Assessing Learning Disabilities: A Multidisciplinary Team Approach in a Medical Setting – Stacey Morrison, PsyD, Gretchen Carroll, MA and Sarah Greenwell, PsyD – 6 CE Credits
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Learning Disabilities are among the most common childhood and adolescent disorders, with over 2.4 million children being served for a specific learning disability in 2010 under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The definition of a learning disability ranges and continues to evolve over time. Research has shown the longer a child has to wait from entrance into traditional schooling until a learning disability is detected and addressed, the more likely it is that a child may develop long lasting secondary issues such as low self-efficacy, depression, and anxiety. Learning disabilities have been associated with high school dropout rates and persist into adulthood, often affecting adults in their employment and subsequently in their quality of life. It is therefore imperative that mental health, medical, and educational professionals understand childhood learning disabilities, how they are detected, how they can interfere with child development, and how best to address learning disabilities from a multidisciplinary perspective, including education, psychology, communication and medical domains.
This presentation will provide a summary and rational for the Academic Team model used at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center within the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (DDBP). It will also provide updates on the recent research in the diagnosis, life course, and management of specific learning disabilities in children and teens. Practical and empirically validated recommendations for parents, therapists, and school personnel will also be discussed.
- Learn an overview of the Academic Team model within DDBP at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
- Review of current research in the diagnosis of learning disabilities in children, including the role of executive functioning in a process oriented approach to assessing learning disabilities.
- Understand the role of communication testing in the diagnosis of learning disabilities.
- Understand the role of educational testing in the clinical setting.
- How the independent evaluation works within Education Law, the school system and the Response to Intervention (RTI) model.
- Ways to develop a focused intervention plan at school and empowering families
- Identify the developmental course of Learning Disabilities, common co-morbid conditions, and their implications for treatment planning.
- Summarize the major empirically based treatment approaches for children with Learning Disabilities, including solution-focused individual counseling, parent counseling and home management approaches.
About the Speakers
Gretchen Carroll, MA is an Education Coordinator within the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She is a member of the Academic Team, a Project Coordinator for the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and a staff member of the Thomas Center for Down’s Syndrome. She has over 25 years of expertise in the areas of learning disabilities, ADHD, Down syndrome, and cognitive impairment. Gretchen has spoken nationally on topics including inclusion strategies, the connection between behavior and learning, assessment, special education law, and improving education for children with Down syndrome. Gretchen received her master’s degree in education from Northwestern University with a specialization in Learning Disabilities (K-12). She serves on the Board of Directors for the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, and her research interests include the development of an IEP toolkit for children with Down’s Syndrome and Learning Disabilities.
Sarah Greenwell, PsyD is a clinical psychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities within the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Spalding University with an emphasis in Health Psychology. Dr. Greenwell is a member of the Academic Team at DDBP-CCHMC, a clinical supervisor for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program, and runs the anxiety management group for children and teens. Prior to her joining CCHMC, she worked at Dayton Children’s where she was a member of the hospital’s Multidisciplinary Child Advocacy Team at CARE House and on a grant with the Department of Defense providing psychological services to children with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Greenwell’s clinical interests include learning disabilities, childhood trauma, anxiety, and ADHD. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Ohio Psychological Association and the Cincinnati Academy of Professional Psychology.
Stacey Morrison, PsyD is a clinical psychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with developmental disabilities within the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She received her doctorate in clinical psychology from Spalding University with an emphasis in Child and Family and her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Morehead State University. Dr. Morrison is a member of the Academic Team at DDBP-CCHMC, a clinical supervisor for the O’Grady Residency in Psychology program at CCHMC, and runs the LEAP (Learning Executive Skills and Problem Solving) group for children and teens. Prior to joining CCHMC, she completed her post-doctoral internship at Wright State University at the Ellis Institute and Dayton Children’s Medical Center. She then completed her post-doctoral training at Seven Counties Services in Kentucky. Dr. Morrison’s clinical interests include learning disabilities and ADHD.