About Dayne Williams

Welcome. I’m Dayne, an educational psychologist with a passion for assisting adolescents and young adults negotiate challenges in their lives. I believe strongly in therapy that is client-centered and empowering as well as educational assessments that highlight students’ strengths but are practical & support-driven. I practice in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town from my room at  Harfield Practice in Claremont. Please have a look around and feel to contact me through the enquires tab.

Services

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Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for adolescents and young adults dealing with a wide range of emotional difficulties.  

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Assessments for students from Grades 4 through to Universtiy level that are aimed at creating meaningful and purpose-driven interventions in order to better support your child. 

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Consultations that combine qualitative and quantitative assessment methods to determine the presence of ADHD in adults.

Connect with me on social media

Blog

One of the reasons I post my fees online is that telling parents how much assessments cost is one of my least …

A brief look through the online therapist directories will persuade anyone who doesn’t already believe that males are a rare breed in …

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is often seen as a student problem with the vast majority of diagnoses being made during formalized schooling. …

Bullying is an age-old problem. I remember all to well my first experience being bullied at primary school. Every morning, without fail …

This page provides a collection of articles on various topics related to the field of educational psychology. 

Frequently asked questions

A full psycho-educational assessment will differ from student to student as it is tailored to address the unique concerns raised by you and your child. However it will always include a detailed examination of your child’s cognitive functioning, academic abilities pertaining to reading, writing and mathematics as well as emotional functioning,  psycho-motor abilities and attention (particularly when ADHD symptoms are noted). Furthermore as an educational psychologist, I always look into a child’s executive functioning abilities as experience has shown me this is often at the root of many learning barriers. 

In terms of the actual assessment, this is conducted over one or two full days (if needed), beginning in the morning with one or both parents and your child. We will discuss the concerns together for 30-60min after which your child and I continue on through the various tasks. Generally we finish somewhere between 2 and 3:30pm taking into account breaks for lunch. I then write up a report which takes between 1 and 2 weeks, make an appointment with you to come for the feedback session and we go through the report together.   

All children develop and learn differently. Our one-size-fits-all approach to education often means that those not well suited to mainstream schooling get left behind. Sadly this can often be avoided if we are aware of the unique barriers a child faces. 

Some of these barriers are more obviously related to academic work such as reading, spelling, writing and Mathematics while other concerns may be harder to identify such as visual perception difficulties, speech and language barriers, social challenges, ADHD or inattentive-like symptoms. Whatever the reason may be, an educational psychologist is trained to assess students in order to identifying strengths and work with challenges. 

Parents are often taken aback to hear that assessments can be up anywhere in the range of R3500 to R8500. The reason these assessments cost what they do is because the process is intensive and, including the report writing, can take as much as 18 hours to complete a single assessment. Another factor that may influence the cost is the specific battery of tests that are used. Which tests a psychologist uses is important as it is partially from this data that findings and recommendations are made. Using updated assessments that are valid and trustworthy are key to gaining reliable information about your child. 

The first thing to do is to make an appointment to talk to your child’s class teacher and the academic support coordinator about your concerns. Schools are obligated to identify potential barriers and attempt various interventions which are documented. If the school feels that additional support is needed or that the child may benefit from an educational assessment they may suggest a referral to a professional such as a Pediatrician, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, or Educational Psychologist.

You are however welcome to get in touch with me to discuss your concerns and ask any questions you may have about the services I offer and the costs involved. When you decide to go ahead and book an appointment/assessment,
I will send out additional information outlining the process and what you can expect.

I work with schools all over the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town but am based in Claremont at Brampton Family practice.
While the options exists to therapy online, educational assessments need to take place in person.

 

Educational psychologists are often termed ‘child psychologists’ however this is inaccurate. While children certainly do form part of my patient base, educational psychologists are trained to work with a wide range of patients at various stages of life.

From a personal preference and in relation to educational assessments assessments I work with children and adolescents from Grade 1 right through to Matric. I am also able to assess tertiary students at university. 

For therapy however I work exclusively with patients between 13 and 26. Younger patients require specialized techniques such as play therapy or sand tray therapy which I do not offer.

Extra time is an exam concession otherwise known as an exam accommodation that is applied for through the child’s school and the WCED using the report from your educational assessment and various other bits of evidence the school puts together. As an
educational psychologist I will look at all the information gathered during the assessment and consider various accommodations that may be beneficial given the learners unique learning barriers.  Extra-time can be very helpful but a thorough assessment will be able to determine whether it is the best option for the individual or if another accommodation/intervention would be better suited. Ultimately extra time can never be guaranteed prior to an assessment as all accommodations need to be based on the findings detailed in the report.

