What is your background in working with students?
After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree, Jonathan began working in mental health treatment centers for children and young adults with behavioral disorders and substance abuse issues. This piqued his interest as to how exactly these students were being educated. After enrolling in a Master’s program in special education, he began teaching students receiving special education services for emotional and behavioral disorders. After designing an effective program to address their individual needs, he began working in an early intervention program, attempting to resolve the lack of support he saw in older students. As his experience and knowledge grew, he wanted to dig deeper, and became certified as an educational diagnostician, working with students in K-12. Jonathan hopes to be able to share his expertise and skillset with you and your family. He is currently licensed in the State of Texas as a K-12 Special Education Teacher and a K-12 Educational Diagnostician.
What makes JCB Diagnostics different from other evaluation companies?
As a parent, you have a multitude of choices when it comes to selecting educational services and what’s best for your child. One of the things that makes our company stand out is the unique relationship we will form with your family and your child. We believe in the success of your child and will carefully assess their abilities and present that information to you in an easy to understand format. We are a small, family company, and will treat each client with care and understanding.
Why should I choose JCB Diagnostics?
JCB Diagnostics believes that a child will perform best in a natural, comfortable, and safe environment. That is why we come to you. If you choose to schedule an evaluation or a social skills session, we will gladly travel to your home to offer these services. Other companies provide those services in an office setting which places undue stress on your child, impacting his or her performance. JCB Diagnostics also offers the lowest-priced services in the DFW area. Some companies charge upwards of $2000 for the same services! We plan to provide you with the best and most affordable care possible.
How do I schedule an appointment?
Scheduling an appointment is easy. You can call us at 817-513-8063 at any time to schedule a service appointment. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief message regarding what type of service you would like us to provide. Also, our contact page has a contact form you can submit that goes directly into our inbox.
When and how are services provided?
Services can be scheduled 7 days a week, at your convenience. We are currently offering evening and weekend appointments depending on your availability. We provide in-home services so that your child feels comfortable in a natural and safe environment. It may be possible to provide services to your child at their school depending on the situation.
Do you offer bilingual services?
We recognize that the need for bilingual services is great and are looking into providing these opportunities for you. Please keep in mind that just because your student learned a different language first or speaks both English and another language, they may not necessarily need a bilingual evaluation. We will address these issues for you so we can determine the best services for your child.
What information will be covered in your blog?
We discuss a variety of topics related to both general and special education. Priority will be given to topics that convey knowledge or tips to parents regarding their child’s education. We plan to include meaningful content for teachers as well. If there is a specific topic or question you would like us to respond to or address, feel free to contact us using the contact form on our contact page.
What exactly is an academic evaluation?
An academic evaluation consists of a series of subtests designed to measure the cognitive and achievement levels of your child. Responses to the subtests are converted into standard scores which are analyzed within the context of a bell curve to illustrate your child’s performance compared to other students of the same age or grade level across the nation.
The cognitive areas addressed include generalized comprehension and knowledge, reasoning ability, visual processing, auditory processing, processing speed, short-term memory, and long-term memory. The main achievement topics include math, reading, and writing abilities, but the achievement area can also be customized to measure performance in a specific content, like science or social studies. When a deficit exists in a cognitive area, and it impacts performance in an achievement area, a disability may be present.
Why would I need an evaluation for my child?
If you have concerns about your child’s educational performance, or you start to notice deficits in reading, writing, or math, you may want to consider getting your child evaluated to see if a disability may be present. Learning disabilities are the most prevalent type of disability, both in Texas and across the nation, and require specialized services to address. Both poor grades and problem behavior can be indicators of a disability. In addition, if a teacher expresses concerns or your child consistently scores low in state or district tests, you may want to consider an evaluation. If you would like to talk more about specific concerns, email us at email@example.com or submit a request from our contact page.
Can my child’s school conduct an evaluation?
It depends. Is your child in public or private school? If they attend a public school, you can request to have your child evaluated at the school. The school will typically look to see if they determine the student to be having difficulty. The school has the legal obligation to accept your request and conduct an evaluation or to refuse to conduct an evaluation based on their determination. This can be problematic for your child, especially if you have educational concerns. If they attend a private school, it can get a little tricky. You can request an evaluation to be completed, and if the school agrees (which most private schools will not), your child would be evaluated by the public school they would attend in your home district. This can also be problematic.
