When your child’s teacher expressed concern at parent-teacher conferences that your child may be struggling due to a learning disability and/or attention challenges, you may have been encouraged to seek neuropsychological or psychoeducational testing. Or, maybe you have become concerned after seeing your child’s first quarter report card and have begun to look into the process yourself.
In my last blog post, I spoke about how to talk to your child about these evaluations. Now, I would like to talk about what happens after the assessment, including how I work with families, teachers, and other professionals in your child’s life to put the findings and recommendations into action.
While there are commonalities among psychologists in how the testing process is structured, my practice is unique in important ways. Throughout my clinical experience, I have found that parents often finish the testing processes feeling overwhelmed. They may be struggling to make sense of a testing report that is difficult to understand. Or, they may feel inundated with information that is given at a single feedback meeting without guidance regarding next steps. When I developed my practice and testing style, I prioritized writing reports that are accessible and providing hands-on follow-up consultation.
Overcoming attention and learning challenges is a journey, and I am committed to helping my clients and their parents as they begin implementing strategies and recommendations. This begins with a 90-minute feedback session about two weeks after testing is complete. At this time, there will be a comprehensive and accessible written report outlining the findings and recommendations. For a young child, this is a parent meeting. For an adolescent, the student may be included in the feedback session. The level of preteen or teen involvement is discussed on a case-by-case basis and is carefully fitted to the adolescent’s developmental stage.
While the traditional testing process ends with the feedback meeting, I view the feedback meeting as the beginning of a new phase. My comprehensive package includes a follow-up meeting and additional consultation. For many children and adolescents, this includes attending an IEP or 504 Plan meeting at their school, or a private school equivalent. This allows me to work with the teacher and relevant school staff, creating a team to support your child’s learning. For many children, particularly children ten and under who are struggling in the school setting, this will not be the first time I have visited their school. For these children, I organize a school observation with your child’s teacher and school prior to meeting your child. Then, when it comes time to implement strategies following the evaluation, I have a better understanding of your child’s school environment as well as a collaborative relationship with your child’s teacher and school.
In addition, I often consult with therapists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, tutors, reading centers, and executive functioning coaches. These individuals are part of your child’s team. My goal is to work collaboratively, while providing a deeper understanding of the assessment findings and recommendations. I’ll also provide strategies for you to work on with your child at home, referrals to other professionals, and resources for you to access additional information.
I’m committed to providing accessible written and in-person feedback following your child’s evaluation. Furthermore, I am dedicated to facilitating follow-up consultation and support. I am here to help you navigate the next steps. I look forward to working with you and your child. Please call my office for more information (703-825-0502).
Shira Gottlieb, Psy.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Gottlieb is a licensed clinical psychologist. She received her B.A. in psychology, with a minor in neurobiology, from Harvard University, and her Psy.D. from the George Washington University. Dr. Gottlieb works with children and adolescents, and their families, to provide comprehensive neuropsychological and psychoeducational assessments to better understand the individual child’s attention capacities, learning profile, emotional functioning, and behavioral presentation. For more information on Dr. Gottlieb please visit her website at http://www.gottliebchildpsych.com/