ADHD is one of the most common learners barriers with research suggesting anywhere between 2 & 16% of the school-going population struggling with either the inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive or a combination of both symptoms. The diagnosis of any psychiatric disorder requires a comprehensive assessment and so parents should be weary of ‘specialists’ who are prepared to make a diagnosis via a short consultation. Rather, assessments should be based on careful observation and data gathering from the child’s parents AND school.  

Many aspects need to be taken into account before a diagnosis is considered. Such as:

  • Whether the symptoms actually interfere with functioning or development
  • The length of time the symptoms have been present for (at least 6 months)
  • The age at which symptoms first appeared
  • Whether these symptoms occur in both the home and school and lastly
  • Whether the symptoms are not better explained by another barrier to learning.

Some of the most common symptoms of ADHD (inattentive presentation – aka ADD) include a difficulty: sustaining attention, paying close attention to detail, following through with instructions, organizing tasks and activities, avoiding tasks such as homework and a tendency to become distracted by external stimuli and/or ones thoughts.

The hyperactive/impulsive presentation tends to see individuals fidgeting, or moving their body (often unaware that they are doing it), needing to move around frequently even when inappropriate to do so, often being in an almost manic state as if ‘driven by a motor’ and/or struggling to moderate behaviours. 

ADHD also has a strong genetic component and tends to run in families. Research suggests that parents and siblings of a child with ADHD symptoms are more likely to have ADHD themselves.

These days with google at our fingertips it can be easy to make a self-diagnosis but working with ADHD is far more nuanced than than simply ticking a box of symptoms. It requires an intimate knowledge on the disorder (or gift as I like to call it) and therefore requires that care is taken when assessing. If you feel your child may have ADHD take the time to ensure the medical practitioner has an interest and history of working with ADHD.

We all have occasional challenges with executive functioning (time management, sustained attention, emotional regulation ect.) however it appears that students with ADHD (Both inattentive and hyperactive presentations) “experience much more difficulty in the development and use of these functions than do most other (learners) of the same age and developmental level” (Brown, 2020).  It is also worth noting that many learners with ADHD have areas of executive functioning which are optimal or even areas in which intense focus can be sustained, often referred to as hyper-focus.  Ultimately it is important that we do not mistake impairments of executive functions with a tendency to label ADHD students as merely being lazy. ADHD, while a challenge can also very much be a gift when recognized and managed well. 

Educational psychologists are fully registered psychologists that specialize in therapy for children, adolescents and young adults. Like any psychologist there will be specific areas of interest and specialization. As such we are able to treat a wider range of challenges that solely depression and anxiety. I offer therapy for the following areas:

ADHD (diagnosis & executive functioning training)
Anxiety
Sexual health (e.g. problematic pornography use) 
Problematic Screen use (commonly referred to as screen ‘addiction’)   
Adjustment difficulties
Anger management difficulties
Behavioural problems
Bullying
Self-esteem concerns
Peer and parental conflict
Mood disorders (e.g depression)
Identity related concerns
 

I tend to work with various approaches but my foundations are Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness often referred to as Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy. I have found that these approaches provide a particularly effective therapy for anxiety and depression.

In South Africa, Psychologists are catergorized into one of 6 catergories depeding on their studies. These include Clinical, Educational, Counselling, Research, Neuro and industrial psychologists. Therefore Child psychology is a more informal term given to individuals who have taken a special interest in working with children irrespective of their catergory. Educational psychologists on the other hand are often considered to be child psychologists as they, more often than not, tend to work with individuals who are still in the learning phase of their life. While what exactly this means is subject to debate, the common interpretation of this is individuals during their formal years of schooling.  

This is a question I am often asked, possibly as there are very few male psychologists in practice and even fewer male educational psychologists. When people search for a psychologist there is often a desire to work with someone who shares a mutual understanding or worldview. This could be language, culture, gender or age. There is something reassuing about knowing that your therpist can relate to you. For example I am an ‘old boy’ from a traditional boys school in Cape Town. For better or worse that gives me an understanding into the worldview of many adolescent boys who step into my practice. I have also worked  at a well known co-ed school allowing me to understand the dynamics first hand of schools that have both boys and girls. 
That being said, many also seek out someone who can add a very different persepctive to our lives. Nonetheless the point is that at its core, therapy is about buidling a trustworthy relationship and for some it is easier to connect with a particualr gender which means we need to have a variety of psychologists (male, female or gender neutral) that cater for people with varied backgrounds. 

Location

Sessions are available at:

12 Harfield road, Claremont
or
online via Zoom