Dr. Ruf is the sole practitioner at Educational Options in Golden Valley, MN, and is supported by part-time staff. She has developed a holistic system to effectively address the issues and concerns of the families of bright and gifted children.
Dr. Ruf's goal is and always has been to arm parents with the education and resources to effectively advocate for their children, to help them achieve their full potential and thrive in an environment that suits their specific needs. In so many cases, parents just don't know how much they don't know about the issues of bright children and their relative "fit" in a given educational environment.
For this reason, Dr. Ruf applies a holistic approach in her assessments, which allows her time to interact with every child while evaluating his or her intellectual ability as well as his or her educational needs. Then Dr. Ruf can pass on her observations, recommendations, and resources to the parents in a way that focuses on the whole child.
This is the most highly recommended combination Dr. Ruf recommends for a holistic approach to the evaluation, assessment, and guidance of the bright or gifted child. It includes all of the following:
A file analysis – Parents complete Dr. Ruf’s intake form, Developmental Milestones, on which they give background information about the family and the child, the early milestones and current behaviors of the child, parenting and educational issues and concerns, and the parents' overall goals for the child and for working with Dr. Ruf. Parents also provide any previous school or professional test results or evaluations so that Dr. Ruf can determine how these fit into the overall situation the child and family faces. It is at this step that Dr. Ruf also gathers information related to any learning disability possibilities or issues (such as ADD) that the parents or school need addressed.
Personality assessment – Prior to the actual intellectual or achievement assessment(s), parents either complete or provide previous results for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®; and the child six or older completes the Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children®. Both are provided as online assessments through the Educational Options office. Other children in the family who are old enough may also complete this instrument at no extra cost to the family because it is helpful to Dr. Ruf to see how each child’s behaviors “present” to the parents so that her parenting guidance makes sense and fits the whole family. You will receive detailed feedback on each personality type preference so that you and Dr. Ruf can have this information ready before she writes her test report(s) and before you have your follow-up consultation with her. Results of these profiles guide Dr. Ruf’s interpretation and guidance regarding school performance—what works best, motivation, and parenting and co-parenting recommendations.
Self-Esteem Evaluations – Parents and children six or older complete this online evaluation, the Self-Esteem Inventory for Children (SETC) or the Self Esteem Inventory for Teens (SETT) and the Self-Esteem Inventory for Adults (SETA). All members of the family, even those not being tested at this time, may take these assessments as part of the overall evaluation.
The testing – A parent or other care-giver brings the child to Dr. Ruf’s home office for assessment on the Stanford-Binet 5 Scales of Intelligence and/or the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, 3rd Edition (WIAT-III). Depending on the age of the child and the comfort-level of the parent, the parent may stay in a comfortable waiting area while Dr. Ruf works with the child or leave to go on errands. Dr. Ruf will tell you how long the assessment will take so you can return on time. At your follow-up consultation, you will receive a detailed interpretive report(s) of the child’s results. Dr. Ruf takes great pains to make her reports very understandable to the parent, any educators the family may need to work with, and to the child him- or herself when older. The WIAT-III report is very specific about the level at which the child should be performing academically—based on intellectual abilities—and where the school needs to address these specific learning abilities. Any truly quirky behaviors are never part of the report, as it is assumed such information can be privately addressed during the follow-up consultation and the child is very likely to outgrow any childish behaviors by the time he or she reads the report.
Cover letter – Dr. Ruf will writes a letter that serves as a recommendation or qualifying proof (above and beyond the detailed report) for program participation, Early Kindergarten Entrance, or a brief summary useful for the school.
Follow-up consultation – The follow-up consultation is an integral part of the entire process, as it is the time that Dr. Ruf “trains” the parents in what their child needs. This is where Dr. Ruf’s experience and expertise with bright and gifted children, including those who missed “the cut-off” for program participation or those who are exceptionally or profoundly gifted, sets her and this process apart from what most other professionals can provide. Both parents must attend this consultation, as it is imperative that both hear the information firsthand so they can discuss it later over time. Also, gender and personality differences play a very important role in “what works” when planning for the child and examining parental experience and expectations, and if only one parent attends, the information will be filtered through their own experience as male or female, successful or unsuccessful in school, etc. The follow-up is scheduled for about one week after the assessment session(s) and is included in this package with no extra fees. This consultation typically takes 3.0 hours and includes discussion and explanation of the following:
— Explanations of what intelligence and IQ are, how they are measured, what difference they make, etc.
— Specific discussion of this child’s learning profile and test results
— Discussion of any learning problems or disabilities Dr. Ruf has seen plus recommendations, if needed, for further screening by those who specialize in the specific disability or issue
— Descriptions of how schools are set up, what’s changeable and what’s likely not to change, parents’ rights, and the options available to families
— Gender and personality differences and how they affect home and school behaviors, motivation, performance, parenting viewpoints and behaviors, career planning and interests, etc.
— Specific recommendations and options for the family’s future educational planning and activities, resources, etc.
— After the consultation, our office will email—over the course of the next one to two months—PDF copies of between 35 and 65 articles, links, resources, lists, summarized research on intelligence, gender and personality differences, information related to level and profile of intelligence and giftedness for this specific child, and other information related to learning disabilities and recommendations specific to this child. The mailings come in batches and are labeled by topic to make it easier for parents to find and read as they are ready.
Because working with an experienced professional can be expensive, Dr. Ruf has designed different packages whose features and pricing allow for spacing the costs over three distinct payments: a down-payment (that secures the appointment and starts the process of information gathering between client and Educational Options; the assessment(s) themselves; and the follow-up consultation.
Children of different ages require different amounts of time to assess and evaluate, and some features of the assessment and evaluation process aren’t available in certain age ranges, so the recommended “packages” have some fixed pricing that reflects the different amounts of time or materials that are typically required.
All pricing is based on Dr. Ruf’s hourly fee and incorporated into the time required for her to share her professional experience, training and expertise with client families. Working with Dr. Ruf is offered as an all-inclusive flat fee based on the child’s or adolescent’s age so that families don’t need to worry about how long any part of the process ends up taking for their family and so they won’t be surprised later with any hidden fees. For specific package prices and the hourly fee, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.