Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.
For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide
range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.
Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.
Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.
Host: What are the criteria for diagnosing a learning disability?
Rene Hackney: The criteria for diagnosing a learning disability can vary again from school system to school system. But in general the guidelines are looking at the child's overall -- what's called a potential or an IQ score and looking for specific processing deficit, something like Visual Processing or Auditory Processing or Visual-Motor Integration, looking for what the pieces that might be causing difficulty for that student in the classroom as well as finding academic impact. Academic impact is a necessary part of looking at learning disabilities that there is both processing difficulty and the academics that are being impacted.