Having a child with a learning difference is an adventure. You are constantly looking for the best special education programs to help your child. Unfortunately, far too many fly-by-night programs pop up on the internet. These programs make big promises, but they simply don’t have the resources to help children. However, there is hope for parents looking for a viable solution.
Research supports that online programs can greatly aid children with learning differences. A 2019 study found that web-based interventions can help to reduce symptoms in children with neurodeveopmental disorders, while another recent study found that children with dyslexia greatly improved their reading after working with an online educational platform.
So, now that you know an online program can be a huge asset for your child, how do you find a legitimate program? According to a 2021 study, there are two main factors that denote an excellent online program that will work for a child: adequate support and accessibility/accommodations.
Parallel Learning, the first tech-forward provider of care for learning and thinking differences across the US, offers both of these. The platform was made for children with learning differences and challenges and is capable of providing accessible and supportive care for children of all ages and learning levels.
Source: Parallel Learning
Read on to learn how Parallel connects students with qualified clinicians and professionals while significantly reducing waiting times, costs, inconveniences, and confusion.
What is Parallel Learning?
Parallel Learning is a groundbreaking virtual education platform offering a variety of services for students with thinking and learning differences. From evaluation and diagnosis to behavioral and speech therapy taught by top-tier clinicians and educational specialists, Parallel is quickly rising through the ranks to become a staple for families requiring different learning care.
Parallel simplifies and streamlines learning difference care for families, providers, educators, and students by aggregating providers and resources in a single, easy-to-access platform. They offer a number of services including:
- Comprehensive psychological evaluations
- Skills-based tutoring
- Executive function coaching
- Behavioral therapy and counseling
- Speech and language therapy
Review of Parallel Learning for special learning needs
Parallel Learning is an excellent resource for parents looking for an online platform to help their children with learning differences reach the next level in their education. Parallel believes that a student with learning differences doesn’t need to be changed; they need support.
Source: Parallel Learning
With multiple services and supportive care offered through Parallel, the platform brings an all-inclusive approach to giving students the resources, training, and encouragement needed to succeed in the classroom and beyond. This care honors their gifts while improving upon their challenges.
It’s fun for children as well, keeping them engaged while they learn difficult concepts. Many parents find their children take to Parallel’s format better than others, however, we also understand why parents may feel apprehensive or have questions about Parallel’s services and their legitimacy. We want to cover all of this for you.
How does Parallel Learning work?
Getting started with Parallel is easy and they keep the process as hands-on and headache-free as possible. Their goal is to provide each student with a personalized learning experience, so rather than relying on cookie-cutter molds in the hope that certain techniques will work for everyone, they make sure the approach and later methods are individual to each student.
Not only is this a breath of fresh air for your child in being able to have a personalized experience from home, but as a parent, you’ll notice that Parallel offers a convenient and affordable way to get industry-standard assessment and support. This will help you avoid working with the hard-to-schedule in-person clinics while still getting the same level of care.
Parents can begin by scheduling a free, 15-minute consultation to determine if the platform is right for their child and family. This will be where you can discuss pricing, insurance, or Parallel, in general, to answer all your questions and help with the next steps.
Parallel Learning highly recommends starting with their extensive psychoeducational assessment to identify where specifically their learning skills are behind, enabling the diagnosis of learning disabilities, if necessary. While this is suggested, parents can also choose to opt straight into their ongoing care plans without an assessment – all of which are services offered by Parallel.
What services does Parallel Learning offer?
Parallel is unique in that they not only offer ongoing care plans, but also a comprehensive psychological evaluation in order to receive an official diagnosis, plan, and treatment. By offering all of these together, you have a single, easy-to-access platform for all of your needs.
Comprehensive psychological evaluation
Parallel’s comprehensive learning evaluation is conducted by a licensed psychologist. It will identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses and touch on their neurological, developmental, and behavioral abilities.
By analyzing core cognitive functions including academic achievement, executive functioning, memory, behavioral mental health, attention, logic & reasoning, social & emotional status, and processing skills, Parallel aims to uncover what truly affects your child’s learning abilities.
Source: Parallel Learning
How to get an evaluation
Parallel knows how difficult the process can be to find the right evaluation that addresses every aspect and possibly worries. They’ve made it as easy as possible to get real answers and are with you and your family every step of the way.
- Consultation call: Complete a free 15-minute consultation call, giving all parties involved a general idea of whether Parallel Learning is the viable and best option for your child.
