EXPERT WITNESS ASSESSMENTS
Psychological assessments and expert opinion in South West England and South Wales
ABOUT DR BIRD
Dr Simon Bird graduated from the Plymouth University clinical psychology doctoral training programme in 1999. He worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Bristol between 2000 and 2016. Between April 2016 and March 2018 Dr Bird was the lead psychologist for children and young people with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, but now works exclusively in private practice. He is eligible for chartered status through the British Psychological Society. He is regulated by the Health Professions Council (HPC).
Dr Bird is formally trained in the identification of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). He also specialises in assessment and therapeutic work with adolescents and young adults with mental health difficulties, particularly where these difficulties are co-existent with Autism Spectrum concerns. He has experience of the majority of common mental health difficulties and has also worked with young people with learning disabilities, drug and alcohol dependency and complex developmental difficulties.
Dr Bird has undertaken Expert Witness work on a private basis since 2001, and has to date prepared over 250 expert witness reports for criminal and civil proceedings, primarily in relation to children and young people. He is skilled in the use of formal assessment tools used to address questions of capacity and responsibility, including IQ assessments and mental health screening tools. He has extensive experience of interview-based assessments.
Clarity, balance and cost-effectiveness
Dr Bird approaches expert witness work with a focus on balance and engagement. He believes that is essential to forge a positive and empathic relationship with the person or persons under assessment, to ensure that the opinion he forms is based on their best functioning. Without a positive engagement it is extremely difficult to gather the sensitive information required, and then ensure that any dynamic observed are part of the person's general functioning rather than their response to the assessment process itself. It is also essential in order to understand how the person views the world, and how that in turn shapes their actions.
Dr Bird receives consistently positive feedback for his legal work, both in terms of the quality of his reports and his testimony in the Courts. He presents his opinion in a detailed but clear way, avoiding jargon. He ensures that his opinion is clearly linked to the assessment information that he gathers, and explains how that information is relevant to the issues in question.
All of Dr Bird's work is undertaken at LAA hourly rates and is completed, where possible, within the hours recommended for a given assessment type.