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[00:00:00] Dr. Sharp: Hello, everyone. Welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

The TSCC and TSCYC screening forms allow you to quickly screen children for symptoms of trauma. Both forms are now available through PARiConnect-PAR’s online assessment platform. Learn more at parinc.com.

All right, everyone. Hey, welcome back. Glad to have you as always. Today’s episode is the first in a two-part series on parent perspectives on the assessment process.

My guest today and next time, Dr. Caroline Buzanko is an expert in this area. She has spent many years looking into the parent perspective, and she [00:01:00] talks with us about a number of ways to conceptualize the parent role in the assessment process, as well as some ways to empower parents and just generally make the assessment process more enjoyable, more fulfilling, and more engaging for parents.

These next two episodes are full of concrete ideas and things that you can actually change if you would like to. I took a ton of notes during our interview, and we’ll be putting some of these things into play in our own practice. And I hope that you do the same.

So let me tell you a little more about Caroline and then we’ll get to the conversation.

Caroline is made up of many things. Psychologist. Mother. Actress. Public Speaker. Changer of Lives. ADHD Superhero. She has over 20 years of experience working with children, teens, and their families to help them build better lives by maximizing confidence and forging their resilience. She also works with professionals and educators looking for training and approaches to work effectively with their clients and students. Caroline is also starting a new podcast called Deep Dive Into Practice that you can be on the lookout for.

So as you can tell, during the interview, we touch on so many topics. You’ll definitely want to have a notepad ready for this one. As with many of these multi-part episodes, the audio will cut off a little bit abruptly in our conversation as we kind of attempt to break the episode into two parts. A little preemptive apology and warning for that, but I don’t think it will interfere with the listening experience at all.

All right. The last thing, before we get to our conversation, as always know that The Testing Psychologist had advanced and [00:03:00] beginner and intermediate practice mastermind groups are accepting members on a rolling basis. We’re just filling cohorts as members jump in.

So, if you are looking for a group accountability experience, some group coaching, this could be the thing for you. You can find out more at thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting and click on the group’s option and learn a little bit more and schedule a call to figure out if it’s a good fit for you.

Okay. Without further ado, let’s get to my conversation with Dr. Caroline.

Hey, Caroline. Welcome to the podcast.

Dr. Caroline: Hey, thanks for having me.

Dr. Sharp: Yeah, I’m glad to have you. I’m [00:04:00] excited to talk about the parenting journey and evaluations from a parent’s perspective. This is something that you’ve been doing a lot of work on for a long time.

Dr. Caroline: Oh, definitely. It started with my research in my doctoral program and it has been something that’s been so important, just as important as the work that we do in the assessment with our kiddos. So yeah, it’s definitely an important topic, especially, we are often the first point of contact for a lot of parents. They’ll go and see their doctors for example, but oftentimes, maybe they haven’t talked to a psychologist before and there’s a lot of stigma around that and I think it can be really stressful. So this is really a very important topic for sure.

Dr. Sharp: Yes. Tell me a little bit more about why this is important to you out of all the things. This is always the way I frame the question, out of all the things you could do in this world and spend your time on in the field of psychology, why dedicate time to this [00:05:00] idea of parenting and the parents’ journey?

Dr. Caroline: Well, I always looked at the family context in all of the work that I did. Even in my master’s program, my master’s research was looking at siblings, the effects of having a sibling with a disability, for example. And this time around, just because I was moving more into the assessment piece, it was about the parents’ journey through all of this.

And seeing, just in some of the talks that I had with parents who had seen other psychologists, for example, and telling me these nightmare stories. And so, I really wanted to start getting interested a little bit more about what could I be doing? Are parents going and talking about their experience with me with other psychologists?

And I started doing a little bit of digging into their experiences through this assessment process. That greatly influences how they perceive their child’s diagnosis and their child’s needs and their ability to cope.

So, we look at a major difference between the parents who [00:06:00] can cope with the child’s diagnosis, for example, it’s highly related to their experience of the assessment process in the first place and their experience of hearing their child’s diagnosis. And that has huge implications because if they don’t perceive it as being accurate if they had terrible experiences, they might not agree with the diagnosis, which could be problematic. If you’ve got a kiddo with, for example, ADHD, they’re like, “No, it’s not.” And they’re not engaging in treatment and things like that. So, there are implications as well for the children and just parents’ ability to cope. Their ability to regulate themselves is going to be important to co-regulate with their children.

So it’s our job, not just to do the assessment, it’s our job to have confidence in the information that we’re sharing, but that they have competence in the information we’re sharing and that they can take up what we have to say because if they’re not taking it up, it was a waste of all of our time. And that child’s not going to get any support in the first place.

Dr. Sharp: Yeah. Well said. My gosh, there’s a lot to [00:07:00] unpack from all of that, but, but you’re so right. I just think back to my experience in graduate school, I’m guessing some other people would identify with this, but I didn’t get a lot or any training honestly, that I can think of about being mindful of the parent experience or taking the parent into account during the assessment process, other than, here’s how you deliver feedback, but even that was more, how do we present the data versus how do we maybe take care of, or nurture or connect with the parents in that process. Is that something that you found too?

Dr. Caroline: Yeah, I didn’t get any training. And even in the research, there was very, very little research on this topic. There was a lot around the disclosure of a diagnosis and especially a disclosure of autism, for example, but no one ever looked at the entire assessment process and beyond the [00:08:00] autism piece.

And so, a lot of what I started digging into was, the minute they pick up that phone, what is their journey like from making that decision to call? And I’ve kind of equated it, and I’ll talk about this, to the hero’s journey that the parents go on.

They have an ordeal. Maybe the ordeal is a huge explosive behavior out in the community or in the classroom or teachers continuously calling home, come get your kid, there’s another fight today. There’s usually some ordeal where parents are like, enough is enough. We need to get this assessment. It’s not the first time they think about an assessment they’re calling us for an assessment, right? There’s a buildup to that.

So there’s that whole sort of backstory too, which we’ll talk about, but it’s a journey from that ordeals with duration, from the moment they decide to call our office and little things that we might not even think about.

Dr. Sharp: Yes.

Dr. Caroline: So, I [00:09:00] can jump, yeah.

Dr. Sharp: I’m excited to frame this. I know you take this perspective of sort of the hero’s journey and use that framework. I wonder if we could set the stage a little bit before we totally dive into that. And this is not an area of research I’m super familiar with. I’m guessing listeners may not be super familiar either. So this is, on the other hand, your area. So I’m curious what the state of the research is at this point on parents’ experience of the assessment process. I mean, what is out there?