- Meet your care team: Should you choose to continue, you’ll be assigned a care specialist, child psychologist, and psychometrist who will work with you and your family through the evaluation process.
- Clinical interview: Your Parallel psychologist will meet with you for about 50 minutes to discuss your child’s educational & medical history, goals of the evaluation, and any concerns that you or your family might have.
- Testing sessions: Your child will work with a licensed psychologist through a series of psychological tests to evaluate their unique cognitive abilities. This will take 4-6 hours but will be broken into multiple sessions to complete. Testing typically includes IQ, attention, behavior, and achievement.
- Findings report: You’ll receive a report of all findings to use to decide which assistance is necessary. The process up to this point takes anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
- Feedback session: Meet with your child’s psychologist to review the findings report and discuss recommendations for about 50 minutes.
Parallel makes the process as easy as possible for both you and your child. If they start the program and you or your coaches deem that more or less assistance is necessary, it is recommended to schedule another session to walk through any possible changes.
With parents’ permission, Parallel can also provide information and work with the child’s teacher and school in order to utilize all benefits that Parallel has to offer.
Ongoing care plans
Parallel Learning offers a variety of programs to create a platform designed around individual learners. They understand that a student may require more than one type of assistance, as well. The four primary types of assistance offered are covered below.
Executive function coaching
I think we can all agree that the world moves much faster now and attention spans are dwindling, not just for our children! While many online programs will focus exclusively on treatments with ADHD or prescription focus, tutoring, or therapy, Parallel Learning’s specialists quickly realized that the focus for students with unique learning abilities needed to also focus on real-world skills.
These life skills include adaptable thinking, planning, self-control, working memory, time management, and organization. 1:1 coaching and a personalized, evidence-based curriculum can help students build more effective life strategies and habits to improve on these executive functions.
Not all students learn the same way, and some traditional learning environments might not accommodate a student in the way they need. This is why Parallel’s skill-based tutoring is designed to help struggling learners succeed by using a multisensory approach in order to cater to all styles of learning.
The multisensory learning approach includes visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning. When students use more than one sense to connect with what they’re learning, they’re more likely to retain that knowledge/skill.
Behavioral therapy and counseling
It’s not uncommon for children, especially those with learning differences, to feel overwhelmed or like they don’t fit in. There are many online platforms that offer therapy, but Parallel offers
elevated mental health support in combination with their other care plans to help them manage whatever life throws at them – in the classroom and beyond.
Parallel Learning’s behavioral therapy and counseling experts provide students with the ability to better understand their emotions, resolve challenges, and establish healthier thought and behavior patterns.
It can be tempting to assume your child will eventually overcome a speech impediment with time, but did you know that 4 out of 5 children with speech sound disorders require treatment to overcome? Parallel’s goal is to help your child learn to communicate clearly and confidently by overcoming any speech challenges that they might have.
Whether they are struggling with speech delays, stuttering, articulation, pronunciation, or more, Parallel will work with them to identify any potential challenges and learn new tools and techniques to work through obstacles.
Rather than focusing exclusively on school, coaches take the time to work with their students on all aspects of their life. From completing tasks at home to navigating social relationships, coaches help students in a variety of ways. No matter which ongoing care plan your child needs to succeed, Parallel Learning students and coaches will form deep bonds with one another as well, allowing students to feel comfortable with their coach.
Parallel Learning alternatives: How does it compare to Marker?
Best online platform for learning disabilities: Parallel vs Marker
Full learning platform – from psychological evaluation to the necessary customized ongoing care plan based on diagnosis.
All administered by certified clinicians, psychologists, & psychometrists, centered around a student’s challenges, strengths, & abilities
|Documentation for IEP & 504 eligibility?||✅ when appropriate||✅ when appropriate|
Comprehensive Psychological Evaluation: $1,500
Payment plans & promotions offered (currently discounted at $1,250!)
Support & educational services:
$150/month for 2 sessions each month
$292/month for 4 sessions each month
Services price range: depends on subscription & frequency, set up your free consultation call to receive more information on pricing
Initial evaluation: $995
No additional services provided
|Geographic Availability||All 50 states||
30 US states:
Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Comprehensive Psychological Evaluation
Executive function coaching
Behavioral therapy & counseling
Speech Language Therapy
|Accepts insurance?||🟡 help to accommodate out of network reimbursement claims||❌|
It can be difficult when deciding to choose an assessment program. However, we do think it is worth noting that if you’re looking for a fully comprehensive program – from evaluation to continued learning, tutoring, coaching, counseling, and/or speech therapy, Parallel Learning is what you’re looking for.
