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IEP Meetings From a Mom’s Perspective

I have worked for North Shore Pediatric Therapy for more than two years in the marketing department. I thought I was familiar with the many challenges families go through with their children, Blog-IEP-Meetings-Main-Landscapehowever, the idea of going through “the IEP process” never crossed my mind, until I had to.

When my son started kindergarten, we had some concerns about certain behaviors, but honestly really thought they were only phases. A few weeks into the school year as they began practicing drills, he had a severe panic attack requiring help from the school social worker. At that time, his teacher recommended he begin seeing the social worker more frequently and that led to our process of seeking a full evaluation to really understand him.

He was evaluated by Dr. Greg Stasi at NSPT and given a diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder. It was then that we were faced with the dreadful IEP meetings. I had heard so many stories of hardship parents faced when fighting for their child’s needs. As a result, I went into the process expecting a fight, and boy would they get one if necessary because in my mind, nothing was going to come between my child getting the help he needed.

Because of my job, I am fortunate enough to have access to excellent professionals and resources, who understand the IEP process, and who helped me prepare for the initial IEP meeting. I was ready for that day. And you know what happened? I didn’t have to fight. I was so fortunate to have a wonderful team wanting and willing to give my son everything he needed to succeed. Everything I was prepared to fight for was already part of their plan, too.

I know this isn’t typical, and so many families struggle to get their child’s needs met.

Here are some tips, from a mom’s perspective on how to approach IEP meetings to get what you, and your child, need:

  1. Be prepared. Those same resources I have access to because of my job…guess what? YOU have access to those same things! NSPT has so many blogs and infographics to help you begin your journey. Having a full neuropsych evaluation is a real plus as it lends a direction for goal development and is appreciated by the district staff.
  2. Be understanding. Understand that those on the other side of the table really do want to help. Often they are restricted by legal mandates. So you may find that there are questions you ask where they can’t fully answer.
  3. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask any and all questions you have in order to understand each element being addressed. It goes fast. And they use a lot of terms you don’t recognize. Stop them and ask.
  4. Bring help. Don’t be afraid to bring outside support, such as a school advocate, to help speak on your behalf. They know the rules and can help you “fight.”
  5. Don’t sign the plan if you are not happy. You will be asked to sign the plan at the end. If you are not comfortable, don’t do it, unless it’s on the condition that you are requesting another meeting to go over the details again to re-write the goals.
  6. Hold Accountability. As the school year continues, don’t be afraid to check in on the team, the therapists, and the teacher to ensure all accommodations are being met.

Be the voice. Remember, you are your child’s voice. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Deerfield, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Mequon! If you have any questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140!

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Julie Hrdlicka

Julie Hrdlicka

Julie is a graduate of the University of Saint Francis in Joliet with a degree in Communications with a concentration in Graphic Design and Advertising. There, she was also a 4-year member of the softball team and team captain in the 2001-2002 season earning all-conference and all-region accolades. After graduation she spent 5 years as the marketing manager for the Chicago Bulls White Sox Training Academy and almost 8 years as the brand manager for Athletico before joining NSPT. In her spare time she spends time with her two young children whether it’s being at the soccer field, playing at the park, or a family trip to the forest preserve for fishing.

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A Small Break from Therapy – What’s the Big Deal?

A major struggle in the therapist world is achieving consistent client attendance. Attendance consistency is needed to build relationships, identify challenging skill areas, make progression within areas of need, create a home program and make modifications to treatment based on the individual’s needs. Without consistency, it can be difficult to achieve long-term goals, and ultimately celebrate with course completion, or therapy graduation! blog-therapy-consistency-main-landscape

We all acknowledge that life happens and sometimes the regularly scheduled appointment time just does not work. Children deserve to have sick time, enjoy a day free of responsibility and schedule, or a chance to play outside on the first nice day. Additionally, summer and holidays are an exciting time to make memories and for the child to learn through experience (us therapists agree-cherish these moments!). When there is an occasional missed therapy day or a break is initiated, the time away can be harmful to their progress. Additionally, it can also be very difficult for the child and family to transition back into the routine of a weekly therapy session. Although it’s an exciting time for families, it’s important to remember how to maintain the progress that’s already been made in therapy.

Think about it this way- there are 7 days or 168 hours in a week. If you are scheduled for one appointment that is an hour long, the child has therapy for 1 out of 168 hours. When it is put into these terms this does not seem like a significant duration, does it? Now if the appointment is missed for just 1 week, then the child will receive therapy for 1 out of 336 hours. Therapy is just a small fraction of their life so their time in the clinic is critical for growth.

