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Play-based assessments

We provide a broad range of play-based assessments for children and young people of all abilities and areas of need.

Who is suitable for a play-based assessment?

Play-based assessments are suitable for children and young people with a broad range of ages, abilities and needs. There are many reasons for suggesting a play-based assessment, and we often use them with children and young people who:

If you would like to find out more about who is suitable for a play-based assessment, or to arrange an initial discussion please contact us and talk to a member of our team.

Play-based assessment

A young child taking part in a play-based assessment to identify areas of strength

What are the benefits of a play-based assessment?

A play-based assessment provides a broad range of information about an individual, and bring the following benefits:

Recommendations, insights and support strategies will be identified during the course of a play-based assessment.

What happens prior to a play-based assessment?

A play-based assessment can be carried out following an initial discussion, please see our process below.

Our process

At HSR Psychology we ensure that we meet the needs of children and young people. To achieve this we ensure that any specific assessments, intervention, or direct work, is only carried out following an initial discussion.

An initial discussion allows us to understand the background and your expectations of our involvement. Having an initial discussion ensures any services we provide appropriately identify or address needs.

Our process for any specific assessments, intervention, or direct work is as follows:

Step 1: Contact us

We will usually be contacted by the child or young person, parent or carer, or another professional (eg education or health).

You can contact us or complete a referral

Step 2: Arrange an initial discussion

An initial discussion allows us to understand the background and your expectations of our involvement. Arrange an initial discussion

Step 3: Review our recommendations

Following an initial discussion we will send you an email that includes:

  • Next steps recommendations - to provide a bespoke package of support. For example:
    • Assessments
    • Reports
    • Information gathering
    • Meeting
    • Interventions
    • Consultancy
    • Reviews
  • Costing - we will provide costings for any services recommended.

Step 4: Let's get started

On receipt of the next steps recommendations and costing you can decide how to proceed. Once you have decided contact us to arrange the chosen services.

What happens during a play-based assessment?

During a play-based assessment our psychologists will observe how an individual plays alone and reacts to others during their play. Play-based assessments can also be used to decide on the most appropriate play-based intervention. Some play-based assessments use specific toys, while others use the resources available at the time.

Which play-based assessments do we use?

The specific assessment used will be chosen based on the individual. The main ** assessments we use are:

  • Symbolic play test - This test can be used with children aged 1 to 3 years old and it assesses early concept formation which can be used to predict future receptive and expressive language abilities
  • Schedule of growing skills: II - This play-based assessment highlights any potential developmental delays and areas of strength
  • Bayley - The Bayley scales of infant and toddler development can be used from 4 months old and can measure; cognitive, motor and language abilities in addition to social-emotional and adaptive behaviour
  • ADOS - Autism diagnostic observation schedule, can be used from age 1 to identify autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) with a range of language abilities. Through interactive play and activities it measures; communication, social interaction, play, restricted and repetitive behaviours

Play-based assessments may take place through child-led play and the specific areas being assessed will be agreed upon during the initial discussion.

What happens after a play-based assessment?

After a play-based assessment specific information about a child or young person will be shared according to the assessment. Recommendations and support strategies will also be shared which can be used at home, in the community and in education settings. Follow up services such as a review, or intervention may also be recommended. As a team we provide a broad range of follow up services to help children and young people to be happy, safe and ready for life’s challenges.

Does a play-based assessment come with a report?

Reports are optional and can be provided following a play-based assessment. There are many reasons why a report can be requested and we provide a variety of reporting styles and lengths to suit all needs and requirements. Find out more about the reports we offer.

Play-based assessments are very useful for children and young people who have not yet developed the language skills necessary to complete other assessments, in addition to those who may experience anxiety when faced with assessments.

Arrange an initial discussion.....

Arrange an initial discussion to find out how we can benefit your education setting. The initial discussion lasts 2 hours and is a starting point to identify needs. The cost is £300.

  • No waiting lists
  • Experienced psychologists
  • Includes recommendation summary

Find out more



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Flexible, consistent, and competitively priced

We provide bespoke solutions to suit all budgets and requirements for children and young people aged 0-25 in homes, education settings and the community. Our clinical, educational and child psychology services are cost effective.

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Make a referral

To make a referral and arrange an initial discussion please complete our referral form.

Make a referral

Next steps...

Ready to get started? The next step is to speak to our team to find out more about the services we provide and how we can help. Call us on 0161 820 9229 or email

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