Kids in Harmony diagnoses and assists in strategies and recommendations in order to remediate Learning Disabilities and learning differences for Children and Adolescents. KIH offers hope to families who struggle with their children’s educational needs at home and in school. Our mission is to foster confidence, identify strengths, and maximize the potential in the students we work with. Kids in Harmony uses a whole child approach by working collaboratively with parents, educators, and caregivers to build stronger relationships and create positive environments.
Christine Wyeth, MA, ABSNP is a Licensed Educational Psychologist (LEP #3173), and owner of Kids In Harmony, a business that was established in 2010. Christine has recently completed Dr. Dan Miller’s School Neuropsychology Post-Graduate Program and is up to date on the latest in neuropsychological-based assessment and intervention.
Kids In Harmony provides neuropsychological based assessment, interpretation, and research-based recommendations for children with known or suspected neurological conditions such as Learning Disabilities, Autism, AD/HD, and TBI. Other services include consultation support for 504 and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings. Christine is especially passionate about the early identification of dyslexia and other learning disabilities.
Christine received a B.A. in Psychology in 1999 and a dual M.A. in School Psychology and Community and Counseling Psychology in 2001 from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She has been practicing for more than 15 years as a School Psychologist and has provided evaluations for hundreds of students and participated in many IEP meetings for students PreK-12th grade. Christine served on the Executive Board of Directors of the San Diego Branch of the International Dyslexia Association 2011-2013 and served as the branch’s president in 2013.
Psycho-educational evaluations consist of assessment procedures administered to gain information about the child’s development, learning, memory, academics, behavior, physical and emotional health. Various assessment procedures are used depending on the presenting problem identified by the parent including observations, interviews, records review, norm-referenced, criterion-referenced tests, screeners/checklists, and self-ratings. All of this information is then analyzed in a complete assessment report to assist parents in identifying the interventions needed to support their child. The parents and psychologist often find it useful to discuss the findings with all those working with the child and including the child if appropriate. The purpose is to help drive interventions, accommodations and service delivery planning.
It can include 12-20 hours of assessment and report writing.
*Christine Wyeth is listed on the County’s Independent Educational Evaluation List (IEE)
School Neuro-psychological Evaluations incorporate all of the same assessment techniques as the Psycho-educational Evaluations. However, a School Neuropsychological Evaluation dives deeper into the neuropsychological processes of the brain. Based on the referral question, this can include using specific tests that measure multiple types of attention, memory, executive functions, and sensory-motor functioning. A School Neuro-psychological Evaluation is often used when the previous testing has failed to find the cause of a child’s learning or behavioral difficulty. It is used in instances when a child has a known neurological condition such as a Traumatic Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, and Brain Tumor. These evaluations are becoming increasingly popular for diagnosing Dyslexia, AD/HD, and Executive Functioning Issues. It is extremely effective in identifying the correct evidence-based interventions and recommendations. It can include 20-30 hours of assessment and report writing
Do you have a student who is preparing for college? Do they have an IEP, and/or diagnosed learning disability? Or did they manage in high school with a lot of parent, teacher support and undocumented accommodations? Perhaps you are an adult who believes you have had an undiagnosed learning disability and would like to go back to school? Would accommodations such as extra time, a note taker, free tutoring, or access to audio text, make a huge difference in you or your child’s success as a student? Colleges have disabilities services and are required to offer accommodations. However, they are in need of a recent evaluation and diagnosis. Psycho-educational Evaluations can provide the recommendations for accommodations you need to help you maximize your college education and help you find the support you will need.
Is your child getting ready for Kindergarten? Would you like to know the skills they need to have a successful first year of Kindergarten? Would you like recommendations for what to work on during the year or summer prior to their entrance into Kindergarten? A Kindergarten Readiness Evaluation can help you identify where your child is at and how you can help them be successful during their first year of elementary school.
Are you applying for entrance into a private school, but you are worried about how your child will do on the entrance exam? A complete psycho-educational evaluation that is up to date (within the last three years), is required when you apply. If you are able to provide evidence of a disability that requires accommodations, the ISEE and HSPT will allow for your child to have accommodations. Accommodations such as extended time, individual testing, and directions read aloud will allow your child to do his or her best. Further, the evaluation itself can help in the application process. It can be used as evidence of your child’s academic and cognitive functioning. It’s very valuable since the entrance exams are only a snapshot of your child’s actual abilities. It can help make sure your child gets the best possible placement in the school.
