On the Horizon – 01/30/13

Welcome to "On the Horizon"

Issue 211:
SUCCESS Builds Confidence!

On the Horizon is an award winning weekly ezine for parents of children with developmental disabilities who want simple, effective strategies to reduce stress, support their child’s development, and improve quality of life for the whole family.

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  • A Note from Dr. Beurkens
  • Feature Article:
    SUCCESS Builds Confidence!
  • Ask the Horizons Team
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recommended Resources

Hi Everyone!

As construction continues on the additions to our building this week, we can now see the structure coming together as walls are framed. It is fun to watch the reactions of our younger patients to all the construction activity. They have loved seeing the big diggers, cement trucks, forklifts, and delivery trucks coming and going. One of my elementary age patients asked me if we could leave the huge pile of dirt out back because it would make a great sand box and slide in the summer! I’m so thankful for how supportive and flexible our patients and their families are being throughout this process.

The featured article this week from Michelle is all about building SUCCESS for children and students. There are specific, simple actions we as adults can take to help ensure that children are successful in tackling new and more challenging experiences. I know you will find something to think about and implement today!

The Q&A this week is from a parent in Michigan about releasing evaluation reports to school personnel. This is an issue many parents are faced with at one time or another, and I hope you find my response helpful.

Looking to the horizon,
Nicole

SUCCESS Builds Confidence!

By Courtney Kowalczyk, M.Ed.

Success builds confidenceLiving in our dynamic, fast changing world can be extremely stressful — even for those who are processing information at a normal rate. Imagine moving to another country where you know only a limited amount of the language that the nationals speak. It could be overwhelming! Now imagine trying to keep up the same lifestyle you now have in that country. Without the support of a trusted guide, we’d all fail! What a different experience that would be if you were given more guidance, such as learning about the culture and foundational words in their language before you go; or going with somebody that is familiar with that country!

As a parent, being the guide to your children is an extremely important role; and when you have a child with autism, the stress of this job is amplified all the more. The pace of our world is very fast, and much too fast for a child with autism to process all that is necessary to function successfully. Below is the acronym SUCCESS, which offers 7 simple things you can do to begin a successful guided relationship with your child.

Click here to read the rest of this article…

Question:

My husband and I recently had a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation done for our 10-year-old son due to concerns in the areas of attention, immaturity, and reading comprehension. The results were thorough and very helpful to us as parents, especially as we think about how best to support his learning and behavior both in and out of school.

My question is about what I am obligated to provide to the school in terms of the report. The school has not been concerned about our son’s performance for years now, even when we have raised some concerns with them. They have never initiated an evaluation themselves, and didn’t seem very interested when we told them we would be pursuing an evaluation outside of school. However, now that the evaluation has been completed they are demanding to see the final report. They now tell us that they need to see it in order to provide appropriate supports to our son, who is in a general education 4th grade class and doing fairly well.

There is no need for an IEP and we are not requesting that they do anything specific at this point. I would like to share some of the information with them, especially related to strategies that might benefit our son in the classroom. However, I am very hesitant to share the entire report as it contains a lot of specific and personal information about our son and family. Also, I don’t want our son to be labeled or judged by teachers now and in the future based on the information in the report. Do you have any thoughts on how we could proceed?

Thanks,
Kiera in Michigan

Answer:

Hi Kiera,

This is a good question, and definitely something many parents are faced with when receiving evaluation results outside of school. Based on the circumstances you describe I do not think it is necessary for you to provide the entire neuropsychological report to the school. It sounds like you have valid reasons for wanting to keep some of the details of the evaluation confidential, and that is certainly your right and your son’s right to do that.

Since you are not asking the school to do anything specific right now, such as look at special education eligibility, there isn’t a pressing need for them to have the report. However, you may want to consider providing them with a summary of the information and recommendations that pertain to your son’s school involvement. That way they can understand and support your son appropriately, without being privy to all the details from the evaluation. You could write up a summary yourself or ask the evaluator to write a summary letter to the school for you. 

I think it is a good idea to provide them with the information relevant to his school performance, since it sounds like some of the concerns that prompted the evaluation pertain to his learning and behavior in school. However, you should feel free to pick and choose what information is divulged and to whom.

Best Wishes,
Dr. Beurkens

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Upcoming Events

Hear Dr. Beurkens Speak

Upcoming dates and locations where Nicole Beurkens, PhD will be speaking:

Autism and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders: Practical Strategies to Improve Processing

February 6, 2013 in Bridgeport, CT

February 7, 2013 in Cromwell, CT

February 8, 2013 in Warwick, RI

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Covid-19 "Coronavirus" Notice

Horizons DRC continues to provide therapy and consultations. Telehealth options are available. Please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or for resources to help handle this situation.