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? Discovery Process for LD/ 1st IEP Meeting


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Joined: Feb 29, 2008
Posts: 2
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Posted Feb 29, 2008 at 8:24:23 PM
Subject: ? Discovery Process for LD/ 1st IEP Meeting

Hello All,

Please forgive me if I use the wrong terminology, but I'm brand new to this situation. I have 3 daughters. My 12 year old was reading K and 1st grade books and writing in cursive by the age of 4. She has always been an over achiever. Now in 7th grade, she is in 9th grade level classes and is an A student. This year, my smart, funny, wonderful 6 year old started kindergarten. Almost immediately I started getting notes home regarding her inability to pay attention in large groups but working much more productively in a 1 on 1 arrangement. At the 1st school conference, her teacher gently told me that she noticed some things with my daughter that might suggest there was a deeper issue than just "attention span". Long story short it has come to the point now where we are scheduled for our 1st IEP Meeting on March 12th after me insisting that she be evaluated for LD. I have no idea what to expect or how to prepare for the meeting. Frankly I'm afraid and I feel like I already have my guard up because I've heard how hard it can be to get the proper assistance for children with LD. I'd really like to be more informed about what my daughters specific "symptoms" (for lack of a better word)are characteristic of. I work with my daughter at home 1on1 on pretty much a daily basis...which is helping her to some degree. Some things that the teacher has tried which have worked tremendously in the classroom have been a bumpy seat cushion and some sort of velcro calendar that my daughter gets to use during calendar time. She knows all her letters and sounds and probably about 15 or so sight words....she can also sound out words pretty well. She sometimes mistakes b for d or looks at a word and just says what she things fits not really paying attention to the actual letters in the word. She has a real issue with retention though. I mean from one sentence to the next she may have to sound out the same word over and over again and it never seems to connect with her "hey I just read that word" it doesn't seem to click. The teacher also mentioned that my daughter didn't seem developmentally like the average 6 year old, but more like a very young 5 year old. We try to do a lot of kinesthetic activities (if I'm using that term correctly) where I have her play with play doh and sand and shaving cream and whatever else in order to help her remember her sight words.

I guess what I'm looking for is for someone to say, "Yes, I'm familiar with those issues and here is where you can go to find more infomation about those specific issues." While I'm reluctant to label her with a specific disability I guess part of me would be relieved to have a label for it because then at least I would know "how" to research. Right now I don't even know what I'm looking for....I read all that I can about dyslexia...but she doesn't fit neatly into that box....then I read about multisensory disorder....but that seems so vague. I guess you can say I'm pretty over whelmed and feeling powerless to help my child right now.

Sorry for rambling. I would sure appreciate anyones comments or advice.
Thanks
Corrie

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scifinut
Joined Jul 11, 2005
Posts: 550

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Posted:Feb 29, 2008 9:41:28 PM

Don't worry if she doesn't fit into any one area. There are some kids that have multiple issues and they kind of blur together. :)

I would continue to look at things that would help dyslexia as a lot of those things can also help kids who have other issues or no issues. There is a lot of info on sensory issues which it sounds like she might have. You are doing great with the kinestetic work! You might also want to get her checked by an optometrist who does vision therapy. The difficulty she is having with words could have something to do with how she processes the visual information. A screening for Irlen Syndrome probably wouldn't hurt either. (http://www.irlen.com)

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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Mayleng
Joined Jun 13, 2003
Posts: 134

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Posted:Feb 29, 2008 10:15:22 PM

Corrie, you might get more response and advise at http://millermom.proboards107.com
go to the Education, Special Ed & Advocacy Board.

Learning Disabilities (LD) and ADHD, Education Support, The*SAFE*Site http://millermom.proboards107.com

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cecekingskid
Joined Feb 29, 2008
Posts: 2

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Posted:Mar 01, 2008 4:55:26 PM

Thanks, I'm checking out both sites.

