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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

falling achievement test scores


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Apr 07, 2002 at 12:53:35 PM
Subject: falling achievement test scores

My child's achivement test scores have been going down since placement in an LD inclusion setting. When the LD label was given in third grade she had some pull out help each day for 30 minutes. The classroom teacher that year was extra special. Since then the scores on the achievement test have been dropping. The third grade scores were significant to me because they were all above average. (over the 50%ile ) The LD label was for written expression. The third grade teacher was innovative and very motivating. Now my daughter is in 6th grade and most of the scores are clustered around the 35%ile. She has been in the inclusion setting for the 5th and 6th grade. I have been happy with that because of the social issues of not being pulled out. But the steady drop of the testing overall scares me. I understood that my child had writing issues but could do multiple choice questions because the general knowledge base was okay for her. One final thing that might make a difference is the use of ritilian. She was taking ritilian 2x a day. It was 5mg. I stopped the use of ritilian because she did so well in 3rd grade. The doctor felt that she did not have any attention isuues because she sat for 35 minutes during a visit and was very cooperative. The ritilian had been perscribed by a doctor in our old hometown and then we met a new doctor when we moved. The teachers have not said anything about attention since 4th grade. That teacher knew we were not using ritilian anymore. Since moving on to middle school I've been told that she talks out of turn but it has been reported in the beginning of the year and has improved as the year goes on. Could the ritilan make a difference in achievement testing? Her grades are in the A-B range for 5th and 6th grade. Are the grades reflective of classroom performance or are they hiked up because it is inclusion and less is expected? My daughter has a great verbal strength and can comprehend on a very hight analytical level. It is such a shame that all this verbal ability is not being proceesed into the written form. My guess is that if it could write she would be sailing along in school. After I say all this it appears to me there is a performance issue. Can anyone help me? I am feeling desparate and that is not what I want to communicate to my daughter or her teachers. I plan on calling her teacher but I really don't want to hear the standard explanations like, "Well it is getting harder and she is LD."

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Apr 08, 2002 12:08:13 AM

It's an interesting picture. Certainly improved focus and concentration during an achievement can't hurt but whether it would help her scores a great deal is another matter.

There can be many reasons that children doing acceptably well in school don't do well on standardized tests. School is not a standardized test. Some children just don't "get" standardized tests. Some tests insist that teachers NOT read directions to children and they simply don't know how to take them. (check on that) Other children just fill in the bubbles through all the test or a part of that - especially as they get older and more and more bored with the test taking process. (you might check on that too)

Good luck.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Apr 08, 2002 6:22:33 AM

First of all- just to reassure you a bit- 35% is average range for most group achievement tests. A drop from one end of the average range to the other isn't necessarily a drop in skills- it may only reflect her performance on that day along with the fact that the test itself is a bit harder...

It sounds as if you are having 2nd thoughts about the Ritalin- I would tlk to folks at school and see what they think as well as talking to my doctor. It might be worth looking at it again- or they might be able to reassure you a bit about her progress etc...Good for you for stayting on top of things though.

Robin

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Apr 08, 2002 10:43:11 PM

Mom,
Does your daughter know how to type? Often dysgraphic kids do better when typing. It takes less effort to hit a key than to form a letter with a pen. Also, the kid can forget about grammar and punctuation and concentrate on content. (and go back at the end and add these) If your daughter has motor skills problems it will be hard for her to learn to type, but once she does, it will make it so much easier to get those ideas out of her head and on the paper. Also th difference between the 55% level and the 35% level isn't that huge. When you'r near the center of the pack, a small difference translates as a big change in percentile rank. Good luck.
P.S. She should be allowed to type those standardized tests too. That would probably raise her score.
P.P.S. If typing doesn't work, look into voice recognition software. The computer types what she dictates. This may be what she needs to breeze through school. She can get it in her iep that she can use this on standardized tests.
P.P.P.S. I assume she gets extra time for these tests, if not, get it in her iep immediately. You want her to have it for SATs and the SAT board is getting stricter about how long the kid has had this accomodation. Good luck.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Apr 08, 2002 11:09:55 PM

Mandy, Thanks for the post. The IEP conference is in May. She does not have any extra time alloted on her IEP for Achievement test. The one she took was the Stanford which is fill in the bubble. I like the comment about extra time for future SAT test. We have taken a keyboarding class and she does use it for longer assignments. Do you know anything about Co-writer by Don Johnson? I am considering that for summer use and I am also going to get it in her IEP if I like it. Your comments are good. Thanks, Concerned Mom

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 25, 2014
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Posted:Apr 09, 2002 8:56:42 PM

If she is good at keyboarding, you may want to get her an Alphasmart-a very lightweight but durable word processor. My daughter uses one at school so she doesn't have to write because it takes her so long and most of the time she can't read it. It is now being used for all of her classes including math if it calls for sentence answers. I'm sure Alphasmart has a web site-check it out!

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