at Cluas is the best option for a child we will advise the parents and make any relevant referrals that are appropriate.
Following the assessment, if a programme is recommeneded for the young person, it is then possible to arrange programme dates and times – or this can be done later at the parents’ convenience.
A standard programme at Cluas consists of three Stages:
- The first stage is 15 days – for 2 hours each week-day (over 3 consecutive weeks)
- followed by an interval of 4 weeks (with no Cluas Program)
- The second stage is 8 days – for 2 hours each week-day (over 2 consecutive weeks)
- followed by an interval of 4 weeks (with no Cluas Program)
- The third stage is 8 days – for 2 hours each week-day (over 2 consecutive weeks)
To complete an average Cluas programme it takes about a little over three months. While this will be sufficient for many children, experience has taught us that some children do require a number of further 8-day Stages – this is usually apparent to us at the time of the initial assessment.
Progress is assessed in a number of ways. Listening Tests are completed at the beginning and end of each stage of the Cluas program, where the young person is able to complete these tests. This allows us to gauge the effect that the programme is having.
Observation notes are made by parents during the Cluas @ Home program or by the Cluas listening therapist during a centre based programme at Cluas in Dublin – after the 2-hour session each day. In this way we are able to track a child’s development.
Consultation with parents is another vital source of information regarding a child’s progress. Parents meet with one of the Cluas Consultants at the beginning and end of each stage at Cluas, to discuss the results of the listening test, the summary of the observation notes, and to get feedback on how the child is getting on in their daily activities outside of the centre.
This information is vital, not only to the parents, but also to the Cluas team as it provides the information for a child’s individual programme to be fine tuned and further tailored to the specific needs of the child as they progress.
For some children, a number of extra stages of the Cluas Program may be recommended as beneficial for a child. The need for this extended program is usually apparent to us at the time of the initial assessment.
At the consultation meeting at the end of stage 3, recommendations for follow-up and review and possible further stages will be made, where appropriate.
The break (normally of four weeks) between each of the stages is to allow the child to integrate the changes that have taken place as a result of each stage of their Cluas Programme. The child returns to their normal routine and makes use of their new found listening ability and auditory processing skills – at home, in school and when interacting with their family and their peers.
A strong foundation is put in place in the first stage of 15 days of the Cluas programme, and subsequent stages of 8 days each build on this foundation.
During the two hours children will partake in a wide variety of activities, with the aim of working on the areas with which they struggle and further encouraging development. These activities are normally broken down into the areas of Sensory and Fine Motor, Gross Motor, Planning and Sequencing, and Social activities.
Some examples of the many possible activities, which can be chosen from according to the child’s age and ability:
- Painting, Water Play, Play-dough, Arts & Crafts
- Therapy Balls, Ball-pool, Balance activities, Target Activities and Catching Games
- Jigsaws, Threading, Peg boards, Building Activities
- Board games, Cars, Puppets, Dolls House
- For teenagers, some time can be spent on school homework or project during the daily sessions
For the Cluas @ Home programme, a Cluas Parent’s Guide is provided for each child’s programme, with suggestions and recommendations for activities appropriate to your child. In the main, the child’s own toys or equipment available at home is sufficient for a useful and enjoyable set of activities during the program.
While these activities compliment the work of the Cluas listening programme and ensure that the children enjoy their time completing the Cluas programme, it is the sound stimulation aspect of the Cluas Programme which is essential for the child’s long lasting developmental progress.
For the Cluas centre based programme in Dublin, children are in a small group setting with children of similar age and ability, supervised and led by a listening therapist. The children will be wearing headphones for the duration of the two hours through which their Cluas Programme is delivered, but also engaged in useful and enjoyable activities.
This is a concern often voiced by parents.
We have never had a problem getting children to wear their headphones. Granted we may have to work closely to encourage small children on the first day or two; but with consistency and gentle persistence we can say that we have a 100% success rate in getting children to wear their headphones.
For the Cluas @ Home programme, again parents will need to be consistent and gently persistence in ensuring that your child keeps their headphones on durin the daily sessions. During the parent’s initial brefing with Cluas, assistance and guideance will be provided when necessary. We are also available by phone throughout the programme, if any difficulty arises.
After a few days, children are not even aware that they are wearing the headphones.
Please contact us by phone on 01 4002016 or using the form below: