What is a Licensed Educational Psychologist and How Can they Help?


What is a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP) and How Can They Help?

As we enter the new year, many parents wonder about their child's performance in school. They've had 4 months of learning and sometimes at that point, teachers and parents begin to notice some of the following indicators which lead may suggest a need for a psycho-educational evaluation:

  • A progressively worsening attitude about school

  • Loss of interest in school

  • Your child saying he/she is a "bad student" or "bad at school"

  • Persistent disruptive behavior in school

  • Failure or late development in learning basic intellectual, social, or behavioral skills

  • Your child is struggling greatly and consistently in certain areas despite classroom accommodations

If you need help figuring out if your child may need an intervention, a LEP can be very helpful. The period after Winter break is a perfect time to get assessments done to ensure the upcoming Fall starts off on the best foot possible.

One of the benefits of working with Erin Rieger of Pacific MFT Network is that she is not only a LEP, but a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) as well. You will not find many clinicians with dual licensure like this. This makes Erin especially skilled in managing the IEP process, having an in depth understanding of the testing and assessment process, and being able to process the experience with the family and student to minimize trauma and shame.

Here is some detailed information about what a LEP can do for you.

What do Licensed Educational Psychologists Do?

Educational Consultation- Educational consultants are educational experts that help families determine how to address their concerns about their child’s academic achievement, behavior or social development. Educational consultants help connect families with resources in the community as well as educate them about services and supports in the school. Consultation can also be done with college students. Educational consulting may include:

  • Communicating with school staff regarding your child.

  • Reviewing education, special education, medical and psychological records

  • School Observations, Other observations

  • Communicating with service providers or medical personnel

  • Meeting with parents to discuss concerns and develop a plan to address those concerns

Advocacy- A special education advocate can guide parents through the process of obtaining supports and services for their child. This may include 504’s or IEPs. A special education advocate can:

  • Negotiate with the school on your behalf

  • Facilitate IEP and other meetings with the school

  • Advise you on educational services and supports

  • Recommend specialists, service providers, evaluators and school districts

  • Help you write letters to the school

  • Review your child’s IEP or 504 plan

  • Give you information about the law

  • Assist you with obtaining supports and services in school

As an Educational Psychologist can interpret and analyze school evaluations and behavior assessments as I have extensive experience and expertise in those areas. I can combine my experience as a school psychologist and licensed therapist to provide a deeper level of understanding of school evaluations and make effective recommendations regarding service types and delivery. I have a keen understanding of how various disabilities impact school performance and what is required to address them. As a licensed therapist, I bring a higher level of expertise in mental health and emotional state to the table.

Psycho-educational Evaluation

A psychoeducational evaluation is a set of assessment procedures administered by a licensed psychologist, licensed educational psychologist or credentialed school psychologist to obtain information about a student's learning, behavior, or mental health. This assessment provides information that guides the development of a plan for intervention to improve academic, emotional and behavioral functioning. We provide assessments to children, teens and adults.

Psycho-educational Assessment may include testing in any or all of the following areas:

  • Cognition

  • Academic Achievement

  • Memory

  • Processing

  • Sensory-Motor Integration

  • Executive Functioning

  • Attention

  • Social-Emotional

  • Adaptive Skills

  • Behavioral Characteristics of Autism

  • Behavior

What can be identified through a psycho-educational evaluation?

  • Learning Style

  • Areas of Need

  • Areas of Strength

  • Learning Disabilities

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Intellectual Disability

  • Autism

  • Variety of mental health concerns

  • Whether a student meets eligibility criteria for special education. (Please note school districts perform their own evaluations to determine this. However, they must take private evaluations into consideration as part of their assessment. Our educational psychologist has extensive expertise in special education eligibility.)

Assessment Philosophy

We believe that effective evaluations are not based on standardized test scores alone. The RIOT model is used in all evaluations in order to obtain the most comprehensive, accurate picture of the client being assessed. RIOT is an acronym that stands for the following:

Record Review- The assessment may include the review of educational records, work samples, special education records, applicable medical records, psychological records and prior evaluations.

Interview- Parents, school service providers, teachers, private service providers and/or medical professionals may be interviewed as part of the evaluation. Additionally, it is important to interview the child or adult being evaluated. Questionnaires and rating scales may also be administered to parents and teachers for their feedback regarding adaptive functioning, behavior, emotional state, executive functioning or attention.

Observe-We believe that observation in the school environment is a critical piece of an informative assessment. School observations can provide information regarding attention, behavior, social skills, emotional state and processing. Additionally, observation will be done during the standardized assessment. Behavioral observation done during the administration of standardized testing can provide insight about the validity of scores as well as attention, processing, emotional state, behavior and more.

Test-Standardized testing is a large part of the assessment process. This may include formalized testing in any of the following areas: intellectual ability, academic skills, memory and learning, processing, fine-motor skills, attention, social-emotional, adaptive skills, executive functioning. Testing is typically done in quiet, 1:1 environment to obtain the most accurate results.

All of the information is synthesized to generate a cohesive and accurate picture of the client’s functioning, strengths and areas of need. Our evaluations provide a roadmap for planning effective interventions to address areas of need.

Erin Rieger is a LMFT and LEP for Pacific MFT Network. Here's what she has to say about her work.

I believe that trust between a client and therapist is integral to effective therapy. I provide a safe, empathetic, non-judgmental environment in which my clients can express their feelings, explore what is troubling them and make positive change. I help clients to gain keen insight into themselves and their choices as well as to empower themselves to create the life they want. I enjoy working with children, adolescents, adults, couples and families.​ My therapeutic style is eclectic and tailored to the needs of each client. I often pull from Gestalt, Client-Centered, Psychodynamic, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Systems Therapy and Structural Therapy. I have successfully helped clients with depression, anxiety, social skills, relationship problems, domestic violence, trauma, Autism, ADHD and educational difficulties.​ Due to my experience as a school psychologist, I have extensive expertise in the school system, 504s and IEPs. I have provided insight and assistance to numerous families through my comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations. Additionally, I have had a significant impact in helping students achieve success by consulting as part of their educational team.

You can reach Erin by phone or text at 424-254-8018 or email her here.

To find out more about Pacific MFT Network and the services we offer, please visit our website, www.pacificmft.com.


Pacific Marriage and Family Therapy Network provides children, teens, adults of all ages, couples, and families with quality psychotherapy that gets results. We have several therapists on staff that have several different modalities of work, specializations and expertise. We can help clients experiencing anxiety, depression, difficult life transitions, troubled relationships, addiction, eating disorders, stress, anger management, prenatal bonding, trauma, domestic violence, performance, whole life fitness, ADD/ADHD, autism, learning differences, religious crisis/struggles, LGBTQ issues, social skills, couples/marital, pre-marital, dating, break up recovery, parenting children, parenting teens, social anxiety, self esteem, substance use, panic, stress relief, cancer recovery, pre-surgical wellness, post-surgical wellness, disordered eating, postpartum depression, careers, grief & loss, divorce, co-parenting, childhood trauma, childhood behavior management, work & life balance, fatherhood, codependancy, or any other mental health issue. Pacific MFT Network is a professional network of highly skilled licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Interns that are committed to empowering a sense of self in our clients and helping them live the life they want. We do so by creating a relationship that is based on genuine care and concern, non-judgment, and support. Our mission is to help you help yourself live a happier and more satisfying life.

Main Office 310-612-2998

www.pacificmft.com

office@pacificmft.com

1230 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 300 Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

2716 Ocean Park Blvd, Suite 3075 Santa Monica, CA 90405

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