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Student Evaluations

As a clinical neuropsychologist, half of what I do are evaluations of kids. I've been doing this for over 20 years and I love it. It's a lot of fun for me.

Kids come in my office, I sit down with them, and I use paper and pencil tests to really understand how their brains work. So in every aspect, their memory, theirĀ  fluid reasoning, their verbal abilities, to include their executive functions, and many times over the years, what I found is these kids are very smart and talented in a lot of ways, but their executive functions just aren't developed to the same degree.

So going back to what I was saying about the conductor of the symphony. The conductor just isn't as good and it might not be below average, it might just be average, but it's not enough to support these high-level thinking skills, so I would present the results to these parents and say 'Your child has excellent intelligence, but the executive functions just aren't there to support it.' And the parents understandably would look me in the eyes and ask me... 'So what do we do about it?' And then I would have to tell them, I don't know.

I'm not really sure the literature really isn't here yet to really be able to help us to understand what's the best way to support a child because your child doesn't need medication, but also definitely need support in some regard for their executive functioning.

I would implore them to go to Princeton University, hire a student who has excellent organizational skills and mentor these kids. The parents would look at me confused and say, Well, is there a program for this? And I would have to say No, you're gonna have to develop it on your own. And they would and maybe a year later, I would see them again and they would say, Oh, this is working so well for my child, Macias, learning all of these skills, but we... Was that a hard program to start up and to find the right person for the job?

So this is why I decided to start up at work, so there is a structure program for parents to bring their kids, and that they're taught specific strategies for how to work around these problems and to accommodate them. Now when parents come in and they ask me if there's such a program, I could say, Yes, there is, absolutely. I developed it and I trained all of our coaches how to teach your kids these skills, which they are very relieved to hear.

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