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Posts tagged ‘ProTherapyPlus’

Why Would I Have my Child “Tested”?

I’m sure over the years you have been asked by either professionals, doctors or even the school if your child has ever been ‘tested’? What does this mean anyway and why would you want to have your child tested?
In the mental health world, undergoing testing usually refers to psychological testing or evaluations. These tests can be very comprehensive and can be a road map for treatment. Many therapists can give screeners, questionnaires and other types of evaluations but a psychologist is the doctor of choice to perform psychological testing.

Here are some reasons why psychological testing may benefit your child:
1. You have been in counseling for some time and little progress is being made.
2. You are not quite sure exactly what is going on with your child but you know something is just not right.
3. You have been given so many different diagnoses and just want to know, once and for all, what you and your child are dealing with.
4. You would like to formulate a treatment plan based specifically on your child’s needs and the areas that they are struggling.
5. You want to rule out a learning disability or uncover why your child is struggling in school.
6. Medication is not working and you are concerned that doctors are “missing something”.
7. You are curious if your child has an underlying disability or area of difficulty that has not been identified.
8. You are looking for an official diagnosis.
9. You would like to know how your child learns best.
10. You would like to rule out any areas of concern that may run in your family.

Psychological testing is able to assess many areas, some of which include:
*IQ testing/Cognitive delays
*Processing speed
*Short and long term memory
*Word Retrieval
*Personality features and types
*Learning styles/learning disabilities
*Mental health

In addition to psychological testing, the ADOS test is also a formal evaluation that can be given to people of all ages to diagnosis Autism. This very comprehensive test is considered the gold standard for diagnosing Autism and uses different modules to determine if a person is on the spectrum.

After testing, of any type, is completed, you should be provided a very detailed report with graphs and charts to show testing results as well as a detailed summary of what the testing reveals. A good psychological report should include:
*Background information
*Testing procedures and results
*Detailed summary
*Detailed recommendations

Written by Erica DuPont, LCSW


Guest Blog: Start off Strong this School Year

By: Erica DuPont, LCSW

If you have a child with an IEP or 504, please do not plan to wait until the first day of school to call a meeting to review their needs, modifications and accommodations.   Consider this scenario; you have been called in for backup as a pizza chef. A customer called in an order for 30 pizzas; however, these are not your ordinary pizzas. These pizzas are to be made without cheese, sauce or flour. In addition, they must be kept at a certain temperature in order for the customers to be able to eat the pizzas. I’ve attempted to make pizza before, it wasn’t round and didn’t taste like New York pizza, but I was able to put something together. However, if I had to figure out how to make a special pizza with these limitations and was provided with these last minute accommodations without the proper considerations for materials, time or manpower, these customers would be left with little more than disappointment and hunger…

Point being, as I’m sure you have concluded, these pizza makers are your child’s teachers. Most teachers are doing the best they can with what they have. Chances are they are also juggling several orders at once, adjusting to new expectations and working within the limitations put on them by their supervisors – trying to provide your child with the best, individualized, warm slice of “pizza” or education they can. It makes sense that provided more time to prepare research, ask questions, and learn more about your child and their needs in general, there is a better chance that your child will benefit from the teachers efforts to best serve your child.

Consider requesting a meeting before school starts, before all the other orders are in and changes are being requested. Request that the entire team of professionals involved in working with your child be present. This includes the ESE teacher, regular education teacher, guidance counselor, school psychologist, social worker, speech and language therapist, and the principal.
It is helpful to have all of your questions, concerns, strategies, and what has worked in the past written down. This will help you stay on track and keep the meeting productive and focused. There is no doubt that no one knows your child better than you. YOU really are your child’s best advocate. However, you are human and you are a parent. Both of these things make you prone to being more emotionally involved in the process. Strongly consider bringing another person to any and all IEP meetings with you. Qualified advocates are available but sometimes just bringing another body to take notes and be supportive is also helpful.

Another tip to consider is to have your child fill out information about themselves. Perhaps a fill in the blank type of letter that helps the teachers understand what works best for them, what they feel they need and what they hope their school year will look like. I remember a student once saying, “ Whenever my teacher says, ‘in other words’ I really start listening because I know she is going to rephrase it in a way I can understand”. Most kids know what type of environment they thrive in and what type of teaching style best meets their needs. Most kids also know what has not worked in the past.

Some other examples of good information to share might be:

-Things that I really enjoy are…

-Things that really bother or annoy me are…

-It would be helpful if…

-These are things that might be triggers for me…

-I think it’s important that you know…

-Here is how you can tell if I am getting frustrated…

-These are some things that help calm me down…

Give this year’s teachers a chance and a head start by preparing them as much as you can on your end.

Best wishes as summer comes to an end and the new school year begins.

ProTherapyPlus, in additional to counseling services also provides many levels of IEP and school advocacy services. IEP trainings and seminars are also scheduled throughout the year.

By: Erica DuPont, LCSW


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