Topic Tuesday: Educational Advocacy

Today's topic is about “School/Educational Advocacy" written with Post Doctoral Fellow in Neuropsychology & Licensed School Psychologist, Dr. Amanda Skierkiewicz. To learn more about Dr. Amanda and her clinical interests click here.


Introduction 

When your child has neuropsychological, neurological, or related needs it can sometimes be stressful and confusing to navigate the educational system and potential support services. Educational Advocacy guides the child and their families to better understand the child’s educational needs and make informed, effective decisions about services and the level of support needed. At Landstrom Center, Educational Advocacy aids in creating a productive, positive learning environment that is crucial for every child’s academic success.

Understanding Unique Learning Needs

Every student and how they learn best is different. Understanding your child’s unique learning needs is extremely important and is the first step toward academic success. A comprehensive, diagnostic evaluation will pinpoint an area of dysfunction, identify a diagnosis, determine areas of strengths and areas of need, and direct the most effective treatments. 

Clinical professionals, treatment programs, and educational institutions rely on evaluations to aid in treatment planning to create a specific and individualized path towards the best possible outcome. Obtaining an accurate clinical/cognitive profile of your child’s needs will enable his/her team to move forward with establishing support and services, both in and out of the school setting. 

Collaborative Approach 

Along with understanding your child’s unique learning needs, establishing a cooperative multidisciplinary team for your child will help to ensure and foster success. It is important to have all individuals who work directly with your child communicate and work together toward the common goal of your child’s success. Establishing and implementing this type of approach will optimize success and ensure all knowledge is shared across treatment providers and academic professionals.

What School/Educational Advocacy Looks Like 

Here at Landstrom Center, we are passionate about being an active member of your child’s educational team and an active advocate for your child and their academic success. Our Educational Advocacy services range from a one-time consultation to ask questions to having a member of our clinical team attend school meeting(s). Continually, Educational Advocacy can involve: 

  • Assisting in the process of obtaining support or school services
  • Communicating and applying evaluation findings to an educational setting
  • Making recommendations to integrate evaluation findings
  • Translating documents into parent-friendly language
  • Attending IEP/504 meetings
  • Conducting classroom observations. 

Most importantly, Educational Advocacy services will equip you with the knowledge and resources to understand your child’s educational needs and ensure they have access to an effective and positive learning environment. 

Conclusion 

No matter what level of Educational Advocacy is needed you can always be sure that Landstrom Center is on your and your child’s team. Every child should have an effective, positive learning environment that fosters success. Our clinical staff has first-hand experience working in schools as licensed school psychologists and social workers and we continue to stay involved with the educational system through: 

  • Training future school psychologists 
  • Being active in school-related groups 
  • Consulting & contracting with local school districts 
  • Presenting & participating at national school-related conferences   
    • In fact at the end of February, Dr. Amanda and one of our Advanced Doctoral Student Externs, Jessica Cruz, will be presenting at the 2019 National Association for School Psychologists Convention in Atlanta, Georgia! 

At Landstrom Center, we will utilize all of this experience and knowledge to be the best advocate for you child!