View Full Version : Advice - State testing and parental rights

03-25-13, 10:43 PM
Okay so I'm normally pretty efficient at educating myself and finding resources when it comes to legality concerns and my child's education but I've hit a block finding information about this specific topic and rather then wait until tomorrow for a return phone call I figured I'd get the opinions of people who might have been in the same scenario and might possibly have some experience or advice.

I have a 9 year old son with ADHD, recently co-diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder. He is stable on Adderral and has had a 504 plan since 1st grade. Other than being hyperactive, sensitive to sounds, foods and being a little socially awkward, he is pretty much your standard boogery 9 year old boy. It has been a crazy ride getting him to where he is but over time and after many doctors visits, medication changes and frequent Internet searching to educate myself (and school staff), things are pretty stable (knock on wood).

Over time I have learned that in most cases, I am this sweet little child's only advocate. I am constantly trying to figure out how he can get the best education possible. He is one brilliant child. In the 3rd grade, his school principal wanted to move him ahead 2 grades. Most recently he was academically evaluated by his psychiatrist and was found to be at a 6th and 7th grade reading, spelling and mathmatic level. He was also tested at an age level of 15 for motor/visual skills. In school however, he is getting B's and C's. With his recent SPD diagnosis, a lot of things are making so much more sense. I am realizing that his poor school test scores are a direct result of our current 504 plans testing accommodations.

In his current 504 plan, it allows for him to be able to sit by himself in a separate cubby during testing. This obviously isn't efficient enough. I asked him what distracts him during testing and he said that he has problems focusing even if he hears the sound of a page turn.

About a month ago, his class took the practice test for the big state test coming up. My child failed it at 60%. Realizing his accommodations needed to be adjusted, I emailed the school counsellor and principal requesting a 504 meeting. During previous meetings, my requests for a shadow or aide during transition times were shot down. I was told they didn't have enough staff or the budget. So with this previous knowledge, I also requested the test dates so I could be present and assist with keeping him on track during this time.

Today, after 2 weeks with no response (spring break accounted for one of the weeks), I finally got a response saying there was a law that stated I could not be present during my sons state testing. I asked where this law was written and was told they would get that information and get back to me. That was this morning and I haven't heard back. I completely understand they have a school to run and hundreds of other students to look after, but now here we are one week away from the testing with absolutely necessary changes that need to be made to the 504 plan.

Being the proactive ADHD parent/advocate that I am, I called the state department of education and asked. They informed me that it is each districts option wether to allow this or not but that each "monitor", volunteer or otherwise, has to attend a training prior to assisting during a state test. This is confusing to me because the school keeps sending out mass emails to the parents requesting 20+ volunteer mentors.

I also found out that he is allowed to test individually or in a small group of 5 or less. When I asked what they were planning on doing for him during these upcoming test days, I was told he would be testing in Special Ed with a group of 10. First off, do they not understand how distracting that would be?? Second, he is always the odd one out in school because of his social awkwardness and "in your face" personality. We've had bully issues recently and I can't see how this could possibly help that.

So now to my question. If he will benefit from testing individually and I will volunteer to be there, what's the problem?? I'm prepared to go to war to make sure he gets a fair chance at this test, even in the short amount of time left.

By the way my messages to the district inquiring about this topic have been unreturned.

Anyone have any advice or experience on this topic??

03-26-13, 04:49 AM
to get any of the accomodations you have mentioned you really MUST get an IEP. 504 plans almost never accomodate the needs of children that really need them, there is very little oversight and the guidance counselors who oversee these plans often have a large number of kids to oversee and very little motivation for individual attention. You must send in a written request for a formal evaluation from the school with the intent to implement an IEP (check wrights law) I believe they have something like 30-60 days to act on this request. Understand that classifiying your son and giving him an IEP is not in the SCHOOLS best interest. It means more money and time to be spent on their part, and their motivation is unfortunately, keep as many kids as possible in regular ed, or with very few to none accomodations, because that usually means an aide in the classroom (more $) a new classification from the IEP (more $) and even more effort on the teacher's part in a general ed setting and teachers in the gen ed setting are already overworked with regular ed students to provide more specific accomodations for students with special needs. I urge you to do this especially if he has a processing disorder and receives therapy at school for it. I am actually surprised that he doesnt have an IEP already if he receives these services. What is his classification? Sort of like the dx for school. For example my son is adhd and dysgraphic so his classification has always been OHI (other health impaired). I am not trying to say that the school or teachers are the bad guys or dont want to help students but with budget cuts and money for schools being tight its a reality.