Parallel Learning expands remote special education assessment and tutoring with $20M round

remote special education assessment

remote special education assessment


If a kid is having trouble at school, one of the standard steps is to schedule an assessment for conditions like dyslexia, ADHD or anything else that might require a special approach. But with teachers and psychologists overworked and in short supply, Parallel Learning is hoping that remote options can help get kids back on track with less delay, and has raised $20 million to expand its reach to new states.

The New York based company was started when it became clear that a new approach was needed in the assessment and therapy space. In past years, if a kid needed an assessment, they got it and then they got the tutoring or accommodation suggested.


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But the numbers of kids qualifying for special education have increased in recent years, and districts have struggled to even keep up with the assessments, let alone the special teaching load this growing cohort needs. Parents may wait half a year before a kid can be given an official diagnosis or recommendation, and all that time they may be struggling to read, keep up in class or relate to their peers. And that was before the pandemic, during which these same numbers, along with comorbidities like depression and anxiety, shot up even higher.

Parallel provides the same types of services a school district or parent has used in the past, just in a telehealth setting.

The process of assessment and tutoring works much as it did before, when schools would contract out to private psychologists in their areas to perform in-person interviews. Parallel just does them online, doing the same switch that other medical and professional contexts have done — not without some speed bumps — over the last two years. But the alternative is kids being, essentially, neglected at scale.

Parallel employs providers in the assessment and special education capacities, first allowing a quicker assessment turnaround and then optionally the extra help that comes after. But Heldfond was quick to note that this isn’t some diagnosis mill.

FULL STORY


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