View Full Version : Newbie and have questions


Blankenship2426
01-24-17, 12:08 PM
Hello everyone,

Okay, so a little background on my daughter. My partner and I adopted her when she was 3, but she came to us at 2 years old. We don't have a lot of information on her bio parents. She was positive at birth for amphetamines, and supposedly her bio dad has schizophrenia. She was failure to thrive when she got to us, she was only 23 lbs at 2 years old. She's now a tall, intelligent, beautiful, appropriate weight little girl. She's now 5, going on 6 in a few months.
The last year or so we've been concerned with her possibly having ADHD but we thought well she's young and etc.
Recently, we've noticed her behavior and focus or lack there of compared to children who are younger and also the same age. It's just not there. Ive been reading all your posts about your kids, and it's like you are talking about my daughter.
We took her to the pediatrician, and wanted to get her tested for ADHD, and she gave us a psych referral, as well as 3 sets of paperwork for us, her kindergarten teacher, and her therapist to fill out.
Also, according to her teacher she is RTI (response to intervention) Tier 2.
Is there more we should do to get the ball rolling for more testing with either the pediatrician or the school?

I have so many things floating around in my head, but ill leave it at this for now. Thanks for listening.
Jen.

finallyfound10
01-24-17, 02:19 PM
RTI (response to intervention) Tier 2

WELCOME!

What does that mean?

Blankenship2426
01-24-17, 04:06 PM
Thank you.

Well I had to google the RTI myself because I didn't know what it was either. Apparently in the school system, (here in southern california) there is what is called Response to Intervention (RTI) It is a 3 tiered system where kids that are having trouble learning in class are identified and supposedly given more help. Here's about the different tiers. Although I've heard different things on RTI, because they put them in RTI and refuse to acknowledge parents who are trying to get their child diagnosed with a learning disability like myself. The school basically ignored my request when I called.

Tier 1: High-Quality Classroom Instruction, Screening, and Group Interventions
Within Tier 1, all students receive high-quality, scientifically based instruction provided by qualified personnel to ensure that their difficulties are not due to inadequate instruction. All students are screened on a periodic basis to establish an academic and behavioral baseline and to identify struggling learners who need additional support. Students identified as being “at risk” through universal screenings and/or results on state- or districtwide tests receive supplemental instruction during the school day in the regular classroom. The length of time for this step can vary, but it generally should not exceed 8 weeks. During that time, student progress is closely monitored using a validated screening system such as curriculum-based measurement. At the end of this period, students showing significant progress are generally returned to the regular classroom program. Students not showing adequate progress are moved to Tier 2.

Tier 2: Targeted Interventions
Students not making adequate progress in the regular classroom in Tier 1 are provided with increasingly intensive instruction matched to their needs on the basis of levels of performance and rates of progress. Intensity varies across group size, frequency and duration of intervention, and level of training of the professionals providing instruction or intervention. These services and interventions are provided in small-group settings in addition to instruction in the general curriculum. In the early grades (kindergarten through 3rd grade), interventions are usually in the areas of reading and math. A longer period of time may be required for this tier, but it should generally not exceed a grading period. Students who continue to show too little progress at this level of intervention are then considered for more intensive interventions as part of Tier 3.

Tier 3: Intensive Interventions and Comprehensive Evaluation
At this level, students receive individualized, intensive interventions that target the students’ skill deficits. Students who do not achieve the desired level of progress in response to these targeted interventions are then referred for a comprehensive evaluation and considered for eligibility for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004). The data collected during Tiers 1, 2, and 3 are included and used to make the eligibility decision.

It should be noted that at any point in an RTI process, IDEA 2004 allows parents to request a formal evaluation to determine eligibility for special education. An RTI process cannot be used to deny or delay a formal evaluation for special education.

In addition to variations in the tiers used to deliver RTI services, schools use different approaches in implementation, such as problem-solving, functional assessment, standard protocol, and hybrid approaches. Although there are many formats for how a school might implement RTI to best serve the needs of its students, in every case RTI can be a school-wide framework for efficiently allocating resources to improve student outcomes.

Caco3girl
01-24-17, 04:08 PM
They use the Tier's at my kids school too. In short everyone is on Tier 3 (or is it Tier1, I always forget), that means they may need help to progress academically....Tier 2 means a deficit had been noted and the child is being offered extra assistance. This could be a reading class, or special spelling words for her as compared with her peers. The goal is to get the child to perform at accepted grade level parameters. The next Tier is where they do testing to evaluate if a child needs more than the Tier 2 help can provide. When they are out of Tiers the child is deemed special education and he/she gets an IEP.

Now to your question....I have a 7 year old daughter. Her brother is ADHD and I am dyslexic, believe me when I say we are watching this situation closely. With my daughter the school and I have agreed that she is behind in her reading, she has been moved to Tier 2. They are helping her with extra reading sessions, with a smaller group, more individualized to what she is actually struggling with. We have talked about testing her but we agreed it's too soon.

People on here are about to jump up and down and say there is no clear test for ADHD and it can be diagnoses by observation, this is 100% true. If the child exhibits the same issues at home and school a diagnoses can be had, but I want more proof. I don't know if it's dyslexia or ADHD or some other learning impairment. The best way to test for a learning impairment is with a written test, and she can't understand that type of test well enough yet to perform in a decent way....so I have chosen to wait.

My son wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until 8th grade and that was too long, but I think second grade isn't long enough. When she understands the written word better probably 3rd or 4th grade, I will get into with the school. For now I am going with the wait and watch approach.

sarahsweets
01-25-17, 05:48 AM
People on here are about to jump up and down and say there is no clear test for ADHD and it can be diagnoses by observation, this is 100% true. If the child exhibits the same issues at home and school a diagnoses can be had, but I want more proof. I don't know if it's dyslexia or ADHD or some other learning impairment. The best way to test for a learning impairment is with a written test, and she can't understand that type of test well enough yet to perform in a decent way....so I have chosen to wait.

