School Success Clinic

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Medicine and Health Sciences


The work of children is school; despite this, medical providers and educators often live completely separately in their child-family interactions from one another. Yet, medical issues impact school success and school issues are commonly brought by families to the primary care provider. Evaluation of children with school needs frequently takes place in a silo of school or the medical domain. Our team recognized the potential to bring together medical, psychosocial, and educational information to promote access to educational supports and medical care from a whole person model. The School Success Clinic focuses on children and adolescents with academic under-achievement to provide developmentally sensitive medical evaluation with emphasis on medical and psychosocial risk factors for learning differences/needs.The clinic combines medical techniques including medical history taking and physical examination together with psychological interview techniques and psychological testing interpretation. The clinic works with community schools and families to communicate the medical-educational information around the child’s school needs; with primary care providers on the medical interventions (e.g. hearing testing, vision testing); with school to discuss need based accommodation planning, initiation of psychoeducational evaluation, and to share eligibility making diagnoses. The Developmental-behavioral pediatrician uses a triage model for children and youth referred from primary care providers and subspecialty care providers during initial en-counter to determine the level of need and next steps. Engagement with the child psychologist includes diagnostic assessment, guidance through testing interpretation, and psychosocial recommendations. Teacher input allows families with additional needs to have individualized supports when working with the school, access to educational accommodation and law information, among other resources. Medical and education trainees are likewise trained within the clinic with focus on their needs for current and future practice. From a 1 year pilot of the clinic, the majority of referred children are in elementary school (<11 years). The clinical needs have been broken into 3 large categories: children and youth without current educational supports needing psychoeducational evaluation, children and youth with current educational supports needing addition-alternative supports, children and youth with excellent educational supports needing family education about the child’s needs. Common diagnoses from the clinic include Intellectual Disability, Developmental Delay(s), sleep problems, and anxiety disorder/anxiousness. Community partnerships have developed with the Indiana Department of Education and local family educational advocacy group IN*Source as well as a special education educator.


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