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Mar 01, 2008 9:43:45 PM

My advice would be to try to hang in there and keep doing what you are doing until the meeting. After that, come back to this site and let us know what they say and I'm sure that lots of parents on this board will have very good advice. You could also have her tested privately if you are not satisfied with the information from the school. From what you described, the only thing that would concern me at this point is that she has to keep sounding out the same word over and over again in the same story. But even that might not mean anything. b, d, p and q are often mixed up, but it resolves by 1st grade. I'm not a teacher, but that is what I was told. Kids mature at different rates, so it's really subjective to make comments about where she is developmentally. It might be that things that are typically done by a 5 yr old vs. a 6 yr old, but kids are all unique and different.

It sounds like you are doing some wonderful things with the play dough and the shaving cream. With your support she is very lucky.

Like I said before, if you are not satisfied with the services she gets from the school you can request more. If they say that there is nothing wrong with her and you disagree then you can get an independent evaluation by someone who does not care about the school district's budget! That's where the problems usually are. And even if you get services they are not always the right KIND of services. Sometimes they have a one size fits all service package. That's what I have noticed in our district. It's like they all get speech therapy and a little bit of resource room and in both cases they work in groups, which means it is not individually tailored to the child's unique needs.

Definitely keep us posted on the IEP meeting! You can also bring someone along with you for support or even just to take notes, like a friend or relative.

Kathryn

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momooteaches
Joined Mar 06, 2008
Posts: 4

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Posted:Mar 06, 2008 3:37:20 PM

I would be very careful about getting your daughter in Special Education as the first intervention. I don't want to scare you, I would just learn all your options first. Once you enter into that you are legally bound to it. When there are other interventions first. I have gone through some really long battles with my daughters education. I was so mislead on the whole process. They encouraged me to do one thing and after I did it I find out that there were other courses to take but wasn't given the option. After I put my daughter into Sp. Ed it was to late to choose anything else. Now years later we have gotten nowhere. She reads at 2nd grade level and is in the 8th grade. The schools have reasons for leading you in a certain direction. Just tread those waters carefully. If you know your options, your rights and the education laws you will be fine.
If I could I would find an advocate in the area. Learn your rights and the law before doing anything because an IEP is legally binding.

Good luck

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sad mom
Joined Mar 04, 2008
Posts: 5

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Posted:Mar 06, 2008 8:15:13 PM

Thank you first of all for replying and giving me the info about the Landmark School. We have sent them the info they needed such as all of my sons reports and IEPs. They said they'll reply back after the evaluation.
I hope everything works out for the best for your daughter. I think the best thing is to get her evaluated professionally by a child psychologist/ neurologist. We were a little late in getting our son evaluated, which we did when he was 5 yrs old. We took our son to Mayo Clinic, and he has gone there each yr for last 3 years now to track his progress. Our son also has auditory processing disorder because although he was hearing fine, he just couldn't understand and process the language effectively. He is getting speech/language therapy now in school and as well as out of school, but he is still a few yrs behind his age.We still dont know what he gets at school is enough or not. Even the professionals that have evaluated him have not seen many children with this issue. I am not certain if your daughter has same diagnosis or not but lot of the things that you describe fit our son as well. Our son also has Occupational and Physical therapy, for his lax mobility. He uses a bumpy cushion in class, so he can focus more while fidgeting in his seat.He uses a special pencil grip for writing as well. He does alot better on one on one sessions with the therapists and teachers, Its hard for him to follow directions given at a faster pace , as it is generally done in class .
You will have to look carefully at your IEP when you get it, and don't hesitate to ask for more help or deny something you don't think is necessary. The school will also update you every 6 or 9 wks , as to how the progress is being made.
One more thing, don't worry too much about the number/letter reversals, my youngest son is 6 yrs old, in Kindergarten, and he's doing the same, but his teacher isn't too worried about it. She said some kids do that until grade 1 or so. He's learning and knows his letters and sounds and alphabets like other kids.
I know this can be a very trying time for you, just hang in there, and hopefully everying will turn out ok. Meanwhile, i would really suggest you look for a professional evaluation with a Child develpment center anywhere in a major city. We took our son to Mayo clinic, 500 miles away.
Good Luck!!