My son wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until 8th grade and that was too long, but I think second grade isn't long enough. When she understands the written word better probably 3rd or 4th grade, I will get into with the school. For now I am going with the wait and watch approach.

I would be the person who normally would say that there are no tests for adhd however with kids, I think screening should be more in depth like you said. I know with my son, he was diagnosed at the age of 3.5 but his symptoms were so severe and the interventions he needed were dire. My one daughter wasnt diagnosed until she was 6 and the other one when she was 9. They all had full scale evals by the child study team that involved IQ testing and all those scales and percentages that determine their verbal IQ and all that. In kids I believe all of that is necessary and shouldnt be rushed because there are developmental stages that are absolutely necessary to determine how much adhd affects a child.

Caco3girl
01-25-17, 09:05 AM
I would be the person who normally would say that there are no tests for adhd however with kids, I think screening should be more in depth like you said. I know with my son, he was diagnosed at the age of 3.5 but his symptoms were so severe and the interventions he needed were dire. My one daughter wasnt diagnosed until she was 6 and the other one when she was 9. They all had full scale evals by the child study team that involved IQ testing and all those scales and percentages that determine their verbal IQ and all that. In kids I believe all of that is necessary and shouldnt be rushed because there are developmental stages that are absolutely necessary to determine how much adhd affects a child.

That is my take as well. Might as well have all the information on how their ADHD, or LD, affects them before you can make a plan to help them.

Blankenship2426
01-26-17, 12:26 PM
Thank you for the replies. I understand there are a lot of things to consider when having a child tested for ADHD, it's just that my daughter exhibits so many traits of an ADHD child and the behavior is getting worse so to speak. We had a meeting with her teacher yesterday and our daughter is severely behind and is also having behavior problems in class. They won't put her in Tier 3 without a medical diagnosis of ADHD. So we are struggling to figure out how to get her the help she needs in school.

ToneTone
01-27-17, 01:18 PM
Sounds like you're really worried that your daughter isn't thriving at school and will fall further and further behind.

The good news (it seems to me) is that you and your partner are on this! So give yourself some praise for being curious, for noticing her behavior and for patiently working with her.

ADHD can present with other conditions ... Example: I have depression as well as ADHD ... and such "comorbidity" is common. Also ADHD can mimic the symptoms of other conditions ...

So bottom line: do you like your pediatrician? ... Do you like (as in are you impressed by) the people who are conducting the evaluations?

That's the first step: is to find practitioners that you really like and trust. And just keep reading and talking to other parents. Be open to neurological issues, learning issues and mental health issues.

You might schedule a meeting with the principal to voice your concern that your daughter is floundering in this interim period before she gets a diagnosis. Express your concern that her confidence will be hurt ... and see if the principal can temporarily improvise some solution with the teacher until the official diagnosis comes through.

Given her challenging background, I you might wanna consider finding a really good child therapist that your daughter likes ... someone who can help her cope with frustrations and ward off self-loathing and self-isolation and so on ... Maybe that's not urgent now, but that's an option if you notice her really becoming self-critical and unhappy.

I would say just put some polite pressure ... and maybe not-so-polite on the principal and teacher to come up with an improvised solution during this time when you are awaiting a diagnosis.

My general strategy these days is to come up with my own ideas ... but also just to pressure the other person ... so that they can come up with ideas I hadn't even thought about.

And when you meet with the principal and teacher, be sure to tell your daughter's story and you and your partner's story of adopting her. Speak positively of all the great strides she's made and speak positively of your relationship with her. Adding that human element of all your love and hard work ... it's easy to forget that ... but that element of the story often pushes others to respond better to our problems.

You're not bringing "a problem" or a "headache" for the principal and teacher and school to solve. You're presenting the story of a wonderful resilient girl who is deeply loved ... but who needs some help and adjustment to continue thriving.

Tone

sarahsweets
01-28-17, 08:25 AM
Thank you for the replies. I understand there are a lot of things to consider when having a child tested for ADHD, it's just that my daughter exhibits so many traits of an ADHD child and the behavior is getting worse so to speak. We had a meeting with her teacher yesterday and our daughter is severely behind and is also having behavior problems in class. They won't put her in Tier 3 without a medical diagnosis of ADHD. So we are struggling to figure out how to get her the help she needs in school.

You need to Google wrightslaw dot com. (cant link here) they have info about you and your child's rights. Also read up on PRISE- there are things you are entitled to as a parent of a struggling child. Its time for some as* kicking. Most everything has to be done in the archaic writing still even though this is the 21st century. You need to draft a letter explaining your concerns, your observations and all info you think applies and request an evaluation of your child. You need to send it to the child study team or whoever handles special needs, her principal and superintendiant. You need to send it certified return receipt requested. Once you know they have received it mark that date down. If the laws are the same, they have about 30-60 days to give you a response and take action.

It depends on the district but mine has to give a response and explain why they will or wont formally evaluate a child. If they say no, there are laws governing appeals and this is granted on emergency basis's where an independent body will either refuse you or force the district to move forward.
Very few districts will want it to go that far but some are stubborn. Once you know they received your letter call a meeting with her teachers and the principal and guidance counselor.
Make it know that you have started the process and work on a plan to make things doable until this is over. I cant imagine that much resistance to her if everyone knows you officially and legally are on the ball.

When we have special needs children and dont know our rights we are made to believe that the schools are doing us a big favor educating our horrible kids-the kids are usually not the horrible ones.