In this episode of the TiLT Parenting Podcast, my guest is Dr. Karen Wilson, a clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in the assessment of neurodevelopmental disorders in children and adolescents. I’ve brought Karen on the show to talk about school readiness and making the transition to kindergarten for differently wired kids. And if you’re a little surprised that we need a neuropsychologist to talk about kindergarten, let me assure you, there’s a lot more that goes into school readiness than you might think! Much more, I admit, than I ever took into consideration. Karen is a powerhouse of knowledge about brain development, learning differences, assessments, and social-emotional issues in children and adolescents, and in this episode she brings a deep understanding of brain-behavior relationships and commitment to evidence-based approaches to discuss the intricacies of school readiness as well as the implications of this decision for our differently-wired kiddos. Even if your child has already made the transition to kindergarten and beyond, I’m guessing there’s a lot in this conversation that you’ll find interesting. 

In this episode, Karen shares her best practices for the transition of differently wired children from preschool (or no school at all) to elementary school,  including special considerations, vetting schools for fit, so-called “red-shirting” practices, and more.

Karen is also the founder of ChildNEXUS, a web application designed to connect parents with professionals who provide services to children, a passion project which grew out of her experience conducting assessments over 17 years and seeing the needs parents often faced in the next step of finding service providers for their child. ChildNEXUS is a fantastic resource for all parents of differently wired children.


About Dr. Wilson: Dr. Karen Wilson is a Clinical Neuropsychologist who specializes in the assessment of neurodevelopmental disorders in children and adolescents. She is the Chair of the Department of Psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills and a Voluntary Assistant Clinical Professor at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Behavior at UCLA.

Dr. Wilson is also the founder of ChildNEXUS, a web application that connects parents with professionals who provide services to children, and provides general information about learning, processing and social-emotional issues in children and adolescents.



  • What are some things that parents should look at to determine if their child is ready for elementary school
  • What is “red-shirting” and does it help differently wired kids?
  • What are some things to look for in a school fit and what are the questions you need to ask prospective schools?
  • How much should parents tell elementary schools about a child’s potential challenges, especially in cases where there is no formal diagnosis?
  • What are some things parents can do to prepare for the transition to elementary school?







Read through the whole episode!






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