Homeschooling Strategies for Your Child with Special Needs

Homeschooling Strategies for Your Child With Special Needs

Helping you and your child succeed with homeschooling during COVID-19.

Written by Dr. Liz Matheis

This period of time feels a little surreal to me, as I’m sure it does for you, too. As parents, this is a time where we are balancing our work and home demands. While we are trying to maintain our employee status, we are also being given the responsibility of teaching our children through their subjects.

I know when I saw the pile of work that was sent home for my children, as well as the emails and Google Classroom notifications, I was most definitely overwhelmed. I had to find some way to organize the assignments and create some sort of order for each day. For my child with special needs, understanding her academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as emotional needs, hasn’t been easy for me, and my appreciation for her teachers is that much higher and deeper.

Our teachers are not expecting our children to work for the duration of the entire school day. However, it may be taking you and your child longer than the school day to complete a few assignments. My efforts have been met with tears, falling to the ground and a fair share of yelling … on both of our ends. Now that it’s been a week, I have a few strategies to share with you that may save your sanity and help you to create realistic expectations for what a school day will look like for the next few weeks.

Take a Quick Read Through Your Child’s IEP

Although you are not a special education teacher (or maybe you are!), take a look at your child’s accommodations and get a sense of how to work within the classroom is broken down for your child. This may give you a few ideas of how information is presented.  If you’re still not clear, email your child’s teacher and ask her or him how you could teach your child a concept or how to work through the assignment. You are likely going to gain a few great ideas!

Break It Down

For some of our children, having your parent become your teacher is a mixing of roles and relationships. Understandably so! Your child may push back when you present work more so than she would with her teacher.

So, let’s get you through this. Break down subjects with specific times and specific time limits each day. For example, your child’s four major subjects, regardless of age or grade, are science, social studies, math, and language arts. Based on your child’s tolerance and endurance, you may wish to:

  • Each class will last 30, 45, or 60 minutes
  • Decide on the time before you begin
  • Set a timer
  • Teach three subjects per day
  • Rotate the subjects so that one subject is being “dropped” daily
  • Break down tasks into parts. For example, if your child is assigned to write a paper, break it down into its parts: an introduction, paragraph one, paragraph two, paragraph three and conclusion. You may wish to work on one to two parts each day
  • Work on five or 10 math problems at a time
  • Take breaks in between subjects; decide the maximum amount of time that will feel relaxing but not too relaxing where re-engaging becomes too difficult. Set the timer again

 

Click Here to Continue Reading the Full Article on Psychology Today

Image by Pexels

How to Best Support Your Child with a Learning Disability

As a parent, we’re often troubleshooting challenges as they happen. So when you suspect your child may have a learning disability, it can be overwhelming to know where to start and how to obtain the resources to best support your child.

​To help streamline your next steps, we spoke with Dr. Liz Matheis, a licensed Clinical Psychologist and certified School Psychologist who specializes in assisting children and their families with Autism, ADHD, Anxiety and learning/behavioral disorders.

Click Here for the Full Interview

by Sarah Sanchez, NDTR, Shield Healthcare

Preparing for a Study Abroad Program if You Have a Physical Disability

Study abroad programs have a lot to offer. You’ll have the opportunity to meet new friends, make new connections and broaden your horizons by immersing yourself in a completely different culture.

If you have a physical disability, you shouldn’t let that stand in the way of all the great things a study abroad program has to offer. With the right precautions and preparation, you’ll be able to make the most of your experience.

Here is our guide on how you can set yourself up for success if you have a physical disability and are considering a study abroad program:

Choose Your Destination Wisely

Different countries vary in the resources and accommodations available to those traveling with a disability. While the US has regulations like the Americans with Disabilities Act that require businesses to provide certain accommodations such as wheelchair ramps and elevators, other countries may not have as robust of a system in place.

