School Concerns

Perhaps the most frequently asked questions at Acorn to Oak have to do with academic performance. Parents are often concerned about their child’s seeming inability to reach his or her potential. Parents often report that their child is failing assignments, cannot focus on school work, has lost confidence, refuses to complete homework, or any number of other issues. Teachers may be making similar observations. Parents may feel overwhelmed and may not know where to begin to look for help!

At Acorn to Oak we specialize in identifying the root cause of a student’s academic struggles. After all, it is important to treat the real source of a problem, rather than simply treat a symptom of a problem. Consider the following examples:

We are often told that a student must have ADD or ADHD because he or she cannot focus on tasks. While it is possible the student may have ADD or ADHD, there are other reasons why a child may appear to be inattentive or hyperactive. The student could have comprehension challenges, poor memory, auditory processing problems, anxiety, or a slow rate of processing information, all of which can present as inattention.

What about a student who refuses to complete a writing assignment? While this is often viewed as a behavioral problem, there may be other explanations for the “refusal”. The student could have an expressive language disorder, poor comprehension, or poor memory. Again, the presenting concern is often a symptom of an unidentified cognitive weakness.

It is our mission at Acorn to Oak to fully understand why the student is struggling and then find appropriate ways to treat the cognitive weakness. Identifying the student’s unique set of cognitive strengths and weaknesses is accomplished through testing (neuropsychological assessment) as described below.

Description of Testing
• Assessments involve several steps. The parents/caregivers and the student (depending on the age of the student) will meet with the psychologist for a clinical interview. The interview enables the parents/caregivers to describe the current problem and provide a developmental history of the student.

• A comprehensive neuropsychological assessment takes approximately 10-12 hours of face-to-face time with the student (less time is required for children under the age of age). Typically 2-3 testing sessions will be needed to complete a comprehensive evaluation.

• A final appointment will be made during which the parents/caregivers meet with the psychologist to discuss the test results and recommendations for treatment. A final report will be available during this appointment.

  • Intelligence
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Learning Differences
  • Behavioral Concerns
  • Emotional Health