Marker Learning is more focused on you completing the assessment rather than you focusing on the learning experience. This doesn’t mean there aren’t some excellent tools through the Marker Learning program; however, we found that the hyperfocus on their assessment seemed to end there, leaving you rather to your own devices when finding continued learning and care.
Parallel reviews: What are patients and their families saying?
The consistent response from people who use Parallel Learning is that the process is much smoother and faster than they are used to in both diagnosis and care. Unlike other companies, parents can feel comfortable and relaxed while their child is undergoing testing, even though the process itself can feel stressful.
Because Parallel is a relatively new company, there are not a lot of reviews or ratings available online. However, we can expect that to change as they begin to gain a larger footing in the online learning world.
The Verdict – Is Parallel Learning right for your child’s special educational needs?
We know that the main question here is whether or not Parallel Learning is worth the investment for their child and family’s future, and our answer is yes!
Parallel Learning offers an excellent learning environment for those who may need specialized care, offering their students the tools they need to succeed in the world – from school to home to social situations and beyond. Rather than using a cookie-cutter mold for their students, Parallel Learning creates an individualized care plan for each student to ensure they are capable of meeting their goals. The top reasons that we love Parallel Learning are below:
- Array of service offerings: Parallel’s services include comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations, ongoing support, educational services, therapy, and more. There aren’t many platforms where you can find all of this in one place, usually, they are solely dedicated to therapy, tutoring, ADHD treatment, or testing – Parallel incorporates it all in a personalized learning experience.
- Cost: Parallel is significantly cheaper than traditional assessments and ongoing care.
- Quality: Highly customized, quality, ongoing care and comprehensive assessments that cover neurological, developmental, and behavioral abilities.
- Comfort: Children with learning differences (especially those with anxiety, etc.) might struggle with having to go to evaluations or sessions in person. Being able to have evaluations and treatment from the comfort of your own home offers a safe and private space for them to feel much more comfortable.
- Convenience and accessibility: Compared to in-person assessments that are hard to schedule and can be difficult to manage around work and life, Parallel offers a convenient and affordable way for parents and their kids to get an industry-standard assessment and ongoing support.
A final note that we haven’t covered is Parallel’s dedication to incorporation with your child’s school. With parents’ permission, Parallel can also provide information and work with the child’s teacher and school in order to utilize all benefits that Parallel has to offer. This can include test results or any of the treatment plans, depending on the comfortability of the family and school.
It’s also been shown that a blended learning environment provides those with thinking and learning differences a two-fold benefit. This gives students a physical, face-to-face teacher with which they can interact in addition to 1:1 guidance through a virtual resource or specialist. Parallel offers the virtual side of the equation and, should you choose to, will work heavily with educators.
Parallel learning FAQ – What to ask before trying
This is a big decision for you and your family, so we want to be sure to provide you with the most information possible to make an informed decision.
How much do Parallel Learning’s programs cost?
While traditional evaluations can cost thousands of dollars, Parallel Learning is dedicated to keeping prices low for you. Costs depend on exactly what a child needs and their subscriptions are flexible based on session frequency (also resulting in varying costs).
Parallel doesn’t explicitly list their ongoing care plan prices online as an ode to their individualization – not all cases are the same and no one student will have the same program as the next. We do know, however, that their support and educational services start at $150/month for 2 sessions each month and $292/month for 4 sessions. Parallel recommends that you book your free consultation with one of their care coordinators to get more information on prices.
Their Comprehensive Psychological Evaluation, discussed in detail above, is only $1500 with a $150 deposit and the option to pay through payment plans. Compared to an in-person or traditional psychological evaluation for your child, Parallel offers huge savings. Most evaluation fees typically range from $2,000-$5,000.
Parallel also frequently offers discounts, with pricing currently at $1,250!
Source: Parallel Learning
Does Parallel Learning accept insurance?
Parallel Learning does not currently accept insurance, but they will help you work with your insurance in order to accommodate out of network reimbursement claims. This depends on a few factors including your insurance plan and out of pocket limit, but Parallel does go above and beyond to help your family get the care they need at an affordable price.
Have you and your family tried Parallel Learning’s comprehensive online services – from evaluation to ongoing care? Let us know what your experience was like in the comments below!
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