To minimize the chances of complications, choose a study abroad program in a country that’s particularly known for accessibility, like these 9 very wheelchair accessible locations overseas:

  • Sydney, Australia
  • London, England
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Hong Kong
  • Paris, France
  • Ireland
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Melbourne, Australia

You can also consult with your university’s study abroad program office to get an idea of how wheelchair-friendly a country will be. They can fill you in on what to expect and what you’ll need to keep in mind to be fully prepared.

A few additional considerations they may speak with you about:

  • Service animals: If you’ll be traveling with a service animal, you may need to find out if they’re allowed in public areas such as businesses and restaurants.
  • Wheelchair ramps and elevators: If you’ll be using a wheelchair, you may want to do some research on the terrain. How difficult will it be for you to get around? Are there any laws requiring businesses to have wheelchair ramps, and can you reliably count on elevators being available?
  • Medications: If you will be needing any types of medications, you’ll want to make sure your prescriptions are allowed by local law. If they are, will you have any trouble getting them refilled?

Image by: smolaw/Shutterstock

by Andrew Wan

Choosing a Child Psychological Evaluation: School Based vs. Independent

The beginning-of-the-school-year-honeymoon-period is now over, and your child is settling into the school year. Perhaps you’re noticing that your child is struggling with word problems, identifying letters, remembering the sounds letters make, or writing. Perhaps your child’s teacher is pointing out to you that he is struggling to sit in his seat, finish work in class, interact with his peers. So now what? What do you do with this information?

If you’re making these realizations now, you may want more information about your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and possibly gain a support plan in school. In essence, you may be ready to seek an evaluation. The next question is what kind? Who can provide an evaluation for my child? What information do I want to gain from this evaluation? So, where do you begin?

Seeking a Psychological Evaluation for Your Child:

Step One: Speak to your child’s teacher and gain feedback regarding your child’s performance academically, socially, emotionally and behaviorally? What are academic strengths and weaknesses?

Step Two:
 Decide if you would like for your school’s Child Study Team to perform the psychological evaluation vs. seeking an independent evaluation.

Before you make that decision, you need to answer the question: what’s the difference between the evaluation and report you would gain from your Child Study Team vs. one gained from an outside professional? Well, there are several and here is a summary to help you when you make this decision.

The Psychological Evaluation through your Child Study TeamThe Psychological evaluation completed by your school should consist of a standardized test, such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scales, an observation, and a student interview.

In the end, you will gain a report that provides an IQ of your child’s cognitive/intellectual performance, a summary of a classroom observation, and information about your child’s interests, preferences, and reported academic strengths and weaknesses. Please note that the School Psychologist is not permitted to provide any diagnoses, if relevant, within this report.

This information will be used to compare to the results of the Educational Evaluation that is completed by the Child Study Team Learning Specialist in order to determine if there is a learning disability that is negatively impacting your child’s ability to perform academically.

The School Based via the Private/Independent Psychological Evaluation:

If you are seeking an independent psychological evaluation, that means that you are working with a Clinical Psychologist, privately, to provide you with an evaluation and report. The Clinical Psychologist has the ability to administer additional tests in order to answer questions you may have as a parent, or to gain more specific information about your child’s intellectual and academic skills.

Being a School and Clinical Psychologist, when I perform a private psychological evaluation, I also administer an achievement test and executive functioning testing, as well as look at anxiety, attention, learning, and memory. All of this information creates a learning profile that indicates your child’s learning style, strengths and weaknesses.

This report is comprehensive and offers information about learning style that the School Psychologist’s report does not contain. That is, is your child a visual spatial learner; an auditory learner? A hands on learner? With this information in mind, the recommendations in the report can then be geared towards the best way to teach new information to the student that is in line with the way he naturally takes it in.

Pros & Cons
So, what are some of the major pros and cons of a Child Study Team (CST) generated psychological evaluation vs. a private/independent one?

Picture

Image by: Shield Healthcare
by Dr. Liz Matheis

The Essentials of a Successful School Year

The Essentials of a Successful School Year for You and Your Child’s IEP

When a new school year begins, students are not the only ones with butterflies in their stomachs. Parents of students with special needs also worry about what a new year, a new teacher and a new classroom may bring. If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the legal document clearly delineates your child’s needs. Here are tips for creating a positive classroom experience and successful school year.

