Services Offered Philosophy

Assessment Philosophy

Research indicates that children do best when their strengths are identified and reinforced and their weaknesses are remediated or accommodated. A student’s strengths provide fruitful opportunities for enrichment as well as the potential for channeling learning through the child’s stronger modalities. The happy coincidence of strength and interest can be nurtured into passions that may fuel future career interests and provide a lifetime of enjoyable learning opportunities. This is why I spend so much time on uncovering student strengths and providing recommendations to pursue them.

Another philosophy that impacts my approach to assessment is an openness to alternatives while believing strongly in the importance of a scientific, evidence-based approach.

I respect different family values and circumstances and endeavor to tailor recommendations that will work, whether the child is in a selective private school in Manhattan, being home-schooled in the country, or attending a public or religious school. Some families wish to learn how to teach their own child and I can provide resources to help. Others need my help in finding tutors, or a better school-fit. Some families value a medical approach to challenges like ADHD or anxiety while others prefer a different approach. I listen, and help families figure out what will work for them.

I think it’s important to make the assessment process fun, interesting, and hopefully a transformative experience for the student. During the assessment positive reinforcement is liberally employed, frequent breaks are available, and tasks are organized in a variable and interesting way. Most children have so much fun they are eager to come back for more and several have asked their parents if they could please be tested every day instead of going to school. After the parent feedback session, I like to provide a separate feedback session for the student to “demystify” their learning profile in a way that helps them embrace their individuality and take ownership of their learning. Parents and students have later given me feedback that this session with the child transformed their child’s thinking and self-image. Learning that they actually are really smart and capable, but just have a few impediments in the way and things can be done to work with those, inspired them to adopt a growth mentality and influenced their school or career direction.

I provide formal diagnoses as needed for obtaining services and/or test accommodations. However I feel that labels, if overgeneralized, are gross simplifications of the complexity of the human mind. Nearly all of us have strengths in some areas and weaknesses in others, and no one  should be defined by one characteristic or a label. Everyone has the potential to learn how to become successful through the effective mobilization of strengths and working around weaknesses.