Focus on Psychology with Children
With an educational specialist degree in school psychology and with over 40 years of training and experience as a school psychologist, I have a vast range of skills working with children of preschool age through adolescence. From the beginning, I will provide a thorough diagnostic assessment to make sure your child’s needs and problems have been pinpointed as well as possible. Part of the assessment process would include psychological testing or a review of psychological testing from another practitioner. Depending on the nature of the child’s situation or needs any one of the following tests would be administered individually by me as part of the diagnostic workup:
- Academic Achievement
- Emotional Status and Personality
- Social Maturity
- Study Habits and Attitudes
- Learning Style
- Adaptive Behavior in Communication, Socialization, Daily Living and Coordination Skills
- Educational Preference
- Functional Behavior
In addition to testing, other information is also needed in the overall assessment process. Parent observations about the child’s current and past behavior and functioning will be requested. In most cases, information about the child’s school performance will also be obtained from school staff. When appropriate, I will also observe the child in the classroom.
After the assessment process is completed and the results are compiled and analyzed, I will explain the results and will discuss the implications including the child’s needs with parents. Parents will be able to have their questions answered and will receive a written report of the findings and recommendations. I will outline a plan of action to meet the child’s needs at home and school.
A follow up plan may include, depending on the child’s needs, coaching or counseling with the child and parents. Specific goals and objectives would be stated based on the child’s requirements and techniques of how to meet these needs would be clarified. Desirable behaviors would be strengthened using positive reinforcement and positive thinking patterns while weakening connections between troublesome situations and the child’s habitual reactions to them. This kind of therapy has, by far, the most research support.
As a coach or therapist, I take an active part in solving children’s problems by working with the child individually or with the child and parents together. Parents and child will share in setting treatment goals and in deciding which techniques work best. To help speed up progress and document success the child and/or parent may take on valuable “homework” assignments to increase the results of the work done at the office. The child will be seen when he or she needs it, and not when they don’t. As progress is made and goals are met the coaching or counseling sessions will terminate, with the option of resuming if the need arises.
When the child’s needs impact school behavior and performance, the treatment plan will also include a suggested learning program. With parent consent and willingness of school personnel the child’s positive behavior at school could also be strengthened by coordinating the techniques for behavior change at home with those at school. Thus, a collaborative effort between parent, child, school staff, and me could be developed to speed up progress in order to meet the child’s needs. I am also willing to go to the child’s school in order to consult with school staff on behalf of the child and to be an advocate in meeting your child’s needs.