San Francisco-based school psychologist Rebecca Bell has a hilarious entry called “The Newbie” on her blog, Notes from the School Psychologist. In it, she offers words of wisdom to other new school psychologists out there:
New psychs: Be patient. It took FOUR years to get the staff on board with the idea that we didn’t need to refer every child with academic or behavioral needs to special education “just to rule out a disability.” I had so much paperwork involved when there was an inappropriate referral it was ridiculous. Some parents didn’t even know that what they signed was permission for testing. One parent’s kid had a 4.0 and that kid was referred because she "talked out in class." Another kid was referred and he had been tested 6 months prior and didn’t qualify.
That’s only one of several useful posts on this blog; one post on ways to de-escalate conflict with a defiant student was particularly interesting.
I’d like to know how the role of the school psychologist may be changing, especially with the advent of “response to intervention” as a technique for addressing learning problems early in young students. School psychologists have the reputation of being the people who give IQ tests to children in order to place them in special education, but obviously they do more. Is the job description evolving?
A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.