July 22, 2010

New Vanderbilt Clinic Provides Academic Assessments For Students With Learning Difficulties

The Learning Assessment Clinic, offered through the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, provides academic assessments for students ages 5-25 who are experiencing academic learning difficulties.

Because every child has unique patterns of cognitive strengths and challenges that affect school performance, strategies to overcome learning problems need to be modified to fit individual needs. The goal of the academic assessment is to help families understand their child’s unique pattern of abilities across an array of skills including motor coordination, handwriting, reading, listening, verbal and visual learning, planning, use of strategies, and working memory.

"The Learning Assessment Clinic is here to help families find answers about why their child is not doing well in school and what can be done to help,” said Sheryl Rimrodt, M.D., Clinic faculty director. “By having experts from specialties in medicine, education, and psychology working together on the evaluation, this clinic gives a rich, multidimensional picture of the child's strengths and challenges in skills that affect learning and school performance."

The initial time commitment for parents and students is a full work day and a 1-hour return visit for parents 2 weeks after the assessment.

Parents receive a multidisciplinary written report including interpretation and recommendations specific to their child. Parents may choose to share the reports with teachers, IEP committees, school districts, therapists, tutors, and/or medical professionals to assist parents in advocating for their child’s educational needs

The Clinic is directed by Dr. Sheryl Rimrodt. She is an assistant professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Vanderbilt University and holds a secondary appointment in Special Education at Peabody College.

Clinic specialists also include Laurie Cutting, Ph.D., Patricia and Rodes Hart Associate Professor of Special Education; Associate Professor of Psychology, Radiology, and Pediatrics; and Jaime Below, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.

For more information, contact: patty.abernathy@vanderbilt.edu, (615) 936-5118.