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How to Transition Successfully to Middle School

teenage student giving thumb up while using laptop In my last post, we looked at a theoretical framework for child and adolescent development.  The big takeaway was the importance and necessity of transitions.  No matter the theoretical framework, all children advance through numerous stages.  Those who are able to transition smoothly are usually the ones who experience the most successful (and least stressful) journeys. As noted in the last post, the transition to middle school occurs right around the age of 11 or 12, depending on the student’s birthday.  The confounding part of this process is that this [...]

Understanding Childhood Transitions

Recently I was asked to do a presentation with a large corporation, with the focus on how to raise children successfully during the middle and high school years.  As a former high school counselor and middle school principal, I was excited for this opportunity; I know firsthand how difficult it is to navigate these years, both for parents and for students. When considering the successful navigation of the middle and high school years, we must first understand the inherent obstacles children and adolescents experience during these times.  While there are countless theories that breakdown the development of children and adolescents, [...]

Treatment Options for ADHD

In my last post, I outlined the typical timeline for diagnosing ADHD in young children.  For many children and their parents, receiving a diagnosis of ADHD can be life-changing, as many parents feel a sense of relief at finally understating the source of their child’s difficulties.  But receiving a diagnosis is only the first step. The next logical question is:  How do I treat my child’s ADHD? Before I discuss treatment options for ADHD, it is important to note that I am not a prescribing physician.  This information is purely for informational purposes.  When considering treatment for ADHD, parents should [...]

Diagnosing ADHD in Young Kids

Over the past month or so I worked with a few elementary school kids who exhibited symptoms of ADHD.  Two of these kids, in particular, were only six years old.  While they have completely different profiles, both were referred for evaluation due to concerns with their attention, activity level, and academic progress.  Their parents and teachers were concerned they had ADHD. When I work with kids this young, I am always reminded of an important question: What is an appropriate age to diagnose ADHD? Before considering the answer, let’s examine what ADHD is. ADHD Defined According to the Diagnostic and [...]

What is a Learning Disorder

Over the past several years, our society has seen a rapid rise in the number of school-age children diagnosed with some form of educational-impacting disability.  When I was a kid in the 1980s, I could count on one hand the number of my classmates who were dyslexic.  And I’d never even heard of ADHD until I was in high school in the early 1990s. Part of the rise in diagnoses can certainly be attributed to more knowledge of these conditions.  Clinicians have a much better understanding of neurocognitive science in general and can therefore identify issues much better now than [...]

5 Reasons to Consider a Virtual Evaluation

Well, it’s been a few months since I last posted…and a lot has changed during that time!  Late last spring, I decided to leave my principal job and pursue EdPsyched full-time.  And so far things have been going great!  There is a HUGE need for psychological services in Austin right now, and I’ve been keeping plenty busy conducting neuropsychological evaluations and providing academic mentoring. Another big change over the summer is that unfortunately COVID is back.  It looked like we were almost back to normal earlier this summer, but the delta variant has taken over and thrown a wrench into [...]

IQ Part 5: Processing Speed

Welcome to the final installment of my deep dive into the IQ.  We have already looked at the first four components:  Verbal Comprehension, Visual Spatial, Fluid Reasoning and Working Memory. Today’s post will examine Processing Speed.  As a reminder, I’ve been using the WISC-V for the basis of these posts.  The WISC-V is a cognitive assessment for children ages 6-16.  However, the WIAT-IV, which is used for adults 17 and older, also has a Processing Speed index.  The subtests used to obtain the Processing Speed index are almost identical on both assessments. What is Processing Speed? When describing Processing Speed [...]

IQ Part 4:  Working Memory

After closely studying our first three components of the IQ (Verbal Comprehension, Visual Spatial, and Fluid Reasoning), today’s post will dive into Working Memory and how it impacts one’s cognitive profile. Once again, I am using the WISC-V as the basis for this breakdown.  The WISC-V is administered to children ages 6-16.  However, the WAIS-IV, which is used to assess adults, also contains a Working Memory index score.  Thus, the following information pertains to pretty much all age ranges. What is Working Memory? When I write my reports, I describe Working Memory as: the ability to take in, retain, and [...]

IQ Part 3: Fluid Reasoning

Welcome back to our deep dive into IQ and its various components.  Previously we examined Verbal Comprehension and Visual Spatial and what they both have to do with one’s overall intelligence.  Understanding these domains gives us a good insight into an individual’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses, which can set a student up for success down the road. In today’s post we will look at Fluid Reasoning.  As a reminder, I am using the WISC-V for my basis of these posts.  The WISC-V is administered to younger students (ages 6-16).  The WAIS-IV is a similar assessment that is used to test [...]

IQ Part 2:  Visual Spatial

Welcome back to the next part of deep dive into what IQ is and how it is comprised.  The last post looked at Verbal Comprehension and its various aspects.  In today’s post we will examine the second component of the overall IQ:  Visual Spatial. As a reminder, I am using the WISC-V as my guide since it is the main cognitive assessment I use in my evaluations.  The WISC-V is intended for children ages 6-16.  The WAIS-IV, which is used when assessing adults, contains a component called Perceptual Reasoning, which is similar to Visual Spatial. What is Visual Spatial? In [...]

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