Dr. Caroline: A lot of it, again is mostly autism or medical fields. In the field of psychology, there’s not a lot. One of the biggest studies and I can send you links for all of the research studies and just trying to think off the top of my head, one of the biggest ones that were done, I think 8% were psychologists. And again, it was [00:10:00] just looking at the autism diagnosis, and 8% were psychologists. The rest were pretty much pediatricians or family doctors or things like that. And so, there’s really not a lot.

ADHD, there are two, I can’t remember their names, Cannon and I can’t even pronounce the other guy’s name. I’ll send you the links, but with ADHD, they did kind of look at the process, but not really in-depth. So I’ll send you what I’ve got if people are interested because there is a little bit out there. But unfortunately, it’s not been greatly researched.

In the research I did, I did look specifically at ADHD, so we do need to be careful with the generalizations. But generally speaking, when we look at, and I looked at even the medical field, there’s so much out there for medical diagnoses, cancer for example. So there’s a lot out there. And there is a lot of similarities. So what I’m going to be talking about [00:11:00] today are the similarities that I could draw from elsewhere but specifically for the assessments that psychologists are doing are what I’m drawing from.

I think there’s still so much more that needs to be done. And parent advocacy groups, and a lot of the parents that I’ve talked to about their experiences, they’ve got some really great insights. So I’ll be talking about their complaints. That’s where I’m going to start. That’s usually the easiest place to kind of go, but then also going into the recommendations that they have for us. And they also have things for parents. Don’t be scared. This is a great process. Even if it’s a bad process, you get a bad psychologist at the end of the day, you’re learning about your kiddo.

So, there is some hope of light at the end of the tunnel, because a lot of the research, unfortunately, that’s out there is parents are not satisfied. And I think if we look at the broader literature, even just in our own competencies, they say, [00:12:00] psychologists often think that they’re doing better. This is more kind of in counseling, but they think that they’re doing better than they actually are.

And so that’s why we’ve got people like Scott Miller, for example, who’s like, you have to do outcome rating scales every single session because we can’t guarantee that we’re actually doing good work even if we think we are.

Dr. Sharp: Right. Can you say a little bit more about that? That was something we chatted about before we started recording. And this gap between the work that we think we’re doing and the impact that it’s actually having, is there more to say about the gap there and how bad we are?

Dr. Caroline: Yeah, we can go. It’s funny. I was actually just teaching an ethics class this wording, and we were talking about some of this historical research that could never, ever be approved nowadays, but it’s not that they were awful people. I could get into a whole other discussion about our executive functions and how it sets us up to lie and [00:13:00] cheat and justify our behavior. That’s a whole other issue, but it really is.

When we look at some of the ethical issues, and I was going through some of the things that there are some psychologists who are under investigation right now. And for me to tell you what had happened, you’re like, obviously, that’s an ethical no, no, but the psychologists who are in it are justifying why they made the choices that they did, for example.

So, I think there’s a whole-brain piece there. I think there’s a whole piece just around, we don’t know what we don’t know. As we’ll get into the parents’ experiences, you’re going to realize parents try to put on a really brave face. And so we don’t necessarily know they’re really vulnerable in this process. And so they’re just trying to put on that brave face for us, but really having no idea and then going home [00:14:00] and having a huge breakdown.

Dr. Sharp: Sure. Yeah. All this stuff, maybe it’s just timely. I’m listening to season 3 of Dr. Death. Have you listened to any of those podcasts?

Dr. Caroline: I haven’t. No.

Dr. Sharp: Oh gosh. So just as a quick aside, so this is all about these physicians, surgeons, primarily who go through their careers and somehow put on this charade of appropriate medical care, but then come to find out over time, they’re like making these gross negligent mistakes and maiming or killing people.

But the links that the human mind will go to reduce cognitive dissonance and justify behavior are completely enormous. And it seems like we fall into that as well, of course, being human as we are.

Dr. Caroline: Yeah.

Dr. Sharp: Let’s see. [00:15:00] I’m curious to dive into this. And I’m unsure where to start. I might turn to you to say, when we’re talking about the parent experience, where do we start?

Dr. Caroline: Well, I guess I just wanted to also say, another reason why this is important too. If it doesn’t fit, if they don’t understand the results of all of those kinds of things, if they’re not feeling supported, and I’ll go into all of these different complaints that they have, they’re not going to be able to… they kind of get lost in this journey and it’s a never-ending journey and they kind of go through that. So it’s really about being family-centered.

Now, like I said, it’s easy to talk about the complaints because I find that when we know what not to do, that’s a good diving board into what it is that we do need to do. One thing, I don’t know if you’d be interested, I do think it would be helpful to talk first maybe about different assessment paradigms because I think that that can help give us a framework for how we think of the assessments that we [00:16:00] do.

So, if we’re good at that, and we can start thinking too, I mean, there’s going to be a lot of information that I tell you and for the listeners too, but it’s about thinking, what’s one thing that I could change in my practice today, right? And so, all of these pieces will come together.

We’re already making the shift, but the traditional paradigm is still pretty prevalent. And this is where a lot of the parent complaints come from is this traditional sort of approach to assessment. It could be called diagnostic psychology testing.

It’s an information-gathering model. It’s really based on objectivity where test reliability and validity are paramount, standardized assessment instruments, they’re valued. They’re kind of the end all be all. So that, of course, we can compare kiddos on different dimensions of traits that we’re looking at, but we focus most of our attention on the test protocols and on the scores, and we try to make sense of those [00:17:00] scores. So it’s really a test-focused approach to assessment. And then that is used to diagnose and to guide treatment.

And one big piece is we are the experts, the all-knowing expert where we hold on, we gather all of this information, we hold it up until the very end where we reveal the big secret. And it’s funny. I just had an intern with me last week who was just, she kept going like this as I was talking with the client behind the client.

So my hands, she was putting her hands on her head and she’s like, I’ve never seen assessment done like this before. And I’ve told her about the traditional. She’s like, “We do, we just gather all this information and then I go through it at the end. We unpack it at the end where Caroline, you were saying right there on the spot, how they’re doing, and this is how your brains working. And this is really hard for you, bla bla bla.”

I’ll get into that a little bit more and. All of this to say reliability and [00:18:00] validity is still important. We still need to use our standardized assessments. That’s still really important, but we got to know it’s not just about the scores, right? We were not just simply drawing conclusions about kiddos. We really want to be helpful.

