The number of students with learning challenges in the US continues to grow as funding models, and support are ever-changing. Parallel is addressing the issue by providing online assessments and support.
According to the National Centre for learning disabilities, 20% of students in the US have learning and attention difficulties. Such students who don’t receive the proper support may struggle to learn new skills, cope with independence, make friends, and complete tasks. Individual support is undeniably crucial for the future of these students. Yet, as the number of students with learning challenges increases, funding for education continues to be reduced.
However, with support from tech innovators, funding gaps from education to healthcare are being filled by new digital solutions. Utilising technology to do more with less is increasing the accessibility to vital resources, such as 24/7 mental health information from Neolth.
Parallel, a New York-based startup, is working to close the gap between the need and availability of learning support in the US. They use the traditional assessment and support strategies based on proven research but have made it available remotely. Moving these services online means professionals can aid more students at a lower cost without sacrificing the support quality. Evaluations are the first step in uncovering why a student may be struggling in class and how to help them best. Unfortunately, traditional waitlists for an evaluation can be up to a year long. That wait can be devastating for families who can’t afford to pay the high costs of a private evaluation. Parallel offers evaluations with psychologists matched with the student’s needs at a lower price. For $1500 (October 2022), the student will meet the care team remotely, have a 50-minute clinical interview, go through 4-6 hours of testing sessions, and receive a feedback session. The feedback session includes a final report and support plan for the student.
What about ongoing support?
Parallel also offers several support options for students, including behavioural therapy, skill-based tutoring, executive function coaching, and speech-language therapy. Instead of being placed on another long waiting list, families can access support when needed and at a lower cost than in-person private support.
Families can acquire services through the platform themselves, or schools can partner directly with Parallel to expand their current support resources. The company was founded by Diana Heldfond, after her experiences and frustrations with severe dyslexia and ADHD.