What can be done to increase progress and decrease our overall time attending therapy?

  • Increase your frequency to the therapist’s recommendation
  • Be consistent and on time!
  • Make a commitment to your home program and request for updated materials as needed!
  • Reschedule days that are missed (sometimes it may need to be on another therapist’s schedules- this is okay).
  • See if there is an appointment time that better meets yours and your family’s needs
  • Plan ahead and add in extra session if you know of an upcoming vacation

**Please keep in mind cancellations should be done at least 24 to 48 hours in advance, so other families also have the chance to reschedule.

NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee! If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!

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Shelly Sears

Shelly Sears

Graduated from Western Michigan University with both her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Shelly has a master’s of science in occupational therapy with a concentration in pediatrics. While in school Shelly had an opportunity to work closely with children who have a variety of functional challenges particularly those with autism, trauma backgrounds, and diverse physical limitations. She also had the opportunity to work as a pediatric home therapist and clinical instructor at a sensory motor facility for several years while in school. Shelly begun working at North Shore Pediatric Therapy at the Glenview location in 2014. More recently she has been certified in Therapeutic Listening through Vital Links to further assist children’s sensory development. As a clinician, Shelly is dedicated to individualize treatment with a concentration on parent education for a holistic experience and optimal care.

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Academic Accommodations for Children with ADHD

Children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may face many obstacles in the classroom. Structure and consistency are the two main keys to success for children withBlog-ADHD-Accommodations-Main-Landscape ADHD, but each case presents with its own challenges and accommodations should address the unique needs of the individual student.

The following are examples of what a child with ADHD may present in the classroom and associated accommodations:

For a student presenting with difficulties sustaining attention and following directions:

  • Instructions should be kept brief and specific and presented one step at a time.
  • Maintain eye contact with child while presenting instructions and have the child “teach” the instructions back to the teacher.
  • Reduce task length (i.e., focus on quality of work rather than quantity) or break complex tasks into smaller pieces.
  • Seat the child near the teacher and away from distractions such as doors, windows, or other students who may be disruptive.
  • Provide a “quiet zone” for the student to complete tests or in-class assignments.
  • Use verbal cues or signals as behavioral prompts when the child falls off task.
  • Set time limits or “challenges” for completing tasks.
  • Provide visual prompts for classroom routines.

For a child presenting with excessive activity and/or impulse control:

  • Allow the child to stand near his or her desk or kneel in his or her chair during seated work as long as no disruption is caused.
  • Use instructional approaches that encourage active responding such as talking, moving, or working at the board.
  • Provide breaks for directed movement such as passing out materials.
  • Reward short periods of waiting or on task behavior and gradually increase the period a child is successful.
  • Encourage non-disruptive activities such as reading or doodling during times of day that have proven problematic.
  • Clearly state rules and expectations, and clearly state positive and negative consequences for behaviors. Review these rules often and post visual reminders.

All children will benefit from positive feedback, reinforcement for small improvements, frequent opportunities for active participation, and assignments related to the child’s interests. Additionally, established routines and schedules, along with both verbal and visual reminders, will help any child to be successful in the classroom environment. Most importantly, remember not to assume that a failure to follow instructions is due to a lack of effort or an intentional failure to pay attention, nor is overactivity or impulsive behavior intended as an act of defiance.

NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!

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Cynthia Kane

Cynthia Kane

Cynthia Kane, PhD is a 1996 graduate with a B.A. from the University of Iowa. She obtained her PhD in 2010 from the Illinois Institute of Technology with an internship and post-doctorate from the University of Chicago. Cynthia has participated in research topics to include abbreviated assessment batteries in identifying learning disorders and ADHD. In addition, she has trained fellows and residents, and psychology practicum and internship students in Neuropsychology assessment. In her career, Cynthia has tested and helped countless kids to develop a plan to reach their maximum potential.

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Reasons to Seek a Neuropsychological Evaluation for Your Child

Neuropsychology is a field of psychology that focuses on the relationship between learning, behavior, and brain functioning. A child may be referred for a Blog-Neuropsychological-Evaluation-Main-Landscapeneuropsychological evaluation when there are concerns about one or more areas of their development. This can include a child’s cognitive, academic, memory, language, social, self-regulatory, emotional, behavioral, motor, visual-spatial, and adaptive functioning.