So it was in the 70s actually. It’s been quite a long time. We started seeing the shift away from those traditional assessments, and one of course was the bio-psycho-social model, right? So we’re looking at the broader biological, socio-cultural psychological, the context of their functioning.

But we started also seeing the smart humanistic orientation to assessment where it really is more client-centered versus test-centered, and more collaborative. And so now we start going into this collaborative approach to assessment. In the late 90s, one of the big collaborative assessments that came out was the therapeutic assessment, which I know that you guys have talked about on your podcast. And that’s one of the big collaborative approaches.

So just in case, people don’t know, a really [00:19:00] simplified version of what a therapeutic assessment is, it’s about working collaboratively with the families throughout that entire assessment process.

Of course, we’re getting their stories at the beginning. They’re helping us develop our questions for assessments, all of those kinds of things. They’re also helping us though come up with recommendations. It doesn’t have to be us. They are co-assessing and they’re helping us come up with some of those recommendations. We’re doing intervention strategies embedded right within our assessments that help inform some of that.

I think that that gives us a bit of a framework that I really am shifting from that traditional model, because that’s where all of the complaints are for most parents, to more of this collaborative piece.

When we start thinking about that, we’re looking at the family-centered focus and looking at their journey. I already talked about their call to assessment. So that’s the ordeal. Then they come into the assessment. My kid has been [00:20:00] struggling with learning or with attention or with getting along with peers or explosive behaviors or whatever else it is. I’m worried about my kiddo.

Someone is usually a Harold. It could be a friend that they’re talking to. It could be the teacher, it could be someone who’s really helping them. Okay, I’m not the only one who’s concerned here. I really should go and make this approach. So there’s usually a Harold in the story, but there’s a lot of shadows and allies.

And unfortunately, as a psychologist, we can be an ally, but a lot of times we’re shadows, where we put fear or doubt into parents’ minds. And we don’t want to be the shadow. That’s the impetus for doing all of this. They crossed the threshold when we’re looking at the hero’s journey where they’re crossing the threshold, that’s when they make the first call to us to get the ball rolling.

And then we go into the process and that’s where we’re going to [00:21:00] go. I won’t get too much into the roles. That could be a whole other interesting, but maybe there’s more important information to be talking about in terms of all the different roles that people can play because I think that there’s a lot to think about, but I refer to movies quite a bit.

And so when I was doing my research and thinking of their journey, I thought of the never-ending story. I’m probably dating myself a little bit here. Did you ever watch that?

Dr. Sharp: I’m with you. I’ve seen that movie so many times.

Dr. Caroline: I Love it. In one of the scenes, I think there are sphinxes where the kiddos watching all of these warriors approach these sphinxes and he sees them all get obliterated, but he starts coming tentatively right up to these sphinxes. He knows he’s got to go through this process, but he’s really hesitant, really scared of what’s going to happen.

And that’s kind of what I was thinking of parents in this journey is their approaching these things [00:22:00] very hesitantly because some parents have, and especially with the parents that I’ve talked to with kiddos with ADHD, for example, they’ve had concerns and people are like, “No, no, no, he’s just a boy. No, no, no, no, he’s too young” whatever it is. They weren’t feel listened to.

So for a lot of parents, they’re already having these hesitancies, but even with learning, I had a kid the other day and I’m like, “What brought you now to the assessment? But thinking like, why didn’t you come five years ago?” Because this kiddo can’t read and the self-esteem issues that have emerged now and the defeatism, I mean, that’s where we lose kids. When they’re feeling so defeated, they don’t even want to learn anymore and they’re not engaged in their learning.

And she’s like, “I tried, but nobody listened to me and then COVID hit. And so everybody seemed to be struggling.” Anyway, all this to say, they’re hesitant coming into that journey.

And then at the end, there’s the blue Oracle. I think that’s what they call it. I should have looked it [00:23:00] up before I popped on here. But the blue Oracle who is going to give us all this wise advice and he’s like, that’s it, that’s all you’ve got. And that’s kind of where a lot of parents end up feeling.

Let’s dive into this a little bit. I think it’ll just help bring all of those metaphors down into play.

Dr. Sharp: Can I jump in and ask you a question real quick?

Dr. Caroline: Yeah.

Dr. Sharp: I really liked this approach. This is a nice, creative approach to this whole process. And I’m just curious for you, how did you land on this? Can you think back to whenever this originated in your mind? How did you choose to frame it through the hero’s journey lens?

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All right, let’s get back to the podcast.

Dr. Caroline: Everything I do. I do a lot of work with ADHD and anxiety. I always refer it back to movies. [00:25:00] I do have a background. I mean, I thought I was going to be an actress, to be honest. So I did a lot of acting. So I think that that is a huge piece of it too. Before I was a psychologist, I was just going to go to LA and be a famous actress.

So I already know the artist’s journey and the hero’s journey and that progression when we do character development. And so, I think I’m just really in tune with all of that in the first place. I’ve got pretty severe ADHD myself, so I think in pictures and so everything I relate to, I’m like, have you seen the crudes? And remember in that scene. And then kids can relate to that. And I think that’s just always how I. Kind of worked and thought about things and put things into perspective. And I think it helps everyone understand things at different levels to a new sort of level.

Dr. Sharp: I love that. I think it’s great to have an anchor for these things that we’re talking about and to bring it to life.

Dr. Caroline: Because you’ve got that visual and if you haven’t seen that neverending [00:26:00] story, you got to go watch it. But if you’ve seen the never-ending story, you know how tentative, he’s coming in, he’s really hesitant. What is this all about? I mean, parents aren’t going to worry that they’re going to get zapped by these sphinxed, but if there is that sort of trepidation coming into this, it’s, there’s a lot at stake here and those feelings, that anxiety, I think that that’s really important and it is huge for us to be acknowledging all of that.

So like I said, we can start kind of jumping right in. The minute they call your office, that’s where the journey comes. Already, picking up that phone can be a huge barrier to get over in terms of their anxiety. For some, this isn’t huge, but some parents have talked about talking to a secretary or someone other than a psychologist can be really uncomfortable for parents.

They don’t know how much to share for example. And I think it’s really normalized for sure, to be able to call in and talk to a [00:27:00] secretary because that’s what you do at any sort of doctor’s office or anything like that. But we want to make sure we do have someone there answering the phones who’s personable and knowledgeable and putting parents at ease.

