The Foreign Service Journal - December 2013 - page 76

information and formulates responses.
In addition to the scores that these
measures generate, examiners also gain
a great deal of information from how
children approach and solve problems.
Do they talk out loud when attempting
to solve complex tasks? Do they work at
their own pace, completing a task to the
best of their ability?
Are they impulsive in their responses
(answering without weighing all possible
options)? Do they experience difficulty
with complex directions and instructions?
Do they become anxious when they know
they are being timed? Do they become
overwhelmed when they perceive the task
to be too great for them to accomplish?
These are just a few of the questions
that will be answered to gain an assess-
ment of the child’s abilities.
Assessment of processing.
cognitive assessment is a thorough pro-
cess that helps determine the strengths
and weaknesses a child possesses, there
are other measures that also help in
filling out your child’s learning profile.
These include speech and language pro-
cessing, auditory processing and other
forms of memory, attention, organization
and visual-motor processing.
Assessment of academic function-
. Achievement, or academic, assess-
ment is carried out to assist in under-
standing your child’s academic strengths
and weaknesses. Tasks involving reading,
writing, spelling and mathematics are
assessed for general academic skill; in
many instances, academic fluency and
efficiency are also measured.
Evaluators often supplement gen-
eral academic measures if they see that
Evaluation can also help students
prepare for higher education by
identifying the ways in which they
learn most efficiently.
ne day in the summer of 2006, my husband came home from
work and told me about an e-mail he had received from a fel-
low Foreign Service officer. The officer asked my husband if I could
provide speech therapy for his daughter if they came to post. The
answer, of course, was yes. But what interested me was how this fam-
ily had found me.
Facing a move to a new post with a child who had recently been
identified as needing speech therapy, this little girl’s mother had
been scouring the world for professional assistance. I cannot imagine
how much time she put into this search, but she must have perse-
vered for many hours and days.
Somehow she happened to read an old newsletter from Consulate
General Monterrey. And in that particular newsletter she came upon
my husband’s self-introduction, in which he mentioned that his wife
was a speech pathologist.
It seemed a difficult and haphazard approach to finding a speech
pathologist, or any special education service for that matter. But I
soon came to understand that this is typical of the kind of effort For-
eign Service families with a child needing special education services
have to undertake before every overseas posting. And it is even more
complicated for families that need more than one type of special
education provider.
Sometimes appropriate local therapists and teachers are readily
available. More often, a family finds some of what they need and
patches together the rest, with help from a local teacher or thera-
pist who is not a fluent speaker of English. Whatever the result, the
approach is time-consuming, and completely “hit or miss.”
The emerging field of telepractice may be the answer for Foreign
Service families. Some FS families have already started using the
Internet for educational purposes, but the idea of getting professional
therapeutic or rehabilitative services online is new and may seem
A product of the revolution in communications technology, tele-
practice has only recently come into its own. The following is an over-
view of this promising new area and a look at its potential to meet FS
families’ needs. In addition to offering you a window into what online
therapy actually looks like from my experience as a professional
speech therapist and teleprovider, I hope to be able to answer some
questions and inspire you to look into it for yourself.
Erin Long is a speech-language pathologist and founder of Worldwide
Speech. Her husband, Jeremy Long, joined the Foreign Service in 2005,
and the couple has been posted to Mexico and Brazil. Her complete
article is available online at
From the
Education Supplement June 2012
Telepractice: An Answer to the Special Ed Puzzle Overseas?
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