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Old 10-24-17, 10:50 AM
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What do the schools test for?

I mentioned to an acquaintance I was having my 8 year old daughter tested for a learning disability at school. She said "You know they don't test for dyslexia right?"...um....no.....didn't know that. Is that true folks?

The whole reason for the testing is I suspect she is dyslexic like me.
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Old 10-24-17, 12:26 PM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

I would take her to a neurologist for a diagnosis.

Schools can only evaluate whether the child is struggling to do grade level work,
not to identify specific problems.
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Old 10-24-17, 01:54 PM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

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Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
I would take her to a neurologist for a diagnosis.

Schools can only evaluate whether the child is struggling to do grade level work,
not to identify specific problems.
I know they do a battery of tests, my son had them done a few years ago. I thought the tests were to determine weaknesses that were from a learning disability. We all know she's not performing at grade level work.
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Old 10-24-17, 02:47 PM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

My granddaughter was able to attend pre-kindergarten with a wonderful, very
experienced teacher. She recommended a battery of tests, starting an IEP, and
that we take her for a medical diagnosis from a developmental pediatrician.

I guess all those tests confirmed that she needed an IEP and extra help, but I
don't remember them saying what specific problems she was having. We also
wondered about dyslexia for a time, her handwriting was horrible (still isn't so
good). They can recommend seeing a specialist, but they can't diagnose.
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Old 10-24-17, 03:04 PM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

It depends a lot on the state, the particular school district, and who's doing the testing.

A licensed psychologist working within a school system and evaluating a child could make a diagnosis of dyslexia (or another learning disability), and they sometimes do. But for a variety of reasons (inadequate training or time with your child, pressures related to the number of kids eligible for services, state or local policies defining disabilities or implementing "response to intervention/RTI" models, differing guidance from professional organizations, etc.), they may not.

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has a position statement about identification of learning disabilities that mentions their role in testing. While it doesn't say "diagnose" or "don't diagnose", it makes it clear that a school psychologist, working as part of a team, should play a role in identification and school-based management of learning disabilities. With disabilities like autism or ADHD, which have historically been seen as "medical" rather than "educational" (and I'll spare you my soapbox on the mostly-artificial distinction!), there's a much greater likelihood that a school psychologist would punt to an outside expert (and with good reason).

If the process of seeking accommodations within your district has been at all adversarial or a struggle, then getting an outside evaluation and diagnosis may be necessary to get the school to act.

It may also be helpful if the school is reluctant (for whatever reason) to provide a clear diagnosis, and/or if you feel that the school's evaluation procedure or the information they return to you about your child isn't sufficiently detailed or helpful to make decisions about support services or accommodations.
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Old 10-24-17, 03:29 PM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

I did this with my son, he now has an IEP, but he "only" has ADHD. They were very hesitant to give him an IEP but we got there in the end.

my 3rd grade daughter is also diagnosed ADHD, but there is something else going on there. Yes the school does RTI, my daughter has been tier three for 2 years. The school has an actual psychologist so I don't know why I'd have to pay for other testing out of pocket. She's at least 2 years behind grade level and she's only in 3rd grade so this is not looking good.
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Old 10-24-17, 04:02 PM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

The school won't generally give a diagnosis of dyslexia, as that's a medical rather than educational diagnosis. That doesn't mean they don't test for learning disabilities (the school psychologist should do a battery of tests and an educator should give a test of academic skills, probably not as thorough assessment as a full neuropsych battery, but enough to implement an IEP if indicated). It's really mostly a matter of terminology, but the educational diagnosis will usually be something like reading disability, or deficits in receptive and expressive language, for example.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:25 PM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

School psych intern here! Any school that says they don't test for dyslexia is just playing word games. If there is a suspected disability in reading, that can be assessed by any school district. They will say it is a reading Disability with difficulties in decoding and phonological Processing. It's just that some school districts are hesistant or refuse to use the term dyslexia. It's not that we don't test or diagnosis, it's really down to what a school district wants to call it.

Maryland just made it a requirement that IEP teams use the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia when saying a student has an LD.
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Old 10-25-17, 08:30 PM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
I would take her to a neurologist for a diagnosis.

Schools can only evaluate whether the child is struggling to do grade level work,
not to identify specific problems.
Maybe it's different in Kansas, but in Maryland we identify specific problems in cognitive processing, social/emotional, or any area that may be impacting a child's success in the educational environment and that is required to be tied into their ability to access the curriculum.

Federal law dictates that all areas of a suspected disability must be assessed, anything less could put the school district at risk for a due process case that they will be on the losing end of.
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Old 10-26-17, 08:30 AM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

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Originally Posted by Hiddencreations View Post
School psych intern here! Any school that says they don't test for dyslexia is just playing word games. If there is a suspected disability in reading, that can be assessed by any school district. They will say it is a reading Disability with difficulties in decoding and phonological Processing. It's just that some school districts are hesistant or refuse to use the term dyslexia. It's not that we don't test or diagnosis, it's really down to what a school district wants to call it.

