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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

Communication Impaired vs. Specific Learning Disability


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Jul 10, 2002 at 9:43:54 PM
Subject: Communication Impaired vs. Specific Learning Disability

Okay, I don't understand this. I know it doens't matter as long as she gets the sevices she needs. My child is now classified as Specific Learning Disability, after being diagnosed with dysnomic ahpasia. A recent evaluation done privately said that she is dyslexic. At the IEP meeting to plan for school in the fall, the case manager for my daughter at school said, we are changing her classification to Communication Impaired. (they can't do this without my consent, legally) I said, why? "She has a language-based learning disability. That makes her Communication Impaired. She will get more services under CI, it is a higher level of classification. She would not have gotten the Orton in the resource room if she were specific learning disability." I said, I don't understand, seh has a diagnosis of dyslexia (they don't like that word), and she also met the infamous discrepeancy formula to show that she was not performing to her intelect (superior). While my daughter sometimes cannot find the word she wants, she communicates okay. I have to say, I am suspicious. ( I hate to be that way). In the fall they classified her CI and only offered a communication board, nothing to address her learning difficulty. Is it TRUE that I will be hurting my daughter, and that I will have to fight for every service if she is Specific Learning Disability? (this is what the case manager said.) Am I missing something? Why are they pushing this so much? Her IEP is just about complete now, she is getting Orton in the resource room, which I requuested, this issue is one of the last things to be worked out.... Can anyone help me to understand this? Just to clarify- the aphasia, I understand is the word retrival difficulty she has related to the dyslexia.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Jul 10, 2002 11:07:06 PM

I work with Adults who have aphasia and children with speech and language issues...A person with aphasia would be classified as having a communication impairment and usually the kids who are in a class for the communication impaired would be instructed by a speech and language pathologist with a special services credential/special day class credential. If the child is in a class for the communication impaired they would be technically getting the best services that they need if the program is run by a qualified SLP. Sometimes the districts get away with having a teacher with a special ed credential teaching the special day class for the kids with Communication impairments but all the kids have to be on the SLP's caseload and she is techniacally supervising the Speech services for the children in the special day classroom.

People who have aphasia usually have a neurological component that interferes with their word finding, Are you saying your child does not have word finding difficulties and that you don't think she has a communication impairment? Does she only have problems in reading and in making the sound/symbol connection to read appropriately?

Techincally speaking she has a communication impairment if she qualifies as a child with a speech and language difference and aphasia is definitely a speech and language issue. Dyslexia is not a recognized diagnosis for IEP's but speech and language issues are.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Jul 11, 2002 8:39:03 AM

Oh yes, my daughter definately has word retrieval difficulties. She also needs help with some articulation, she has a severe phonological processing problem. I am told that this is the reason she has difficulty retrieving the words at times. ( If she does not process the sounds in the word correctly, her brain does not know where to put it to retrieve it when needed) She also definitely has has great difficulty learning the letters numbers, and the sounds of the letters, although this has improved. She also has trouble recalling things that she knows, like her last name at times. I think that the proccessing of the language is at the heart of her learning difficulties. I just want to understand why I am being pushed to change her classification, and that it is the rightthing to do for her. I get leary sometimes, especially when I feel I am being strong-armed into something with comments like "Do you like to fight? If you keep her SLD you will fight for every service. She wouldn't have Orton if she was SLD." I guess my point is, I don't hink that's true. SLD's do need programs like Orton, why is this a big deal to the school, to change her classification?

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Jul 11, 2002 10:07:29 AM

My son has these same problems and at his IEP meeting they classified him with the Communication too. I thought they would classify specific learning disability but they said " at this time"

He is six and entering first grade. They set goals for him, like by the end of the year he will read CVC words but then only offered speech and lang therapy once a week for 30 minutes. They set these incredible goals and they no way for him to achieve them??

I am confused as well. We are doing phonographix this summer and also I am trying to get private speech therapy for him through his insurance. We also order Handwriting without tears and Earobics. I hope it all works.

I am leery of my school also. I am not sure what I should be doing.

K.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Jul 11, 2002 10:41:19 AM

K, you are right. Once a wek for 30 minutes is a waste (almost).

Janis

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Jul 11, 2002 10:45:22 AM

In agreement with Patti, I will add that it sounds like to me you are in a knowledgable system for them to realize that your child's reading disorder is language- based and they will offer Orton through the Communication Impaired program. My child was labeled the equivalent this past year...Speech/Language Impaired. I don't care if she ever gets a LD label. I can get all the modifications I need on her S/L IEP plus have one-on-one language therapy! Don't be suspicious...sounds like they are right on target to me!

Janis

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Jul 11, 2002 1:36:24 PM

That is the part I don't understand. He has a language based learning disability so why aren't they providing more services. I know part of the problem is that I live in the district but my son goes to private school.

I am trying to very hard to move but it isn't so easy, the housing market in my area is horrid, the houses are so overpriced it is ridiculous!!

Anyway, I have had his test reveiwed by both a Dr. who speicalizes in learning disabilities and a special ed advocate, they both agree that he has definate things going on but can't seem to tell me what kind of therapy he needs??

