The Beljan Blog

How Do I Request a School Evaluation?
Kate Haskew, CAGS, NCSP, ABSNP
Many parents report that getting a school to conduct an evaluation for their child is an up-hill battle. Kate Haskew, a former school psychologist, reviews the laws and regulations regarding parents' rights in formally requesting a school evaluation. There are simple tried-and-true ways to push past the red tape and speed up the process.
ADHD in High School
Kate Haskew, cags, ncsp, absnp
ADHD isn’t homogeneous. It looks different for everyone, both in terms of brain function and impairment. Symptoms may fluctuate daily, making diagnosis and impact statements difficult to summarize. Symptoms may overlap with an array of other mental and physical health concerns. If we have established criteria, then why do school teams have such difficulty specifying how a particular student is impacted and what interventions, remediation, and/or supports are needed?
Unearthing the Missed Diagnosis
Paul Beljan, psyd
Schools often utilize the discrepancy model to identify learning disorders. Dr. Beljan discusses the inherent flaws with the discrepancy and offers a neuropsychologically-informed approach for more accurately and comprehensively diagnosing learning disorders.
Executive Functioning in Gifted Children
Paul Beljan, psyd
Dr. Beljan discusses the brain basis of attention and executive functioning, specifically as it pertains to children who are gifted. Gifted children represent a disproportional amount of children identified with ADHD which is as widely misdiagnosed as it is widely misunderstood and unfortunately mistreated.
Autism: The Light at the End of the Tunnel
justin gardner, psyd
If you’ve ever rented or bought a house, you know that lighting can make or break an entire space. From dingy overhead lighting to fluorescent bathroom lights, the wrong lighting can be the difference between a good mood and a bad day.
Your Child Isn't Broken
justin gardner, psyd
Building on novel research into the applications of computational modeling in psychology, Dr. Gardner explains the neuropsychological underpinnings of Autism Spectrum Disorder and how even children with relatively lower functioning Autism are not that impaired as people may think.

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Understanding Math Learning Disorder

A burgeoning body of literature in pediatric neuropsychological assessment suggests executive functioning is the foundation of many procedural learning skills as mediated by cerebellar processing. Given the neuropsychological necessity of intact procedural learning ability for efficient academic learning, the accurate identification of what we have termed “procedural consolidation deficit” (PCD) may be an underpinning of mathematical learning disorder (MLD). Results suggest performance on procedural learning tasks significantly predict a classification of MLD.

Recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Neuropsychology!

Processing Speed in Gifted Children

Children with gifted intellects often earn lower scores on measures of processing speed than their nongifted counterparts. However, neuropsychological research indicates such a profile of scores is likely not due to a true innate neurocognitive processing speed deficit but is rather a statistical artifact resulting from the interference of common cognitive and behavioral idiosyncrasies inherent to giftedness, such as perfectionism and an aversion to completing paper and pencil tasks. The first aim of this study is to identify and explain the relative underperformance of children with gifted intellects on measures of processing speed. The second aim is to develop a neuropsychologically informed framework for clinically assessing processing speed in children with gifted intellects using alternative measures from the WISC–V. Clinical implications are discussed as they relate to the relative disabling effects of common gifted-related idiosyncrasies on the expression of their otherwise intact neuropsychological capabilities.

Recently published in the Roeper Review!

The Beljan Library

Good read!
Misdiagnosis and Dual Diagnoses of Gifted Children and Adults: ADHD, Bipolar, OCD, Asperger's, Depression, and Other Disorders
James t. webb, edward r. amend, paul beljan
Gifted children and adults are frequently misdiagnosed, particularly those who are twice-exceptional (2e). This much-anticipated second edition of a best-selling book is your guide to help prevent that. Some of our brightest, most creative children and adults are misdiagnosed as having behavioral or emotional disorders such as ADD/ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or Asperger's Disorder. Many receive unneeded medications and/or inappropriate counseling. How can this happen? Physicians, psychologists, and counselors often are unaware of characteristics of gifted children and adults that mimic pathological diagnoses.

4.7 stars on Amazon!
Large-Scale Brain Systems and Neuropsychological Testing: An Effort to Move Forward
Leonard f. koziol, Paul Beljan, Kate bree, John mather
This leading-edge volume offers a new framework for neuropsychological testing rooted in the current evidence base on large-scale brain system interactions. Expert coverage brings traditional discrete areas of cognitive functioning (e.g., attention, memory) in line with highly nuanced relationships between cortical and subcortical processing. The new findings point to more accurate and targeted testing, as authors expand on the judicious addition of non-standardized methods to core diagnostic tools and the underused capacity of neuropsychological testing to assess social behavior and personality. The book’s emphasis on cognition in context gives practitioners better understanding of assessment and evaluation, leading to improved diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes for individuals as well as significant improvements in the field.

4.8 stars on Amazon!