Schedule a parent-teacher-case manager meeting.
At the start of the school year, all of your child’s teachers provide written signatures that they have reviewed your child’s IEP. However, it is a brief overview and teachers are not yet familiar with your child’s program, modifications and accommodations.

After the first couple months of school, schedule a time to sit down with your child’s teachers and case manager to review academic supports and accommodations. In essence, you are setting aside this time to give teachers an overview of how your child is best able to take in information while reviewing accommodations, such as providing a word bank on a fill-in-the blank test or giving a lesson outline prior to the presentation of new material so that your child can follow the outline and add personal thoughts or notes. This is also a time for you to meet and make a connection with all of your child’s teachers, permitting them to know you by name and face.

For a Successful School Year: Put it in writing.
Once your child’s IEP meeting has been held, your child’s program goes into effect within 15 days of the IEP meeting date, with or without your signature. Sometimes, parents are misled to believe that if they do not sign the IEP, they are showing disagreement or require more time to review the document in detail. However, when you are in disagreement with an element of a behavior plan, related service or program within your child’s IEP, prepare a written letter to your child’s case manager indicating what specifically you are in disagreement about.

Integrate a sensory diet into your child’s day.
Create a personalized activity plan that can be integrated into your child’s daily schedule in order to satisfy the need for movement, deep pressure or heavy work. These types of activities satisfy proprioceptive, vestibular, auditory, visual and tactile needs for a child who may have a sensory processing disorder, difficulty sustaining attention, or is restless and fidgety.

For example, a child diagnosed with ADHD or Autism may not be able to maintain attention and focus to one task while sitting down at a desk for an entire class period. As a result, a sensory tool may include a move ‘n sit cushion, which is a seat cushion that is wedge shaped and filled with air. It is used to help fidgety or lethargic students maintain a level of alertness. A child who is restless may also need the opportunity for movement breaks within the school day. It might benefit a child like this to work at his or her desk for ten minutes and then take a five-minute break to go to the bathroom or water fountain, or to send a note to another classroom teacher or the main office.

For children who are hyperactive, a five-minute gym break for a quick run or game of basketball can be integrated into the child’s schedule to allow for a better ability to focus on class tasks.

Consult with the occupational therapist (OT) in your child’s school for additional ideas and how they can be integrated and implemented on daily basis. Overall, these strategies can help you and your child to transition into the new school year smoothly. While also giving you the chance to discuss your child’s academic program and develop a positive rapport with your child’s teachers.

Image by: Shield Healthcare

by Dr. Liz Matheis

Balancing School, Homework, Sports and Extracurriculars

“Come on, hurry up and get your math homework done so we can get to soccer practice on time! You can eat dinner in the car on the way there. Don’t forget that after practice you have a Girl Scout event and then when we get back we have to review your spelling words for tomorrow’s test!” How many of you can relate to these kinds of conversations with your kids? Our kids today are so overbooked with activities and stimuli that it’s no wonder anxiety is on the rise. The following are some tips to help families navigate all of the hustle and bustle in a balanced manner.

1. Limit the amount of commitments your child has
I still encourage the use of a rule that Dr. Liz had shared with me one day. “One activity, per kid, per season”. Maybe your child enjoys playing two different sports in one season. Maybe they enjoy their piano lessons and singing in the school choir. Have a conversation with your child and narrow it down instead of automatically signing up for all of the activities at once. Take things on gradually, seeing how one activity plays out in the schedule before signing up for another.

2. Schedule down time 
With schedules so packed, take a look at the calendar and notice where there are open spots. Make it a priority to keep these spots open and allow your child to have down time where there is less structure and less pressure to perform a certain way. Children need some time to unwind from the school day and busy weekends filled with activities. This is also a good opportunity to schedule quality time together as a family, which does not have to be anything elaborate. Planning a family movie or game night are easy ways to promote healthy communication patterns and family bonding. This scheduled down time should be just as much of a priority as the piano recitals, soccer games and cheer practices.