Are there any good speech and lang. websites that might help?

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 11, 2002 6:02:08 PM

HI,
I am an SLP in a middle school in Illinois....there is a ton of info out there regarding speech and language issues. Start with ASHA.org and go from there. 30 mnutes a week isn't alot, but at my school the goals are co-implemented with the special ed/resource teacher in addition to me. We may go about addressing those goals differently, but that can be a good thing too. One way might be more beneficial to the student.
Please know that the majority of us that have the pleasure of working with your children have their best interests at heart. I went to school a long time to do what I do and I enjoy it immensely. I have never been at an IEP meeting where parents were "strongarmed" into anything. On the other hand, I have witnessed members of the IEP team cursed at by parents and have had several parental no-shows at IEP meetings. Most of us are at school well before the bell rings and remain way past dismissal time. For the most part we are a dedicated bunch, and we do want to help your child experience success.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Jul 11, 2002 7:30:47 PM

I have to say as a a speech therapist I am also confused. Typically communication impiared would be a classification for a student who only needed the services of a speech therapist and not any other services. Specific Learning Disability would allow for more services. CI would have had only speech testing and SLD would have psychological, achievement andmore testing. So personally I would inquire more, it sounds odd. School districts don't really separate out dyslexia and other SLDs now, I don't agree but they have their reasons. I think a lot of it was that people misunderstand dyslexia and they wanted to get away from that. The important thing is that they remediate the problem, not that they agree os the diagnosis (which is most probably correct). Its annoying though. As for anomia, or word finding trouble, it can go along with dyslexia or it can be concimitant (exist along with). O would not label a child as having disnomic aphasia unless they had had a stroke, it is incorrect unless there has been a stroke. It may be coded that way for your insurance but I code it simply as anomia, word finding problems. I would ask for further explanation of why all this was done but in the long run you might need to do what they are suggesting to get allthe services you want. I wish it was not that way. They are never allowed to test or place a label w/o your permission though, it is illegal. You give permission when you sign the IEP, you have the right not to sign it. DO you live in Ohio by any chance? GOod luck.

Cheryl

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Jul 11, 2002 10:43:53 PM

Cheryl, I live in NJ. I just don't understand why they want her CI. Her independent eval showed a significant discrepency between, her IQ and her basic reading skills. Neuropsychologist we went to said the same thing as you- she would not call her aphasic, but has word retieval issues probably related to the dyslexia. (she want to look into the word retrieval issue again in about a year, after she is remediated for her phonological processing problems). When I look at the definitions of SLD, it fits my daughter. I just don't know why the school is so adament, does it have to do with funding? Do they get more money for CI as opposed to SLD? I wouldn't think so. I know my daughter, she is dyslexic. She has a language-based learning disability. She has a superior IQ but has struggled to learn things like the colors, letters, numbers, our last name, ect.....I think the IEP we put together is appropriate (after much work). She will get Orton in the resouce room 5x wk, SLP 3x wk. This is good. I guess I also believe that the SLD describes my daughters difficulties. Do the schools get more funding for CI?

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Jul 11, 2002 11:03:23 PM

Kate,
Please know that I have much respect for the teachers, SLP's ect that help our kids. I cannot begin to tell you what I have been through for my child with the Child Study Team. I can say with all honesty that if it had not been for me, my daughter would be entering first grade with no help. Last year at this time, the CST declassified my child. I had to get an independent eval. Not only was the learning disability proven, but proven to be significant. Unfortunatley, my story involves these professionals on the child study team being dishonest, and unprofessional in thier work and their comments. (this is not the teachers or the SLP) BUT, I will tell you that despite all this, I would say to my husband, I have to believe that these people have teh best intererests of a 5 year old child in their hearts. They wouldn't be here if they didn't. I have learned alot along the way. I have had to. I work with these people to do what is best for my child, we may not always agree, but the focus is always on my child. And, unfortunately, parents are strong-armed. Especially if they don't know the laws. I am, no was, one of them. I don't yell, I dont flip out at them. I just point out the problems. I am a professional also, not all are as conciencious or capable as others. It is true in every profession. I believe our case manager cares about my child, truly. But he doesn't do his job well. My daughter has had good teachers. She has a mediocre SLP at school, and an excellent one privately. I consider some professions a blessing. Those that work with children are among them. You can make a significant difference in the life of a child, a family. How many professions can say that?

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 12, 2002 7:57:58 AM

A mom - you are very fortunate. We have to provide all our own Orton Gillingham and other therapies. The school offered NOTHING. Cheryl - I wrote a rather LONG post w/ questions for you about this word retrieval problem under one of the other headings on Teaching students with LD or some other one - I hope you don't mind. I would be interested to see how I can help my daughter with this. Thanks.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 12, 2002 2:03:27 PM

Check out LindamoodBell.com They have a lot of info on the LD/speech connection. My son has both issues too.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Jul 12, 2002 2:34:54 PM
Subject:Thanks!

Thanks for the website address!

K.

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