When children have learning
problems, their parents are usually the first to notice that something is just
not right. And when they notice, they want reliable information so they can help
their children. We at Reinforcement Unlimited, LLC understand
your concern and are equipped to help you find out what, if anything, is
different about how your child learns through our Comprehensive Evaluation
Tests specifically for learning disabilities are
referred to as achievement tests because they evaluate and measure areas of
strengths and weaknesses in various academic areas. A comprehensive
evaluation, however, includes a variety of procedures in addition to the
achievement tests, such as assessments of ability, interviews, direct observation, reviews of your
child's educational and medical history, and information from teachers and
professionals who work with your child. Either you or the school can
request this evaluation, but it is conducted only with your written permission.
Since you are one of the most knowledgeable
observers of your child's development, it is important that you be an active
participant in the evaluation process. We include you in a variety of ways
from asking you questions directly, to sending home questionnaires, to asking
you to report on your child's behavior using various assessment devices.
We also ask that you provide us with whatever records you have available for us
to gain as comprehensive an understanding of you child as we can.
A good evaluation for a learning disability is not
as simple as "having your child tested". First, it requires
preparation on your part. You must choose an appropriate professional,
provide a clear statement of your (or a teacher's) concerns, and produce records
for review. You should be prepared to give a thorough and accurate prenatal,
birth, motor, and medical background as well as details about speech/language
development, social development, and family history. Finally, you and one or more
of the child's teachers will be asked to complete checklists about your child.
Supplying this information will determine the nature and scope of the
evaluation. The process is methodical, and cannot be rushed! So plan
ahead, allowing time to collect the necessary information and schedule
Our evaluations result in specific
recommendations on how to help your child. Labels are useful when they
help us to select the right supports and services to best help the child.
If the evaluation shows that your child has a learning disability, your child
may be eligible for special education services. All too often we hear
people telling parents that their child "is eligible" - even
pediatricians. Only an "IEP Team" through your school can
determine eligibility - not us as psychologists and not even a physician can
"order" special education services for any child. This is
why a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation is very important. It provides
both the basis for your asking for services and specific
recommendations on what they should look like to help your child. If
eligible, we will work with you and all those involved with supporting your
child, including your child's teacher, to develop an Individualized Education
Program (IEP). Our support can be anything from the minimum of providing you a
report with specific recommendations and reasons for them to share with the
school to attending the meetings with you at the school to assist in developing
an appropriate IEP for your child. If your child does not qualify for
special education, it is still important for you to work with your child's
teacher to develop an informal program that meets your child's learning needs.
You are a vital part of your child's education! We will work with you to
support you and your child through this process and have staff who are certified
teachers that can provide IEP consultation and support if needed as well.
It is very
important to understand that at Reinforcement Unlimited, LLC your child
will be seen by "the doctor" throughout the evaluation and not by a clerk,
student, intern, or other unqualified person. We take this process very
seriously and see it as critical that it is done by people who are fully
qualified to offer an opinion about what is going on with your child. This
is why we do all the evaluation ourselves and why we do not do "partial"
evaluations or administer specific tests alone. Our goal is to understand
why you are concerned enough about your child that you have sought a
comprehensive evaluation and give your our best informed opinions about how to
help your child succeed.
In addition to our Director, Dr. Robert
Montgomery, Reinforcement Unlimited, LLC is very fortunate to have Dr.
Christine Montgomery who is an expert on Learning Disorders, ADHD and other
impulse control disorders. Dr. Montgomery trained in neuropsychology
and has extensive experience in evaluating children. Her training includes
work at the University of Georgia
System's Regents Center for Learning Disorders, at the neuropsychology unit
of Scottish Rite Hospital, and with one of the world's leading authorities on
ADHD - Dr.
William Pelham. Dr. Montgomery uses a process approach to
designing and conducting evaluations that tailors the process to meet the unique
needs of the specific child. She works in concert with Dr. Robert
Montgomery and incorporates information from direct evaluation of the child,
school and parent reports, medical records, and unstructured observations of the
child. This comprehensive evaluation provides the best assessment of each
child and results in specific recommendations for treatment (if needed) that
includes child, parent, and school interventions.
We appreciate your visiting our
website. We understand that the process of seeking an evaluation for your
child can be overwhelming and frightening at the same time. We have been
there with our own children and hope that this helps us in being better equipped
to work with you. If you have any questions at all about us, our practice,
whether we are the right fit for you and your family we encourage you to call
and talk to our staff and ourselves. We aren't always the right fit, and
if we are not we will do our best to provide you with
resources that best meet your needs.
Call us at 770-591-9552 to discuss
your child's needs.
handout on what information we need in order to provide you the best evaluation
possible is available to guide you in preparing for the initial evaluation
Warning: Evaluations related to learning and
education matters are not deemed to be medical or mental health by insurance
carriers and therefore are not likely to be paid for by your medical insurance.
Please discuss any concerns regarding your situation with us prior to your first
appointment. We are happy to assist in any way we can but understand that
you remain responsible for all fees associated with an evaluation of your child.