Addressing Your Child’s Learning Difficulties

When children experience difficulty in school, their performance in math, reading and writing needs to be evaluated to determine the exact causes of their learning difficulties. In addition to learning problems in these areas, there may be other factors impacting a child’s capacity to learn. Specifically, a child’s learning can be affected by a variety of reasons that can be challenging to differentiate. Some of these factors can include inattention, hyperactivity, poor planning, problems with disorganization and homework, and poor time management can exist.  In addition, emotional difficulties such as anxiety, depression, anger problems, and low frustration tolerance can have a negative impact on academic performance as well as everyday functioning.
There are a variety of ways to address these issues. Your first step may involve communicating with your child’s school to speak with a guidance counselor, school psychologist, and or an administrator. From this discussion a meeting can be held in order to obtain feedback from school personnel while discussing concerns regarding your child’s needs. If you are unsure about your child’s needs in the school setting then it may be appropriate to discuss your child’s progress with a psychologist who possesses knowledge of not only learning issues and childhood disorders, but one who understands the educational process that is required to have your child receive support in the academic environment.
Psychology Associates of Chester County, Inc. can provide a variety of testing and evaluation services to address these issues:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) Evaluations: This assessment includes, use of parent, and teacher rating scales, interview and observations of the child, and select subtests from cognitive and memory tests. Developmental history and academic performance, including issues related to homework completion are assessed. The results of the evaluation are used to determine whether your child has ADHD, while making recommendations based upon these findings.  Furthermore, the results can be used to facilitate communication and collaboration with the school and other service providers.
Learning Disability Evaluations:  A comprehensive assessment designed to identify cognitive, academic, emotional and behavioral strengths and needs, in order to determine how these aspects impact learning. As a result of these findings, recommendations for the child, school and parents are included in this report. Gifted evaluations are offered in order to determine appropriate recommendations and support services.
Vocational Evaluations: An assessment designed to help adults with making career or vocational decisions. The evaluation will include assessment of cognitive abilities, academic skills, and vocational interest. In addition, assessment of personality, emotional, and behavioral status are included to help determine appropriate vocational skills, as well as possible accommodations that may be needed in the workplace.
Psychological or Diagnostic evaluations: This assessment is directed towards assessing one’s emotional, behavioral, and social well-being as well as to identify and possibly diagnose mental health conditions. From this report, recommendations for self-improvement or treatment options will be provided. Types of measures used may include assessing cognitive abilities, academic skills, and personality status.
Asperger’s Disorder and/or Autistic Evaluations: This evaluation includes review of developmental history with parents, observations and interview with child, rating scales, feedback from school personnel and/or other service providers.
Additional Services Available
Consultation services: Dr. George Villarose is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified School Psychologist with direct experience working in school settings.  Dr. Villarose can assist parents and/or their caregivers in improving the quality of interaction between your child and their school, given their particular style of learning. This may include ways of presenting your concerns about your child’s needs or obtaining assistance in securing appropriate accommodations when needed. In addition, prior test data, evaluations, and academic records can be reviewed to facilitate collaborative communication between Dr. Villarose and the school to address your child’s needs.
Psychotherapy and counseling services: Dr. Villarose uses a cognitive behavior therapy approach when working with individuals in order to examine, thoughts, feelings and behaviors. From this assessment, skills are taught as a way to improve overall well-being and relationships. Other approaches used include family systems therapy, and parent consultation. Also, elements of the collaborative problem solving approach are applied. 
Visit: www.ChesterCountyPsychology.com for more information

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