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Daughter denied services


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Joined: Sep 22, 2007
Posts: 1
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Posted Sep 22, 2007 at 4:19:14 PM
Subject: Daughter denied services

Hi Everybody,

I am new to this forum, just joined today! I am hoping to get some sound advice because I am just at my wits end.

My daughter just started 8th grade. Up until the beginning of last year, she was a stellar student. She is attending a private school, parentally placed.

All of a sudden last year her grades began to plummet. Two years ago 90% of her marks were exceeds standards. Last year she received several, "Meets standards", and even a few "below expectations". She was frequently asking to leave the classroom to complete work because the noise was too distracting for her. She was spending hours on homework, and the teachers were reporting she was having difficulty keeping up with the work. She was very sad, crying frequently, so we took her for a psychological evaluation, and she was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

In February we requested the school district test her. Her IQ came back as Superior, but there were sections that she achieved only an average score. Every clinician that reviewed the results said that it was obvious she had a learning disability, there shouldn't be the scatter in test scores.

At the team meeting she was denied services. The attitude was, "What are you complaining about, her scores are in the average range, so it is obvious she is making progress in school." The bottom line is we were going round and round in circles, going nowhere, so I decided to have her independently evaluated.

The test results came back in August, and it was even clearer she has some sort of disability. Her reading came back at a 5th grade level, she has a major problem with reading comprehension. Her writing skills are substandard.The neuropsychologist reported she has problems with integrating information. We reconvened with the school district this week, where once again we were denied services. Their argument was that we weren't providing enough proof she isn't making progress in school. Despite the fact I explained she is barely treading water, the amount of effort she is putting in to get these grades is very troubling. I also said that it seems she is getting penalized for being conscientious......instead of saying, "forget it", she is spending hours trying to compensate and keep up. I asked, "Do we have to wait until she fails to get help? The workload in high school is going to be much more intense and challenging, how do we expect her to keep up without any help?"

They said if she was at their school, they would put her on a 504. They also commented that, "Once her anxiety abates, she will do better in school." Hmmmm. The latest neuropsychology report showed no evidence of clinical anxiety, and she she is off to a bad start at school. They offered to put her on a program called, Empower that helps with organizational skills.

To further complicate matters, the various clinicians involved are not in agreement on how best to help her. The neuropsychologist is suggesting having her tutored in Orton Gillingham. Other clinicians think that she needs tools to organize, and once she learns these strategies, the reading comprehension and writing skills will improve.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated. This whole thing is so personal for me, my daughter is following the same profile I did. In 7th grade is when my grades started to fail. I flunked out of college, and was repeatedly called lazy and punished for my poor grades. My self esteem went down the drain, and I don't want her to have the same horrible school experience I had.

Thank you so much for your help....and I'm sorry if this was a bit rambling!

Lisa

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scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Sep 22, 2007 7:57:12 PM

Have they denied services in writing?

It sounds like you are going to need some help getting services. You can check http://www.yellowpagesforkids.com/ to find an educational advocate and other resources in your state. Bringing in an advocate or lawyer can make things a lot different during meetings and you might be suprised at how helpful they suddenly become.

Since they are not clinicians, they can't tell you that her anxiety is the only thing complicating her learning. It also sounds like you have significant testing that states otherwise.

Document how many hours a night she is working on homework. This could be helpful in showing that it takes an unreasonable amount of time for her to complete work and contributes to her anxiety. If she is seeing a psychologist and/or psychiatrist for treatment of her anxiety, it may be beneficial to have them write a letter stating how the workload is contributing to her anxiety disorder and making treatment more difficult which contributes to more difficulty with benefiting from her education.

((Hugs))

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

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Aly
Joined Aug 01, 2006
Posts: 74

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Posted:Sep 23, 2007 5:35:56 PM

I feel for you and your daughter. It sounds like the classic profile of a twice exceptional child to me. Remind the school that it is a gap between ability and achievement, not a gap between grade level and acheivement. If she is not working up to her potential and struggling at grade level, she needs help. Has she had any evals besides her IQ? I think other testing needs to be done, and the school must do it.

Keep us posted, and keep fighting for your child.


"Never give up, never surrender" -Galaxy Quest

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” -Albert Einstein

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; Be afraid only of standing still” -Chinese proverb

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Janis
Joined Jun 12, 2003
Posts: 1442

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Posted:Sep 26, 2007 11:57:26 AM

I would definitely go for the 504 so she can get accommodations at school. You need to arrange the tutoring privately if you possibly can. At this age, to go into special ed. will be humiliating to many kids unless they have been there all along. And in reality, few schools have effective remediation anyway. You can go through the fight for placement and then really not win anything in the end. To have her specific needs addressed, she needs one-on-one instruction. Contact your state International Dyslexia Association chapter and ask for names of qualified tutors. A combination of accommodations at school and getting real help should relieve some of her anxiety. The tutor needs to be asked if they can work on organizational skills as well as the reading. Many will do that.

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Aly
Joined Aug 01, 2006
Posts: 74

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Posted:Sep 26, 2007 1:54:41 PM

Quote Janis:

[..] You need to arrange the tutoring privately if you possibly can. At this age, to go into special ed. will be humiliating to many kids unless they have been there all along. And in reality, few schools have effective remediation anyway.