3. Check in with your child
Engage your children in ongoing discussions where you are checking in with their stress level. Tell them that it is perfectly acceptable for them to speak up if they feel they are too busy or not getting enough time to rest. Help your child develop their priorities in terms of extracurriculars and narrow down the ones that mean more to them. This will depend heavily on your child’s developmental level, but it is important that as they mature, they have more of a say in their extracurricular activities.

Image by: Pexels

by Nicole Filiberti, MSW, LCSW

How can I make studying less stressful for my child?

Attempting to get your child to sit and study is a chore in itself, and then once you get them to sit they actually have to study.  This process can bring upon a lot of anxiety for your child. Did I remember all my materials? Will this be on the test? What if I get a bad grade? What if I forget what I studied?  How long should I study? As someone who was challenged by test anxiety, these questions ran through my brain before every test. As I got older and learned what tactics best suited me, anxiety lessened.  Not to say it disappeared, after all we are all human, but I found the best ways to help myself.Learning Style
Not every child learns the same. One child may be able to listen to the material and have it memorized, while another child may have to see it written.  Think about when you have gotten a bookshelf or something to put together and it just had pictures and no written directions, was this easy or difficult?  If you are a visual learner this was a piece of cake; if you are a verbal or auditory learner this may have been quite the challenge. Someone can be a visual (pictures), auditory (sound), verbal (written words) or physical (hands-on/touch) learner.  Finding out how your child learns can help decide if flashcards or an audio recording of their material would be most helpful.A designated study space
When it comes to doing homework sometimes kids can be nomads.  They will plop themselves on a couch, bed, floor, wherever they may land.  Unfortunately, this is not optimal for homework or studying. Your child should have a designated study area.  This should be an area as free from distraction as it can and calming. For some children, this may be an office desk or kitchen table.  If their desk is in their room, it is important they use their desk and not the bed or bean bag chair that may be in it. While some students use apps such as Focus Keeper to stay on track, not having it placed within reach is key.  It should be close enough that they can hear the timer for their break but not close enough where they can play games and browse social media.How to study
As many of us learned the hard way, cramming was not the best way to learn and retain information.  Setting up a study schedule for an allotted amount of time before the test will help your child retain information and reduce stress before the exam.  This can be done using their agenda book or a dry erase calendar in their room. Including reminders and goals will help reduce the last minute cramming and test anxiety. While they are studying, allow for breaks.  As mentioned above there are apps that can be used to set an amount of time to study and time for a break. These breaks should be restorative and not involve screen time. That can make getting back to studying more challenge and cause a power struggle between you and your child.

Celebrating their hard work
Even though they may have not gotten a perfect score, celebrate their effort.  Knowing that studying is difficult for your child, the fact that they were able to sit and prepare for their tests is a success.  It’s the process not the product. The more encouragement and sense of pride they feel the more they will want to continue these habits to make not only you proud but they will make themselves proud!


Image by: Pexels

by Jennifer Mandato, LAC

The Benefits of Inclusion

As humans, we are born with the drive to relate and connect to others. Fostering emotional connectedness from a young age is a critical foundation for healthy development. Oftentimes, when our children receive a diagnosis, there is a race against time to start services and work on skills that may be lagging. However, what often seems to be missed is the importance of emotional development and building relationships. All children, regardless of a diagnosis, desire and deserve to have meaningful relationships. When my son started in a preschool inclusion program, I had a lot of unanswered questions. Is he mature enough to be a peer model? How will he handle observing children experiencing sensory overloads and needing support to work through these experiences? After all, he is only 3 and needs support regulating his emotions as well. What I began to realize was that it wasn’t only the “peer models,” that were modeling and helping. They were all learning from one another. They are all tiny humans that desire to be loved and have friendships with one another. The Inclusion program instills values in my child through natural experiences that can’t be taught through a textbook or expensive curriculums.  Inclusion programs challenges teachers to see the whole child and nurture each and every child’s emotional self.

