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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Is One of Your Own Kids Struggling Like Jonas? Panel Discussion November 3rd

Struggling Jonas hates school. He declares it to be “boring” and says that his teachers “hate him.”

He’s doing poorly in the 9th grade at strong suburban high school. He has one older sister who has excelled academically and has just started college at an Ivy League school. Young for his grade, Jonas is frustrated by his inability to be competitive in sports, and in any case, he enjoys individual sports such as skiing a lot more than team sports.

Time management is hard for Jonas, and although he does his homework, sort of, he sometimes forgets to hand it in. This has started to create stress between Jonas and his parents, who are threatening Jonas with being “grounded” until he improves his grades. He does well enough in his courses to scrape by, generally C’s, some D’s, but he worries about tests, on which he typically does poorly.

For the past five summers Jonas has attended an old-fashioned sleepaway camp that he adores; it is the highlight of his year, and parents say that he comes home “a different boy.” A psycho-ed evaluation done by the school in 3rd grade did not qualify Jonas for an IEP. 
 A recent independent neuropsychological evaluation revealed Verbal Comprehension in the superior range (127), Perceptual Reasoning in the average range (100), Working Memory in the high average range (115) and Processing Speed at the low end of the average range (91), with an unusually low score of 5 in Coding). Executive functioning tests revealed difficulty with initiation and organization.

On skills testing, reading areas were in the low- to mid-average range, math was in the high-average range, writing was poorly organized, and handwriting was observed to be abysmal. Jonas was diagnosed with a mild language-based learning disability that affects both reading and writing. Testing for ADHD was negative.

Academic life is increasingly frustrating and a source of anxiety for Jonas.
An educational consultant has recommended considering boarding schools which would stimulate Jonas intellectually, could provide accommodations and support for his reading and writing troubles, and generally provide the structure he so desperately needs.

College Prep Boarding Schools for Bright Kids with Learning Challenges

Fictitious Jonas or, rather, composite Jonas, will be one of three representative cases discussed at an upcoming special presentation sponsored by NESCA and Boston Educational Consultants Howland, Spence & McMillan

When: 10am - Noon, Saturday, November 3, 2012

Where: The Westin Hotel Waltham's Emerson Room,
               70 Third Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451
Guest speakers will include the Directors of Admission from:
The discussion will be moderated by NESCA Director Dr. Ann Helmus along with Educational Consultants Carol Kinlan and Faith Howland of Howland, Spence & McMillan.
Admission is $20 per person, payable by credit card in advance by phone or, space permitting, by exact change at the door. Light refreshments will be served. There is ample, free garage parking. For additional information, please call 617-658-9800, or email nesca@nesca-newton.com.

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