School & Home Observations
Our psychologists and psychotherapists are available to complete school or home observations to help guide school-based support plans. Sometimes such observations are integrated into testing, but they are also offered as a separate service. Separate observations include detailed reports and recommendations.
Advocacy and School Consultation & Expert Witness Testimony
Our psychologists have extensive experience attending meetings for 504 Plans, IEPs, and learning support plans. This is a service we happily provide, and are most appropriate following testing within SOAR. When more intensive advocacy or legal support is needed, we will provide referrals to educational advocates and educational attorneys. We are additionally available, when necessary, to provide expert witness testimony following evaluations. Similarly, we are familiar with both public and private schools in the area. We are happy to provide feedback providing appropriate school matches following testing, but may also refer to an educational/school consultant and placement specialists when more extensive services are appropriate.
Second Opinions (including IEEs for testing)
Our psychologists are available to review outside testing reports, and when appropriate, to provide additional testing if parents/caregivers are concerned about the findings and/or diagnoses. We are also available for IEEs, which are Independent Educational Evaluations paid for by the school system. IEEs are pre-approved by schools. Our psychologists and psychotherapists are also available to provide second opinions following diagnosis by another provider.
'Next Steps' & Treatment Planning
Many times, families present with concerns, but do not know which steps they should take to address them. Our team of psychologists is available to provide guidance. We will meet with you for an extended intake to understand your concerns. Then, we will write a brief report providing our recommended ‘next steps’ to help you move forward. Think of this as a ‘roadmap’ for moving forward. Along with recommended steps, we will provide referrals, and may sometimes also visits schools or the home for observations. We might include recommendations and referrals for medical consultations, testing, therapy, tutoring, school support (e.g., in school, placement specialists), extracurriculars, legal support, financial planning, and home-based strategies, etc. Our psychologists are also available to provide on-going case management to coordinate care following these consultations.
Speaking, Presenting, & Training
Dr. Jaclyn Halpern, Director and Co-Founder of The SOAR Program, has spoken on NPR and on panels for WISER and Diamond in the Rough, among others. She has spoken at conferences and trainings for mental health providers, educators, and parents. If you are interested in having Dr. Halpern speak or present at your school or organization, please contact us. Dr. Halpern is available to prepare presentations, workshops, talks, and trainings based on a variety of topics. Past presentations include those related to: ADHD, Anxiety, bullying prevention, general parenting skills, the therapeutic relationship, cultural considerations, and sibling rivalry. Dr. Halpern is currently featuring presentations for parents and educators on Positive Discipline Techniques. She is also offering a presentation for educators in Therapeutic Brain Breaks. This presentation utilizes movement, mindfulness, art, drama, and music techniques among others. Dr. Halpern is happy to combine these two presentations for educators.
Dr. Joette James provides forensic consultation within the SOAR Program. Forensic consultation brings to bear psychological expertise as it relates to comprehensive preparation of a client’s case in civil or criminal legal proceedings. The forensic consultant is an active member of the client’s team, attending team meetings, collaborating with other experts on the case, reviewing documents, and when appropriate, meeting the client and attending hearings. The activities of a forensic consultant include, but are not limited to:
Reviewing documents and psychological data for the purpose of mitigation and further development of the case
Assisting in the development of legal strategy as it relates to psychological factors and specific diagnostic criteria (e.g., IQ data in Atkins intellectual disability cases)
Identifying and assisting in the selection of additional content experts (e.g. related to trauma, substance abuse, unusual medical or genetic conditions)
Preparing witnesses (including content experts with limited experience in the forensic arena) for direct and cross-examination
Managing behavioral, cognitive, and emotional challenges experienced by the client
Strengthening the team’s relationship with the client
Assisting the team in addressing the role of cultural factors
Dr. James also provides peer consultation to support other psychologists and neuropsychologists within the field. This service is particularly helpful to those just beginning on the forensic path.