New clinic aims to help every child succeed in school

2016-02-15 13:34:51 by Holly Pupino, Media Relations Specialist, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.

school-pencil-at-desk

Identifying the cause of a learning problem and coming up with an action plan can make all the difference in a child's achievement.

Akron Children's School Success Clinic offers families the expertise of developmental-behavioral pediatricians, speech pathologists and psychologists. The team assesses children in one clinic visit and offers parents recommendations at a follow-up appointment.

"We begin with a comprehensive assessment," said clinical psychologist Rebecca Lieb. "This includes a medical-based evaluation, a family interview, a psychological assessment, a speech and language evaluation, a review of medications and a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP), if applicable."

The clinic is for children and teens 6 to 18 who are having difficulty in school and have confirmed or suspected diagnoses, such as ADHD, speech and language delays, learning disabilities, anxiety, depression and adjustment disorders.

Caption Psychologists Rebecca Lieb and Lindsay Akers; Amy Nebel-Gould, a speech pathologist; and Dr. John Duby, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, meet to discuss cases as part of Akron Children’s School Success Clinic.

According to Dr. Lieb, the clinic has assessed 75 patients since it began in January as a new service of Akron Children's NeuroDevelopmental Science Center.

Patients have included:


  • students struggling in school without any prior assessment or IEP

  • children who are on IEPs but their parents still have concerns about their progress

  • families still waiting for their child to be assessed by their school or are looking for a second opinion


"Schools are more restricted in what they are able to test for since they are only able to address the education piece," said Dr. Lieb. "We are able to consider all aspects of a child, beyond what might be causing difficulties in school."

School psychologist Lindsay Akers brings special expertise to the clinic, having worked in several local school districts and having extensive experience developing IEPs.

"Lindsay brings the school perspective to the table," said Dr. Lieb. "She knows the school lingo and how to write recommendations that are more likely to be considered and adopted. Some school districts have more resources than others and she knows which requests are realistic and which are not."

Not all children qualify for school-based interventions. But they may benefit from hospital-based interventions, such as speech and language therapy.

"Language skills are part of a hierarchy, beginning with listening skills, auditory processing function, verbal skills, and progressing to reading and written language," said speech pathologist Amy Nebel-Gould.

The clinic aims to help parents navigate the special education school system.

"Our role is to help and support families," said Dr. John Duby, director of developmental behavioral pediatrics. "We may help them connect to other community resources. We want parents to be advocates for their children and have a positive relationship with their child's school."

Some insurance plans require a primary care referral for the assessment to be covered. The hospital will help get pre-authorization when the appointment is being made.

Contact Akron Children's School Success Clinic at 330-543-8050.

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