Education, Language and Literacy Clinic

Education, Language and Literacy Clinic (ELLC)

Has your child been experiencing ongoing difficulties with one or more of the following:

  • Reading (sounding out words, reading with expression, reading fluently and accurately)
  • Reading Comprehension (understanding and/or remembering what they have read)
  • Writing (coming up with ideas, planning, structure, grammar)
  • Written Expression (writing a piece that is interesting, that makes sense, that has enough information and is on topic)
  • Spelling
  • Maths calculations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division)
  • Mathematical reasoning (problem solving, understanding money, time, reading graphs etc.)
  • Struggling with learning in general?

Depending on your child’s age and situation, they may present with a range of different signs/symptoms. Teachers may also have expressed concern about your child’s literacy and learning progress. The school may be trying various accommodations and strategies but perhaps these are not making enough difference. Your child could be feeling anxious about his/her own academic ability compared to peers and there could be a risk that your child will disengage from learning.

Perhaps you have previously obtained an assessment for your child and/or have tried targeted intervention, but the difficulties continue. Alternatively, perhaps your child has not yet had an assessment or tried intervention, and maybe you are unsure where to start.

If your child presents with one or more of the difficulties listed above on an ongoing basis, then they could benefit from an ELLC assessment.

What is the ELLC?

Melbourne Child Development offers a family-centred and multidisciplinary team approach to education, language and literacy assessment, intervention and case-management through the ELLC.

Parent Meeting

In the first instance, parents meet with ELLC Manager Liselle Grant (Senior Speech Pathologist and Primary/Secondary Teacher) and Moya Matthews (Psychologist) in order to obtain information about your concerns.

Multi-Disciplinary Assessment

Your child will then undertake Speech Pathology language and literacy assessments as well as Psychology cognitive and educational assessments. Assessment will also include liaison with your child’s teachers.

Depending on whether your child has already received targeted intervention for their specific literacy or learning difficulties or not, will govern which assessment approach the ELLC will take

Approach 1

If your child has not received a targeted intervention to date, then the assessment will consist of a:

  • Parent interview
  • Teacher liaison
  • Psychology Cognitive Assessment identify/rule-out cognitive difficulties
  • Speech Pathology Language and Literacy Assessment
  • Feedback session
  • Teacher feedback
  • Six months of targeted intervention.

The initial assessment and preliminary report writing process will take approximately 5 weeks. Your child will then be required to undertake six months of a targeted, evidence-based intervention. Melbourne Child Development is one of the centres that can provide this intervention.

At the end of the six months, your child will complete:

  • Psychology Education Assessment (i.e. different to the Cognitive Assessment)
  • Speech Pathology Assessment (i.e. targeted literacy sub-tests).

Assessment results will be provided as an Appendix to the preliminary report. A diagnosis may potentially be provided and/or further recommendations are made.

Approach 2

If your child has already received a targeted intervention for six-months, then the assessment will consist of a:

  • Parent interview
  • Teacher liaison
  • Psychology Cognitive Assessment identify/rule-out cognitive difficulties
  • Psychology Education Assessment (i.e. different to the Cognitive Assessment)
  • Speech Pathology Language Assessment
  • Feedback session
  • Teacher feedback.

The assessments and the comprehensive written report will take approximately 6 weeks. A diagnosis may potentially be provided and/or further recommendations will be made.

These approaches are in-line with the mandated requirements under the

Health professionals in Australia, America and many countries in Europe must refer to the mandated criteria set out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) handbook when diagnosing Specific Learning Disorder (SLD) as well as a range of other disorders. For a clinical diagnosis of SLD to be determined, a health professional must be convinced the assessment evidence satisfies the four SLD criteria required by the DSM-V.

Comprehensive Reporting and Feedback

A comprehensive, synthesised Speech Pathology/Psychology Assessment Report will be produced including recommendations. Feedback sessions are provided to both parents and teachers.

Ongoing Case-Management

To streamline your experience, Liselle and Lisa will continue to case-manage your child’s progress throughout the time your child undertakes assessment and intervention at Melbourne Child Development (periodically reviewing your child’s progress).


ELLC assessment benefits

Having your child assessed through the ELLC can not only provide you, your child’s educators and other health providers with a deeper understanding of the specific education, language and literacy issues that are occurring, but will also enable your child to receive targeted, evidence-based intervention to address their specific difficulties.

Insight and anxiety relief

The assessment provides an opportunity for your child to gain self-insight into their difficulties, start to adjust perspective, and increase positivity. Obtaining effective support can help ease feelings of anxiety and disengagement with school, as well as give them achievable goals to work towards. 

Potential diagnosis

The ELLC assessment may either form part of an ongoing diagnostic process, or potentially result in a Specific Learning Disorder (SLD) to be diagnosed.

A SLD is a ‘neurodevelopmental’ disorder characterised by a child’s consistent struggle to keep up academically at school, typically with results that are significantly below grade level. With a SLD a child has persistent difficulties with learning and literacy skills (including recognising and comprehending words for reading, expressive writing, handwriting, spelling, and mathematics).

For an SLD to be diagnosed, a child’s difficulties cannot be attributed to cognitive ability or other factors (such as hearing, vision, emotional, environmental, social factors impacting on their opportunity to learn). Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dysgraphia are different types of SLD. Read more about types of SLD

Dyslexia refers to the difficulty with reading (including difficulties with: letter/sound correspondence; letter and word recognition, comprehension, spelling; reading fluency; and syllabification).

Dysgraphia describes difficulties with writing (including difficulties with: spelling; grammar; punctuation; and handwriting).

Dyscalculia describes difficulties with maths (including difficulties with: learning number related concepts; using maths symbols and functions for calculations; number sense; memorising math facts; math reasoning/problem solving).


Enhance advocacy

An ELLC assessment can equip you with facts and knowledge about your child’s specific education, language and literacy difficulties so you can effectively advocate for school and community participation support. This support may take the form of teachers incorporating some strategies/accommodations for your child in the learning environments (such as the classroom), obtaining “Special Consideration” for assessments, and/or potentially securing some funding (if eligible and attending an Independent School).


Booking an ELLC assessment

Call our Client Services Team to make a time to discuss your child’s learning and literacy issues with one of our experienced Clinicians on the telephone (no cost).

Call: 9890 1062

After talking to the Clinician, Client Services can assist you to schedule an appointment for an ELLC assessment.

An ELLC assessment could be your child’s first step on the pathway to obtaining targeted, evidence-based intervention to address their identified specific educational, language and literacy difficulties.