This type of evaluation can help rule out diagnoses such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Learning Disorder, Language Disorder, as well as various emotional and behavioral disorders. A neuropsychological evaluation can also be helpful if your child has been diagnosed with a medical condition such as Down Syndrome or other genetic disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, or Epilepsy. The purpose of the evaluation is to identify a child’s patterns of strengths and challenges in order to provide parents, schools, and other providers with strategies to help them succeed across contexts. It can also be used to track a child’s progress and response to targeted interventions.

In order to assess whether a neuropsychological evaluation may be helpful for a child, a family may identify concerns in the following areas:

  • Cognitive
    • Difficulties with verbal and nonverbal reasoning and problem solving
    • Requiring a significant amount of repetition and/or additional time when learning
    • Delays in adaptive functioning
  • Academic
    • Grades below peers
    • Concerns with reading (phonetic development, fluency, comprehension), mathematics (calculation, word problems), or writing (spelling, content, organization)
    • Needing additional time to complete schoolwork, homework, or tests
    • Frustration with academic work
  • Language
    • Expressive (output of language) or receptive (understanding of language) difficulties
    • Challenges initiating or maintaining a conversation
    • Difficulties with sarcasm or non-literal language (e.g, “It’s raining cats and dogs”)
    • Repetitive or odd language usage (e.g., repeating lengthy scripts heard from television or news programs)
    • Pronoun reversals or odd use of language
  • Self-Regulation
    • Difficulty paying attention or sitting still
    • Needing frequent prompts or reminders to complete tasks
    • Difficulty with multiple-step commands
    • Losing or misplacing items
    • Forgetting to turn in completed assignments
  • Social
    • Poor peer relations
    • Inappropriate response when approached by peers
    • Difficulty with imaginative, functional, or reciprocal play
    • Limited interest in peers or preference for solitary play
  • Repetitive Behaviors
    • Repetitive vocalizations
    • Repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand flapping, finger flicking, body rocking)
    • Lining up toys, spinning wheels of cars, sorting objects for prolonged periods of time
  • Behavioral Dysregulation
    • Physical or verbal aggression
    • Defiance or non-compliance
    • Difficulties with transitions or changes in routine
    • Self-injury (e.g., head banging)
  • Emotional
    • Poor frustration tolerance
    • Irritability or easily upset
    • Eating or sleeping difficulties
    • Somatic complaints
    • Negative self-statements
    • Lack of interest in things he/she used to enjoy
  • Visual-Spatial, Visual-Motor, and Motor
    • Poor handwriting
    • Trouble with fine motor tasks (e.g., unwrapping small items, buttoning or zipping clothing, tying shoe laces)
    • Difficulty transferring information from the classroom board to a notepad, or transferring information from a test booklet to a scantron/bubble sheet
    • Difficulty with overwhelming visual displays (e.g., computer screen with several icons; homework with several problems on one sheet; a book with several colors and pictures)

Should a child demonstrate difficulties in some of the areas listed above, he/she may benefit from further consultation or a subsequent neuropsychological evaluation. Through this process, areas of difficulty can be identified, and targeted interventions will be suggested to enhance a child’s development.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

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Nina Goudis

Nina Goudis

Dr. Nina Goudis is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at North Shore Pediatric Therapy (NSPT). Dr. Nina specializes in the evaluation of children with various intellectual and developmental disorders, learning difficulties, and emotional and behavioral challenges. Her specific areas of expertise include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Down Syndrome, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Specific Learning Disorder, as well as various emotional and behavioral disorders. Dr. Nina completed her fellowship in Neuropsychology at NSPT. Prior to this, Dr. Nina completed her Pre-Doctoral Internship in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Track at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH), an Autism Treatment Network site. At NCH, Dr. Nina provided comprehensive assessment and intervention for youth with varying intellectual and developmental difficulties. She was also part of six clinical specialty rotations, Neurodevelopmental, Down Syndrome/Developmental Disabilities, Feeding, Bowel Management and Rural Outreach Clinics, as well as a rotation through a residential care facility for nonambulatory children and adults with multiple developmental disabilities. Prior to this, Dr. Nina conducted psychological assessments of children in the Attention, Learning, and Behavior Clinic and Developmental Disabilities Clinic at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Pediatric Developmental Center, where she also provided intensive behavior therapy to youth with a broad range of developmental, learning, and behavioral challenges. She also spent time evaluating children in a therapeutic day school and presented results in district staffings to help determine a child’s eligibility for special education services. Furthermore, she has experience providing individual, family, and group therapy in a community mental health center. Dr. Nina’s past research experiences have included projects involving youth with spina bifida, underserved and urban child populations, and Parent-Child Interactive Therapy. Her doctoral dissertation examined the statistical properties and clinical utility of the Children’s Category Test Level 1; a neuropsychological assessment used to assess brain injury in child populations. Dr. Nina has spent time volunteering in an art program for adults with severe mental illness and developmental disabilities, and has also fundraised for Autism Speaks.

