Patricia Centre For Children and Youth
September 6, 1996
Dear Ms. Mainland:
This letter is to inform you as to the importance of the Diagnostic Inventory for Screening Children (DISC) to our Child Development Program.
We are a small Children's Mental Health Program in Northwestern Ontario which provides services to a number of small towns. Many referrals are made every year by parents, caregivers or other agency workers regarding children who may be experiencing developmental problems. There are no other agencies in our town who provide screening of these special needs children and we do not have specialists to assess their developmental status.
The DISC is the main tool we use to screen most of the children who are referred to the Program. If we discover an area of possible or probable delay we then have the option of referring the child to the travelling Professional Team called Integrated Services for Northern Children. This team provides the following types of formalized assessments: psychiatric, speech occupational therapy, physiotherapy; educational and psychological. Depending on the needs of the child and the circumstances of the family, the child is seen by the appropriate members of the team. It is helpful to the team to have the results of the DISC screening which identifies areas of possible and probable delay.
The DISC is also beneficial to the program counsellors who can make recommendations and provide strategies to parents which will address the areas of needs of their child, until they are seen by the team. The time usually varies from seven weeks to six months, depending on the caseload and demand, before the team can see the child. The DISC, when administered several times over a period of one to two years also gives parents the opportunity to see the progress their child has made.
The DISC meets our needs as a screening tool because it is straight forward and easy to administer. It covers the basic developmental areas of the child and can be used by para-professionals who do not have the skills or training of a psychometrist or psychologist.
The DISC is also becoming a familiar screening tool to our team of professionals and is meeting the needs of our Child Development counsellors who are basically the first and sometimes the only early interventions available to provide service to our children with developmental delays.
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