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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Conclusion from the IEP


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Feb 26, 2002 at 2:17:19 PM
Subject: Conclusion from the IEP

Hello everyone!
I wanted to run this by everyone ....before I write my follow up letter.
My son had a wonderful year this year. I believe it is due to his teaching team. I fo course requested teachers with similiar characteristics, expereince, and teaching styles and the best I could get was a verbal.
One concern that I had...was that after learning to interpret test scores....I found he was in the 6-10 percentile range for several years and when last tested, on his listening skills. I proposed that my son be tested in his area of disibility yearly with a standardized test.
He is due for his multi factored next year, so the psychologist was present at the IEP meeting. The special ed director and the psychologist explained to me that together, we would decide which areas we want him retested. The psych said that she was going to quit her job because children were going undetected, because she spent her days retesting children in areas that everyone agreed on and did not need retested.
(My child was originally diagnosed ld..not because he had a severe discrepency , but because he scored low in several areas. There was also a large discrepency between high non verbal and low verbal skills.)
They told me that they believe he needs the specail ed services (resource room one period a day) but if they test him...we may lose his eligbility because he is closing his gaps. They agree to have the special ed teacher test him peridiodically with the brighons? ( I forget the name) K-12 testing, in the areas we are interested, out of the box so that we don't jeopardize his eligibility, but we will be able to see if he is making progress. They agreed to address the listening skills "Out of the box" as well.
In your opinion..Am I being taken for a ride here or is it possible that they are looking out for his best interest. IN the "new assesment necessary box" there are three columns..Interview/records, observation, and direct assesment. The only boxes checked are in the "interview/records column" for general intelligence, acedemic skills, vision abilities, and hearing abilities.Under the direct assessment colums it has "teachers" written for those same areas.
As always thanks for your opinions!!!
MO

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Feb 26, 2002 5:27:17 PM

A school does not have to re-test every 3 years like we used to. The team can make the decision that the student still qualifies for special educational services and no further testing is required. It sounds as if they are telling you that if he is more formally tested he may no longer meet the criteria for a student who would continue to qualify for special education services. I usually only have students reevaluated when I feel that they no longer qualify and I am thinking of dismissing them from special ed.. This happens rarely. I also have students re-tested when I feel they have made considerable progress in this 3 year time frame and I want them to see the results of their testing because it makes them feel better to hear it from someone else. I also know that they will still qualify and are not in jeopardy of not meeting the special ed. qualifications. I still test yearly on my own. I hope this answered your question.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Feb 26, 2002 6:52:06 PM

I dont know you personally, and I dont know your child, but I do know schools, based on the info you gave me,
I think you and your child are being taken for a ride.

I also think I would have told the psychologist to go ahead and quit, because then maybe the school would get a new one who wouldnt mind doing her job.
The parent is part of "everyone" in fact the parent is such a big part of "everyone" in regards to testing that she/he gets 50% of the team vote. If every single person on the school side says testing isnt needed but the parent says it is, guess what, according to the law, its needed.

I do have one question, how could a child in the 6 to 10 percentile range NOT qualify? I also have a comment, that line about testing out of sp-ed, its bull, because even if the child didnt meet the state discrepency formula, the team could still do "team judgement" and deside to provide services anyway, its the schools loophole, and its the equivalent of saying "we know this child isnt capable of learning without help, its not showing up in the testing and we cant figure out why, none the less we know he needs help so were going to continue to provide it". so for them to claim that if they test him he lmay "loose" his eligibility is a joke. I think its an attempt to prevent you from getting concrete data on your sons true progress or lack of progress. you might want to read this.

http://www.reedmartin.com/severediscrepancyformula.html

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Feb 26, 2002 7:33:29 PM

If he scarcely qualified in the initial assessment and if you agree that progress is being made, then full retesting COULD jeopardize his placement. It is not mandated that all children be retested in all areas, particularly when the team agrees that the need for service is still there.

I cannot comment at this point about the listening skills, I would need to know much more.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 26, 2002 7:41:25 PM

Another option, why dont you only have him tested in the areas you think he may have unidentified disabilities in, like "listening skiils" how about a full comprehensive language evaluation, receptive, expressive, pragmatic and auditory processing?

That way the school can still be your "friend" and continue to give your child help in all the previously identified lD areas, the language eval info would just show if he needed additional help in that area, if they were in the 6 tp 10 percentile rank last time he was tested Im sure you want to monitor it and make sure its improveing rather then regressing.

also, you could take him to a private psychologist for an achievement test at your expense, if you just get the achievement test it should only be a few hundred dollars, if he tests out on grade level but you think he still needs help just keep it in your private files, but if it shows he isnt on grade level then you will know exactly what areas the iep should concentrate on.

basically if you pay for it, its up to you to deside weather or not to share it with the school.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 26, 2002 8:31:44 PM

I am so glad for you and your son that he had a good year.

