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Topic Archives: IEPs, 504 Plans & School Services

After the Denial: When your child doesn’t get in to the gifted program

January 11, 2017

  Did you learn your child didn’t qualify based on the school’s gifted program test? Does this fly in the face of anything you know about your child? If your child didn’t get in, don’t give up. You have options. Are You Sure You Want In? First, be certain you want the program. Do some research. Learn about the quality and the time commitment. Get a sense of the trade-offs for your child. Often kids need to miss other classes. Is it worth it? Keep in mind it might take time, money, and a lot of effort to appeal. If you’re still certain, read on to find out how to get your child into the gifted program. Get the Facts on the Gifted Program… Read More

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IEP Season: 5 Quick Tips to Prepare for the IEP Meeting

April 17, 2015

It’s IEP Season, that time of year when parents and school teams meet to review the following year’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP) or the plan students receiving special education services will have to meet their academic goals. IEP meetings can be stressful for families. I interviewed Dr. Wendy Matthews, a psychologist in the Princeton area who spent over 30 years in private practice specializing in children and adolescents. In that time, Dr. Matthews administered hundreds of psychoeducational evaluations. 1.  What materials should parents bring with them to the IEP meeting? All past and present evaluations, doctors’ written comments as well as therapist (speech/psych/tutor) written comments. If you haven’t had a recent evaluation or you think your child might have changed since the last evaluation, you can bring… Read More

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Can We Talk About Autism?

April 12, 2014

By Sarah Vander Schaaff Imagine for a moment you’re the mother of three-month-old twins. One is developing as your oldest child had. The other will engage in eye contact only when he wants, not when you initiate it. You speak with your pediatrician who refers you to an eye doctor. You have your state’s early intervention program make a home visit. Everyone tells you it’s nothing to worry about. You’re not convinced, but decide to wait and see. That’s the beginning of this story; one that in retrospect was filled with “red-flags.” There’s a real mom in this, but in the interest of protecting her privacy, we’ll call her Melanie. By the time her son was two, Melanie told me,… Read More

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What is a Psychoeducational Evaluation?

November 7, 2013

A few weeks ago, we featured an interview with a mother who had a problem when it came to her third grader’s reading ability: “The school representatives could not explain the discrepancy between his reading fluency and his CogAT scores.” The one person who helped the family put the pieces of their particular puzzle together was their clinical child psychologist who specializes in psychoeducational evaluations. If no one at your school mentions psychoeducational testing, and no one in your particular circle of friends discusses it, it can feel intimidating. We asked psychologist Dr. Carol Blum to give us the facts about psychoeducational evaluations. Every situation is unique, to use an old cliché, but it’s helpful to know some basics about a… Read More

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The School Says a Child is Fine, but a Mother Suspects More…

October 11, 2013

October is, among other things, National Dyslexia Awareness Month. But today’s blog post is timely no matter the date, because a delayed diagnosis of a child’s learning difference exhausts every resource a parent might have. If have a concern about dyslexia, we strongly encourage you to have your child tested. This is a service schools must provide if you request it. You can also do a relatively quick, at-home dyslexia screener, or find a child psychologist who can do a full evaluation.   Nancy Weinstein, the founder of Mindprint, starts us off with a brief introduction, followed by our Q&A. Nancy: Although each family’s situation is unique, this story is all too familiar. Parents know they have a bright child but something feels “wrong”…. Read More

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