My philosophy, beliefs, and values guide my approach to the work I do. I start from a position of believing that every child naturally loves to learn (especially when they are taught well) and that every child wants very much to achieve (even if they seem to not care). I believe that all parents want their child to be happy and fulfill their potential, but may not always know how to help their child achieve these goals. I recognize that every person has a unique profile of cognitive strengths and weaknesses, social, emotional, and behavioral development, and individual interests and dreams. Individual differences make us special and interesting. While the medical model of learning disability assessment focuses primarily on weaknesses and disability diagnosis, I believe that a focus on student strengths and interests is as important (if not more). By developing an understanding of a young person’s complete and distinctive profile of strengths as well as weaknesses, it is possible to design a strategic plan of action for learning that builds on strengths while simultaneously addressing areas of challenge. This focus on positives has the added benefit of fostering student motivation and nurturing self-confidence, increasing the likelihood that the student will “buy-in” to a plan for positive change and engage fully in self-improvement and growth.

Why I have chosen to be a specialist: I specialize in uncovering learning challenges and addressing the educational needs of bright and gifted students. This area is fraught with under-diagnosis and misdiagnosis because these children’s very intelligence can make them appear to be functioning at an average level while under the surface they are making a Herculean effort to keep up. In this age of exponentially expanding information I believe it is impossible for any professional to be an expert at everything, and to be equally up-to-date in all areas of psychology and education. So I have deliberately chosen to become an expert in the niche of bright/gifted learners in order to say abreast of the field and be better able to serve their needs.