Maryland just made it a requirement that IEP teams use the terms dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dysgraphia when saying a student has an LD.
Thanks! I'm in GA, and I know there is an IEP catagory for Dyslexia, just not sure they are actually going to say the word.

I was diagnosed as dyslexic in college, the thing is, I don't flip my letters. That is the "typical" dyslexia and I hope to goodness they aren't going to go by that strict definition. I don't have a problem reading, I read as fast as I talk, it's all conceptual with me.

My daughter did have 2 hours of small group a day but this year, 3rd grade, they only allow 20 minutes if not on an IEP. She can't get past her 2X on multiplication because she can't seem to memorize it. Is it the ADHD, is it my families dyslexia....grrrr....something is wrong that's for sure.
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Old 10-26-17, 01:31 PM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

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Originally Posted by Caco3girl View Post
Thanks! I'm in GA, and I know there is an IEP catagory for Dyslexia, just not sure they are actually going to say the word.

I was diagnosed as dyslexic in college, the thing is, I don't flip my letters. That is the "typical" dyslexia and I hope to goodness they aren't going to go by that strict definition. I don't have a problem reading, I read as fast as I talk, it's all conceptual with me.

My daughter did have 2 hours of small group a day but this year, 3rd grade, they only allow 20 minutes if not on an IEP. She can't get past her 2X on multiplication because she can't seem to memorize it. Is it the ADHD, is it my families dyslexia....grrrr....something is wrong that's for sure.
I would hope that they go beyond the decoding and phonological when thinking about dyslexia. There are so many types. If they use the FAR (Feifer Assessment of Reading) that will give them the most comprehensive breakdown of her strengths and weaknesses for reading and it also tells you which type of dyslexia.

It's just a matter of sometimes getting them to break from their standard battery of test, which some psychs do have (they give the same test to every child, no matter the referral question).
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Old 10-27-17, 08:15 AM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

UGH, today's battle is that they "invited" my ex husband by email to the meeting to talk about special education. He doesn't believe in ADHD, he doesn't believe there is a learning problem with our kids. When I had our son tested he told me I was just being too soft and if he wasn't so damn lazy he would remember when he had tests and to turn in his work.

So, they alert him to the meeting and I get a text from him that literally said "Hell let's just see if we can get get both of them on a short bus and get us some handicap tags for our vehicle." I immediately tell the school that they shouldn't have emailed him, he doesn't live with us, he doesn't have primary custody, he can't even name her teacher. Their response, "We are required to inform both parents unless one has been stripped of their educational rights to the child"....what the ever loving heck!
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Old 10-27-17, 08:59 AM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

What a ****. Sorry you have to deal with him just to get your child some evaluation and support.

EDIT I also feel like the school could've given you some forewarning they'd be involving him...
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Old 10-27-17, 10:06 AM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

God that sucks. For the school's part, if they don't know he's like that, then they don't know, you know? Although maybe that was someone's stupid goof up, I dunno. It seems reasonable that you could ask for a heads up if they're going to email him....The thing is parent relationships vary WILDLY. (Also am a teacher.) They may have assumed he had some idea of what's going on since your daughter is having trouble so didn't think it would be surprising to have to send him an email too. I don't know anything about this stuff but maybe if you let them know that he is super unsupportive and doesn't believe in their diagnoses then maybe everyone can start documenting what he does and his responses to things - like that text he sent you - and maybe he can be stripped of educational rights. You shouldn't have to deal with being harassed like that for getting the kids the services and diagnoses they need, and IMO he should have his rights stripped if he is making things difficult.
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Old 10-27-17, 10:30 AM
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Re: What do the schools test for?

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God that sucks. For the school's part, if they don't know he's like that, then they don't know, you know? Although maybe that was someone's stupid goof up, I dunno. It seems reasonable that you could ask for a heads up if they're going to email him....The thing is parent relationships vary WILDLY. (Also am a teacher.) They may have assumed he had some idea of what's going on since your daughter is having trouble so didn't think it would be surprising to have to send him an email too. I don't know anything about this stuff but maybe if you let them know that he is super unsupportive and doesn't believe in their diagnoses then maybe everyone can start documenting what he does and his responses to things - like that text he sent you - and maybe he can be stripped of educational rights. You shouldn't have to deal with being harassed like that for getting the kids the services and diagnoses they need, and IMO he should have his rights stripped if he is making things difficult.
I actually did send a reply back to remove him. They said they won't. I sent over a screen shot of him saying that stuff, they said "You have no provided adequate documentation to remove him from these proceedings". I said he doesn't want to be in these proceedings he just wants to give me a hard time about getting our kids help, I also said if he WANTS to talk to you guys fine I'm not saying block him from her records I'm saying let's not poke the bear because it only ends up blowing back on the kid.

WHY can't they understand? Okay, you informed him of the meeting, I elaborated on the why I was asking for this, and sent you a picture of his response. Why isn't that good enough? Why do we have to keep bringing him into this? This is such bologna! He doesn't even know her teachers name because he can barely stay out of jail long enough to figure out what grade she is in.
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