My goal is to provide families with a resource targeting the neuropsychological and educational needs of children with genetic disorders (i.e. Prader-Willi syndrome, Down’s syndrome, PKU, Fragile X, etc.). Children with genetic disorders are not unlike typically developing children in that the needs in preschool are not the same as in high school. However, unlike typically developing children, those needs are not as well understood. By understanding a child's specific neurocognitive profile and psychological functioning parents and teachers are better able to provide optimal interventions. Parents typically receive guidance from many professionals when their children are very young, but lack similar guidance as their child progresses through elementary school into high school and finally transitioning into adulthood. My hope is to empower these families and children by providing them with as-needed education and support in addressing the needs of their children over the course of their life. Ideally, I would conduct a full neuropsychological evaluation of your child during elementary school age and then be able to provide as-needed assessment, support, and consultation as your child develops.
The Genetics Neuropsychology Clinic provides a novel approach to working with families with genetic disorders. Your child has a yearly medical check-up, how about a yearly neurocognitive and psychological check-up? How has your child progressed, are school services still appropriate, what does my child need now, are the many questions parents are confronted with throughout their child’s life. Schools have yearly IEP meetings, but parents often comment on the desire and need for an outside resource to complement the school's expertise. My hope is to empower parents and provide this service as your child grows up!
BIO: Dr. Sporri is not only a pediatric neuropsychologist but has a master’s degree in special education. Her background in neuropsychology and education enables her to translate the information gained through a neuropsychological evaluation directly into teaching strategies and treatment planning. Dr. Sporri is licensed in California and received her doctorate in clinical psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology and child psychology from Pacific Graduate School of Psychology. She completed her APA accredited internship training at Henry Ford Hospital in Michigan, with a specialty in pediatric neuropsychology. She also completed a two-year fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the University of California at Davis. Her career in genetic disorders started 20 years ago working in a group home for adults with various genetic disorders. Since then, has she worked in school, clinic, and hospital settings as a teacher, psychoeducational therapist, and psychologist. Dr. Sporri’s diverse experiences provide her with an ability to understand the spectrum of needs across the lifespan of individuals with learning differences caused by genetic disorders.
WHAT ARE GENETIC DISORDERS?
Genetic Disorders are diseases that are caused by abnormalities in genes or chromosomes. Some genetic disorders are passed down from parents’ genes, while others are caused by a new mutation or changes in the DNA. We are learning a great deal about genetic disorders, more specifically how genetic disorders are related to learning problems. Below lists the more common genetic disorders in which learning problems have been well documented:
- Angelman's Syndrome
- Downs Syndrome
- Fragile X Syndrome
- Prader-Willi Syndrome
- Turner Syndrome
- Velocardiofacial Syndrome (VCFS)
- Williams Syndrome
SERVICES OFFERED FOR GENETIC DISORDERS
Neuropsychological Evaluation – a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation that includes diagnostic interviewing, psychological and neuropsychological tests that may include assessing the following areas: cognitive ability, adaptive skills, attention, language, executive functioning, memory, motor ability, visual-spatial and visual-motor ability, academic skills, and socio-emotional functioning.
School Consultations – I can visit a child’s school as needed for several purposes, including classroom observation, IEP meetings, teacher training on specific genetic disorders, or designing a behavioral program with the child’s teacher to help with academic productivity. I can provide advice on educational accommodations when these are appropriate under IDEA or Section 504.