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kstarspa1
Joined Mar 15, 2008
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Posted:Mar 15, 2008 8:16:58 AM

I am a little suprised that things seem to be moving so quickly for you to an IEP. Perhaps testing and assessment has already occured, but if it hasn't make sure you let the school know that you want your child tested first before anything is put on paper regarding what they will or will not do. Our son has ADHD, was slow with reading skills at first, and although we suspected it is highly gifted as well. Thanks to thorough testing which included both the school psychologist and his pediatrician we were able to have an IEP created that addressed all areas - behavior, reading support, writing support and gifted ed. If it were not for the testing the gifted ed probably would not have been addressed. About 8 months later the reading support was dropped as it was no longer needed. (He went from having extreme difficulty sounding out words to reading Harry Potter independently) The behavioral aspects of the IEP were dropped for this year's version of the document and I'm now thinking about requesting that next year's IEP focus more on additional OT for handwriting and on writing skills strategies because that is where we are seeing difficulties emerging as tasks and assignments are more intense. Good luck to you and definitely take someone with you to meetings if you feel like you want the additional support or note taking!

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mykidcanlearn
Joined Oct 25, 2007
Posts: 6

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Posted:Mar 26, 2008 11:02:08 AM

I haven't been on in a while, so I'm sorry to be so late with my response. My daughter had similar issues with learning to read. It began in kindergarten, with a difficulty with retaining site words, and had a problem with fluency. She too new all of her letter sounds, and many site words, but when reading, she had a hard time with instant recall of this information. This made her progression to an independent reader much slower. She was evaluated and found to have no major learning disabilities, just a slow processing speed.

Here's a link to an article providing tips to helping your daughter with her Reading Skills.

http://mykidcanlearn.com/improving-reading-fluency/

Good Luck and let us know how it turns out!
[Modified by: mykidcanlearn on March 26, 2008 11:03 AM]

Kris www.mykidcanlearn.com A Place for parents of children with learning disabilities.

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mwimmer
Joined Apr 03, 2008
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Posted:Apr 03, 2008 11:32:01 AM

Hello,
I know that this is late, but your posting was very interesting to me and a lot of the responses were too. One response was that it is too late if you put your child in Spec. Ed. I kind of disagree. Yes, there are options before going in that direction. When you are in your Child Study the committee is supposed to list the things that the school, teacher and you as a parent has offered. Has any of those helped? That is what you have to answer. Then as a committee you need to talk about other things that can be done or something that you want to try. You as the parent have the right to refuse or deny anything. Then if you decide to test, you need to ask what type of tests are an option, is there anything that they need from you from a doctor. Then if you test you will come back for an eligibility meeting and decide your child's Least Restrictive Enviornment. There is also a book of rights that you as a parent should get. This book will help you know all of your rights and where you stand. The testing for your child is good up to one year. After that you should have a yearly IEP meeting to determine what is going to happen next year and also we do triennials, that is when your child can (if you want this done) be retested. But, remember that if you need anything in the meantime you can do a review on the IEP and have something changed that is not working. That is if it gets to the point that your child needs an IEP.
Good Luck and I would like to know what comes out of your situation.

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Kathryn
Joined Oct 02, 2006
Posts: 172

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Posted:Apr 04, 2008 2:57:02 PM