And I think that that’s huge. And I’ve heard that even just sort of second hand from other clinics and things like that. Or at least saying, Hey, you know what, I don’t know how to answer that, but let me get you in touch with someone who can. I’m going to book you in with a psychologist who can answer that question and go through some of your concerns. I think that that’s really important. We want to be making sure that we’re putting parents at ease right from the start.

Wait times, once I’ve made that call, it’s been really stressful to make that call in the first place. Now, how long do I have to wait? And there’s still not great research around how long is too long. It’s not really well defined, unfortunately. So we do definitely need a little bit more research on that, but if they’re waiting six months, that’s a problem, especially if you’ve got… I mean, early intervention is important for anything.

If we’re looking at reading [00:28:00] intervention, autism, anything, six months is a really long time, but even 2 to 3 months, it’s doable, but that’s just making parents feel stalled and stressed all of those things anyway. So just looking at what that wait time is.

Once they get in, so those are two right at the beginning.

Dr. Sharp: Can I jump in again?

Dr. Caroline: Yeah, for sure.

Dr. Sharp: Sorry, I’m interrupting a lot this time, but these are great. So I just have questions around that because I know that so many of us are so busy right now and you just hear stories of wait times that are increasingly longer and longer and longer, and nothing to say about the children’s hospitals that are like 18 to 24 months out.

So, do you have ideas for those of us because I know there are some panic listeners right now? Like my waitlist is nine months long. Are there any ways to ameliorate that a little [00:29:00] bit or soften that and maintain a connection with the client or help them along this journey in spite of long wait times, is there anything we can do to help that?

Dr. Caroline: I’ve got a couple of ideas, but oh, I know I do some work in the Northern provinces of a different province here in Canada and one kid, it took him 6 years to get an assessment. I’m like, how is that? He’s already a teen now. Like I can’t even believe it.

I know over the summertime, that’s a huge one. Like what do I need to do to help my kiddo over the summer or over this break or whatever it is? We’re getting into the school year. We don’t want it to slip by or at the beginning of the school. We’ve got these IPS.

There’s a couple of things. One is, do you have resources? Is there a resource library? Oftentimes, they talk about parents putting them at ease, especially with our elementary [00:30:00] kiddos. If you’re doing good, they’re going to do good. I’m most concerned about their social, emotional wellbeing. So how can we promote that? How can we promote their love for learning? So for example, if they can’t read, my goal right now isn’t about what program or do they have dyslexia?

Your goal right now, even if it’s a few months, instill that love for reading, instill that love for writing. If it’s an attention piece, I talk about, we know by the time they’re 12, kiddos with ADHD have 20,000 more pieces of negative feedback than kids without ADHD. So what can we do to soften the nagging?

So I look at that social, emotional piece of what you can do right now. At my clinic, we do offer screenings. Come in, let’s do a 15- 20 minute screening just to see to get an idea. It’s not a full thing. You’re still going to have to go through that whole process to really understand what’s going on., but maybe this can give us a bit of an idea of [00:31:00] where we can start at least. And then here are some programs that might be helpful.

Dr. Sharp: I like that. Thanks for going into that. Yeah, I think we’re all invested in doing the best we can.

Dr. Caroline:  I know. But at the end of the day, we have high rates of compassion, burnout, and sometimes we got to be careful too because I get into that trap where I’m bending backward. I feel so bad. We can’t see this kiddo right away. Our hearts bleed too, but we’re going to burn ourselves out. So, do the best you can. At the end of the day, that’s all we can do, but it is, unfortunately, if there are other resources that we can give parents.

One thing though, as they’re coming into this process, it’s really daunting for them. They don’t know what they need to do just like Trejo in the never-ending story. He really has no idea. He knows the first obstacle he needs to get through. He doesn’t know what lays behind those sphinxes, what else he needs to do. And so for [00:32:00] parents, they’ve come over that one hump, but what else is in this process?

There’s a lot of uncertainty and we know uncertainty comes with a lot of anxiety. So not knowing what to expect for the assessment, what the assessment entails, how long it’ll take, maybe there are some technical things, they’re going to be here for two hours, three times, or six hours. Everybody does everything differently, but what does this all amount to? What does it all mean? Even the initial intake, what’s the purpose of it. We say we’re going to get some background information, but they really have no idea. What kind of questions are they going to ask?

And then when we get in, even though, I used to say, these are the kinds of questions I ask, we get in there and knowing you would have asked that I would have gone and done this. And I’ll have some examples of what we can do to help them through that process. Right now, it’s just, I’ll go through all the complaints and then some of the recommendations that we can do afterward. But all of that creates a lot of anxiety and when they’re [00:33:00] feeling anxious, they’re going to feel pretty negative about the whole experience and the whole assessment process.

And then a lack of collaboration right from the beginning. It’s like, thanks, got your kids, see you later. And then I’ll see you in two weeks when I get to give you the report and parents really aren’t that involved. So that’s just thinking about the very beginning. We haven’t even gotten to see the kiddo yet, right? So just bringing in those parents and orienting them to the assessment process.

So the next bit, and I’m following this from a traditional standpoint, the three phases of assessment first, just the intake, then we’ve got the middle testing phase and then the feedback phase.

So this next middle phase, one of the problems that right, again, from the beginning of the day, if parents are concerned, if we’re not asking, Hey kiddo, how did you sleep last night? Hey kiddo, have you eaten breakfast? Have you got your glasses? Have you taken your meds? And oftentimes parents [00:34:00] will give us information, but sometimes we just scoop up the kiddo and we take them in and we’re not looking at all of those kinds of things, or are they anxious? How are they feeling about coming in? What did you tell them? How did you prepare them? This is how we can start being collaborative with them.

Filling out rating scales. We say, here’s a bunch of forms, then we collect it all back, and then it’s ODD. His scales, but parents, oftentimes they’re like, I need clarification. What is this actually asking? Or I really wanted to qualify that. Yeah, he is sometimes, but not all the time. I wanted to be able to do give you some of that qualitative information. So parents are really often concerned that I wasn’t able to give you that information. And there’s a lot of things left unsaid.

Intensity. And I think that we are mindful of this, but when we’re giving them way too much [00:35:00] paperwork and same thing with teachers, for sure. I think we’re all mindful of teachers, but parents too, they find it’s just so much, you know, all the intakes things. And then however many rating scales that they have to do or whatever else, it’s a lot for them.

And then, of course, just not knowing what’s going on in the assessment. We say they’re going to be playing with blocks and they’re going to be looking at pagers. We’re going to ask them questions that they really have no idea. And then parents are going to ask their kids, “Well, what did you do?” And kids are going to be like, “I don’t know.” They can’t articulate it. I looked at pictures. I played. You’ve got kids trying to get any information. What’d you do today? What’d you learn? I don’t know. It’s like pulling teeth, so they really don’t understand what is being done.