In both situations above, neither educational agency has the best interests of your child in mind. Public schools are currently overloaded with students and will spend less time conducting a thorough evaluation, possibly resulting in an inappropriate determination for your child. A private school student receiving an evaluation from someone in their home district can also create problems because that school not only has no interest in serving that student, they have no idea who the child is or what their school history might look like. In addition, school districts have 45 school days (school days, not calendar days; vacation days do not count towards this total) to complete an evaluation and 30 calendar days after that to report their findings. Depending on school breaks, this can easily take 3-4 months or more. Keep in mind this is practically half of a school year that your child could potentially be without specialized services.
JCB Diagnostics is fortunate to be able to offer evaluations that are unbiased, as we have no connection to an educational agency. Evaluations from JCB Diagnostics are more in depth and address a wider range of cognitive and achievement areas than school systems can afford. We are also able to complete an evaluation much faster than school districts so your child can receive specialized services much sooner if deemed appropriate. An evaluation provided by us has to be taken into consideration by your child’s school, whether they wanted to conduct an evaluation or not. Sometimes schools will agree to pay for an independent evaluation by an outside service provider if the parent requests it. Consider us if that situation arises. Contact us with any other questions at our email address firstname.lastname@example.org or submit a request via our contact page.
What does the evaluation process look like?
An appointment will be scheduled and confirmed. Our lead diagnostician will travel to your home at the agreed upon time. He will have with him the assessment materials and begin the evaluation. The evaluation may be broken up into 2-3 sessions, depending on your child’s performance and abilities. Each session may last anywhere from 2-5 hours. After the testing is completed, the diagnostician will compile and analyze the data and write a report describing the findings and recommendations. At this time, you will be contacted to schedule the final session in which the report is reviewed and any other questions or concerns you have will be addressed. Any remaining payment(s) must be received once the final review session is scheduled.
What should I do with the final evaluation report?
After you have reviewed the final report, you should submit it to the Special Education coordinator or Special Education lead teacher at your child’s campus. They will review the report and should schedule an ARD meeting with you to discuss the types of specialized services they plan to offer. Please keep in mind that if a child meets criteria established by the state of Texas indicating a disability, the school is required to provide services. Also, there may be times in which we conduct an evaluation and your child will not meet the established criteria.
Does an evaluation apply to college entrance exams and college attendance?
This is a great question, and the answer is absolutely! If a student meets criteria for a disability category, they can apply to the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities committee. If approved, students with disabilities can receive testing accommodations, such as extended time or small group testing, for tests like the ACT or SAT. The College Board information to apply is located here. The application process can take up to 2 months, so it is best to get started early.
Many people are unaware of this, but colleges also provide services for students with disabilities. Do not think that just because learning may be challenging for your student they may miss out on the college experience. Most colleges will require a report written within the last 1-2 years for students to be approved to receive those services.
Most schools will not conduct a new evaluation when a student is older, just so they can have a new report to take with them to college. In addition, if they have no previous evaluation, schools will typically refuse testing based on their determination of a lack of academic need. It is very possible that an older student may require those specialized services and for whatever reason were never identified. JCB Diagnostics can conduct these evaluations for you so you can avoid being refused testing or having to wait a long period of time.
My child’s school conducted an evaluation. Can I disagree and request a second opinion?
Yes! This is very common and another fact that people miss out on. If you disagree with the school district’s evaluation, you can recommend a private, independent evaluation. The school has to pay for this. They usually have other large service providers they contract with, but we recommend you request JCB Diagnostics as your preferred evaluator. We will provide an objective and unbiased report for you to return to your child’s school with. You will also have your report much faster than waiting on the school district to follow through.
How long is the evaluation ‘current’ for?
Most school districts will accept evaluations that were written within the last three years. After three years, a new evaluation should be completed to see if students still meet disability criteria for services. Reports from JCB Diagnostics correspond with the above information.
What disability types do you evaluate for?
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about evaluations. However, we typically evaluate for specific learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, other health impairments (such as ADD/ADHD), dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, traumatic brain injuries, and giftedness.
File Review Questions
What exactly is a file review?
JCB Diagnostics seeks to accomplish two things during a file review. First, if you have concerns about your child’s learning or educational performance, but may not want to have a full evaluation completed, collecting and analyzing their school data is a good place to start. We will conduct this review for you, and write a report that includes our observations and recommendations. We may recommend additional testing or recommend other educational strategies that can be incorporated into your child’s learning, both at home and at school. You would then share this information if you choose to. Second, if your child already has an evaluation, but you have questions, concerns, or need a better understanding of what the report indicates, we can review it and discuss it with you. Again, we will provide you with a report that includes recommendations on what, if anything, should happen from this point.
