Common Questions

  • How can Assessment and Therapy Help me or my child?
  • How do I know if we need school accommodations for learning disabilities?
  • What is Irlen Syndrome?
  • What is Therapy like?
  • What about medication vs. psychotherapy?
  • Do you take insurance, and how does that work?

How can Assessment and Therapy Help me or my child?

A number of benefits are available from participating in assessment and therapy. Depression, anxiety, school failure or acting out are often symptoms of undiscovered problems with health, nutrition or learning. We assess the whole individual first. Then we build a plan to address these problems, develop problem-solving skills and enhance coping strategies. Our work together can provide a fresh perspective on a difficult problem or point you and your child in the direction of a solution. The benefits you obtain from therapy depend on how well you use the process and put into practice what you learn. Some of the benefits available from therapy include:

  • Developing a 504 Plan or IEP at school for accommodations for learning problems
  • Developing skills for improving learning and reaching academic and professional goals
  • Learning new ways to cope with stress and anxiety
  • Managing anger, grief, depression, and other emotional pressures
  • Improving communications and listening skills
  • Changing old behavior patterns and developing new ones
  • self-esteem and boosting self-confidence

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How do we know if we need Testing and School Accommodations for Learning Disabilities?

Everyone learns differently. Finding out how you or your child learns and what makes learning difficult is the first step in developing an individualized accommodation plan for school, college and professional success.

Your diagnostic evaluation for learning disablities and the accommodations to help you in the classroom will be built into a school report. This report will help you and your family know your rights under Federal legislation such as P.L. 108-446, Individuals with Disabilities Eduction Act (IDEA) or P.L. 110-325, Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). This will enable you or your child to get the school and testing accommodations that are your right. Remember, the law states that “all children with disabilities who are in need of special education services be identified, located, and evaluated.”

Your assessment is individually designed and typically will include a comprehensive interview, a review of your academic and medical records, and a full psycho-educational assessment which will look at intellectual, cognitive, academic and perceptual development. Emotional issues are also assessed, as often these are a result of previously undetected and unaddressed learning issues.

Our testing meets the full requirements of ETS (Educational Testing Service) which is the standard by which schools and professional boards measure requests for accommodations.

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What is Irlen Sydrome?

Irlen Syndrome is a brain-based perceptual dysfunction that leads to an inability to fully process visual information. It can affect reading, writing, depth perception, attention and concentration.

What are the symptoms of Irlen Syndrome ®?

Light Sensitivity: Some of us are sensitive to glare, brightness and bright lights and especially fluorescent lighting. Some of us have trouble with bright flashing lights. Our reactions may include discomfort, headaches and difficulty concentrating while reading or working under fluorescent lights.

Difficulty with Print: Some of us are unable to read print easily and free from perceptual distortions. Printed letters, words, numbers and music may move, blur, or disappear.

Inattention: Some of us have difficulty concentrating while reading, writing or working on a computer. Often we become restless and fatigued.

Restricted Span of Recognition: Some of us only see a very small part of the page which makes reading and playing music difficult. Speed reading becomes impossible and reading comprehension can suffer.

Poor Depth Perception: Some of us park by touch, have difficulty getting on and off escalators, and prefer not to play sports with fast moving balls.

Headaches & Migraines: Some of us react to light with headaches, stomachaches, sleepiness, migraines, dizziness, and fatigue. When light and visual stress cause these symptoms, Irlen lens can be an effective and noninvasive solution.

Over Stimulation: Many individuals, particularly those with Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury, light-induced epilepsy, and Tourette’s may be overly stimulated by lights, colors, patterns, high contrast, or movement. Irlen lenses can help many.
What is the treatment?

The treatment for Irlen Syndrome® was developed by Helen Irlen and consists of altering the color or length of the light waves entering the eye through the use of colored overlays and filters worn as glasses. Irlen filters® modify the light which minimizes or eliminates the visual distortions and can allow improved reading rate, comprehension and sustained attention.

Favorite links:
Irlen Institute
Learning Ally
San Bernardino Inland Regional Center

Copyright 1998-2020 by Perceptual Development Corp/Helen Irlen. All rights reserved.

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What is therapy like?

Because each person has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the individual. In general, we will start with an hour intake to review your intake materials and history. The next visit is a 4-6 hour day of testing in which you or your child are assessed. The third visit is a feedback hour where we discuss the findings, the Psychological Report and build a treatment plan. At your sessions, you can expect to discuss the current events happening in your life, your personal history relevant to your issue or those of your child, and report progress (or any new insights gained) from the previous therapy session. Depending on your specific needs, therapy can be short-term, for a specific issue, or longer-term, to deal with more difficult patterns or your desire for more personal development. Either way, it is most common to schedule regular sessions with your therapist (usually weekly).

It is important to understand that you will get more results from therapy if you actively participate in the process. The ultimate purpose of therapy is to help you bring what you learn in session back into your life. Therefore, beyond the work you do in therapy sessions, I may suggest some things you can do outside of therapy to support your process - such as changing your diet or that or your child, reading a pertinent book, noting particular behaviors or taking action on your goals. People seeking psychotherapy are ready to make positive changes in their lives, are open to new perspectives and take responsibility for their lives.

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What about medication vs. psychotherapy?

It is well established that the long-term solution to emotional and learning problems and the pain they cause cannot be solved solely by medication. Instead of just treating the symptom, therapy addresses the cause of our distress and the behavior patterns that curb our progress. You can best achieve sustainable growth and a greater sense of well-being with an integrative approach to wellness. Working with your medical doctor you can determine what's best for you and your child, and in some cases a combination of medication and therapy is the right course of action.

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Do you take insurance, and how does that work?

To determine if you have mental health coverage through your insurance carrier, the first thing you should do is call them. Check your coverage carefully and make sure you understand their answers. Some helpful questions you can ask them:

  • What are my mental health benefits?
  • What is the coverage amount per therapy session?
  • How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
  • How much does my insurance pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is approval required from my primary care physician?
  • Is CE Davidson Cibelli, PhD on my panel?
  • Confidentiality is one of the most important components between a client and psychotherapist. Successful therapy requires a high degree of trust with highly sensitive subject matter that is usually not discussed anywhere but the therapist's office. Every therapist should provide a written copy of their confidential disclosure agreement, and you can expect that what you discuss in session will not be shared with anyone. This is called “Informed Consent”. Sometimes, however, you may want your therapist to share information or give an update to someone on your healthcare team (your Physician, Naturopath, Attorney), but by law your therapist cannot release this information without obtaining your written permission.

However, state law and professional ethics require therapists to maintain confidentiality except for the following situations:

* Suspected past or present abuse or neglect of children, adults, and elders to the authorities, including Child Protection and law enforcement, based on information provided by the client or collateral sources.

* If the therapist has reason to suspect the client is seriously in danger of harming him/herself or has threated to harm another person.

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