Educational Testing and Neuropsychological Evaluations for Special Needs Children

Educational Testing and Neuropsychological Evaluations for Special Needs Children

Educational Testing and Neuropsychological Evaluations for Special Needs Children

Patricia S. Lemer, M. Ed., NCC gives us the scoop on educational testing and neuropsychological evaluations for special needs children. When I was twelve, my mother showed me some vocational tests she used in her volunteer work with seniors. I was fascinated. I loved math, puzzles, and analyzing behavior; I had found my perfect vocation. Later, I majored in psychological testing at college. The rest is history. For more than 30 years, I’ve been an educational diagnostician. Daily, I administer psycho-educational tests to kids and adults. For me, testing is like playing bridge; instead of using cards, I ask questions, present blocks and problems, pencil and paper. Every “hand” is a different, new puzzle to solve. Why Do Educational Testing? Educational testing and neuropsychological evaluations are important because most people want a diagnosis. The results of diagnostic testing determine placement, access to services such as special education or therapy, and insurance reimbursement (or denial). Rule: Decide whether you need a…

Child Malnutrition

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND Child malnutrition is often associated with the image of a thin, forlorn child with a distended belly. Another kind of malnutrition, with high and empty calories, runs rampant in America, among people who never experience deprivation. Children with developmental delays are especially susceptible to this type of malnutrition because they tend to be picky eaters or may be on restricted diets for the treatment of allergies or autism. What Is High or Empty Calorie Malnutrition? A person can gain weight eating excessive calories consisting only of bread and french fries, missing the nutrients needed for optimal neurological development.  During critical brain development periods, such a diet can cause permanent damage due to lack of essential vitamin and mineral building blocks. Picky eaters may eat too little food or suffer from empty calorie malnutrition by eating junk foods with excess calories but few nutrients.  If their intake is poor over a long enough period, a type…

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects

Tommy’s Story – by Liane Holder All seemed well as we began our life with our newly adopted son.  His birth mother’s questionable background was not a concern because surely we could provide all the love and security and parenting necessary to overcome any rocky start he might have. Initially that would appear true as he met physical milestones. His first word was dog and that remained his only word well past his 2nd birthday.  He didn’t sleep through the night and was often irritable, but so were other children… still… something was beginning to nag at us.  Entering daycare at 2, he was a handful, often biting or striking other children without provocation. He also hugged and kissed everybody and anybody, including perfect strangers in stores.  At 3 he entered a language-based special pre-K due to his delayed language.  We didn’t really understand at the time that his lack of speech was the red flag he had been waving…

Exploring the Gluten Free Casein Free Diet

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, Co-founder, Developmental Delay Resources Many parents of severely developmentally delayed children have become aware of a research study that was done in Norway. It found that a high percentage of autistic children had a “mutant” protein in their urine that was created by the consumption of gluten (found in wheat, oats, barley and rye grains) and/or casein (milk protein) contain­ing foods. This “mutant” protein was the gluten and casein protein bound to a morphine-like substance. The research­ers theorized this was what was causing the children to become spacey and addicted to these foods. When one or both of these protein groups was removed from the diet, many of the children reportedly became more interactive. The technical details of how to test for the presence of these proteins and how to institute this diet have been well ­outlined in Dr. Lisa Lewis’s Special Diets for Special Kids, Volumes I and II.  The purpose of this article…

The Total Load Theory: Why So Many Children Have Developmental Problems

by Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, Co-founder, Developmental Delay Resources An increasing number of children are being diagnosed with cognitive and development delays. As a result, drugs are being used in unprecedented ways to control behavior and learning. While medication may provide short-term relief, the underlying cause of the problems must be identified or the trend will continue. Typical scientific analysis of the situation would require a series of experiments to isolate single factors causing the “disease”. Unfortunately, developmental problems are not illnesses caused by germs or a specific brain malfunction but are a group of symptoms created when the body has been stressed beyond normal endurance. According to the total load theory, at some point, which varies widely between individuals, the body can no longer handle the “load” of stressors such as nutritional deficiencies and aggressive use of medications, and begins to show signs of that burden. The signs of overload are the characteristic symptoms of attention deficiencies and developmental…

Epidemic Answers’ Collaboration with Developmental Delay Resources

WEST SIMSBURY, Conn., June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Epidemic Answers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization at www.epidemicanswers.org dedicated to educating the public about the epidemics of chronic illness and helping parents find healing solutions, is joining forces with Developmental Delay Resources (www.devdelay.org), the only educational resource for families dealing with developmental delays that integrates the full spectrum of treatments and therapeutic modalities from diet interventions to biomedical protocols, physical therapies and everything in between. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130625/CG37989) Epidemic Answers (EA) and Developmental Delay Resources (DDR) are combining efforts to raise awareness about the record number of children being diagnosed with chronic health conditions and developmental delays.  The rates of autism are now 1 in 50 children and 1 in 31 boys.  The rate of asthma is 1 in 8 children, and the rate of ADHD is 1 in 10 children. Both EA and DDR are dedicated to educating parents about the environmental factors that contribute to these conditions.  Beyond that, both organizations…

The “R” Word: Sensory Processing Disorder Recovery

You may or may not know my personal recovery story. I have recovered my 2 sons, now ages 5 and 7, from sensory processing disorder (SPD), asthma, allergies, acid reflux and eczema with a biomedical approach, which means correcting nutritional and hormonal deficiencies, removing toxicities and correcting gut dysbiosis. Most people don’t know that sensory processing disorder recovery is possible, but my sons have recovered from it. I’m still working on failure to thrive, mitochondrial dysfunction, hypothyroidism and persistent eczema in my older son. In addition, they both had developmental delays, and my older son had severe hypotonia as a baby. I have recovered from immune dysregulation, in which I had shingles twice, the worst case of poison-ivy ever, bronchitis (which I’d never had before), constant sinus infections and constant colds that would last 3-4 weeks at a time. My older son had immune dysregulation, too, when he was younger: he would go to preschool, get sick and be out…

Mia: Recovery from Autism

I am releasing this story here as a means to get this story out to as many people as possible.  I am a physical therapist for 14 years, a healthcare provider; I am a husband and a dad. I do not work in pediatric physical therapy.  That particular patient population is not my clientele, and I do not plan on specializing in pediatric physical therapy in the future. I have nothing to gain from this at all except for my colleagues in health care and the doctors who refer to me to think of me as a quack or a nut. That being said, I feel that it is my moral and ethical duty to share this story to you and anyone willing to take the time to read it.  It may help them or someone that they know. My wife’s sister’s son is autistic, I had an entire pediatric internship in pediatrics dealing with developmentally delayed children, some who…