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Remote Testing for ADHD and Dyslexia

We are now nine weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has completely changed the way we do business, socialize, learn, teach, and pretty much everything else.  While many states have begun to re-open businesses, they are still operating in limited conditions, particularly those involving in-person meetings. Neuropsychological testing is the basis for most diagnoses of learning disorders and ADHD.  Typically I conduct evaluations in-person in one session that lasts about 2-3 hours.  But in early March that option went out the window.  At the same time, private school admissions season was ramping up.  Many admissions offices require updated neuropsychological [...]

What’s in Your ADHD Report

Awhile back I wrote a post on the process for getting a psycho-educational report done for your son or daughter.  Simply put it involves three steps:  an intake, assessment, and feedback session.  This is a standard format for most psychologists. However, one question I get quite frequently when I meet with parents is:  How do you determine if my son or daughter has ADHD or a learning disability? This is a great question!  And I often times do not consider that parents may actually want to know the nuts and bolts of the evaluation.  While psychologists and LPAs are free [...]

How Updated Testing Affects the ACT and SAT

Today’s post comes from a good friend and colleague, Renee Becak.  I previously invited Renee to write about her role at my high school as the learning lab director and how private schools provide accommodations. In addition to her role in the learning lab, Renee is also the testing coordinator for the high school.  She knows more about ACT and College Board than anyone else I know!  For students diagnosed with learning differences and/or other educational-impacting disabilities, the process for applying for accommodations on standardized tests can be daunting.  Here Renee provides an overview of the process and the importance [...]

Now Offering Full Testing for ADHD and Learning Differences!

First let me say Happy New Year to all of you! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and that 2018 will be a great year for everyone. It’s fun to look back and see how far we’ve come in a brief year. Although I spent much of New Year’s Eve recovering from whatever sickness has been going around, there was still plenty to celebrate. I wrote previously on the Texas State Board’s proposal to allow Licensed Psychological Associates to practice independently, provided they fulfill additional requirements, and the impact that decision may have on mental health. Well in [...]

What You Need to Know about the PSAT

The calendar has turned to October, and not only does October mark the start of fall, but it also means the PSAT is just around the corner.  I’ve written previously on the PSAT, but I had a question from a parent of a 9th grader the other day.  Today’s post is in response to that question: Question:  I have a general question since we are new to high school.  When do students take the PSAT?  Do they tutor for this?  I am not sure what the PSAT counts for, and I am not even sure my child is taking it [...]

The Most Affordable Option for ADHD Evaluation Might be…

When considering whether or not to have your student evaluated for a potential learning difference or ADHD, there are many factors that come into play. Testing can be lengthy, so students may have to miss a day or two of school. Also, finding someone to do the testing can also be tricky, as many psychologists and other evaluators can be booked up weeks or even months in advance. Another, perhaps even more challenging obstacle to obtaining a diagnosis, is cost. In my experience, the cost of a full psycho-educational evaluation by a licensed psychologist ranges from $750-1500. That typically includes [...]

Do Private Schools Offer 504 Programs?

  I meet with countless families who are looking for guidance on which schools offer the best support for their students with diagnosed learning differences or ADHD. At public schools, students with diagnosed learning differences qualify for either 504 or Special Education, depending on their needs. Private schools, however, are not beholden to the same regulations and are therefore allowed to do whatever they want. I am fortunate to work at a private school that provides, in my opinion, the best support program in Austin. One of my colleagues and good friends Renee Blanchard has run it for the past [...]

Understanding Dysgraphia

  Dysgraphia is a relatively unknown learning difference that doesn’t get as many headlines at ADHD and dyslexia. However, many students, especially those with ADHD and/or dyslexia suffer from dysgraphia and may not even know they have it. It’s important to understand exactly what dysgraphia is and how it affects students in the classroom. The use of term “dysgraphia” is not very common and sometimes confusing. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-V), which is the most widely used manual for assigning learning differences, does not contain that specific word. Instead, the DSM-V describes this particular diagnosis as [...]

The Most Important Skill for Academic Success Is…

Many of us are familiar with various learning differences such as dyslexia and dysgraphia and how they can make school very difficult for students. And even more of us are aware of the challenge ADHD presents for students in every-day life, particularly with paying attention and sustaining effort. Despite the amount of attention these diagnoses receive, there is an even more important cognitive process that can impact your child’s life: Executive Function. Let’s take a look at what this process is and how it affects your student’s performance both in and out of school. What is Executive Function? Executive function [...]

College Admissions Tips for Students with ADHD

The school year is now officially in full swing. Back-to-School nights, football games, and the first signs of fall are here. Along with these also come college admissions season. College recruiters are scheduling their visits on high school campuses, and application deadlines for seniors are looming. For many students the college admission process can be daunting. For students with learning disabilities, ADHD, or other educational-impacting disabilities this process can be even more challenging. If you have a student who is diagnosed with a learning disability, ADHD, or some other educational-impacting disability, fear not…there is a path for you, too! The [...]

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