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Dr. Carey Heller is a licensed psychologist and founding partner with The Heller Psychology Group LLC, which is a small private practice located in Bethesda, Maryland near Montgomery Mall. He specializes in working with children, adolescents, and their families. Dr. Heller conducts play, individual, and family psychotherapy for a variety... Read more

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Evaluating Your Child’s Academic Progress

Dr. Carey Heller: clinical psychologist with The Heller Psychology Group in Bethesda, Maryland.

Dr. Carey Heller: clinical psychologist with The Heller Psychology Group in Bethesda, Maryland.

Despite the large amount of snow days this academic year, students are about three quarters of the way done with the 2013-2014 academic year. For children attending MCPS, the marking period ends next Thursday. Thus, with essentially one quarter left, it is a good opportunity for parents to review their child’s progress this year and start thinking about ways to help them improve for next year.

Here are a few items to look at regarding your child’s academic performance:

1)     Did your child perform as well academically as you would have expected?

2)     Does their level of effort not match the grades he or she is earning?

3)     Is your child not putting in enough effort?

4)     Do you notice certain academic areas in which your child is struggling (i.e., math, English)?

5)     Do you observe limitations in certain skill areas (i.e., time management, organization), that could be contributing to lower grades?

6)     Does your child seem unusually nervous, anxious, or uncomfortable at school or in general?

If you have identified issues above that apply to your child, it can be helpful to take action now, or at least line up methods of action for the summer, to prepare your child for the next academic year. Here are a few suggestions on actions that you can take to help your child:

1)     If you are not sure why your child is struggling academically, consider having them evaluated to determine if a learning disability, ADHD, or another issue is impeding their functioning.

2)     If your child is struggling with a specific subject, consider obtaining tutoring in that area for your child. In some cases, intensive summer preparation in that area can help them be prepared for the next grade in that subject area.

3)     If your child is struggling with time management, organization, or other skills, consider having them meet with a therapist, ADHD, or organizational skills coach who could teach them basic strategies and help them to implement these strategies.

4)     If your child appears unusually nervous, anxious, sad, etc., they may highly benefit from individual therapy to reduce these symptoms.

These suggestions for things to look for and possible solutions are only intended to be used as a rough guide. Each child has their own unique needs, and if you feel that your child is struggling, I urge you to seek the appropriate professional to assist you and your child. If you are not sure which type of professional would be most appropriate, you can always contact one who you think may be appropriate, and if that person is not the best person to meet your needs, they hopefully can provide you with recommendations on who to contact. It is always easier to address issues when they first begin rather than waiting for them to get really bad. Thus, if there is an issue occurring, please take action and help your child so that he or she can thrive inside and outside of the classroom.

In addition to regular blog updates, you can follow me through The Heller Psychology Group’s Social Media pages for daily postings of useful articles:

*Disclaimer: The previous information is intended as general guidance based on my professional opinion, does not constitute an established professional relationship,  and should not replace the recommendations of a psychologist or other licensed professional with whom you initiate or maintain a professional relationship*

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Carey Heller, Psy.D.

About Carey Heller, Psy.D.

Dr. Carey Heller is a licensed psychologist with The Heller Psychology Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. He works with children, adolescents, and young adults, providing psychological/psychoeducational evaluations and individual psychotherapy. Dr. Heller specializes in ADHD, executive functioning issues, and Autism Spectrum Disorder and is happy to answer questions and provide consultations for individuals who are considering pursuing treatment or an evaluation for their child, adolescent, or themselves. Dr. Heller can be reached directly at 301.385.2610 or For appointments, please call the office at (301) 385-2610 or email The Heller Psychology Group at with your contact information and availability for appointment times.


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