As a person with LDs who was given a private tutor first and got no where, I have to disagree with Janis. It was not humiliating for me to be in special education (placed there in 7th grade), it was a relief to finally have some good help. Granted, I had remedial reading in 1-3, but even if I had not, the point was, I walked into a room in the hall and no one knew why. My special ed English class was in the same hall as everyone elses and in a classroom used by regular and special education. No one knew except my fellow special ed classmates. See what your school has to offer; see what parents of special ed kids there say. Don't assume that they have no highly trained intervention specialists or reading specialists who can help. Check it out.


"Never give up, never surrender" -Galaxy Quest

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” -Albert Einstein

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; Be afraid only of standing still” -Chinese proverb

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always_wondering
Joined Jun 12, 2003
Posts: 94

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Posted:Sep 27, 2007 11:17:58 AM

I agree with Janis about going for a 504.

However, I think you must look carefully at the public school before going the special education route. Our local HS does not have a good reputation for remediation at the HS level. My child does not get remediation services or accommodations alot of the time.

I would also be very careful about the outside tutor chosen. Since your child has an LD, they really need training in specific programs that will work for the type of deficit your child has. An educational consultant or someone from the office who tested your daughter privately may be of some help there.

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rogomom2
Joined Oct 03, 2007
Posts: 28

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Posted:Oct 23, 2007 3:13:30 PM

Oh...I really feel for you. My daughter is very similar to your child, though my dd is only in second grade. We also have her in a private school, and I also was told that she would not qualify for services in the public school system (though I haven't pursued it as much as you have). We moved to a different state this year, and my daughter's first grade tutor told me that we could run into some difficulty since my daughter's score improvement in first grade was enough to possibly mask the true extent of her disability. Like your child my daughter works her butt off to try to compensate. She still struggles tremendously though and like you I am very concerned about how she will fare as the academic vigor increases in each grade. We are paying for a special program available through our daughter's private school that I am hoping will help. I agree with the above posts that a 504 plan is a good idea as is a high quality tutor. Organizational skills are of course very important but I don't think that alone would solve the type of problems you seem to be describing. Orton Gillingham is fabulous. My daughter did very well with that program.
[Modified by: rogomom2 on October 23, 2007 03:14 PM]

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Cherra
Joined Oct 22, 2007
Posts: 3

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Posted:Oct 24, 2007 2:18:37 AM

Lisa,

Are you familiar with dysautonomia? There are several various forms of dysautonomia that come under this umbrella term, but it is something I would definitely look into with your daughter. Dysautonomia is a condition that is yet poorly understood but is felt to be a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system which controls many of the "automatic" functions of the body. One of the many various manifestations is "brain fog"/cognitive impairment. It often becomes evident in adolescents and is particularly common in girls. I have two children with this condition, and the scenario you are describing with school work is all too familiar as the cognitive effects have been quite challenging with my kids. I

Take a look at the following site. Be sure to click on "What is Dysautonomia." This may not be the case, but the age of your daughter and the sudden changes and drop in grades caught my attention that this could be a possibility.

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Cherra
Joined Oct 22, 2007
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Posted:Oct 24, 2007 2:39:03 AM

Oops - I forgot the link in the above post...www.dynakids.org

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rogomom2
Joined Oct 03, 2007
Posts: 28

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Posted:Oct 24, 2007 8:49:29 PM

Hey Cherra: I wanted to comment about your posts. I have never heard about the condition you referred to, but I found it to be very interesting since I suffered, from (for lack of a better definition) adolescent brain fog when I was a teenager. All of a sudden I was having extended episodes when my vision would start to dim. I would be unable to think effectively. It would be difficult to walk at times, and I would often feel like I was in a dream state and could easily just pass out. I found it very difficult to study and quite hard to function at times and no one seemed to understand the depth of what I was dealing with--except for my aunt. Fortunately for me, I had some family history to work from. We have a genetic history of some strange endocrine problems. My aunt has pernicious anemnia and frequent problems with non-diabetic related hypoglycemia. Many people in my family have thyroid problems as well. I was initially diagnosed with a thyroid problem, but I found the pills did nothing to correct my brain fog problems. However, I did find that altering my diet over time did. It took a lot of effort and a long time, but I eventually eliminated virtually all refined sugar from my diet and learned that things like alcohol, caffeine, lack of sleep and sometimes excessive stress can trigger "episodes." I also have to make sure I have enough protein, B12 and sodium in my diet (I tend to have low blood pressure)The changes I made were quite effective and most of the time I have my brain back. I basically started by trying to follow a diabetic diet and over time worked things out. I don't know if there is any known connection between dysautonomia and diet and/or the endocrine system, but in my family diet has made all the difference. I thought I would mention it because it may be something to think about with your children.
I found the "brain fog" problem to be quite dramatic and even though I was able to fake my way through it at times and pretend I felt normal, it was very difficult, so I sympathize.
[Modified by: rogomom2 on October 24, 2007 08:50 PM]

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Hayley
Joined Nov 11, 2004
Posts: 22

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Posted:Oct 24, 2007 11:36:27 PM

Have you had your daughter evaluated for ADHD? Believe it or not your daughter might fit the profile for a girl. Girls suffering for attention problems often begin to struggle in school when the subject matter becomes too demanding for their ability to pay attention. Parents are at a loss because they are under the false impression that all kids with ADHD do poorly in school or have behavior problems (not all kids with this problem are hyperactive). Parents also often think that they would have caught it by now. Girls are notorious of showing signs later than boys. It's worth checking out. Your comment that the noise is very distracting to her made me think this. I suffered from ADHD as a child and middle school was when school became difficult for me.

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