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Preparing Children for Natural Disaster

With the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey fresh on our minds and another potentially catastrophic storm, Irma, on the horizon, we know that neighborhoods, schools, and parents are doing everything they can to prepare for the worst case scenario while hoping for the best possible outcome. At the PsychoEducational Consultant Group, we believe that taking a proactive approach in preparing children for natural disasters can assist in coping with potentially challenging situations, both physically and emotionally. Below are some resources from trusted sources we wish to share with our community:     From the National Association of School Psychologists: Natural Disasters: Brief Facts and Tips From HealthyChildren.org: Getting Your Family Prepared for a Disaster From the American Red Cross: Disaster Safety for Children Most importantly, we

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Ask the Experts: Test Anxiety

In each of our monthly newsletters, we’ll address a question or two submitted by our readers. Whether you’re a parent looking for information on how to help your child at home, or an educator looking for some advice, we can help! Q: “My child says she gets nervous when taking tests at school. Could she have test anxiety? What can we do to help her? A: Students are under a lot of pressure these days to perform, and not just on high-stakes testing. For students who struggle with memorization and/or attention concerns, test-taking can be extremely stressful or can provoke anxiety, because it relies on these very skills. It’s important to know that students with test anxiety may not only worry about their preparedness for

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Executive Functioning

Do you know what the term executive functioning means? Executive functioning, in simpler terms, relates to the brain’s ability to keep us on-task. Executive functioning also reminds us of deadlines and meetings, encourages us to overcome setbacks, etc. Many students struggle in school and everyday life because they do not naturally possess, nor have they been taught, these important skills.     Listed below are some common executive functioning skills: INHIBIT The ability to resist impulses and to block out distractions SHIFT The ability to make transitions, show problem-solving flexibility, alternate attention and to change focus EMOTIONAL CONTROL Managing emotions to complete a task INITIATE Beginning a task and being independent in problem-solving (ability to generate ideas) WORKING MEMORY The ability to hold information to

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Explore www.understood.org

Understood.org is a fabulous website for parents and teachers. It allows you to select your student’s grade level and an area that they are experiencing difficulty with (e.g., reading, writing, math, paying attention, etc.). After you plug in the information, you will watch a short video about a child who has learning and/or attention issues (from their perspective). You’ll then play a simulation game/activity to see how it feels to be “in their shoes”. Finally, an expert will break down what it means for a student who is experiencing difficulties in that area. Explore this website.

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Is your child bright or truly gifted?

Have you ever wondered if your child was bright or truly gifted? Parents of children who appear to learn more quickly than their peers often wonder if their kids are gifted. The attached chart lists common characteristics of bright children and gifted learners. If you are curious about your child’s intellectual abilities, please call our office for a free consultation. We can schedule an appointment to evaluate your child and also offer guidance about how eligibility for services within the school system is determined, your school choice options, and recommendations on how to assist your gifted or bright child at home. Click here for the chart.

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Caren C. Jones, Ed.S.

Caren earned her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from the Florida State University, and her Education Specialist degree in School Psychology from the University of Central Florida. She is licensed by the State of Florida (SS 1026). Caren has 12 years of experience in working with a variety of children with diverse challenges. Caren began her career working as a School Psychologist for six years within Duval County Public Schools. She served schools and students both on the North side of Jacksonville and within private schools through the Parentally Placed Private Schools Team. After obtaining her license, Caren pursued her goals beyond the public school setting, and focused on working with families in the private sector and gaining research experience. These experiences led her to employment within the medical field. Caren worked for University of Florida Health in

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Laura E. Smith, Ed.S.

Laura obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her Masters and Education Specialist degrees in School Psychology from the Florida State University. She is certificated (FL# 767458) and licensed (SS 955) in the State of Florida. Laura has over 20 years of experience working with children and their families, and is proficient in the evaluation of children and adolescents with learning, attentional, and behavioral challenges. Laura also has extensive experience evaluating children with varying exceptionalities, or those students considered as having special needs (e.g., developmental delays, cognitive impairments, visual, hearing, motor, and/or communication impairments, etc.).  Prior to evaluating these unique students, Laura works very closely with parents and teachers to determine the best approach in assessing the student’s abilities.  Laura is currently employed by the Duval

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Faye M. Nussbaum, Ed.S.

Faye obtained her Education Specialist degree in School Psychology from Georgia Southern University. She is certificated (FL# 549966) and licensed (SS 874) in the state of Florida. She was employed as a secondary mathematics teacher for three years at the beginning of her career prior to completing her degree in School Psychology. Possessing over 30 years as a practicing school psychologist provides Faye with a wealth of knowledge and skills for working with children, adolescents, and families. For the majority of her career, Faye served as a school psychologist in the Duval County Public School System, was the Section 504 Consultant for the district, and provided assessment services for private schools in Jacksonville. She is currently employed by the Clay County School System as a

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Patrick E. Hughes, Ed.S.

Patrick earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of North Florida, and his Masters and Specialist degrees in School Psychology from the University of Florida. He is licensed (SS 873) and certificated (FL# 619558) in the state of Florida. He has 29 years of experience as a school psychologist and has worked for the Diocese of St. Augustine, Duval County Public Schools, and Nova Southeastern University. Pat has served in several leadership roles, including lead psychologist, School Psychology Coordinator, Section 504 Compliance Consultant, and is considered an expert in ADHD. Patrick has conducted numerous professional development workshops for peers and school staff, is well versed in Section 504 law and guidelines, and is currently is the chair of the Section 504 Advisory Committee.

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Contact Us

4745 Sutton Park Court, Suite 802
Jacksonville, FL 32224
Phone: 904.874.6164
Email: info@pecgroup4kids.com

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