Do you suspect that your child might have learning differences such as dyslexia, dysgraphia, AD/HD, Autism, etc, but are not ready to begin the IEP process or full assessment process? Would you like to know more about prevention and pre-referral interventions? A screening can help you to determine whether you should take that next step, or it can provide recommendations to try before starting the assessment and IEP process. All money paid towards screenings can be applied to the cost of the full evaluation if requested within 6 months of completion of the screening.
Supportive consultation can be provided to address specific areas of a child’s IEP. Parents often have questions about the IEP process and ensuring that their IEP is written so that their child will be receiving appropriate services.
To help parents create a plan to motivate their child to improve their behavior at home and in school and improving their grades. We can help you identify the problem behavior, decide how you would like the behavior to change, use supports that have been tested and proven to work, change environments and daily routines, and provide consistent positive reinforcers.
Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math. They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory and attention. It is important to realize that learning disabilities can affect an individual’s life beyond academics and can impact relationships with family, friends and in the workplace.
Reading disorders occur when a person has trouble with any part of the reading process. Reading and language-based learning disabilities are commonly called dyslexia. These disorders are present from a young age and usually result from specific differences in the way the brain processes language.
There are many different symptoms and types of reading disorders, and not everyone with a reading disorder has every symptom. People with reading disorders may have problems recognizing words that they already know and may also be poor spellers. Other symptoms may include the following:
• Trouble with handwriting
• Difficulty reading quickly
• Problems reading with correct expression
• Problems understanding the written word
Reading disorders are not a type of intellectual and development disorder, and they are not a sign of lower intelligence or unwillingness to learn.
Types of Reading Disorders
Dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read. Individuals with dyslexia typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although the disorder varies from person to person, common characteristics among people with dyslexia are difficulty with phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), spelling, and/or rapid visual-verbal responding. Dyslexia can be inherited in some families, and recent studies have identified a number of genes that may predispose an individual to develop dyslexia. Examples of specific types of reading disorders include:
• Word decoding. People who have difficulty sounding out written words; matching the letters to sounds to be able to read a word.
• Lack of fluency. People who lack fluency have difficulty reading quickly, accurately, and with proper expression (if reading aloud).
• Poor reading comprehension. People with poor reading comprehension have trouble understanding what they read.
A related problem is Alexia (pronounced uh-LEK-see-uh), or an acquired inability to read. Unlike most reading disabilities, which are present from when a child starts to learn to read, people with Alexia were once able to read but lost the ability after a stroke or an injury to the area of the brain involved with reading.
Dysgraphia is a condition that causes trouble with written expression. The term comes from the Greek words dys (“impaired”) and graphia (“making letterforms by hand”).
Dysgraphia is a brain-based issue. It’s not the result of a child being lazy. For many children with dysgraphia, just holding a pencil and organizing letters on a line is difficult. Their handwriting tends to be messy. Many struggle with spelling and putting thoughts on paper. These and other writing tasks—like putting ideas into language that is organized, stored and then retrieved from memory—may all add to struggles with written expression.
Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability in math. Kids with dyscalculia may have difficulty understanding number-related concepts or using symbols or functions needed for success in mathematics.
Dyscalculia is a common learning issue that impacts kids’ ability to do the math. It doesn’t just affect them at school, however. The challenges can also create difficulties in daily life. The good news is there are various supports and strategies that can help kids gain the skills they need.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences.
Depression is different from the normal “blues” and everyday emotions that occur as a child develops. Just because a child seems sad doesn’t necessarily mean he or she has significant depression. If the sadness becomes persistent, or if the disruptive behavior that interferes with normal social activities, interests, schoolwork, or family life develops, it may indicate that he or she has a depressive illness. Keep in mind that while depression is a serious illness, it is also a treatable one.
Source: Web MD
All children experience anxiety. Anxiety in children is expected and normal at specific times in development. For example, from approximately age 8 months through the preschool years, healthy youngsters may show intense distress (anxiety) at times of separation from their parents or other persons with whom they are close. Young children may have short-lived fears, such as fear of the dark, storms, animals, or a fear of strangers. Anxious children are often overly tense or uptight. Some may seek a lot of reassurance, and their worries may interfere with activities. Parents should not dismiss a child’s fears. Because anxious children may also be quiet, compliant and eager to please, their difficulties may be missed. Parents should be alert to the signs of severe anxiety so they can intervene early to prevent complications. There are different types of anxiety in children.