And some of the stories are the lack of transparency that the parents have had, where they don’t even know what their kid was being assessed for. [00:36:00] They brought their kiddo in because there was anxiety and some, maybe some reading difficulties, and then all of a sudden, they’re told their kid is autistic.

That actually happens sometimes where it’s like, how did that even happen? It was really shocking. And some of the stories, I think it depends if it was a school assessment versus, done in-house in the school versus a private assessment, but that happens sometimes.

So, there’s that lack of collaboration where parents just really have no idea what’s going on. They’re feeling like they’re being asked all these questions, but no opportunity to ask questions themselves. So, that’s that information gathering. We are just collecting all this data without really giving parents that opportunity to follow along with us.

Another piece too is, and again, I don’t know if this happens so much in private practice, but certainly, in [00:37:00] schools, this happens quite a bit where parents aren’t even finding out the results from psychologists. They might get, oh, here’s the report from the teacher, for example.

One person was talking about how they had to call the office and they ended up getting it from their family doctor. I’m like, how is that even? I don’t even understand how that happens, but just thinking about that, how are parents even getting that feedback and who else is involved or different things that can be problematic?

Dr. Sharp: You know, you’re just describing all these things and I’m thinking to myself, oh my gosh, I cannot wait to hear how to combat some of these things because I know we’re guilty of some of these mess-ups that you’re talking about or disconnections and that’s nice to call attention to this and be aware of what could be done differently. Yeah.

Dr. Caroline: I do find that in schools, [00:38:00] for example, where parents are like, I didn’t even realize that that assessment was done. Like, why are you talking to me? Why are we being here?

Dr. Sharp: Oh my Gosh, yes.

Dr. Caroline: They signed a consent form, but they had no idea what that actually meant. And now they’re bringing this contractor or another school psychologist, and there’s a lot of that, that happens. And I had thought about, don’t do this, do this, but I think that this framework and saying all of the parent complaints, it really gets you reflecting on, okay, this is something that we could work on, and then maybe even you can start brainstorming because I’m just one person and a little bit of research, but I think we’re all limited by our own creativity so we can start thinking, but I will get to what do we do instead.

The biggest thing that parents really talk a lot about a lot of their complaints is just about the psychologists didn’t really understand me. The psychologist didn’t really understand the child [00:39:00] or the family context. You only saw a tiny little snapshot of my kiddo within a really structured, really clinical setting. And then they start doubting any conclusions that we have. And if they feel that we didn’t support them or understand them, they are going to outright reject everything that we have to say, because you don’t understand.

So, that lack of understanding about their kiddos. And sometimes, on the flip side, I think we can’t always please everybody. So, I think that that’s something to remember because then sometimes parents are complaining, it is taking too long. When are we going to be done? This was way too long.

So, I think it’s finding that balance, but part of it’s knowing what the parents’ expectations are and what they think the process is in the first place. And that’s one of the things if we’re giving them information but just getting from them, what do you think isn’t [00:40:00] involved in this process? So we can start understanding what their expectations are. Oh, I thought you were going to be doing this, and I thought you were going to go to the school and do classroom observations.

I actually have a parent forum. I’ll send you an example of what that is, where we can start getting some of their input about what they think this whole process is as well. And I’ll be talking about that too.

Dr. Sharp: That’s great.

Dr. Caroline: And you guys in your clinic, it’s just a one-day assessment, right?

Dr. Sharp: Yeah. Well, I take that back. We split probably a third to a half of our cases into two days. So, we’re about half and half. We’ll either do 1 day or 2 days.

Dr. Caroline: Yeah, I usually split it up, but we gotta be careful if the wait times between appointments, that’s a huge problem. Parents get upset with that and then between the testing sessions, but then the wait time between the final [00:41:00] testing session and the feedback meeting, that’s a critical period that we really need to consider because parents express a lot of negativity with the entire assessment process.

It doesn’t matter how wonderful the process was if they reported that that period is too long because we got to remember that wait time, it’s really hard for parents because they’re feeling well, first of all, overwhelmed with worry, but then they’re also feeling stalled because they don’t know what to do. We’ve done this whole process. I don’t know what you know, they’re just kind of in this holding pattern, and that can create a lot of anxiety for them as well.

Dr. Sharp: Caroline, do you have a sense from the research of how long is too long between the testing and feedback?

Dr. Caroline: Again, it’s not really well-defined, unfortunately, that’s just not an area people… I just think that there have always been bigger issues to research that these little fine-tuning pieces aren’t great. I think parents [00:42:00] mostly expect about a month’s wait. I try to have a two-week turnaround personally. I told the parent that the other day, I’ll meet within two weeks. They’re like, “Oh my gosh, I thought it was going to be six weeks.”

I think, again, what’s important is getting their expectations from the beginning. How long do you think this process takes? How long do you think? So we can then tell them in our informed consent once we go through the process, but we can already start seeing what do they know? What do they think about it? What do they expect about it? Because that’s usually where the disconnect is. They have an idea in their head, but they don’t necessarily know they’ve got that idea in their head until we explicitly ask them. And then once it’s out there, we can educate them about the process if that makes sense.

Dr. Sharp: It does. That is such a good idea. I’ve never really considered that, but in my mind, anyway, I’m operationalizing it. Like we get [00:43:00] into the intake maybe and just start with that question, like before we even dive into any detail, what are you thinking about this process? What expectations do you have? How do you think this is going to go?

Dr. Caroline: What have you heard? Because oftentimes they’ll talk with other people about the process. Oftentimes they don’t even know, but we can ask, well, what do you think about wait times? How long do you think the process is going to be? All of those things, because it’s kind of like, I’m going to throw my husband under the bus here, but it’s kind of like, I go to the store and go get cheese, and then he comes and he gets the total wrong cheese and it’s like, “Dude, what were you thinking?” He’s like, “Well, you didn’t tell me.” We just expect. But I didn’t know that I wanted a kind of cheese until he brought the wrong kind of cheese home.

Dr. Sharp: You’re describing a scene out of my own life. That happens a lot.

Dr. Caroline: Yeah. [00:44:00] I used to do couples therapy and that was always the thing. I didn’t even know I had that expectation until you broke it. And so, that’s why it’s really important to have those conversations right from the beginning.

Dr. Sharp: So true.