Here's an anaology.. if you are like us, you go to McDonalds already knowing what is available (for those healthier families you might have another example - LOL!!) You really don't need to see the menu because you know what is available. But when you go to a restaurant that you have never been to before you might like to see the menu. What I have found with the district is that they think they know what is best for your child and they might have other agendas in the meantime. The restaurant analogy would be that they have a large supply of salmon, so they bring you the salmon dinner without even showing you the menu. Now, of course they are SUPPOSED to tell you what is available, but often they do not. For whatever reason, they feel that they know what is best for the child. We had this experience with our daughter this year. They offered us a special day class placement. We went into the meeting knowing that we could fight for a transfer to another district if our district did not have an appropriate classroom. They laughed at us saying "You don't get to go to another district." They offered us class A. We said "Ok, what else?" They responded with class B and we said "Ok, what else is available?" and they said "That's enough. You have 2 classes to choose from. Class A was at another school and class B was at our home school. I could not figure out why they did not offer the class at our home school first, but come to find out, there are no academics going on in there this year because the kids are SOOOOO low functioning that they are still learning their letter sounds (3rd, 4th & 5th grades). Of course, being the prepared mom, I knew the level of functioning in that particular classroom already. At the next meeting (continuation of 1st meeting) they continued to offer those 2 choices. We said we would go and observe, but asked a teacher at the school to speak up on behalf of our daughter (because she knows her very well and she knows the classroom very well). She said to the district "This class is not appropriate for Michelle. The kids are still learning to keep their hands to themselves and walk in a straight line" The special ed director told her "You can finish that conversation another time." Still, we offered to go observe. 3 days later I get a call. Suddenly the choices become class A and class C! I said, "Oh, I did not know class C existed because they refused to tell me about it." And class B (low functioning kids) was dropped without us even observing. I asked "What about class B?" she said "That's not appropriate." Even though I said that at the meeting, they disregarded my words until a teacher put her job on the line and spoke up and was told to shut up in front of her peers. When I ask about class size or if there is a cap? They say things like "Well, we try to keep it under 12". I asked the same question 4 times, without an honest reply of "we try to keep it under 12, but there is no guaranteed cap. Classes have been known to be as high as 17!" That was left out of the conversation, but I did my own digging and found out myself. There might be larger SDCs in our district, but I have not seen them.

The point is, they do not give you the information that they do not want you to have. They give you whatever they think is best, even if it's not. The person offering us the low functioning class has never even met my daughter!!! She probably would not have been able to pick her out on the playground.

By the way, we kept our daughter in a mainstream classroom because that is where she is the most happy and she is progressing with extra resource help. They would not have offered that either if we had not turned down the SDCs. Because again, they only spoon feed us what they want us to have.

Oh, and by the way, the offer of extra resource help came to us a few days after they received a letter from the special ed advocate that I hired. It stated "In a spirit of cooperation, we would like to offer...." and it was exactly what we wanted. Coincidence?

Kathryn

PS - I should note that not all districts operate the way ours does. I have a friend in another district who found their special ed staff to be very helpful and go above and beyond what she expected for her son. She was very impressed as was the private psychologist. They live in one of the top school districts in California. People pay multi millions of dollars for homes because they know the schools are the best in the state and the parents want their money's worth. They are extremely demanding. You get what you pay for.

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Rod Everson
Joined May 20, 2007
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Posted:Apr 06, 2008 11:38:41 PM

Quote cecekingskid:

Hello All,

Quote cecekingskid:

This year, my smart, funny, wonderful 6 year old started kindergarten.... She knows all her letters and sounds and probably about 15 or so sight words.... She has a real issue with retention though. I mean from one sentence to the next she may have to sound out the same word over and over again and it never seems to connect with her "hey I just read that word" it doesn't seem to click.
I would sure appreciate anyones comments or advice.
Thanks
Corrie

Hi Corrie,

The failure to recognize the same word in the next line, after successfully decoding it, is typical behavior of kids with developmental vision skills issues. While it might be too early to try vision therapy, you should do some research in that area.

I see you said later that you checked out the Irlen website. You also need to make sure that you investigate other vision issues. To do this, you will need to find a developmental optometrist in your area. You can use the "locate a doctor" search box on the covd.org website. That's an umbrella organization for optometrists who specialize in developmental vision issues.

Also, here's a Vision Assessment Checklist from my website that might help you determine first whether a vision problem should be investigated.

All the best,

Rod Everson
OnTrack Reading

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