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Learning Disabilities

How is IQ Calculated?

Several months ago I wrote a post titled, Can My IQ Change?  I laid out the history of the IQ test and concluded that one’s IQ can indeed change over time. But the question remains:  How do we calculate one’s IQ? Today’s post is the beginning of a series that will dive deeper into cognitive testing and how I use it in my evaluations. For most clinicians, there are a few standard tests that are used in neuropsychological evaluations to derive one’s IQ.  The two most commonly used are: Wechsler Intelligence Scales Woodcock-Johnson Both assessments include numerous subtests that, when [...]

How to Survive Remote Learning

The 2020-2021 school year has officially kicked off for many students.  Here in Texas several schools began school this week, with just about all of them offering a remote-only option.  My school is one of them, and we had a very successful first day. As other schools begin the reopening process, it is apparent that remote learning will be with us in some capacity for the foreseeable future.  As discussed in my previous post, remote learning offers students safety measures during this pandemic; however, it also presents some challenges even for the most conscientious student. I wanted to share with [...]

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 [...]

The Transition to Online Learning

Like just about everyone else in the United States (and most parts of the world), I’m currently on lockdown in my house.  I’m hopeful we can get back to normal in the not-too-distant future, but until then, I’m learning to adapt to this new reality.  The outbreak of COVID-19 has presented some unique challenges for all of us, and I’m hopeful that you and your family are doing ok during this time. On March 23 our school made the transition to online learning for at least 2 weeks.  That 2-week period was eventually extended to 3 weeks, and recently we [...]

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 [...]

End of School Year Checklist

The calendar just turned to May, and that means school is in the homestretch.  However, before we start planning long days by the pool or days spent at fun summer camps, there is still a lot of work to do. Many of us still have quite a bit of school work and assignments left.  With final exams coming up for many students, there are still many points left out there to boost your grades.  So as we count down the days to that very last one, here is a checklist to keep you on the right track for academic success. [...]

Summer ADHD Evaluation

  A few months ago I began offering full neuro-psych evaluations for ADHD and other learning disabilities as part of my service.  Since that time my schedule has been filling quickly.  Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, and that means there is a growing number of students who potentially need evaluations. Even though it’s only mid April, I’m already looking ahead to summer and scheduling evaluations for June, July and August.  Although many of us associate neuro-psychological testing with school, summer is actually a perfect time to have your student evaluated.  Today’s post will discuss [...]

Is it ADHD or Auditory Processing Disorder?

  Today’s post comes courtesy of a student I recently evaluated.  As a current 7th grader, she was referred to me because she was having trouble paying attention in class and keeping up with her teachers’ lectures.  She was originally diagnosed with ADHD by her family physician in 4th grade and put on various medications to help control it, but her mother wanted a more comprehensive evaluation to determine if something else was going on. This particular student, like many, was given a diagnosis of ADHD with a very brief assessment of her symptoms.  Since there is no single definitive [...]

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 [...]

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