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An in-Depth Look at Our Diagnostic Consultation Process
As part of the Diagnostic Consultation process, Cooper Consulting will:
- Engage in an in-depth interview with parent(s) and student. This in-office or Zoom meeting lasts approximately 90 minutes.
- Review the student’s developmental, medical, educational and family background.
- Look for indicators that point to challenges in navigating academic workload.
- Inspect existing learning plans, report cards, test scores, teacher observations, and psycho-educational evaluation results.
- Meet with parent(s) to discuss conclusions, patterns of strengths and vulnerabilities, recommendations, and suggested action plan. This in-office or Zoom meeting takes approximately 60-90 minutes.
A psycho-educational (or neuro-psychological) evaluation is critical in assessing exactly why your student is struggling. It can also be confusing and expensive. Selecting the tester who is the best fit for your child sounds easy—you have a friend who does it or your neighbor used someone they really like. But the testers are all very different and an approach that works for one student may be wrong for another—I have recommended more than a dozen different testers for different situations. Achieving the right fit from the start saves headaches, time and money.
As a Learning Specialist inside a school, I am often given testing data that is incomplete or unnecessary—both of which can be expensive and avoidable.
Decoding the results of neuropsych tests can be very tricky—they aren’t easy to understand and they don’t come with an instruction manual. Raw scores can be misleading—relationships between scores can be more meaningful than the scores themselves. And it’s not your tester’s job to answer the question, “So what do I do now?” That’s my job!
There are many great tutors, coaches and clinicians at your disposal, but the key is good fit and chemistry. Time and resource limitations also require that you prioritize which tutors to use when. We help minimize “trial-and-error” in making these decisions.
This is an art form. The right accommodations can be life changing. But schools are all different—as are teachers. Some are adamantly opposed to offering accommodations. Some are charged with marshaling the limited resources of the school system and give as little as possible for as long as possible. But with an LD diagnosis, the law says your student is entitled to receive special consideration—it’s not up to the school or the teacher.)
Step one in securing accommodations from the school is to ensure the student’s Individualized Education Program contains the language necessary to ensure your request for resources is as airtight as possible.)
Occasionally a family must hire an “advocate” who makes your case to the school/school board and acts as your legal representation. Finding the right advocate can be daunting. I help you do that and also prepare the advocate to make the best case possible. I will accompany the advocate to the hearing when it’s warranted.
The College Board [SAT] and the ACT have very different perspectives on how and why they grant testing accommodations. I have developed relationships with both organizations and have learned over a period of years how to write successful requests for the numerous different accommodations available.
Having a child is expensive. Having a child with learning differences can be very expensive, and often decisions must be made to prioritize resources and costs. I help you put your money to work in the right places at the right times.
The plan of action we create is not static. Some elements will progress faster than expected while others will lag. Identifying the necessary changes to the plan is more art than science and why your family needs an experienced learning specialist to manage the process.
Many learning differences are accompanied by anxiety and low self-esteem. Helping your student feel in control and boosting his/her confidence might be the most important thing I do. Showing students the silver linings behind their learning differences and helping them understand that a difference is not a defect can be very liberating.n Content
Need More Assitance?
We Offer Retainer Support Services
Often, the diagnostic process is only the beginning of our relationship. Once the plan is in place, families keep me on retainer to monitor and manage the process. This includes facilitating communication between all the parties involved, making in-course adjustments and coordinating the elements of the plan as described above.
- Monitoring of parent progress
- Observations of your student in academic settings
- Coordination of support activities
- Obtaining of accommodations for standardized testing
- Meeting with parents, schools, testers, doctors, tutors/coaches, life coaches, and college counselors