Why would a file review be necessary?
Reviewing a student’s data and making educational decisions based upon it is something that every good teacher or school administrator should be doing. However, because of a lack of time, ability, or having too many students, this often doesn’t happen. If you have concerns, contact us. We can arrange to provide this service to you and your student quickly and efficiently. JCB Diagnostics will provide you with clear results that help you make sense of your child’s learning.
What types of documents are reviewed?
During a file review, JCB Diagnostics needs a full school history of your child (grades, behavioral issues, discipline referrals, health concerns, prior evaluations, etc.) These documents are compiled in what’s called a ‘cumulative folder’ which schools maintain on every student. Multiple data points will provide a clearer picture of what is occurring. Based on the individual needs of your child, we may request additional data from you.
Do I need to provide the documents being reviewed?
Yes. Your child’s records are private and protected and cannot be released to us by the school. Therefore, you will need to obtain a copy.
What happens at the end of a file review?
After a file review is completed, we will contact you to schedule a time to come to your home to review our findings. We will go over our observations and recommendations with you.
Social Skills Training Questions
What types of behaviors may indicate a problem with social skills?
Children with poorly developed or a lack of social skills usually present with difficulty in all areas of life, since this social competence is really necessary for survival and success. Children with poor academic performance, behavioral problems at home or at school, or children lacking the ability to develop social relationships may all be impacted by social skills deficits.
Why should my child receive social skills training?
Recent research in the area of education suggests that the biggest predictor of educational and social success is social competence (the ability to effectively communicate and get along with other people). The frequent performance of positive social skills is unique to being socially competent. If you think your child can improve in this area, JCB Diagnostics offers social skills training sessions to build their capacity for and confidence in social skills.
What takes place during a training session?
During a training session, a social skill and the steps necessary to complete it are introduced. The steps are rehearsed and practiced until they become automatic. We will introduce activities to your child that allow him or her to practice the social skill in a fun, exciting, and practical way. At the end of the session, we will give you some information and activities to further encourage and reinforce the use of that social skill at home. We include 5 social skills in our instruction, so there are a total of 5 sessions. Sessions may be repeated if needed.
What social skills are covered?
JCB Diagnostics partners with the BoysTown curriculum, the leading pioneer of social skills and social skill development in the field. We have selected the most critical skills from that curriculum and include the following social skills in our program: Following Directions, Getting the Teacher’s Attention, Accepting Criticism and Consequences, Accepting ‘No’ for an Answer, and Staying on Task.
Why are the evaluations so expensive?
Our evaluations include approximately 15 years of experience working in the field. There is a significant amount of time that JCB Diagnostics spends on assessing, analyzing, and preparing your report while taking into account the unique needs of your child. We invest our full dedication to ensure your child receives the necessary supports to be a successful learner. Unlike school evaluations that are looking for a specific issue, evaluations from JCB Diagnostics address many different topics at one time to ensure we provide a thorough and in-depth analysis. Please keep in mind that private evaluators and evaluation companies in the DFW area may charge upwards of $2000 for a similar service. JCB Diagnostics has worked hard to be the lowest priced provider in the area in a competitive market. We also understand the cost and allow families to split up the total into multiple payments.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We currently accept cash, debit cards/credit cards, and PayPal payments. We can accept cash upon arrival at your home to begin services. If you choose to pay with a debit card, credit card, or PayPal services, please make a payment through our website. You can locate that page here.
When is my payment due?
For all services, a non-refundable deposit is due at the time of scheduling your appointment to confirm and hold the time and date. Additional payment is due prior to your scheduled appointment. Final sessions or sessions where a report is to be reviewed cannot be held nor can any reports be released until any remaining balance is paid. Please contact us with any questions or concerns.
Will my health insurance cover the cost of an evaluation?
Your insurance provider may pay for an educational evaluation if it is deemed necessary. We do not work with insurance companies and do not accept insurance. However, we will provide any necessary documentation to you if you choose to seek reimbursement from your insurance company.
What happens to my payment if I cancel the appointment?
We understand that everyone has a busy schedule and anything can come up at anytime. We will work with you to get an appointment rescheduled but it is your responsibility to contact us to request that. You must contact us to reschedule at least 24 hours prior to your appointment date. If you do not contact us within at least 24 hours to reschedule, you will forfeit your deposit. If you do not contact us and we show up but cannot perform a service (i.e. ‘no show’) you will forfeit your deposit. If your deposit is forfeited, a new appointment and deposit will be required to schedule services.