Symptoms of separation anxiety include:
• constant thoughts and intense fears about the safety of parents and caretakers
• refusing to go to school
• frequent stomachaches and other physical complaints
• extreme worries about sleeping away from home
• being overly clingy
• panic or tantrums at times of separation from parents
• trouble sleeping or nightmares
Symptoms of phobia include:
• extreme fear of a specific thing or situation (ex. dogs, insects, or needles)
• the fears cause significant distress and interfere with usual activities
Symptoms of social anxiety include:
• fears of meeting or talking to people
• avoidance of social situations
• few friends outside the family
Other symptoms of anxious children include:
• many worries about things before they happen
• constant worries or concerns about family, school, friends, or activities
• repetitive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or actions (compulsions)
• fears of embarrassment or making mistakes
• low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence
Bipolar disorder is a serious brain illness. It is also called manic-depressive illness or manic depression. Children with bipolar disorder go through unusual mood changes. Sometimes they feel very happy or “up,” and are much more energetic and active than usual, or that other kids their age. This is called a manic episode.Sometimes children with bipolar disorder feel very sad and “down,” and are much less active than usual. This is called depression or a depressive episode.
Bipolar disorder is not the same as the normal ups and downs every kid goes through. Bipolar symptoms are more powerful than that. The mood swings are more extreme and are accompanied by changes in sleep, energy level, and the ability to think clearly. Bipolar symptoms are so strong, they can make it hard for a child to do well in school or get along with friends and family members. The illness can also be dangerous. Some young people with bipolar disorder try to hurt themselves or attempt suicide.
A disorder that includes difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior and hyperactivity. Although ADHD is not considered a learning disability, research indicates that from 30-50 percent of children with ADHD also have a specific learning disability and that the two conditions can interact to make learning extremely challenging.
Educators need to have specific guidance on how to best teach a child who has a neurologically based condition. This information can come from a thorough evaluation that is conducted by someone qualified to take the medical information into careful consideration during the neuropsychological evaluation. However, that’s only the beginning. The most important piece is defining how the child must learn and deliver that information to educators and parents.
How to sight it:
• Brain malformations
• Chronic headaches
• Sleep disorders
• Spina bifida
• Chiari malformations
• Cerebral palsy
Language-based learning disabilities or LBLD are “heterogeneous” neurological differences that can affect skills such as listening, reasoning, speaking, reading, writing, and maths calculations. It is also associated with movement, coordination, and direct attention.
Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and in adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 18.
Intellectual functioning—also called intelligence—refers to general mental capacity, such as learning, reasoning, problem-solving, and so on.
One way to measure intellectual functioning is an IQ test. Generally, an IQ test score of around 70 or as high as 75 indicates a limitation in intellectual functioning.
Adaptive behavior is the collection of conceptual, social, and practical skills that are learned and performed by people in their everyday lives.
• Conceptual skills—language and literacy; money, time, and number concepts; and self-direction.
• Social skills—interpersonal skills, social responsibility, self-esteem, gullibility, naïveté (i.e., wariness), social problem solving, and the ability to follow rules/obey laws and to avoid being victimized.
• Practical skills—activities of daily living (personal care), occupational skills, healthcare, travel/transportation, schedules/routines, safety, use of money, use of the telephone.
Standardized tests can also determine limitations in adaptive behavior.
Treacher-Collins Syndrome, Phelan-McDermid Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Klinefelter Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, William Syndrome, Angelman Syndrome. Additionally, we have worked with children who experience Single-Gene Deficits, such as Neurofibromatosis, Huntington Disease, Phenylketonuria (PKU), Sickle Cell Disease, Cystic Fibrosis (CF). These syndromes and diseases often don’t fully get appreciated by educational staff.
I was amazed when I first contacted Christine. My son was showing tendencies at age five of dyslexia. I did some online research and found Christine and Kids In Harmony. I contacted Christine through her website and received a call immediately. She was caring and listened to my story. We literally talked for 45 minutes and she walked me through various options. It was so nice to hear a friendly and understanding voice. What was impressive was that almost immediately Christine let me know that due to her position she would not be able to work with our son. It would have been a conflict of interest. However, she continued to discuss various options for our child. She ultimately referred me to another learning counselor. Which was an amazing experience for my son. I am very thankful for Christine’s time, listening and making me feel comfortable about a tough situation.