Promote Empathy
A strong, developmentally- appropriate social/emotional emphasis is crucial in creating a successful inclusion program. Through structured social/emotional lessons, modeling emotional coaching in the moment, as well as play experiences, children learn that we all have feelings and different coping strategies. Mirror neurons fire in our brains through observation of other human beings. By exposing our children to teachers and caregivers co-regulating with other students and working them through strong emotions, we are laying the groundwork for building empathy. Students also learn how to enter into another child’s world and see the world through another person’s eyes. For example, another child may share a similar passion for Mickey Mouse, however, their play may look a little different e.g. stacking or lining a figure up. With assistance and modeling from adults in the room on how to engage with students, we are teaching them how to consider others’ interests and needs. In the future, this may help our children to include other children in their play and social interactions that may not initiate on their own. I know that my hope for my own child is to be an individual who respects and includes all people.

Enhances Communication and Interpersonal Skills
As adults, an important skill to be successful in life is learning how another individual communicates and tailor our interactions accordingly. Exposing our children to inclusion settings from an early age helps them to gain an understanding that we all communicate differently. In addition, exposing young children to a variety of communication modalities help to strengthen and develop language.

Multi Sensory supports and engaging lessons help each student access the full curriculum and accommodate all learning styles. 

In an age of high-stakes testing, the importance of supporting and enhancing childhood development in an educational setting is often lost. Children need to move and experience to learn. An inclusive setting supports the critical, developmental building blocks for learning that are sometimes not emphasized in all educational settings. The importance of experience and process is lost through pressure of the “product.” Multi sensory learning experiences are critical for all children to access the curriculum through their individual learning styles. Inclusive settings create a supportive learning environment, engage a variety of learners and creates a more responsive learning environment.

When I walk into my son’s classroom, it’s difficult to distinguish between the students who have individualized education plans and those who do not. This is exactly as it should be. Through my son’s eyes, each and every one of his classmates are his buddies. Some communicate with technology and sign language. Some need cool little gadgets to make their bodies feel safe and ready to learn. Some of them like Paw Patrol just like him. Most of them like to move while learning just like him. Most importantly, they are his friends. By exposing our children to these types of educational environments from an early age, we are raising children who will grow into empathic adults and creating a more inclusive world.

Image by: Pixabay

by Rachael Berringer, LAC, MA

Neurodiversity: What’s Your Superpower?

Many learning environments today do not provide our neurodiverse children with opportunities to tap into their unique strengths, but rather unintentionally create barriers and obstacles for our students to learn and flourish. We are all uniquely wired and sometimes our children need a little extra help finding their gifts and tools to chanel them appropriately. It’s important that we stop pathologizing and looking for “cures” and start celebrating neurodiversity and the unique differences that make our children who they are. Shifting the way we think about our children’s innate characteristics may help us see the whole child and start to uncover unlocked potential, or “superpowers.”

The strong-willed or bossy child as determined and courageous. We want our children to grow up to be strong, independent thinkers.  Often times, these children are self-motivated , inner- directed, and may be prone to power struggles. This is because they are experiential learnings and like to “ do” for themselves. Providing choices within a boundary, actively listening, providing opportunities for independence, and setting up consistent rules and routines are all positive ways to help promote growth without breaking their will.

The distractible child as creative and imaginative. The current standard seems to place value in students being seated, attending and looking straight ahead in a learning environment. This is not how many of our children learn. It’s important that we tailor the way we teach to meet the needs of our children’s unique learning styles. Using children’s passions as a way to enter into their world is an effective tool for growth and engagement. Children need to learn in environments that facilitate their unique talents in order to strengthen their self- esteem and foster their creativity. Plus, how boring would life be if we didn’t have individuals who thought outside of the box?

The Overly-sensitive child as perceptive. Often times, highly sensitive children may be viewed as emotionally-intense and demanding or on the other end of the spectrum, calm and introverted. This trait can be wonderful and valuable. Sensitive children can be extremely intuitive and empathetic. It’s important that we help to provide an outlet for our children to explore identify, understand, and express their emotions early on. Validation is key in helping our children navigate emotional situations and maintaining self- esteem.

