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 is the process for entering children into special education?
Rene Hackney: There is a long process for becoming eligible for special education services. It often involves two separate meetings, several months apart. The first meeting and these meetings are called different things with different systems, but where I was it was called an eligibility meeting, where the family and the social workers and the psychologists and the speech language professionals would meet and decide whether a child was eligible for the testing services. If they ruled out things like attendance and family issues and thought that this really was a special education issue, they go ahead and move forward with the evaluation process. There are federal guidelines, I believe it is the 90 days from that first meeting till the second meeting, in the second meeting everyone meets again to review the results of all the evaluations that have happened and to determine whether the child meets the criteria for being in one of the programs.