Christine has been a fabulous resource as a school psychologist and learning disabilities evaluator. Her knowledge base is extensive and her approach to testing is thorough and highly individualized. I have referred clients to Christine for assessment and her reports have provided excellent recommendations for instruction. I have also referred her clients for support with motivation, goal-setting, and other psychological or behavioral issues. Christine has done an outstanding job in meeting these children’s needs!
I have the pleasure of working with Christine on the Board of the San Diego Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. Christine is very well organized and detail oriented. She responds to requests quickly and is always helpful. Christine envisions future possibilities/goals of the IDA, but at the same time, is very practical in her approaches. In addition to all her skills, Christine is a pleasant, positive person who clearly wants children to succeed.
In the past, we have had so many child psychologists. They came and went with little or no results regarding our son. Christine has done an awesome job working with our son. She works with our son every week—as if he is her only patient. She gives thorough evaluations. She carefully works with our son to address issues our son may have. She listens and shares her wisdom patiently to confused, overwhelmed, and frustrated parents like me. We are truly gratefully for all the support Christine has given my son and our family.
Christine is exceptional with her client—her patient and calm nature puts children at ease, which allows her to easily establish rapport with different personality types. When dealing with families, Christine takes her time to explain information in simple terms so that parents don’t feel overwhelmed. As a colleague, she is a great resource—Christine has many links to the community and can provide referrals to different professionals in the San Diego area.
Our family feels very fortunate that we found Christine to test and evaluate my grandchildren. She established a great rapport with them and provided age-appropriate testing on a comfortable schedule in their home. Christine is both professional in her work and compassionate on a personal level. The assessments were thorough and clearly explained to us. She valued our input, answered our questions and we never felt rushed. Christine has continued to support and guide our family beyond the testing. This has been a positive experience and we feel confident that the children will benefit greatly as we pursue services to address any needs based on Christine’s evaluations.
Christine provided comprehensive evaluations of students in a multicultural setting, which was invaluable in the process of determining the strengths and needs of our students. Christine shared her insights in a professional and compassionate manner offering helpful suggestions for the team to implement in the school setting.
Christine is a life saver! We live in Aruba and decided to have my son see Christine in California because of the limited expertise in this area on the island. From the first contact, it was clear she really cares about the children and parents who come to her. She did an amazing job with my teenage son, who had to visit her during our summer holiday in CA. And of course, he was not amused by this fact… But within 15 minutes she made him feel comfortable, his wall crumbled and he was looking forward to going back for 2 more visits after that. In the short time, she had to test him she did a thorough job (she is a very skilled psychologist) and made my son feel understood. The aftercare Christine gives is amazing too. Emails get answered quickly and she always has some kind words and good advice. But most important for me: my son has changed from an angry and stressed kid back into my sweet, funny boy who is overall happy! What else can a parent wish for?
As Licensed Educational Psychologists with our own private practices, Ms. Wyeth and I have formed a partnership, sharing cases, knowledge, and professional connections. Over the past school year, I have observed the growth that has taken place as Ms. Wyeth has completed the School Neuropsychology program. She has become a true expert in the field of school psychology and a trailblazer in the southern California dyslexia movement.
Christine is thorough and thoughtful in her pre-referral process, sensitive to students, their families, school staff, and clients, and is fully engaged through the entire assessment process in efforts to provide a highly valued assessment product, that is ethically sound, and ultimately translates to the betterment of that child’s functioning in and out of schools. Christine is motivated to learn, and I have observed her to dive in and become highly involved in developing high-quality neuropsychological skills. Christine is highly collaborative and seeks to improve, grow, and develop her competencies.
From my experience with Christine Wyeth, I know that Kids In Harmony supports the whole child. It’s really important to me to look at a child’s strengths and to figure out how to use those strengths to support a child. Looking at aspects beyond academic performance, at a child’s thinking, as well as physical and emotional health, is what makes me believe in Kids in Harmony.
I was looking for a licensed educational psychologist to assess my daughter for early entrance to Kindergarten. Fortunately, I met Christine Wyeth. She was very pleasant and professional and conducted a very detailed test while making the atmosphere fun and challenging. For days after the assessment, my daughter kept asking to go to Christine again. I would definitely recommend Christine to anyone looking for a child psychologist.