Click to read more about Assessment and Treatment


Dr. Illsley provides therapeutic services, parenting support and consultation to adults. You may be dissatisfied with some aspect of your life (i.e., relationships, work, ability to take pleasure in activities) and feel overwhelmed or having difficulty coping. You may also be struggling with parenting issues that leave you worried, dissatisfied and distanced from your child and partner.

As well, Dr. Illsley offers treatment and assessment of children. Many parents and families have questions or concerns regarding their child’s development, social/emotional functioning or behavior. Sometimes teachers or other professionals involved in your child’s life have suggested you and your child may benefit from an evaluation or some additional support. Oftentimes, accurate assessment and early or therapeutic intervention can be invaluable in promoting development and prevent difficulties from worsening. Common difficulties include:

  • 03Anxiety and stress
  • Moodiness or depression
  • Chronic pain & physical complaints
  • Grief or loss
  • Trauma
  • Divorce or family conflict
  • Learning difficulties
  • Parenting challenges
  • Noncompliance and tantrumming
  • Slowed or atypical development (e.g., Autism)
  • Giftedness
  • Social difficulties and withdrawal
  • Inattention and/or hyperactivity
  • Feeding difficulties

04During the first appointment, Dr. Illsley will want to get to know you and/or your child/youth and family. The aim will be to talk about the concerns you have and the reasons you decided to come. Who attends subsequent sessions will vary according to what you, and Dr. Illsley, decide will be most helpful.

You will decide together what issues to begin addressing, what type of treatment is likely to be most effective, how long treatment might be expected to take, and how frequently sessions should be scheduled. The frequency and number of appointments will vary according to the nature of the challenges you are facing and the type of assistance being requested.


04For children below the age of 16, Dr. Illsley performs psychological assessments. A psychological or psycho-educational assessment typically takes 8-12 hours (depending on the age of the child and the referral question) and occurs across several appointments. It generally includes:

  • a review of previous evaluation reports, academic and medical records
  • a parent interview
  • a client observation and interview, and
  • the completion of particular tasks or questionnaires and their scoring, and
  • the writing of a formal report detailing the findings of the assessment. Many of the evaluation measures used are standardized (meaning they are given in the same manner every time) which allows for the comparison of your child’s functioning relative to other same-age children and youth.

Psychological assessments are useful for diagnosing specific psychological problems and frequently used to determine an individual’s intellectual functioning or IQ, recognize learning disabilities, identify differences in development, or evaluate the severity of problems such as depression or anxiety. They are also used in identifying individual’s areas of strength and weakness; knowledge of which can aid in generating recommendations regarding treatment planning and adapting home and school environments to better match your child’s individual needs.

Results of assessments are shared with parents, (and when appropriate, with the child) both verbally and in the form of a written report. When school functioning is an area of concern or your child is involved with other professionals, it is recommended that the results be passed on to these individuals. Dr. Illsley also suggests meeting with them to explain the assessment results and to help identify the most effective ways of working with your child.

Dr. Illsley also performs private (non-BCAAN) diagnostic assessments of Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD and acts at the Qualified Specialist (QS). These assessments vary depending on the age of the child (i.e., over or under 6 years of age).

For children under 6 the ASD assessment includes:

  • an intake, file review and developmental history of your child
  • collaboration with community-based pediatrician and speech-language pathologist regarding your child’s presentation (these 2 other assessments can occur concurrently or previously and Dr. Illsley can arrange for you to be put in contact with a pediatrician or speech pathologist to perform the assessments should you need this)
  • an estimate of cognitive/developmental level using standardized instruments
  • an estimate of adaptive functioning using standardized instruments
  • the administration of the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADIR)
  • the administration of the Autism Diagnostic Schedule (ADOS)
  • feedback session with parents, written report with recommendations and completion of forms required for MCFD funding
  • Dr. Illsley’s assessment usually takes 8-10 hours in total across 4 appointments

For children over 6 the assessment includes:

  • an intake, file review and developmental history of your child collaboration with community professionals
  • the administration of the Autism Diagnostic Interview – Revised (ADIR) (with parents)
  • the administration of the Autism Diagnostic Schedule (ADOS) (with child)
  • when necessary (optional) an estimate of cognitive, academic and adaptive functioning using standardized instruments
  • feedback session with parents, written report with recommendations and completion of forms required for MCFD funding
  • Dr. Illsley assessment usually takes 8-10 hours in total across 3 appointments (additional cognitive or academic testing would be charged by the hour)


06The type and length of therapeutic intervention is varied and tailored to the specific problem. The initial visit generally consists of gathering information about the issue that brought you to seek treatment and details regarding your child or youth’s familial and developmental history. Some consultations are as short as one or two 50-minute sessions to help deal with a specific incident or behavior. More typically it takes longer to get to know you and your child and between 8 and 15 weekly sessions are needed to meet your therapeutic goal.

Occasionally, some people will require more sessions to adequately address issues that are especially complex. There are also instances when it may be helpful for Dr. Illsley to work with her client’s difficulties outside of the office, such as consulting with school staff or practicing newly-acquired skills within the community. Dr. Illsley’s overall goal is to empower her clients in order to be better able to cope with life’s challenges and embrace whatever brings joy into their lives. When working with children, this generally includes working with both the parents and the youth collaboratively.