Dr. Caroline: So then that brings me to the moment those parents receive the diagnosis. That’s one of those life-changing critical events for them. It really is. It’s a moment that they’ll probably always remember. And it might seem really obvious to us, but being unsympathetic, lacking sensitivity, lacking empathy, lacking warmth, or friendliness, that’s a problem. That’s going to be a huge problem for parents.

Also failing to understand where they’re coming from. They are now at this blue Oracle. They don’t know if she’s going to open her eyes and zap them. They have no idea. They approach this final phase of the assessment.

Finally, we’re here. It’s been this huge emotional climax. If we think of waves, this is the [00:45:00] epicenter of that wave. We are at the climax here. There is so much emotional whatever coming into this meeting.  And so, failing to understand that and acknowledging that is a problem as well.

So, if we just jump into the results completely unaware or not even acknowledging parents’ anxiety, that’s going to be a problem. So we need to have a little bit of icebreaker just to help bring some of those nerves down because, if they’re coming in… well, one parent actually called the assessment an oh my God process, because it’s so stressful. And we know when we’re anxious, our thinking brain is totally offline, right? So parents aren’t going to be able to follow along because they might be caught up in this emotional turmoil.

One parent that I talked to shared this really vivid example in which she was so focused and trying to maintain [00:46:00] that brave face that I talked about earlier. She didn’t want to stop the psychologist to get any clarification. She was kind of confused. And at the end of the day, the psychologist told her that her kiddo was gifted, but had severe ADHD and talked about the executive functioning deficits. But she left and I apologize, I know we don’t use this word, but this is mum’s word. She left the meeting and turned to her husband. She’s like, “So is our kid retarded?” And she was just so emotional.

I still get shivers thinking of that story. Her kiddo was gifted. It was just, he had problems with getting started on things and remembering to do things that were boring like those regular executive functions, she’s just thought, “Oh my God. He’s going to be in special needs classes and he’s not going to be going to University and he’s going to need long-term care for the rest of his life.” She was so focused on not crying that she missed everything that [00:47:00] the psychologist had to say.

Dr. Sharp: It’s heartbreaking.

Dr. Caroline: It is. Yeah. So we really need to… actually, I do a lot of training and a lot of supervision and I have my doctoral counseling students and oftentimes I’m like, “Counseling students are so much more work because they don’t know the standard scores and standard deviations.”

And I have so much more training than master school psychologists who come in, who’ve got all of that, but the counseling students have that way of being, which I’ll be talking about in a little bit, they get that the parents’ anxiety and they can really acknowledge it. That’s not something I ever have to train them because they’re just there with the parents first and foremost.

So, I think that that’s something that would be really valuable for people who maybe don’t have the counseling background if they’re just doing school psychology and they don’t have any Working Alliance classes or anything, just to get some work on just [00:48:00] being.

I used to teach Working Alliance classes and actually, I’ve used a lot of my acting stuff. I hated it. One of the things they’d have is to just sit for five minutes and stare at the other person in silence and not say a word, so uncomfortable. We just want to jump in and fill the space but parents are really vulnerable. And we can’t just jump in and fill the space. We need to be where they’re at. So that’s really important.

Now, just because they are vulnerable though, we can’t beat around the bush. We can’t avoid giving honest and direct information. And so that’s another complaint the parents had. We might say your kiddo has a mild intellectual disability, but then we feel really uncomfortable talking about what that means so parents don’t really know what that means. And so they hear Milds and they don’t understand, but then they’re shocked later when all of a sudden their kiddo has to go into a life skills class and they’re not doing the general curriculum.

So, [00:49:00] it’s finding that balance between where they’re at their vulnerability, but being very direct and clear so that they firmly understand what it is that we’re trying to tell them and what we found in our results.

Holding again, counseling students. I actually did my master’s in counseling and my PhD in school psychology. So I kind of have an idea and I know every training program is different, but in counseling psychology, we do a lot like 2 or 3 years of looking at our own biases and how we think about things. I never did any of that in school psychology program, but that’s really important too. Where our own biases.

If we do have a kiddo, and I find, especially if we’ve got a kid who’s, I don’t know, just to say it bluntly really annoying and they are doing things that are just like, do you just sit still? Let’s just get this. Please stop licking everything. [00:50:00] Actually I had a kiddo with really bad Tourettes and he’s just licking and touching everything. And it was the beginning of COVID. I’m like, “Oh, we can’t do this, we gotta be careful too.”

So there’s a lot of complaints from parents. It seems really obvious, but sometimes they’re judging what comes out. And I think parents often feel, especially if they have those rambunctious kiddos who are all over the place, they’ve probably already heard stories that their parenting is bad, even if it’s from their own relatives, right? Like you gotta get your parenting in order here. So they’re already feeling a lot of shame.

But one of the moms talked about a psychologist who had strong Christian values and was really judgy about the parents who were separated. And so when it came to the assessment results, she’s like, “You two aren’t parenting consistently. And there are different expectations between you and you guys are causing a lot of this emotional turmoil and everything else that’s going on.” And that was really problematic. Yes. It might be true, but parents [00:51:00] aren’t going to take that up if they’re feeling like they were judged.

Dr. Sharp: Of course, not.

Dr. Caroline: Yeah. So that’s a whole problem. Getting too focused on test scores really is a problem, too. That’s meaningless saying they’re in the average range below average range, parents don’t care. They don’t know what that means. We really have to acknowledge and understand the child in the broader context. At the end of the day, that’s going to be really important.

So if parents are feeling uncertain about the child’s needs, almost all the parents in the research that I looked at, and even in my own research, almost all of them left feeling uncertain. They didn’t feel like they had much more information than they already had going in. I knew he had problems with attention. I knew he had problems with reading.

They didn’t really get much more information than what they already knew, or the information’s too vague or it’s irrelevant. Okay, great. He’s got [00:52:00] ADHD or he’s got dyslexia. What does that mean for my child? What are my child’s difficulties and how is what I’m seeing at home or in the classroom, how is that a part of the diagnosis?

And oftentimes they’re like, and I get those questions all the time. Is this ADHD? Is this just him, his personality, is it just laziness? You get all those kinds of questions. They’re still really uncertain about what is, what? And if they’re just getting a label or a diagnosis rather than a descriptive understanding of what’s going on for the child, they really feel like the assessment wasn’t helpful at all. I didn’t get a better understanding because I want to know how that relates to my day-to-day functioning.