I would request a full auditory processing evaluation, given your son's "listening" skills.

I think the psychologist was unprofessional in her response, at the very least. ( Hire the retesting out if she's too busy. Sounded like BS to me.)

As far as eligibility and retesting...I also went along with "teacher observations blah bah blah". When my son was in 6th, after 3 years resource room "help" he was still reading at the 1st grade level. The teacher observations were "making progress".

"Am I being taken for a ride here or is it possible that they are looking out for his
best interests?" In my experience, the school is, first and foremost, looking out for their best interests. This may or may not be compatible with your son's best interests.

You are responsible for making sure your son gets the education he is entitled to by law. The IEP is a legal document which binds both parties. Don't forget that.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 31, 2014
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Posted:Feb 26, 2002 9:15:37 PM

Thanks! We are happy too. Thanks everyone for your comments.
I think I agree with OHIO and the suggestion to stay friends, but have him evaluated in the other areas. Problem is... all I could get was a verbal. Verbals make me nervous. All it takes is a resource teacher next year who says" If I do it for you... I will have to do it for everyone" or "I just don't have the time" and then ....you can forget the verbal promises.
I also agree with OHio when the suggestion was made that... they really have no idea what his problems are ..but they agree he needs the services.
Question is ..are there really any services other than the ones he is already getting? Resource room for one period a day and minimal speech/language services.
The hearing story is that our son was diagnosed late in the third grade. He had surgery. His hearing was better. Then 3/4 through the year, we found that he reverted back to pre surgery levels. In the meantime he went from an amplified elementary school..to and unamplified intermediate school in the same district. Also, his preferential seating was not carried over from the previous IEP and I didn't realize that until all of the hearing issues had resurfaced. This was all last year and he had a very difficult time, as well as we had a difficult time with the teachers even communicating with us.
This year was much better although ...I learned to interpret test scores and found the low listening scores.. as well as noticing that the listening was a reason he became eligible and I have no idea if he has progressed in that area.
I will look into that link that Ohio gave me, make sure that the listening evaluation is addressed.... verbal or not ...and see to it that they follow through on what they promised....as usual.
Thanks everyone.
MO

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 26, 2002 9:26:41 PM

Ohio wrote...
"I think it's an attempt to prevent you from getting concrete data on your sons true progress or lack of progress."
I can't forget this statement that you made...I believe you are right on target here.
Will the brigance and the listening evaluation that they verballly promised, providing it is carried out, serve my purpose to determine if he has true progress... in your opinion?
Thanks for your time.
MO

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 26, 2002 9:56:54 PM

In my opinion a verbal promise is worth the paper its written on.....in other words its worth nothing.


the brigance is a developmental check list, its a teachers instrument not a psychologists, I imagine if you do a search on it you can find a copy, I dont beleave it falls under the catagory of a "secure" test. Its not a useless tool, but its a very "gross" measure. I seriously doubt its on your states list as an acceptable test to use to determine if disabilities are present or if progress has been made.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 27, 2002 8:01:31 AM


Dear Mo,
A couple of ideas.
I figure it this way,try and use this situation to your advantage. You could turn your verbal promise into a written one.
First decide how important it is to you to have the yearly standardized test done.
If you want to used this for IEP goal progress,it would still not be the formal re-evaluation,it would be a measure of progress,for the annual IEP review.And again Ohio made a very good point,even with the re-eval,they don't have to staff him out of sped.
To show whether he made IEP progress,isn't the same situation as a formal re-evaluation.

The school wants something,you want something. They don't want to do a formal re-evaluation,and you want specific teacher's for next year.
Personally I would write a follow up letter,tell them you will agree to no re-eval at this time,if they will provide you with the specific ed placement and teacher's you request.
If you require the re-eval later on,you can request this at ANY time,it doesn't have to be at three years. Get your verbal promise a written one,and then decide how vital the eval is.
The school sure has a way of pulling someone off focus. The real issue is attempting to recreate the previous year for your son,correct?

A really good article regarding progress and how to document it is by wrightslaw. I have a link to this article on my web page. It is under the IDEA links. http://expage.com/socksandfriends.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 27, 2002 9:30:46 AM

I always follow up verbal promises with written letters. I have noticed the school does the same. When I requested a specific teacher, the principle asked the the director of special ed. to have me make that request in writing. I think they want documentation that they were being cooperative (to make up for all the times they haven't been.)

