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Topic Archives: IEPs, 504 Plans & School Services

After the Denial: What to do if your child didn’t get into the gifted program

January 11, 2017

by Dr. Wendy Matthews Were you disappointed to learn that your child didn’t qualify for your school’s gifted program? Does this fly in the face of anything you know to be true about your child’s capabilities and needs for additional enrichment? If your child was not accepted, you still have options. First, you need to decide whether you are sure the program is right for your child. Do some research. Learn about: (a) the quality of the program, (b) the amount of time involved, and (c) potential programming conflicts. Try to get a sense of the trade-offs for your child and for your family. Consider, too, the time, financial resources, and emotional reserves required of you to advocate for your child…. Read More

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Advice from our Learning Specialists: How to Prepare for an IEP Meeting

April 17, 2015

Note: This was originally posted on April 17, 2015 and edited and updated on March 21, 2016. By Sarah Vander Schaaff 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. It can be a stressful time for families. For this week’s blog, 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 psycho-educational evaluations to children. She is now a vital part of the Mindprint team. 1.  What materials should parents bring with them to the IEP… 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 Psycho-Educational Evaluation?

November 7, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff 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,” she said, “the discrepancy between his reading fluency and his CogAT scores.” The standardized test scores earned him a spot in advanced reading and yet he struggled with reading fluently. Her intuition told her something was wrong. She finally turned to a private psychologist to have her son evaluated. After two and a half months of meetings, interviews, tests and waiting, they discovered their son was dyslexic. That diagnosis changed the family’s lives, the mother said. They had a better understanding of how to help. They… Read More

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The School Says a Child is Fine, but a Mother Suspects There’s More to it…

October 11, 2013

By Sarah Vander Schaaff 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. So, get a cup of coffee and find a good chair, because today’s post is longer than some. But we think it’s worth it. How often do you hear from a parent who spent years suspecting “something wasn’t quite right” and finally took things into her own hands to find a solution for her child? Most Educated Mom posts look at the intersection between parenting and education. But as this mother’s story illustrates, that “intersection” is more of a loop. Nancy… Read More

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