I actually had a great conversation with a man. I do a lot of adults assessments for autism. And he’s like, “Okay, well, let’s break this down.” And I’ve had three follow-up sessions with him. So he’s like, “Okay, this is one thing [00:53:00] you noticed. So how is that going to affect me when I go into work tomorrow in this kind of setting?”

And so we really break it down and that’s kind of the information that parents want is when he is in a group situation, this is where things fall apart, for example. So being able to talk about that. So that’s how we can be proactive in addressing when we know he’s going into that situation, it could be a problem for him.

And then focusing too much on the disabilities and the symptoms, not looking at the strengths. We all know strengths space is going to be really important, but when we’re all, I find our reports and our feedback meetings can be really deficit-based. 

Dr. Sharp: Can I jump in and ask a question there.

Dr. Caroline: Yeah.

Dr. Sharp: Now I’d be curious about your experience with this because I have found that in a lot of cases, I would say maybe even the majority of cases, we try to be pretty heavily strengths-based and I almost [00:54:00] perceive parents to be not bored necessarily with the strengths, but there’s definitely a sense of, when are you going to get to the good stuff?

This is great and all, and we need to hear the other stuff that we actually care about. Have you had any experiences like that? And if so, well, we’re getting to what to do about it, but maybe, do you have that experience?

Dr. Caroline: Oh yeah, for sure. And oftentimes, we will go strength, strength, strength, great, great, great. But they’re so anxious. They’re not hearing it anyway. They just want to hear the bad stuff, right?

Dr. Sharp: Anxiety, yeah.

Dr. Caroline: And so, so that’s pretty normal. I often just lay it outright from the beginning. And I’ll get into how we can set things up for the feedback meeting, but I’ll ask them usually, what are you worried about hearing? What don’t you want to hear? [00:55:00] So addressing some of those anxieties and then I have them answering the assessment questions and then that kind of jumps into, you’ve got really great intuition about your kiddo. You’re bright. Congratulations. He does have ADHD.

I say, congratulations, because they usually almost immediately start crying. I say, well, I do want to talk about congratulations because here are all the great things about ADHD, but then acknowledging. And that’s where I go into the strength. So, it’s kind of balancing it out so that they’re not totally defeated when we leave here but acknowledging, but I know it’s hard.

And there’s this thing called school. That’s the only problem with ADHD. And unfortunately, Johnny’s still got 10 more years of this thing called school left. And so, there are things that we’re going to need to do to help support him, to keep his self-esteem intact, and all of those kinds of things.

So, [00:56:00] I think the anxiety mounts when we just focus on the strengths and lay the bombshell at the end of what’s going on, but when we never talk about strengths, then they leave feeling like my child is totally disabled.

Dr. Sharp: Right. There’s a theme here I think in our conversation so far, which is balance, and this is complicated, which is exactly why we’re talking about it. And hope that we’ll be able to talk about ways to help.

Dr. Caroline: 100% Yeah, I’ve got tons and tons of ideas.

Dr. Sharp: That’s fantastic.

Dr. Caroline: Other things too. I mean, these ones are pretty straightforward, but I think it’s still worth mentioning just because we might make these little mistakes. Being too technical, being too clinical, whether it’s in our feedback meetings but also in our reports, giving too much information at once. I always say you’re only going to be able to remember about five minutes’ worth of the information that I’m going to [00:57:00] share. So this is the most important five minutes that I’m going to share.

And I usually break it down within five minutes because they do get so overwhelmed, but oftentimes, there’s just too much and they’re like, I don’t even know where to start. And again, they just get overwhelmed both physically and emotionally, right? And then they’re not listening to anything.

Also just when we have these truths about their kids without giving them the opportunity to reflect on them. So what do you think, like I see this ADHD, what do you think about it? Giving them that chance, because oftentimes, we’re like your child has ADHD and dyslexia and then they’re not given any moment to reflect and be like, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Or ODD, that’s another one. No, no, no, my kiddo doesn’t hurt animals. What are you talking about? Things were taken out of context. So they’re like, no, the kid you’re describing to me does not fit with the kid that I know in my mind. That’s a huge problem.

Sometimes [00:58:00] they have the wrong kid’s name in the report. Or things like, he wore glasses when they didn’t. Just clear, cut and paste errors that are just really, really bad. So we want to avoid those kinds of things. And I see that unfortunately all the time.

Dr. Sharp: Could I back up to something you said a bit ago that I actually, want to highlight and maybe spend a little bit of time on?

Dr. Caroline: Yeah.

Dr. Sharp: So you said that parents don’t really care about the ranges, like average below average, above average, and so forth.

I have been saying that for a long time, but mainly in the context of having that information written in the report. So I’m curious, is that something that you have seen born out in your research that parents really don’t know how to make sense of those ranges and test scores and things like that? Or is that more of an off-the-cuff anecdotal scope?

Dr. Caroline: No, it’s [00:59:00] truly, part of the research that they just don’t and I will be getting into, I mean, we will have to educate them about what normative sort of beans, but here in this moment of learning about the diagnosis, so in the reports, it’s very distracting. You’re correct. I never put averages or ranges or percentiles or anything because it just distracts away from the narrative of what’s going on for the kiddo. But the same thing within that feedback meeting, they don’t care. They don’t want to hear it.

Dr. Sharp: Good to know.

Dr. Caroline: Later on, it’s just too much to try to get their head wrapped around. They just want to know right now, in my context with what I’m struggling with, what’s going on, and what do I do about it? I will be getting into that a little bit more too about how we can kind of educate, but really it’s bringing it back to their kids.

I don’t care about the other 95% of the kids that’s part of that [01:00:00] sample. I just care about my kid. And oftentimes, they’re basing their child’s difficulties based on what they know from maybe other friends’ kids or other siblings or things like that. That’s more comparative for them.

Dr. Sharp: Sure. the closest that we will get to saying things like that is, the first name is really good at blank or they’re right on target, or this is kind of hard, or this is really hard. We try to keep our language more informal, I guess is the right word.

Dr. Caroline: Yeah. I used to use things like, it was adequate, their skills are adequate or developed as expected, and parents like, “Well, what does that mean? I’m not worried about any brain development. They can learn. So trying to explain that, but I think they’re just so [01:01:00] overwhelmed at the moment that everything just seems like a foreign language to them.

Not knowing how diagnoses were made is another one too. Well, how do you know that they have ADHD? I keep going back to ADHD, but any of the diagnoses that we give them, how do you know? And then if they’re really questioning, like what basis did you put that on? If they’re having those questions, they’re questioning our title results at the end of the day.

Dr. Sharp: Yeah, great point.

