If your child has an eating disorder, or is in recovery, it is very important to “advocate” for his/her needs and find support for them within school. This is the last blog post of four, detailing Walden Behavioral Care’s school psychologist, Tarah Doyle, perspective on getting the help your child needs within the academic aspects of the transition. Eating disorders can limit cognitive functions, necessitating the need for a fluid academic schedule to provide flexibility for your child.
School Psychologists/Guidance Counselors/ Teachers (Regular and Special Education)/School Support Tea
Eating disorders can result in impairments in brain functioning. Areas impacted by the disorder may include: attention/concentration, working memory, processing, problem-solving, planning, flexibility, and insight. Often times these difficulties resolve as the child restores weight and health; however temporarily they may require additional support in school to continue to make academic progress.
- Your child may benefit from all or some of the following supports:
- Reduced workload
- Extended time on assignments and tests
- Peer tutoring for work missed due to treatment commitments
- Copies of class notes
- Access to quiet study location and/or a ‘safe’ space to go to during the school day if the child becomes overwhelmed
- Alternative assignments for physical education class if on exercise restriction
Flexibility on arrival and departure times to school as your child may have several appointments and/or treatment-related commitments that may cut in to school hours.
About the author
Tarah Doyle, Psy.D., is the lead clinician in the Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program at Walden’s Worcester clinic. Tarah is a licensed school psychologist who earned her MA/CAGS and her Doctorate in Psychology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. Tarah has worked with children ranging in age from 2-18 years old, but has a fondness for working with adolescents. Tarah currently utilizes family-based therapy to help adolescents recover from their eating disorders with the support of their families.