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Specific Learning Disorders in Children

Learning disorders are some of the most common neurodevelopmental LearningDisorders-Main-Landscapeconditions that children face. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), which is the guidebook on classification of diagnoses published by the American Psychiatric Association indicated that the prevalence of specific learning disorders across academic domains of reading, mathematics, and written expression is between 5%-15% in school aged children.

There is significant discussion both in the literature, and among clinicians and researchers, regarding how to appropriately classify and subsequently diagnose a specific learning disorder. Traditionally, it was assumed that a specific learning disorder existed when there was a significant discrepancy between a child’s cognitive ability and achievement in reading, mathematics, or written expression. However, within the US, changes have occurred over the past decade regarding the criteria used for determining a specific learning disorder which is now based on a multi-tier process involving early identification and intervention and the child’s response to the intervention.

Where children might exhibit learning disorders:

According to the DSM-5, there are three specifications of learning disorders that children might exhibit: Specific Learning Disorder With Impairment in Reading, Specific Learning Disorder With Impairment in Written Expression, and Specific Learning Disorder with Impairment in Mathematics. It is quite common for children to exhibit multiple learning disorders.

Potential related deficits:

There are definite concerns with a child’s social, emotional, and behavioral regulation if they have a documented learning disorder. Prior studies have indicated that up to 75% of children with a diagnosed learning disorder demonstrate significant social skill deficits expressed by peer rejection and social isolation.

What can be done:

It is our strong recommendation that in order to most effectively address a child’s specific learning disorder, it is important that the child undergo a comprehensive evaluation in order to effectively classify and make sense of the patterns of difficulty that the child presents with as well as to rule out additional existing factors of concern, and to best determine what specific interventions are warranted. Recommended interventions are specifically based on the area of weakness a child exhibits both across the testing as well as within the child’s academic environment.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview, Lake Bluff and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

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Dr. Greg Stasi

Gregory Stasi, Ph.D., is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology. He went on to earn his Masters and Doctorate at the Illinois Institute of Technology where he made his decision to focus his career on pediatric neuropsychology. Dr. Stasi has worked and studied at numerous medical centers including: The University of Chicago Medical Center and the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Prior to working at North Shore Pediatric Therapy, Dr. Stasi was a faculty member at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital and was a neuropsychologist at the Rush Neurobehavioral Center. Dr. Stasi has extensive experience with the assessment and diagnosis of a variety of conditions including: learning disorder, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and social/emotional concerns. Dr. Stasi also serves as a school advocate for parents by providing assistance and case management in order for children with special needs to obtain the most effective school accommodations possible.

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Diagnosing Your Child on the Autism Spectrum: Fact or Fiction?

Many times parents fear an autism diagnosis because they do not want a stigma for their child. However, it is important to understand that an appropriate diagnosis is the first piece of the puzzle. For those brave souls who don’t stop until they have the correct answer, the payoff is worth the effort and pain. A good diagnosis and evaluation should serve as a means of identifying appropriate and practical recommendations as well as a basis for progress monitoring from the intervention. At North Shore Pediatric Therapy’s Neuropsychological Center in Illinois, we utilize clinical testing to help identify the most appropriate diagnosis.

The Autism Testing Process at NSPT-Diagnosing Your Child:

Neuropsychological testing is an empirically supported way of assessing a child’s cognitive, academic, and social-neuropsychological testing at north shore pediatric therapyemotional functioning. The evaluation occurs over three days with an intake session, the actual testing day, and the feedback session.

  • Intake: The intake session is when the parents and child attend a formal meeting to discuss concerns. It is important that child attends the session as the neuropsychologist would want to attain some basic information regarding the child’s verbal functioning, social skills, and attentional regulation. Parents understandably do not want to speak in front of their child about concerns they have. We understand that and will ensure our best that the child is in a separate room when parents are talking about specific concerns.
  • Testing: The testing session consists of ascertaining information from a variety of resources including parents, teachers, outside practitioners (any therapist working with the child or family), behavioral observations, as well as the child’s performance on a variety of assessment measures. Testing is intensive and lasts upwards of four to five hours. The focus is to provide quantified information regarding the child’s functioning across a variety of domains and also to look for consistent patterns across performance.
  • Feedback: The feedback session is the most important aspect of the evaluation. This is the meeting in which the parents are provided information regarding the diagnosis that is given as well as what the next steps are to ensure that the child is able to progress to his or her potential. Read here for more on what to expect after neuropsychological testing.
  • Follow-up: The next step is for the neurologist to re-evaluate the child in six month’s to one years time (depending on the intervention that was prescribed) in order to monitor progress the interventions and to help progress monitor if additional supports or services are needed.

