Dr. Cestnick has evaluated my now young adult son on multiple occasions through his adolescent years and now in his early adulthood. She evaluated him each time he has needed a re-evaluation for his IEP, and is now coaching him as he enters adulthood and tries to find employment.
She easily established a good rapport with him and engaged him in working hard, despite the challenges he faces. He has a complicated set of challenges and she was invested in sorting them out for a comprehensive picture of his strengths and limitations. When she identified a new issue that I, as fellow psychologist, believed was not supported by the data, she competently and thoughtfully talked with me about why the data she had gathered supported her diagnosis. Her approach provided the space for me to carefully consider and realize that the diagnosis was appropriate.
Dr. Cestnick has a great style of interacting with students, being very practical, down-to-earth, and affirming. She also brings this caring to her interactions with parents. In addition to the thorough assessment she provided, she offered a range of recommendations, and provided suggestions for negotiating with school personnel during IEP discussions.
Her combined skills and training in neuropsychology and education enable her not only to provide a comprehensive picture of complicated cases, but also to assist with ideas regarding parent advocacy, which is so essential.
As a parent who has dealt with special education professionals for most of my son’s life, and who has conducted psychological assessments, I have found Dr. Cestnick to be a committed, engaged, caring and resourceful professional who effectively works with students and parents.
MOTHER'S REVIEW - Ellen (also a psychologist)
Our son had been evaluated multiple times by the public school as well as by private evaluators. Despite implementing recommendations by multiple evaluators, no measurable progress was made in his ability to read. Throughout second and third grade, four different special education teachers and one reading specialist provided him reading instruction. Despite the efforts of these five different individuals, he demonstrated minimal to no progress in reading (at the end of 3rd grade, he was reading at an early to mid 1st grade level) based on the school’s progress monitoring measures. He also struggled academically in all subject areas due to attention difficulties.
Dr. Cestnick evaluated our son in June. After years of frustration, she was able to provide us with answers for the reason our son was having difficulty learning to read. More importantly, she was able to provide a SOLUTION to his learning difficulties!!!! Her evaluation was extremely thorough and her ability to explain her results in an easily understood manner was amazing!
We began implementing her recommendations immediately after she evaluated him. In 8 weeks, our son made significant measurable gains in reading. He started school in the Fall and was able to walk into a fourth grade classroom and read the morning message!
In addition to recommendations in the area of reading, Dr. Cestnick made recommendations to assist our son with his attention issues. These recommendations were also implemented and extremely effective.
Dr. Cestnick has an amazing ability to explain her findings and recommendations in a manner that is simplistic. Not only is she a skilled evaluator, but she is compassionate and was truly invested in assisting us with helping our son. She truly changed the course of our son’s educational career! We have reached out to her a few times since then for great advice and have recommended her to many people.
DYSLEXIA & ADHD CASE
PARENTS - Colleen and Scott (teachers)
Dr. Cestnick tested my son some years ago and was a caring resource to him and my husband and I in our struggle for answers for the school and in general. We have reached out recently again because of recalling her true caring , her knowledge and attention to the details as we hope to receive continued support and direction for Executive function, possible brain trauma or Asperger tools and strategies. What struck me then was how quickly he was comfortable with her and the process. It did not happen so well with others who tried to assist. Children and young adults can easily assess those who are caring and seem to understand them.
AUTISTIC SPECTRUM CASE
PARENT - Susan
My wife and I went to see Dr. Cestnick to get a variety of tests done on our 8 year old son. We wanted to learn why he was having difficulty in school and what made him tick. She did a wonderful job keeping our son on task during the 2 days of testing and provided us with valuable insights and recommendations we could take home and to provide to our son’s school immediately. She met with us to review everything and listened to all our input as well as answered all our questions. This information was crucial for getting our son in a proper placement where he needed to be to learn and grow. Thank you Dr. Cestnick!
PARENTS - Jon and Ann
Laurie is really helpful and she always has a positive attitude. She always considers your input. She’s exceedingly nice and exceeds expectations. A lot of people don’t think therapy works; she proves it does!
COUNSELING OF ADOLESCENT (anxiety & social skills)
ADOLESCENT PATIENT - James
Dr. Cestnick is an excellent neuropsychologist and therapist whose personal warmth makes her easy to talk with about personal problems. Her professional degrees in both neuropsychology and education are a unique and perfect combination to not only diagnose, but also to provide assistance for the IEP process as well as direction for the school, teachers, and the patient and parents.
As a therapist, she successfully combines her warmth and insight with unique ways of opening discussions with children For example, she would watch a youtube video with my child and use it to provide an example of how he appeared to others. This helped him to modulate his behavior. As a result, of her insight and suggestions, the bullying he was experiencing at school decreased significantly and he is much happier and more successful socially. I have recommended her to others and will continue to do so in the future.
MOTHER - Betty
Dr. Cestnick recently tested my son who is now going into college. She helped us with his college entry information and prepared him for school. She tested him five years ago and we have kept in touch with her as she helped him along the way whenever we needed her assistance. She has been omnipresent for us. I first brought my son to see Dr Cestnick 5 years ago, following tests done by the public school system which resulted in what seemed to be a dead end with no answers regarding son’s learning disabilities. Dr Cestnick performed thorough testing that left little room for dispute regarding my son’s learning disablilities. As a result of these tests, I was able to get my son on an IEP and have since placed him in private school to deal with his disabilities appropriately. Dr. Cestnick is professional and genuinely cares about her clients. My son warmed up to her caring personality immediately. I strongly reccommend any parent who has a child with any type of learning issue to go see Dr Cestnick. She will get to the source of the issues so you can treat them instead of being a frustrated parent like I was until I was fortunate enough to secure her as my son’s doctor.
MOTHER - Denise