A MULTI – DISCIPLINARY APPROACH
PROMISE's interdisciplinary team of specialists evaluates children with LD to understand their specific learning issues and make recommendations to help that child receive the services they need in order to learn.
PROMISE AT COLUMBIA EMPLOYS 5 CRITICAL STEPS:
Step 1: Identifies the exact nature of each child's learning disability
Although the Department of Education evaluates some children with learning difficulties, the evaluations frequently lack a comprehensive approach and often miss the exact nature of the problems a child is struggling with: this leads to inadequate services and/or incorrect class placement, with children often falling even further behind.
The PROMISE Program clinical team will provide detailed neuropsychological evaluations and reports that accurately identify the specific learning disabilities a child is experiencing. Testing will be customized for each child's needs. These comprehensive evaluations include teacher and parent interviews and utilize state-of-the-art testing materials to assess a wide range of learning disabilities. The assessments evaluate three broad areas of function:
- Cognitive abilities: verbal, visual-spatial, memory/learning, attention/executive functioning and motor abilities
- Academic Skills: reading, writing and math
- Psychological functioning: motivation and view of self as a learner
Step 2: Recommends what services the child needs in order to learn
Based on the comprehensive evaluation, the clinical team will make recommendations and ensure that an accurate Individual Education Plan (IEP) is established for the child. This describes the services the child needs in order to learn and may include tutoring, after-school programs, smaller classrooms, homework strategies or special school placement.
Step 3: Ensure recommended services are provided by schools
After identifying what services the child needs to learn, the clinical team will serve as an active advocate and when needed collaborate with partner agencies who can help advocate for the child to their school and to the Department of Education. The Program will work to help families secure the services they need.
When necessary, PROMISE Program will seek the assistance of pro bono legal advocates to insure that recommendations are considered and implemented.
Step 4: Guides parents to understand how to help the child at home and at school
No support system is more important for the long-term success of a child with serious learning disabilities than his or her family. The PROMISE Program will provide families with an understanding of the challenges their children face, culturally competent and individualized support for parents in understanding how to best support their children and parent empowering advocacy. Trained professionals will coach parents to be powerful advocates for their children and instruct them how to work with schools and help their children at home. The PROMISE Program will teach parents when and how to obtain the services available for the educational well-being of their children.
Step 5: Follows up and tracks long-term results
As children progress they may need adjustments to their educational program. As there is no cure for learning disabilities the Program will try to insure the child is still on the right path to learn. Staff will monitor short term results to make adjustments in their learning program. Children will be retested when needed and we will perform long-term quantitative research to improve and develop more effective treatment for future children.