Be a Smart Detective When Seeking an Autism Diagnosis for Your Child:

For those parents with the courage to dive into discovering the diagnosis behind your child’s challenges, I say kudos to you! Those parents are the real child-advocates. Kick start your child’s success with a deep dive into your child’s diagnosis by seeking a neuropsychologist. I, Dr. Greg Stasi along with my colleague Dr. Amy Wolok provide in depth Autism Spectrum testing at our Neuropsychology Center in Chicago, IL. Our Center works alongside the many other therapists at North Shore Pediatric Therapy’s Glenview, Highland Park, Bucktown, Evanston and Lincolnwood Clinics to provide a comprehensive team all working together to help your child reach his or her potential. The neuropsychological evaluation is designed to help identify what specific strengths and weaknesses a child is exhibiting which leads to the best diagnosis and most importantly the most efficacious intervention.






Dr. Greg Stasi

Gregory Stasi, Ph.D., is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology. He went on to earn his Masters and Doctorate at the Illinois Institute of Technology where he made his decision to focus his career on pediatric neuropsychology. Dr. Stasi has worked and studied at numerous medical centers including: The University of Chicago Medical Center and the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Prior to working at North Shore Pediatric Therapy, Dr. Stasi was a faculty member at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital and was a neuropsychologist at the Rush Neurobehavioral Center. Dr. Stasi has extensive experience with the assessment and diagnosis of a variety of conditions including: learning disorder, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and social/emotional concerns. Dr. Stasi also serves as a school advocate for parents by providing assistance and case management in order for children with special needs to obtain the most effective school accommodations possible.

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What Percentage Of Our Brains Do We Really Use?

You may have recently seen (or more likely heard) the debonair voice of Morgan Freeman in a movie trailer for Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson. In the trailer, you hear him state the statistic that we, as humans, only use 10 % of our brain’s capacity. This seems a shocking statistic that makes you wonder… is this for real?

Well.

No matter how convincing that buttery voice may be, you can’t believe everything he says! The origins of this popularwhat percentage of our brain do we use myth is unknown, but it is thought to be traced back to the Einstein era. “Though an alluring idea, the “10 percent myth” is so wrong it is almost laughable”, says neurologist Barry Gordon at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

That is neither here nor there… What IS important is knowing how powerful our brain is and that we actually use most of our brain all the time! Our brain actually uses up 20% of our body’s energy, and in kids, it uses up 50% of their energy! John Henley from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota states that “Evidence would show over a day you use 100 percent of the brain.”

Without even thinking about it, at this very moment you are doing the following with your brain:

  • Blinking (thanks your motor cortex)
  • Breathing (thanks to your brainstem)
  • Reading this blog (using your occipital lobe AKA eye sight AND your frontal lobe for thinking and reasoning)
  • Moving the mouse around (using your cerebellum).

That’s just to name a few… Even the most mundane tasks (like sleeping) can stir up quite a lightning storm in the ol’ noggin’. So when you hear Mr. Freeman state that overly used myth about only using 10% of your brain (in his elegant way), don’t let that voice forget you know the truth! That’s not to say we can’t get swept up in the alluring cinematic idea of being a super-human, right?!

 







Megan Pearson

Megan Pearson

Megan Pearson is a member of the Neuropsychology team as the Lead Neuropsychology Technician at North Shore Pediatric Therapy. Over the past year, she has assessed over 200 children presenting with ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Autism, Dyslexia, social-emotional issues, and more. Megan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Illinois State University in 2007 and subsequently graduated from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in Chicago with a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology in 2011. Megan is currently in the process of obtaining her LCPC credential. Megan also manages the neuropsychology blog team in developing and organizing blogs for NSPT. Over the years, she has had many wonderful experiences working with children in different capacities with a variety of backgrounds. She had the pleasure of conducting therapy and assessments with children and teens specializing in play therapy, anxiety, depression, behavioral disorders, and ADHD.

