News/blog

Success Story: RNG Helps Adolescent with Undiagnosed Learning Disability

December 2, 2016

We are a Foreign Service family and we have two daughters, one of whom was an adolescent with an undiagnosed learning disability when we first contacted RNG International.

We have used Rebecca Grappo (Becky) several times now. She is top notch. Her portfolio includes special needs, boarding school, college applications, and a wide variety of help for adolescents. Our family has needed assistance in all of these areas and I can’t think of anyone else I would have wanted to work with.

We first sought that help from RNG when our eldest daughter, then age 16, was failing several courses in 9th grade. We had moved overseas and our daughter was having a miserable time in high school. While the move had been challenging, we could not figure out why she was suddenly performing below her proven abilities in middle school. Becky first helped by providing us with a list of questions to ask the school. And when it appeared that the high school was not very responsive to our concerns, she recommended testing for her so we could identify the problem. As a former education program officer for the Department of State (DOS), she helped us work within the DOS system to arrange for psycho-educational testing. The results were eye-opening. Our daughter has a processing speed learning difference that did not show up until high school when workloads increase and a student has to track much more information. Becky then helped us understand the diagnosis and find some strategies for working with the school overseas.

This assistance was but only the beginning. When the high school overseas outright refused to accommodate our daughter’s needs (untimed testing being the main recommendation), we decided to take advantage of a special needs allowance for Department of State families and send her to a boarding school that offered an academic support program. We knew that failure at the high school level had long lasting ramifications and we needed to take action. Becky then identified for us several schools that would meet her needs — schools that still offered a competitive college-bound academic program, but also provided services for students that needed some extra academic support. Becky was “right on” with her recommendations and through her, we found the right school. Our daughter graduated in 2007, entered college with no difficulties (in fact was accepted into seven colleges) and is now a senior at Goucher College in Maryland. While she has struggled at times with work load, she now has the self esteem to make positive choices and get through the college experience. We are forever grateful to Becky for her assistance. Her insights into how to proceed were invaluable.

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Rebecca (“Becky”) Grappo on one of her many university tours in the U.S.

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