3 Ways a Pivot Practitioner Can Help You Advocate for Your Child in School

Building partnerships with school professionals and advocacy by parents is crucial for children to succeed in school. It can get especially bumpy trying to navigate the complexities of the school system while advocating for your child’s social, emotional, and academic development.

Hi, I’m Paul Johnson, a Psychological Associate and School Psychologist at Pivot Child Psychological Services, and I have supported school IEP teams for over 20 years as a school psychologist. In this article, I’m going to provide 3 ways that I can help you advocate for your child when you meet with the IEP team.


1. We Develop a Thorough Picture of Your Child’s Needs


Here at Pivot, we utilize a comprehensive approach to understand your child’s academic challenges that goes beyond simply observing behaviors or symptoms. We utilize various strategies to gain a clearer picture of your child’s individual situation, including detailed clinical interviews to understand your child’s academic history, learning style, social interactions, emotional state, and any potential stressors or challenges they may be facing.

This process can also include standardized assessments to evaluate your child’s cognitive abilities, academic skills, and socio-emotional functioning. These assessments can help identify specific areas of strength and weakness, such as reading comprehension, mathematics skills, attention, or executive functioning.

By identifying these underlying factors, a Pivot practitioner can tailor their approach to address the root causes of your child’s academic struggles rather than just treating the symptoms. They can then work collaboratively with you, your child, and other professionals to develop a comprehensive support plan that promotes academic success, emotional well-being, and overall development.


2. We Provide Expert Advocacy Guidance


Are you confused by IEPs, 504 plans, or unsure how to get the support your child needs? You’re not alone.

We can help you break down the sometimes complex educational jargon, regarding special education services and the school’s legal responsibilities to provide a free and appropriate education for your child.

This includes preparing effectively for meetings, gathering relevant documentation, knowing specific questions to ask, and actively participating in discussions to ensure your child’s voice is heard and their perspective is considered.

You’ll have the knowledge to help you advocate assertively while building collaborative relationships with educators and other professionals.


3. We Will Help Equip You with Personalized Support Strategies


We can equip parents and children with practical tools and techniques for managing emotions and behaviors, fostering positive school experiences. This can include techniques like mindfulness, acceptance, and relaxation exercises to manage stress and maintain composure during challenging situations at school.

A therapist can also provide personalized behavior management strategies tailored to each child’s needs, utilizing positive reinforcement, skills development, consistent routines, and clear expectations.

Parents can also learn communication skills like active listening, assertiveness, and conflict resolution to effectively navigate conversations with teachers, administrators, and other professionals. As well as teaching parents organizational strategies to help children manage homework, school supplies, daily schedules, promoting academic success and reducing stress.


Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Don’t let the complexities of school-based advocacy stand in the way of your child’s success. Schedule an appointment with us today and take the first step towards a brighter future for your child.




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