Lisa Rappaport, Ph.D
is a licensed psychologist in New York City and a faculty member for over 20 years at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, part of the Rose F. Kennedy Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore. She attended the University of Pennsylvania for her undergraduate studies and earned a Ph.D at Fordham University.
Dr. Rappaport also has had a private practice for over 20 years on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where she sees individuals of all ages. She is a member of the professional advisory board of the national organization, Smart Kids With Learning Disabilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What's Going On With My Child?
My child appears to be working too hard to get the results he is obtaining in school - what's going on?
Many intelligent children are able to compensate for a disability or insufficiency and maintain their academic grade level, yet increasingly struggle to do so. Often there are underlying neuropsychological issues which may need to be explored and once these issues are properly addressed, many children achieve better results with less effort.
My child is six and seems to be slightly behind in reading. Is this normal? Is a full evaluation necessary?
By intervening at an early age, reading struggles and/or failure can be prevented. Children need to develop certain skills before they can learn to read. Most children pick these things up seamlessly through play and in preschool. Sometimes a child will have a weakness in one or more areas and this will make learning to read more difficult. By screening the child with the 30-minute battery called SEARCH, their strengths and weaknesses as they relate to the underlying skill of reading can be assessed, so that they can develop skills, while building on their strengths. As long as your child has achieved their other developmental milestones on time and other areas of functioning appear to be intact, this very short screening process will probably be sufficient.
Why is the relationship with the clinician that you choose so important?
The psychologist who performs your child’s testing will understand your child's learning style, strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. You are potentially setting up a long-term relationship with this professional. If you have a young child evaluated and the child is diagnosed with a problem, the child may need to be re-evaluated every three years in order to continue to qualify for special services and accommodations. Furthermore, there may be a time when a follow-up evaluation within a year would be helpful to check academic progress and to ensure that the tutoring a child is receiving is helping. There may also come a time when you have a question about your child's needs, academic setting, or accommodations.
Dr. Rappaport is available for follow up questions well after the evaluation is complete. Once she takes on a client, she is invested in getting the best outcome for each individual and is committed to remaining available to her clients for as long as necessary. She does not dismiss clients after the evaluation as a "closed case". Rather, once she has evaluated a child or adult, she feels she has a responsibility to be there in the future since she will have the best understanding of how that child learns.
What is Dr. Rappaport's personal style in working with patients? What is the testing environment?
Each practitioner brings her own personality to the evaluation. Ask her to describe the environment and her approach when attempting to develop a positive rapport with a child. Some practitioners are very structured and require even young children to sit very still throughout the evaluation. Others might be opposed to eating or drinking during the meeting and may not want to stop for a break. Find out if the environment is formal or relaxed and determine what is best for your child's personality. Dr. Rappaport is very flexible and wants her clients to feel comfortable and enjoy the evaluation process. She establishes a positive rapport quite easily with people and children enjoy coming to see her.
Will the clinician who evaluates your child be willing to meet with the school's special service team and/or talk to the teachers? Will she accompany you to meetings if you feel it would be helpful?
Having the professional who has evaluated your child attend meetings with you often helps parents advocate and obtain the best services for their child. Dr. Rappaport is available to attend school meetings even if they are not in the New York City area.
How many evaluations does Dr. Rappaport work on at one time and does she do her own testing?
You may not want someone who accepts a large amount of evaluations at once because your case may become "a number" and the clinician may not be readily available to you. It is also important that the psychologist you choose does all of their own testing and writing. Dr. Rappaport's mode of working with clients is to focus on each person individually during the diagnostic process. She believes that subtle insights about a child may be lost with many clients being tested at once. The reason she is able to get reports out (relatively) quickly is because she is not overwhelmed with an abundance of reports at any one time. She runs a well-organized practice and devotes significant time to each case.
What is the follow up after an evaluation?
Follow up is an integral part of the testing process and allows the psychologist to communicate and discuss the relevant findings. After an evaluation is completed and you have read the report, you come in to review the report and go over any questions you may have with Dr. Rappaport as well as going over her recommendations and explaining the diagnosis (if any was given). Next, Dr. Rappaport will meet with your child and explain the results (without offering any numbers, such as IQ) including their strengths and weaknesses as well as her recommendations. Finally, once you and your child understand her report, she will be available to speak to the appropriate people at your child's school and to talk to potential remediators or tutors if required. She will also be available via telephone, or email, if questions should arise. For a fee, she is also be available to go to school meetings if necessary.
How long will it take to get a report once the evaluation is completed?
It is important to get results in a timely manner so that if remediation or accommodations in school are required, they can be put into place as quickly as possible. A report is usually generated within 4 weeks.
Does Dr. Rappaport accept insurance?
Dr. Rappaport’s practice does not accept insurance. If you choose to submit claims to your insurance company, you can submit the receipts provided. Please know that you may or may not receive reimbursement for counseling although it is common that psychodiagnostic evaluation are at least partially covered.