Dr. Caroline: Yeah. And then, once we go through all of that, the next really big piece of this is not knowing what they have to do next after the assessment. And that’s another major problem. Every parent comes to an assessment to figure out how to help their kiddos. So it’s bad when they do the assessment and then we give them all this information and they’re like, “That’s it? Just like with the blue Oracle? That’s it? What now?

So we might be done with the assessment, parents aren’t [01:02:00] done. And then they feel abandoned because this was just the beginning. They wanted help. They didn’t care about the label or the diagnosis. They want to know what they need to do. And so knowing where…

Now they’re on a whole new journey, right? Where do we even start this whole new journey? Where do they have to go? So they’re feeling like, okay, we’re getting somewhere. And I think they do start getting a little bit of hopefulness and relief by the end of the assessment, but we’re just throwing them back into this huge gigantic world.

That can be a real problem because now they’re going to turn to Dr. Google or they’re going to go doctor shopping, or they’re just going to retreat back to the status quo and that’s part of their journey where they might be left wondering, for example, or just feeling completely helpless and hopeless and defeated, unfortunately.

For all of our parents, there should be one clear path knowing, okay, I know exactly what’s going on with my kiddo. And I know exactly what I need to do next. That’s where all of our parents [01:03:00] should be feeling. But unfortunately, very few do. I mean, they just feel dumped. And those are words that they’ll say. I was dumped by my psychologist. Some feel lucky enough that they were supported, but unfortunately, they weren’t.

So this is where our recommendations play a big role. And I know that there’s always a lot of talk about the recommendations, but unfortunately, as much work we do around our recommendations, parents don’t find them really that helpful. They’re like, great. I have a page or pages full of recommendations, but what do I do with all of this? Where do I go with all of this? And they’re just not feeling like they’re feasible or even applicable, they don’t feel equipped.

One parent was talking about, this is my own independent study. I need to have a master’s. This is a master’s course where I have to do the full school study where the burden is on me to teach my child or fix my child or whatever else is going on.

So, that’s a huge burden on them. And I think it’s [01:04:00] just adds to the stress.

And that’s really looking at the entire assessment experience. There’s this huge overarching stress throughout the entire thing from the minute they pick up the phone. It’s not just one aspect of the process. It’s really that wave pattern that I was talking about. There’s stress leading up to get the help. And then really once they make the call, but now there’s stressed, now I have to wait for my appointment where there’s a little bit of release, but then that huge anticipation for the end.

And so, all parents are stressed, but we’ve got one group of parents who are stressed, but feeling blamed or they had a bad experience or they’re feeling like they don’t know where to go. They’re not feeling very empowered. So that’s one group of parents. The other group, they were feeling just as much stress, but they were feeling supported and things make sense for them now. I’m empowered. I know what’s going on and I know how to help.

That’s a key point to remember. Which [01:05:00] parent do you want leaving your office at the end of the day? You want that parent who’s yes, stressed, but feeling supported? So we have to build and maintain the relationship and build those positive experiences. That’s going to be really important. And that’s the bulk. I mean, there are so many more little complaints, but that’s kind of the big themes that have come out of the research.

The next piece is where do we go with all of this?

Dr. Sharp: Yes. I am excited to transition to the, where do we go part of this? And I think now is probably a good time to do that, but right before we do that, I wanted to ask one nuanced question that you may or may not be aware of. And that is related to recommendations.

So, do you have any data to gauge, I guess it’s the quality versus quantity question with recommendations because I’ve heard [01:06:00] and experienced both models where some clinicians will give, let’s say 5 to 10 very clear directive recommendations? And that’s a pretty brief model. And then I’ve seen those who do more of a comprehensive model where there are pages of recommendations that are meant to be a lot more detailed. Does the research provide any guidance in terms of what parents prefer?

Dr. Caroline: In terms of preferences, well, we do know that the research says the parents do feel like there’s way too many and they’re just not applicable, not feasible. You’ve got parents and this is more just inexperience and from my own research and just experience because there’s not a lot out there about that. Things like that are not well-defined, unfortunately. We don’t have [01:07:00] a perfect between 10 to 15 is the right way to go, but you’ll have parents on both sides. If you give too little, it’s like, “That’s it? But then other ones it’s like, “Where do I start?”

So, bringing everything that I found together based on the research that’s out there and then my own research as well through everything that I’ve done, I have two sections.

One is your key recommendations. These are your next three to five steps. One. You’re going to go see your doctor. Whether you’re going to go on medications or not. And I’ll talk them through that whole process. It’s good because you might have a doctor who needs to do a referral to a pediatrician, and that could take six months and it’s just good to have those doors open and have that conversation.

Two, you’re going to take this to the school. You’re going to have a meeting. If you don’t already have an IPP, I’m probably going to talk about an IPP. And then I also [01:08:00] tell them how I can be a part of that. I can review it or give some very specific goals around that.

So I do give very clear, these are the next three to five things you need to do. That’s a key recommendation. But then I just can’t give up and I know it’s so bad, but I know schools do you value sometimes as well the pages, I do have pages of recommendations, but I do break it up into whole class because teachers feel overwhelmed.

And so, I do a lot of whole-class interventions. This will be great for all of your students, but if I’ve got a kiddo with dyslexia, here are some individualized things that you could be doing and more of the small group support things. So I do break it up whole-class interventions, individualized interventions, interventions for home versus interventions versus school.

So it’s still might be pages, but it’s broken down and parents know, okay, these are the two key sections that I can look at. And [01:09:00] here are the things that the classroom teacher can look at. Here are the things that the early literacy intervention specialists can look at or whatever else it is.

Dr. Sharp: That’s great. Well, that’s very validating. That’s the exact approach that we have been taking over the last 6 to 12 months. So, I appreciate that perspective and really identify with that. I figured, why pick one or the other, just do both and cover all that.

Dr. Caroline: Well, let’s just it. Again, we can’t make everybody happy. And if we go too far one way, somebody is going to get upset, but that could be another piece. What would be most helpful for you? I’ll be talking about this as we go through. And I think it’ll help really clarify even more specifically when we get to some of those recommendations.

Dr. Sharp: Hey, thanks for listening, y’all. Thank you as always. I really appreciate it. This was a fun one. And this was just part one. As you [01:10:00] can tell, we were really on a roll, and part two will pick up next time as we transition to talking about more concrete ways that we can really help parents and empower them. So, I hope you enjoyed this, and stay tuned for the next one.

All right, take care.

The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is [01:11:00] formed here. and similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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