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Q and A: Gender Differences in ADHD

Recently we highlighted a study that suggested that diagnosis rates of ADHD differed in children of different races.  Today’s blog points out the differences in symptoms and diagnosis rates between genders. ADHD

Now, more than ever, researchers are uncovering tangible evidence to explain the differences in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms among boys and girls.  With accumulating data, we are better equipped to understand the neurobiology of these developing boys and girls, refine assessment, and focus on treatment.

Q & A | Gender Differences in ADHD:

Q: Are boys, in fact, more likely to have ADHD? 

A: The ratio of ADHD in boys to girls is relatively equal, with reliable reports ranging between 2:1 (CDC, 2011) and 1:1 (Froehlich, 2007).  To no surprise, however, boys continue to be disproportionately diagnosed at higher rates than girls (Bruchmuller, Margraf, & Schneider, 2011), likely due to their tendency to display more disruptive behaviors. Read more

Amy Wolok

Dr. Amy Wolok is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at NSPT specializing in neuropsychological evaluation of children who are experiencing a variety of challenges. She received her Doctor of Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has extensive training in the assessment of Learning Disorders, including ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and problems arising from medical conditions and emotional distress. Dr. Wolok's passion is working with a child's support network to ensure their most optimal development. She practices with the belief that a thorough assessment should be applied practically in order to better understand a child and to provide specific direction for individualized treatment.

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Racial Differences in the Diagnosis of ADHD

A recent study published in the June issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics indicated that Caucasian children are more likely to receive a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)ADHD in comparison to minority children.  This study followed more than 17,000 children across the nation from kindergarten through eighth grade and asked their parents whether not their children were ever diagnosed with ADHD.

Findings-Racial Differences in the Diagnosis of ADHD:

The researchers found that Hispanic and Asian children were about half as likely to receive a diagnosis of ADHD as Caucasian children.  African American children were about two thirds less likely to be diagnosed with the condition.

Implications of this Study:

It is important to realize that the study cannot indicate whether or not ADHD is over diagnosed in Caucasian children or under diagnosed in minority children.  However, the numbers are pretty glaring and most definitely indicate a discrepancy in not only diagnosing the condition, but also in the interventions received. Read more

Dr. Greg Stasi

Gregory Stasi, Ph.D., is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology. He went on to earn his Masters and Doctorate at the Illinois Institute of Technology where he made his decision to focus his career on pediatric neuropsychology. Dr. Stasi has worked and studied at numerous medical centers including: The University of Chicago Medical Center and the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Prior to working at North Shore Pediatric Therapy, Dr. Stasi was a faculty member at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital and was a neuropsychologist at the Rush Neurobehavioral Center. Dr. Stasi has extensive experience with the assessment and diagnosis of a variety of conditions including: learning disorder, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and social/emotional concerns. Dr. Stasi also serves as a school advocate for parents by providing assistance and case management in order for children with special needs to obtain the most effective school accommodations possible.

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ADHD and Executive Functioning Resource Guide

Are you looking for more information on ADHD or Executive Functioning?  Read on for top picks from our ADHD ResourcesNeuropsychologist.

Top Resources for Information on ADHD and Executive Functioning:

  • Taking Charge of ADHD:  The Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents.  Barkley, Russell (2013): This book provides parents with evidence based interventions regarding ADHD.  It is well written and easily readable, while providing parents and practitioners with the latest research supported information regarding ADHD and various interventions.
  • Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents:  A Practical Guide to Assessment and InterventionDawson, Peg and Guare, Richard (2010): This book is aimed at practitioners that work with children with Executive Functioning concerns.  It may be a little research heavy for some parents; however, it is a wonderful resource for therapists and educators.   It includes basic research on Executive Functioning as well modifications and interventions that can help children and adolescents with a variety of Executive Functioning issues including disorganization, inflexibility, initiation of tasks, and monitoring work. Read more

Dr. Greg Stasi

Gregory Stasi, Ph.D., is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor Degree in Psychology. He went on to earn his Masters and Doctorate at the Illinois Institute of Technology where he made his decision to focus his career on pediatric neuropsychology. Dr. Stasi has worked and studied at numerous medical centers including: The University of Chicago Medical Center and the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Prior to working at North Shore Pediatric Therapy, Dr. Stasi was a faculty member at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital and was a neuropsychologist at the Rush Neurobehavioral Center. Dr. Stasi has extensive experience with the assessment and diagnosis of a variety of conditions including: learning disorder, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and social/emotional concerns. Dr. Stasi also serves as a school advocate for parents by providing assistance and case management in order for children with special needs to obtain the most effective school accommodations possible.

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