My son is smart and used to get good grades. Why is he suddenly struggling with reading?

  • There are various reasons why children may be experiencing challenges in school. A Learning Disorder, such as dyslexia, may be one of them. A comprehensive psycho-educational or neuropsychological evaluation may provide insights to the nature of the problem and how to remediate it. Sometime, around the 3rd grade or so, children’s reading skills plateau due to increased emphasis on comprehension, when dyslexia begins to show. Attention problems sometimes play a role in comprehension problems, as well.

My daughter’s teacher complains that she is always daydreaming in the classroom. She is not paying attention, writing down her homework or finishing her tests on time. What’s wrong with her?

  • This is characteristic of attention problems overlooked often in girls as her problems are not disruptive. She appears to have symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), rather than the more known Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which is detected more often due to its ‘hyperactive-impulsive’ component. A complete evaluation will not only clarify the diagnosis, learning problems but also indicate the best educational setting so she can learn in the most optimal way. Medication, educational accommodations and therapy including behavior modification are usually very effective, in conjunction.

What is a behavior modification plan?

  • A behavior modification plan consists of several components that are individualized to target maladaptive behaviors and replace them with adaptive behaviors. It consists of understanding and identifying the antecedent of the behavior (what causes it and why), the behavior exhibited as a result of the event (antecedent) and the consequence of the behavior (what happens when the child exhibits the behavior and what reactions reinforce that behavior). By identifying these components, we can begin to develop a plan to replace these problematic behaviors with more functional and adaptive behaviors using a token economy system or a reward system.

What is a token economy system or a reward system?

  • A token economy system or a reward system is a strategy frequently used to encourage good behavior. A child learns to earn rewards (both intrinsic (praises) and extrinsic (money, candy, privileges) rewards) in exchange for good performance, completion of obligations and responsibility or good behavior. It is meant to provide incentive for the child to exhibit certain desirable behaviors until the child learns to do so on his/her own. It is meant to be a short-term plan and is expected to be phased out or discontinued once the child succeeds.

I am having difficulties at work. I can’t seem to be on time, meet deadlines and am having difficulties with organization and managing stress. My boss is angry at me all the time. I may lose my job! What can I do?

  • A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation with focus on attention, memory and coping skills will help in determining whether your difficulties are due to phases of life or a disability. It will also help provide documentation of the need for workplace accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, if your workplace poses a bias to your disability. You may even benefit from a vocational evaluation to see if you may be suited for a different type of career or workplace.

College is hard! I thought that I would enjoy the freedom to complete work on my own terms and the decrease in structure. I’m having difficulties in areas that I never had challenges with. High school was much easier!

  • Some people thrive on structured environment whereas some enjoy the freedom to complete tasks on their own terms. The environment and curriculum in high school is drastically different than that of a college education. A psycho-educational evaluation can provide insight into the nature of your difficulties whether it be academic-related or behavior specific. A comprehensive evaluation can help you determine the educational supports needed for you to successfully obtain a college degree. Classroom and Testing accommodations, educational assistance and/or access to supports as well as assistive technology may be what you need.

    Colleges and universities may not have IEPs or special education programs but are legally required to provide certain accommodations such as extra time, separate testing locations, waivers or alternate courses due to disability and use of calculator, spell check, large font, alternate test formats, readers/scribes, labs, etc.

I have always been a poor test taker. I have taken the GREs/MCATs/GMAT/LSAT/ Licensing and Medical board examinations several times and have failed by a few points. Maybe it’s just not meant to be…

  • Be it stress, an underlying learning disability that you have learned to compensate for, or anxiety, a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation can help you provide documentation for testing accommodation that will help you achieve the your true potential. We provide evaluations as per the guidelines set forth by the committee for each standardized test and work hard to get you the extended time, separate testing locations, waivers on portions of the exam, verbal testing, use of calculator, spell check, large font, and alternate test formats that you need.

I had an incident at my job involving a violent altercation with a customer. My employers were concerned about my psychological well-being and that of my peers . I’m ready to return to work but I need a shrink to say I am okay. How do I go about doing that?

  • This is called a psychological or back-to-work clearance. We can provide you with a comprehensive psychological evaluation consisting of an extensive clinical interview and norm-referenced psychological measures that will help you get back to work, such as a mental health clearance, fitness of duty evaluation, such as to carry a firearm as a police officer, etc. You will have to bring in any documentation from work pertinent to the incident or your illness, if applicable. We will provide you with a thorough report of your current mental status and ability to work again.