The Impulsive child as spontaneous or energetic. Who wouldn’t love a ton of energy and to be a bit more spontaneous? In a classroom environment, this may be disruptive and off-task if not planned for proactively. It’s important that our children have positive outlets to exert their energy effectively. We also want to help our children see the power in completing a task of high motivation and translate those skills into completing non- preferable tasks as well. After all, even successful entrepreneurs have to complete parts of the job that may not highly motivating to create a successful business. Giving our children ample opportunities to express their creative thoughts and ideas will help strengthen their executive functioning skills.

There are many celebrities who publicly discuss growing up with different “diagnoses’ that have turned their challenges into strengths and are doing pretty well for themselves today. I personally love the child mind institute’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign where a prominent public figure shares messages of hope and wisdom in order to end the stigma around mental health. In sharing his story about growing up with ADHD, Ty Pennington states,

“Your confidence is not at an extreme high right now, but things are going to change. You’re going to realize that you have an amazing talent of creativity and that you can use your hands, and that’s going to lead to you believing in yourself, and when you believe in yourself, the whole world changes.”

In order to raise confident children we need to be reflective of our own experiences. What is your unique superpower and how did you channel it successfully? What would the younger you want to share with your own child ? Children will flourish in environments that afford them the opportunity to display their superpowers. As practitioners, diagnoses can help us communicate effectively with other professionals and provide a common language, however, they shouldn’t be limiting. They should serve as a starting point for us to work together as a team to create a toolbox to help our children find and grow the superhero that lives inside all of us.

Image from: Pexels

by Rachael Berringer, LAC

Mom, have you seen my homework???

How many times a week does your child ask you that question? Our kids can be so overwhelmed by homework and flyers that they are unable to keep track of their important papers. They are pressed for time in between school bells, that while the intention to remember where they belongings are is there it is a challenge for them. This can also then lead to a battle between you and your kids. Finding small ways to help your child organize can help alleviate some of the stress not only on you but for them.

Designing a designated work station
When setting up a designating working area for your child it is important it has minimal distractions to help keep them focused.  Have them work in the same area to ensure all the supplies they need are readily available to them. This area can be equipped with visual schedules and reminders for them to stay on task and focused.  Including checklists for supplies they will need to include in their backpack each day is also helpful. When they are taking breaks be sure that it does not include screen time as that can be a distraction to getting on task and remembering their work.  Your child should attend to this area before the start of the school week to ensure they have packed everything and at the end of the week to clean out their folders and backpack to rid them of unneeded papers.

Setting up a work system
In continuing to keep your child organized, it is helpful to sit down and talk with them about materials that would be useful in keeping them on track day to day.  What will help their time management skills, support them memory and keep them on task. This could be a multi-subject notebook or a binder with dividers and folders.  There are a vast variety of academic planners available as well. Plan a trip to the store with your child and take the time to look at the breakdown of each planner to see which would be most helpful for your child.  This will help them plan for daily assignments, long term projects as well as scheduled belongings cleanup. Doing them weekly will support them staying on task as well as not accumulating extra clutter.

Weekly Meetings
​While we all have meetings with our bosses and co-workers, we do not have weekly check in meetings with our kids.  Do we want our kids to be taking ownership of these skills independently? Yes. Yet we must keep in mind their brains are still growing and developing and they need guidance along the way.  Once a week, or more if warranted have a sit down check in with your child. During this time provide support and positive feedback on their progress and accomplishments. This will also be helpful when you have to provide constructive criticism for goals they need to improve on or keep working towards.  We all work better knowing we are on the right track and it helps us more available to hearing the things we need to work on. Keep it positive!

