On September 23, 2019, the American Academy of Pediatrics published a new policy, and it’s about a subject so, so many families experience – how to help a child who is struggling in school. Dr. Lavin was honored to be asked to help with bringing this policy to fruition, and to work with two outstanding experts in this field, Dr. Celiane Rey-Casserly and Dr. Laura McGuinn. Dr. Rey-Casserly is an outstanding neuro-psychologist at Boston Children’s, where Dr. Lavin trained and was first taught about approaches to helping children learn. Dr. McGuinn is an outstanding developmental-behavioral pediatrician, who has devoted so much of her career to helping children who struggle.
The policy paper published establishes the standard that when a pediatrician works with a family whose child is struggling in school, it is important that a good understanding of why that difficulty is occurring be sought. The policy instructs the profession that there are a range of possible explanations for having trouble in school.
The paper outlines the range of causes of struggling academically, and also describes the importance of having a team of colleagues that can work with the pediatrician and family to determine the cause(s), there is usually more than one cause, and the best approach to helping the child get back on their path to success. Schools are recognized as the place of work for children, and a central place for the understanding of the child’s situation to be translated into better approaches to learning by the school. The paper also features a wealth of resources, mainly for the pediatrician, including sample letters to insurers and schools.
I am very excited to share news of the adoption of this policy as the official policy of the American Academy of Pediatrics, setting a new standard for pediatricians across the country.
Here is the full article at the AAP.
Here are supplementary materials for the article including sample letters parents can use to request evaluation from schools, responses from insurance companies, etc:.
To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin