About Reid Schwartz, Ph.D.
Reid Schwartz, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Reid Schwartz received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago and is a licensed clinical psychologist. Dr. Schwartz specializes in the neuropsychological evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with problems such as ADHD, anxiety, depression, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD), memory disorders, learning disorders, sleep problems, migraines, pain disorders, concussions and other brain injuries. He is also an expert on gifted education and brain training/coaching for optimal performance for athletes and high achieving individuals of all ages.
Individual counseling for children, adolescents and adults; family counseling; marital therapy
Neuropsychological Testing/Differential Diagnosis
Comprehensive neuropsychological testing for individuals of all ages. Proper diagnosis is critical to making effective individual treatment plans. Dr. Schwartz begins this diagnostic process by focusing on the client's specific problems, determining a differential diagnosis, making individualized recommendations and working with the client to implement these recommendations. Dr. Schwartz is on the Illinois State Board of Education's "Illinois Independent Evaluators Registry."
QEEG's/Brain Mapping/Digital EEG
QEEG information is interpreted and used as a clinical tool to evaluate brain function. The information is also used to track changes in brain function related to various modalities such as Neurofeedback or medication.
Research-based treatment for a wide range of neurophysiological and mental health disorders.
Many parents wonder if their child is gifted and whether the child should be placed in an advanced school program. Dr. Schwartz has been working with gifted students of all ages and their parents for many years. He provides specialty testing and consultation to assist the student and parents decide what educational environment maximizes their potential.
Autism, Aspergers, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Learning Disabilities
Dr. Schwartz has extensive experience working with students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, ADHD and all types of learning disabilities. His experience includes: psychological testing and diagnosis; counseling for the student and family; consultation with schools regarding placement, IEP and 504 Plan needs; and developing therapeutic milieus. He has worked with students that are placed in regular classes, special education classrooms, therapeutic day schools and residential treatment facilities. Dr. Schwartz has also evaluated ABA and Greenspan Floor Time programming for individual students as well as more traditional educational/therapeutic environments. He has served on the Professional Advisory Board of the Illinois Association for Citizens with Learning Disabilities and has spoken at local, state and national conferences on diagnosing and treating learning disabilities and ADHD.
Anxiety, Depression Behavioral Disorders, Performance Problems, Eating Disorders, Self Injury. Dr. Schwartz provides counseling and diagnostic services for individuals of all ages with these problems. He works directly with schools to ensure that children and adolescents with these problems receive the required support and accommodations they need. When appropriate, he will make classroom observations and assist in drawing up Behavior Management Plans. He also collaborates with leading child and adolescent psychiatrists when the conditions warrant medication.
Dr. Schwartz has served as an expert witness in administrative proceedings, juvenile court and Federal court. He has years of experience testifying in special education proceedings, Social Security disability determinations and personal injury matters.
Sports Psychology and Performance Coaching
Dr. Schwartz is a world class masters track cyclist who has won both Masters World and U.S. National Championships. He combines his real world knowledge of high level competition in sports and academics with research-based treatments to provide state of the art Neurofeedback and counseling to athletes and high achievers in academics and professional fields. This treatment focuses on maximizing an individual’s brain functioning and peak psychological performance to help the client achieve his or her goals in sports, school, and work.
Educational Services for Students with Disabilities: Case Study Evaluations, IEPs, and 504 Plans
Case Study Evaluations (CSE): A parent or school staff may request that a district conduct an initial evaluation of a student. This evaluation is known as a case study evaluation (CSE). When you request an evaluation, make sure that you put your request in writing so that there is a record of your request. Your request should be dated and should include the reasons that you think your child needs an evaluation. Some examples of reasons are: my child is struggling to learn to read; my child’s reading and math skills are significantly below those of his classmates; my child has difficulty listening, paying attention, and following directions of more than two or three steps; my child's behavior is making it hard for him to pay attention and learn in school.
Your request can be made in the form of a letter to the school principal and special education director.
A district must complete an initial evaluation and hold an eligibility meeting within 60 calendar days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation. If you request an evaluation and the district decides not to evaluate your child, the district must inform you in writing of that decision and provide you with its reasons for that decision. This is known as prior written notice. You should keep all the letters and other documents you receive from the district regarding your request for an evaluation, whether your request is granted or denied.
If a district agrees to conduct an evaluation, it will hold a meeting to discuss the areas in which your child will be evaluated. You are part of the team that makes this decision, so you should be included in this initial meeting. The meeting is an opportunity for you to share your view of your child's learning problems, so it is important that you tell the staff the areas in which you believe your child needs to be evaluated.
A district must use a variety of assessment tools and strategies to evaluate your child in all areas of suspected disability. The evaluation should provide information about your child's functional, developmental, intellectual, and academic skills. The district must also consider all information, including independent evaluations, that you provide. You may request copies of all evaluation reports prior to the meeting at which the district reviews the evaluations and makes its eligibility determination, and you should do so. You are an important member of the team that determines whether your child is eligible for special education and related services, so you should have as much information as possible about your child's needs before you attend an eligibility or IEP meeting.
The IDEA includes the following disabilities in its definition of a child with a disability: cognitive impairment; hearing impairment, including deafness; speech or language impairment; visual impairments, including blindness; serious emotional disturbance; orthopedic impairments; autism; traumatic brain injury; other health impairments; and, specific learning disabilities. Your child will be found eligible for special education and related services only if she or he has at least one of these listed disabilities AND needs special education and related services because of that disability. If your child has one of the listed disabilities but does not need special education and related services, the district will find your child not eligible. For children ages 3 through 9, the district may also find a child eligible if the child has a developmental disability. A developmental disability is shown when a child experiences developmental delays in one or more of the following areas: physical development; cognitive development; communication development; social or emotional development; or, adaptive development. As before, the child must also need special education and related services because of his or her disability to be found IDEA eligible.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP): If the district determines that your child needs special education and related services, it must develop a comprehensive academic plan known as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). You, as the student's parent, are an important member of the team that develops the IEP. You should attend all IEP meetings and may bring outside professionals with you, although you should inform the district beforehand if you plan to bring someone with you. You should receive a copy of the IEP at the end of meeting. It is very important that you keep your child's IEPs in an organized folder or notebook, so that you can follow them from year to year. At the IEP meeting, the team must consider your child’s strengths, your concerns, your child's academic, developmental, and functional needs and the evaluation results. If your child's behavior impedes his or her learning or that of others, the district must consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address your child's behavior. The IEP team also must consider your child's: language needs if he or she has limited English proficiency; communication needs, if he or she is deaf or hard of hearing; and, needs for assistive technology devices and services.
The IEP is the document that will guide the special education and related services that the district provides to your child. You have input into the document and should express your opinions about your child's needs. The IEP begins with a statement of your child's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including how your child's disability affects his or her involvement and progress in the general education curriculum. The IEP team develops goals based on your child's levels of performance for each area of need. The goals must be measureable. Each goal should have several specific and measureable objectives that are steps toward achieving the goal. The IEP must be updated annually, although you can request that the team meet sooner to review and revise the IEP if you think that your child is not making progress or has needs that are not addressed in the IEP.
504 Plan: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. It applies to school age children and their parents. If your child is not eligible for special education and related services under the IDEA, she or he may still be a child with a disability for purpose of Section 504.
To be eligible for a 504 Plan, your child must have an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities but does not require special education and related services. A major life activity includes things like reading, writing, performing math calculations, walking, hearing, or self-care. A district must conduct an evaluation that uses a variety of sources to determine if your child is eligible for a 504 Plan. It is a good idea to have the 504 Plan put into writing, but the Rehabilitation Act does not require a written plan. A child who has a 504 Plan may receive reasonable accommodations and modifications that are not available to children who do not have disabilities.
Response to Intervention (RTI): The most recent amendments to the IDEA provide that a school district may no longer require a severe discrepancy to determine if a child has a specific learning disability. Schools may now use a process know as response to intervention (RTI). In Illinois, each district must now use a process that determines how a child responds to scientific, research-based interventions. RTI programs are driven by data, and good programs require regular data collection and analysis. RTI programs usually are three-tiered programs, in which those children who do not make improvements to interventions remain in the program and move on to more intense or different interventions in the next tier.
It is important for you to know that RTI is not an evaluation, as that term is used in special education law. If you want your child to receive a case study evaluation while he or she is in a RTI program, you should ask the district to conduct an evaluation. The district must give you an answer in writing, either granting or denying your request. It the district denies your request, it must tell you why it is doing so.
Frequent Problems with IEPs and 504 Plans: Parents often report that their child's IEP is a generic document that does not accurately describe the child's educational needs and does not provide measurable, meaningful goals. If the IEP does not describe your child and his or her individual needs, the IEP team will not be able to develop a solid plan to help your child achieve his or her educational goals. If the IEP goals are vague "cookie cutter" goals that are not individualized for your child, you will not be able to tell if your child is making educational progress. If your child is not receiving all the related services he or she needs to receive a free appropriate public education, your child may not benefit from the education that he or she is receiving. The IEP team should also consider whether your child needs assistive technology.
Many parents also report that 504 Plans contain so many accommodations and modifications that it is impossible to tell what their child is actually learning and how their child is progressing.
The long-term goal of special education and accommodations/modifications is to help a child succeed in life after school and become independent. The school years should provide a relevant path to achieving these goals. It is important that you are involved with the process throughout your child's education, and your child should also be involved as she or he is able to do so.
Dr. Schwartz's Background: Dr. Schwartz has a Ph.D. in educational psychology from the University of Chicago. He spent the early part of his training in a diagnostic clinic at the University of Chicago Hospital, where he had intensive training in neuropsychological testing. One important lesson he learned in the diagnostic clinic is that an evaluation is valuable only if it leads to functional improvements in a person's life. This important perspective has influenced the way he conducts his assessment and translates test findings, diagnoses, and historical information about the child into concrete recommendations and interventions directed toward improving a child's current and future educational experiences. Dr. Schwartz attends IEP/504 Plan meeting in person or by telephone conference call to facilitate the development of an individualized educational plan for each child with whom he works. He works as an active part of the IEP team by listening carefully to each evaluation report and staff comments and by helping the team understand his evaluation, recommendations, and perspective on the child. He then maintains contact with the student, parents, teachers and other professionals involved in the student's education to coordinate service delivery and monitor the implementation of the specialized plan in school and on-going assessment of the plan.
Dr. Schwartz has attended thousands of IEP, 504 Plan, and RTI meetings. His training and experience in conducting state of the art neuropsychological testing and in developing collaborative relationships with schools to implement and monitor a child's educational progress is unique. Dr. Schwartz is on the Illinois State Board of Education's list of independent education evaluators.
In addition to his direct experience in the educational world, Dr. Schwartz has also presented workshops on neuropsychological testing for the Chicago Bar Association and been on the Professional Advisory Board of the Illinois Association of Citizens with Learning Disabilities.
EEG Neurofeedback is a clinically accepted method of improving brain functioning through directly training the brain to function more efficiently. The brain's electrical activity, which is the language that the brain uses to communicate within its complex neural networks, is recorded on a QEEG. Electrodes are placed on your scalp and connected to a computer. Your brain wave signals are then processed by the computer in the form of a QEEG. The QEEG shows the patterns of electrical activity in different areas of your brain and is used to determine which areas show dysregulation.
The specific type of Neurofeedback treatment you will receive is tailored to your specific needs. In Neurofeedback treatment, your brain is rewarded for changing electrical activity to more appropriate patterns. You learn to control your brainwave activity through a series of interactive programs that most people find fun and challenging. Several different types of equipment and software are available to ensure that the Neurofeedback treatment that you receive targets your individual symptoms and problems. Neurofeedback treatment must be provided in a consistent way for a prescribed number of appointments to be effective. You will be provided with an individual treatment plan that recommends the number of treatments you should receive each week and the number of weeks the treatment should continue.
Dr. Schwartz owns and uses state of the art Neurofeedback equipment and is not limited to one manufacturer's or developer's programs. Dr. Schwartz has received extensive training for each Neurofeedback program he uses, thereby ensuring that you receive quality and up-to-date treatments.
In addition to be trained in several types of neuorfeedback treatment, Dr. Schwartz is a neuropsychologist and licensed clinical psychologist. He has an extensive background and training in differential diagnosis, psychological assessments, learning and academic assessment, and memory and cognitive assessments. Additionally, he is an experienced clinician with over 35 years of experience in psychotherapy and counseling with children, adolescents, adults, and senior citizens. This broad clinical expertise gives Dr. Schwartz a unique perspective on brain functioning as it is connected with differential diagnosis, emotional and mental health concerns, and performance issues. He uses this experience to provide a unique form of neurofeedback treatment in which Neurofeedback is combined with counseling or therapy as appropriate for an individual client.
Dr. Schwartz has experience in working with children with learning and behavior problems, including Autism Spectrum Disorders, and works closely with schools to ensure that the children he treats receive necessary programs and supports in their educational environments. He works closely with all treatment provides that an individual client may have, including occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech/language pathologists, pediatricians and psychiatrists.
Neurofeedback is also effective for students, athletes, and professionals seeking optimal neurophysiological and neuropsychological performance. Extensive research has shown that EEG Neurofeedback helps a wide range of people. Pre-school and school age children, adolescents, and adults can benefit from improved attention, focus, and mood regulation. Athletes of all levels, from beginners through Olympic class and professionals have shown performance improvements after a course of EEG Neurofeedback training. Professionals such as astronauts and surgeons have also shown improved functioning in their specialties.