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 27, 2002 9:37:38 AM

Get the language eval. to learn if language skills (expressive and receptive, to a lesser extent pragmatics) are in the range they should be. Ask the special ed. teacher to administer a Woodcock Johnson III, then you will have some pretty good information. I am not a big fan of the Brigance.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 27, 2002 9:43:21 AM

Then current medical data on his hearing acuity is also in order for this upcoming triennial. There is no earthly reason the teacher has any right to say, "if I do it for you...blah, blah, blah." The "I" in IEP stands for "individualized, as you well know. This means she tailors her teaching and assessment to best meet needs. As a resource teacher I will admit (never, ever at an IEP or conference with a parent) that this can be well nigh impossible to really do given the size and variance in our caseloads within the confines of the school day, but she has to act like she is doing this and then do the best she can until she either has a breakdown, a heart attack or suffers from high blood pressure....then she can take a medical leave. Just some tongue-in-cheek playfulness here that is not really too far off the mark if you are an elementary resource teacher these days in a state where there is only one of you per school. Nonetheless, she cannot tell you she cannot or will not do it if it is within the realm of somewhat reasonable possibility.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 27, 2002 12:55:42 PM

socks,

It always seems to me like the school doesn't seem to be accountable for showing they are making progress with the kid. They can send home the blah blah blah but don't have to back it up with something we can see.

Isn't it amazing how progress is always kid's responsibility but I never heard anyone say our method isn't working but we will try an alternative to help you son.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 27, 2002 1:23:48 PM

Thanks!

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 28, 2002 6:55:22 PM

I think sometimes we forget that those standardized tests do not really give us the information that we really need. It takes a special ed teacher atleast 5 hours to administer one full academic achievement test, score it, and write a report. The classroom based assessments given in the regular classroom actually give better information about where the child is at the grade level in the district's curriculum. I have parents that request full testing each year, and I do it without complaint. But really it is a waste of everyones time (child included...that is time away from learning the current academic tasks). I am in a school with only about 300 students. I probably test 18-20 kids per year to see if they qualify for special education. Only about a third of those children do. If I had to test the 18-20 kids already on my caseload yearly, I wouldn't even have time to implement their IEPs. I am a parent myself of a special needs child. I would rather my child's time spent learning strategies to cope with his learning disability than taking a bunch of tests that doesn't give as useful of information as all the district wide assessments he already takes. The school may actually have your child's best interest in mind already. It doesn't always have to be a parent vs. school battle. I find most of the misunderstandings come from preconceived ideas and not listening to each other.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Feb 28, 2002 7:33:58 PM

I think the schools could do a little to help the parents understand school testing that has already been administered; I mean teach us about standard scores, standard deviations, please don't use grade equivalents or labels like average, low average, etc., and let us know what range of academic achievement could be expected with specific IQ scores. Let us know the after a certain age IQ is pretty stable. Help us understand group administered criterion referenced tests(we have mandatory state testing in Mass. almost yearly). I wish the school personnel could be effective interpretors and teach us too.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 01, 2002 9:57:25 AM

SAR, that is exactly what standard scores offer. There is no exact or precision. There is no formula that is not susceptible to things we cannot and do not measure.

Average is SS of 100. The average range is 90-110. 80-90 is low average. Low average usually means that as they years march by, these children fall further and further behind. Their learning RATE is much slower than average. By the same token, high standard scores denote learning rates that are more rapid, so as the years march by, these students get further and further ahead.

Learning disabilities are generally processing deficits that supposedly have nothing to do with intelligence. I am not personally convinced you can weed processing out totally, maybe in a vacuum, yes. In day to day life, processing capability and speed do interact with a person's ability to perform a variety of tasks in the real world.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Mar 01, 2002 10:45:48 AM

I think the problem with the standardized testing that the whole school participates in is how they communicatte the scores. Not all parents know what all the different scores mean and in our competive society if they do not see their child performing outstanding or they don't understand the scores they might get in a panic. Some tests offer numerous types of scores that might not be well understood. A good example is the results sent home with the MAT7. My sons scores were Scaled scores 583-649, percentile rank ranging from 30-84, G.E. 3.8-7.5, or stanines 3-7. That is a lot for a parent to take in and they might think what does that really mean? Especially if they have another child whose scores seem so much different. For example daughter scores scaled 608-675, percentile rank 73-95, G.E. 5.5-10.5, or stanines 6-8. Both have a wide range of scores does it mean anything? It leaves a parent wondering. Especially if you look at the grade equivelent and you know that the child who scored higher is in the lower grade. I find the best thing to know is that a percentile rank of 25-75 is in the average range--that is easy to understand, lower then 25 is below average and above 75 above average, maybe all tests should be reported this way? What do you think?

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