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Learning Disabilities
Evaluations

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 process.  

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 multiple appointments.

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.

A 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 appointment.

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.

 

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Our publications (online, email, or print) do not provide medical advice or a professional service. We are not engaged in providing any medical or professional advice or services through the publication or distribution of articles or comments on this site. Individuals with suspected or diagnosed disorders or syndromes, or any condition discussed on this site, should consult with a qualified professional for advice concerning treatment.  Please be advised that due to issus of confidentiality Reinforcement Unlimited, and its staff, will not correspond about specific children or their services via email or other electronic communication method.  If your inquiry is about a specific child's services please call the office at one of the numbers above.