“If the day ever came when we were able to accept ourselves and our children exactly as we and they are, then, I believe, we would have come very close to an ultimate understanding of what 'good' parenting means.”

-Fred Rogers

This will be the first in the series of our monthly articles in which we will feature a topic we feel is relevant to share and hopefully worth the read.  Our practice will aim to provide a bit of useful information with the hopes of helping anyone interested in being inspired, gaining perspective, or simply just loving to learn.

Article 2:  “Navigating the Evaluation Process with Informed Data and Information”
February, 2020

In today’s world, the pressure for a child to succeed at the earliest of ages is driven by the mantra, “You won’t be a success if you don’t get into a good college.” Balance that admonition within the realization that all children are different, they learn in distinctive ways, and some may have hidden or obvious impediments, and you oftentimes end up with confused and frustrated parents and students. I am here to tell you to fear not because when weaknesses are identified and managed, they can actually be turned into strengths. Just as a parent or guardian takes a child to the doctor if (s)he is experiencing a fever or sore throat, it is equally important that a parent or guardian, who knows their child is not succeeding in school, takes that student to a professional who can perform the necessary evaluation designed to measure one’s cognitive processing abilities, including logical reasoning, memory, attention, executive functioning and how the brain works; the current level of academic knowledge in various subject areas; problem-solving ability; visual-spatial skills; and social, behavioral and emotional functioning. This type of evaluation leads to answers about how to optimally help a student find motivation and success, while simultaneously deciphering where his or her strengths and weaknesses are, how (s)he learns, and what teachers can do to accommodate and help the learning process.

Performance at school can play a major role in happiness, satisfaction, and academic success. It can be enriched through compassionate support, progressive growth, and healthy change, as well as through the remediation of deficits and weaknesses that interfere with a person’s ability to accomplish tasks and challenges at expected levels. This can be done by developing an ideal academic plan that suits the individual’s needs where information is delivered and learned in the most effective manner. It is my pleasure to offer a comprehensive neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation in order to assess students in grades kindergarten through graduate school. Through a careful diagnostic assessment, and the consideration of needs and challenges, I perform assessments for:

  • the identification of cognitive and academic strengths and weaknesses
  • evaluations of patterns in cognition and behavior that could be improved with therapeutic services
  • learning problems and differences
  • ADHD, executive functioning deficits, autism spectrum disorders, nonverbal learning disabilities, processing disorders, and sensory disintegration
  • brain functioning in the areas of reading, speaking, understanding, and attention
  • mood and anxiety disorders, personality issues, and behavior problems
  • diagnosis of cognitive, academic, occupational, emotional, social, and behavioral issues
  • college and career evaluations that identity strengths, talents, learning styles, and work styles, and include assistance with career decision making, directions, and changes
  • interpersonal relationship styles

Once the evaluation process is complete, I provide a comprehensive report for parents, students, and schools, which includes all vital information found via test results, as well as specifically tailored recommendations for school personnel based on how to best teach each student for ideal learning. I also work with parents, guardians, and the schools to ensure accommodations for academic success and standardized testing by helping to develop 504 Plans and/or IEPs. By employing a wide-ranging approach to investigation and problem solving it has been proven that performance at school can play a substantial role in happiness, satisfaction, academic success, and future career choices and achievements. While each evaluation is situation-specific, what stays constant is the need to fiercely advocate for a students’ right to attain educational success. I would be happy to discuss your child’s needs with you, and to be part of creating an environment where (s)he can be confident in knowing and understanding his or her intellectual potential. Through this process I can help to enhance a student’s strengths, and assist in minimizing weaknesses so that achievement is much more readily accessible. I am happy to share my many success stories with you, and to guide you through accomplishing the same!

--Dr. Sandy Wolff

Article 1:  “Movement”

January, 2020

RISE \ rīz \: “to get up, to move forward and upward, to come into being.” It took a few months and multiple iterations to create both the name of and the logo for our practice. As it relates to life’s challenges, movement can, I believe, help us to understand a person’s true intentions. Philosophers and psychiatrists have suggested that there are three main types of human movement: backward, hesitating, and forward. Those who “move backward” seem to approach life through what we know today as avoidant behavior. Those who engage in “hesitating movement” are the equivalent of those walking on a metaphoric treadmill. It might give you a sense that you are moving, but when you consider where you end, it’s basically where you started. It is only when one finds a way to create forward movement, despite the challenge or the obstacle faced, that true growth takes place. Rise is simply about movement in a forward direction. It is daily reminder that we can choose not only our thoughts, but also our actions. As Viktor Frankl wrote in Man’s Search for Meaning, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.” Most of us have had days in which the very last thing we wanted to do was to move forward. We may have wanted time to stop, but it didn’t; responsibilities to pause, but they didn’t; school or work to be cancelled, but it wasn’t. I’m sure all of us have learned along the way that nothing really stops because of the way we feel or because of an unfortunate event. Over the past 25 years, I have come to believe that, under such circumstances, the best thing is just to move. To rise. To behave your way into feeling better. To get up, to move forward and upward, to come into being as the definition states. This is what Rise means, what it suggests, and what it encourages. Certainly, there are many other coping mechanisms that can be used when confronted with adverse life events. Asking for help, journaling, talking with a friend, and seeing your therapist of course are a few of the methods. Movement, in and of itself, does not solve every problem. But it beats the alternative.

-Jeffrey A. Fishbein

Disclaimer: Please note that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this text belong solely to the author. Any and all views expressed on this website are the author’s and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which we have been, am now, or will be affiliated. These articles are not meant to assess, diagnose, or treat any reader. They are simply meant to inform or inspire, or both if we are lucky. These articles should not replace any professional treatment you may need. Since we are in the field of being critical observers of human behavior, the views expressed are always subject to change, revision, and rethinking at any time. Please feel free to challenge us and/or share your thoughts about any article posted in this section. Thank you.