While these may seem like three small things they are key to helping your child stay organized!
by Jennifer Mandato
"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Julie C.
"Dr. Matheis has a remarkable ability to understand the unique needs of her patients and address them constructively. She builds strong, meaningful relationships with patients and their families, encouraging trust and collaboration. When working with my son who struggles with autism-related anxiety, she created an environment in which he was able to calm down and open up to her in ways I had not seen before. She was able to reach him and helped him work through his crisis/problem. Most importantly, she empowered him to move forward."
- N.L.
"Dr. Matheis is amazing. She has tremendous resources and loads of energy. She is not willing to accept anything less than the most effective results for her clients. She made me feel as if my son was her top priority throughout the entire process. I would, without reservation, give her my highest recommendations.  Thank you, Dr. Matheis!"
- Anonymous
"Dr. Matheis has an amazing ability to read kids and connect with them. She has been an invaluable resource for our family over the past several years and has helped us with everything from educational consulting, to uncovering diagnoses as well as family therapy. Working with Dr. Matheis never feels clinical and most importantly, our children love and trust her. We can not thank you enough Dr. Liz!"
- Anonymous
"My teenage son had been seeing Dr. Matheis through his senior year of high school, as he was only diagnosed with ADHD at 16 years old.  Dr. Matheis came highly recommended from our pediatrician and she has done wonders for our son as well as our family, navigating new ways for him to deal with his diagnosis without the use of medication.  She taught him ways to organize himself and even when something did not work for him, she patiently continued teaching him new ways to keep himself on track.  She has also helped us as parents to understand how his mind works so that we did not continue to blame his lack of focus on him, rather on his unique way of thinking.  Thank you Dr. Matheis!!!!"
- LG
"Dr. Liz is the best! Our family was directed to her by our Pediatrician to assist with figuring out severe mood changes, severe anxiety, strange new fears and food aversion that had come onto one of our children literally overnight. After just a couple of visits, she suggested that the issues may actually be rooted in a physical issue and suggested we immediately take our child to be swabbed for strep, because Dr. Liz suspected PANDAS (a pediatric autoimmune disorder brought on by strep). The same Pediatrician that suggested Dr. Liz would not do the swab (they do not believe in PANDAS and we no longer go there) but I took my child to my doctor who did the swab and it was positive for strep. When our child went on antibiotics, within 24 hours all symptoms went away and our child was back :-) Dr. Liz then recommended a PANDAS specialist who helped us and our child is in complete remission and is happy and healthy. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Liz for her knowledge of all things, even the most remote and unusual and for helping us so much! Thank you!"
- Anonymous
"The various psycho-educational testing Dr. Liz conducted on our son gave us critical clues about where his learning strengths and weaknesses lie so that his needs could be better addressed at home and school. Moreover, because of their warm, kindhearted personalities, both Dr. Liz and her associate, Stephanie, formed an immediate bond with my son. He eagerly looks forward to his weekly therapy sessions. We are so lucky Dr. Liz came into our family's lives when she did! For stressed-out families trying to help their children as best they can, she is a calming voice of reason!"
- Anonymous
"Thank you, Dr. Liz. Although we have told you countless times, it will never feel enough. You have listened when J could barely speak and continued to listen when he was sad, angry and confused. You've challenged him and directed us in our roles as parents. You've helped J face his fears while the list evolved and changed, and yet you've stayed committed to 'the course.' We pray that your children realize that time away from them is spent helping children learn and that vulnerability is a sign of strength and bravery."
- June I
"My son was admitted to an Ivy League school when only 2 years ago, you assessed him and saw his struggles, his Dyslexia. We are grateful that he no longer has to carry that deep feeling of inadequacy or shame that must have kept him so self conscious and from reaching his potential. He has the PERFECT program for him. He has A's in high math and economics. He became a Merit Scholar, a Boys State legislature, the HEAD captain of the football team and help a job ALL while studying and managing his classes and disability. I am PROUD of you, a young doctor, who knows and sees the vulnerability of children and helps them recognize "it's NO big deal" God bless."
- Anonymous

Learn More About Dr. Liz!

Subscribe to our Mailing List
Psychological and Educational Consulting Logo

513 W Mt Pleasant Ave, Ste 212,
​Livingston, NJ 07039