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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

just got the school referral request


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Oct 02, 2002 at 9:44:01 AM
Subject: just got the school referral request

Hello everyone, first timer here and very new to all of this.
I received a phone call 2 weeks ago from my sons 6th grade teacher advising me of her concerns and her recommendation that my son be *tested*. Yesterday, I received the written request for assessment that I need to sign and return. The teachers observations list; low achievement in acedemic areas, unable to complete tasks without assistance, unable to focus attention on his work, disorganized, low test scores, unable to copy notes, needs constant assistance or can't complete work, very quiet, withdrawn in a group yet accepts
help from teachers and peers, very nice and polite. One notation from the teacher says; "Mom requested the testing". The reason I mention this is because I did not initiate the phone call, and merely agreed with her observations and agreed to have him tested although I have not signed the referral yet. For some reason it bothers me that she states I initiated the request - should I ask that this be reworded? Will this one sentence come back to *haunt* me down the road?

My sons issues in school are nothing new to me. The teacher is on target with her comments. Since he was young, it takes an inordinate amount of time to do homework (almost always assisted). The same things can be gone over 100 times and yet there are many times (but not always) that he still appears to not get it.

I am trying to educate myself and keep Dad in the loop whom I am divorced from. I am concerned that there may be more to the picture and have read many of the sections under LD in depth. In the past couple of years, my son has been observed by other teachers and a psychologist and noted as showing signs of depression and anxiety, low self esteem, withdrawn, poor social skills etc.

As we all go forward in this process, I'd be grateful for any input from those who have been there and from anyone who's child exhibits similair acedemic and emotional behavior. More than anything, I want to help my son. I don't want to make mistakes along the way that will hurt him in the future simply because I didn't educate myself.

Thank you for any advice.

Kath in Buffalo, NY

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 15, 2019
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Posted:Oct 02, 2002 11:47:36 AM

For what it's worth, in our system, a referral is more likely to be accepted if a parent has made the request.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 15, 2019
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Posted:Oct 02, 2002 12:35:06 PM

It sounds like you know in your heart there is a problem for your son. Since you think the teacher is on target with her comments I would thank her for making a move.

Maybe the teacher took your agreement for testing as a request. I wouldn't be too hard on her for her wording your school district may not encourage testing, additional costs to them. If they find a problem in the testing they must give your son extra help, additional costs for them.

There are lots of great people here and lots of experience just read and ask questions.

Good luck to you and your son.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 15, 2019
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Posted:Oct 02, 2002 12:44:32 PM

I don't see any problem with the paperwork indicating you are making the request (or initiating it). Sounds like you have a heads up teacher who may need to be flying under the radar. The tests cost money. Unfortunately, many schools would rather students fail than have to spend money on them. This may be her way of helping without being targeted for a talking to by the principal. I see no ill ramifications downstream on this.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 15, 2019
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Posted:Oct 02, 2002 1:22:09 PM

I agree with Osinski about needing to fly under the radar. I won't drag out the details but it was clear that teachers at my son's schools were being slapped on the wrist if they recommended the evaluation.

Let her request stand as it is. Your goal is to get the evaluation. The wording is inconsequential.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Oct 02, 2002 2:39:32 PM

I think that in some school systems, teachers are telling parents that they need to ask for the evaluation in order for the school to start the process. Some people (many of whom are parents and some school staff who are afraid to make the referral themselves) are under the impression that just because the parents say that they want their child evaluated that the school must automatically do the evaluation. However, this is incorrect - it is a committee decision whether or not a child needs to be tested for special services and having the parent just stating that this is what they want is not an automatic reason to test. If this were the case, the school systems would be testing every child under the sun!

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Anonymous
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Posted:Oct 02, 2002 9:04:45 PM

The teacher probably put the "parent request comment" because she wanted to make sure that "higher ups" didn't nix the testing deal.

Technically, if a child is to have testing for special education, you should also receive information about your rights--called Procedural Safeguards. Most schools don't allow this form and paperwork to be "mailed." As a part of the evaluation team, you have the right and responsibility to understand exactly what tests are being given and why--and to make suggestions.

This isn't a "sign-on-the-dotting-line" arrangement. It is a process by a team of people of which you are a really important member.

You might call your state dept of education and discuss the process--get some information right away about how things should be done. They probably have printed materials for parents, too.

Let us know how it turns out. Feel free to post information and confirm data that you receive in meetings. That is a great thing about these BB's.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Oct 03, 2002 8:50:08 AM

Thank you everyone, for all of your replies. General consensus certainly seems to be in favor of leaving the "Mom requested testing" in the referral form. I will also call the State Dep't of Education to request the Procedural Safeguard information.

I'm sure I'll have many more questions as I go along and will stay tuned to the BB as it sure seems like an active and informative one!

Kath

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Anonymous
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Posted:Oct 04, 2002 1:32:49 PM

Kath,

It may be difficult to tell, but you need to determine if the anxiety and depression are a result of an undiagnosed learning problem or whether they are the cause of the problems in the classroom. My son was a great reader and fine academically until middle school age when he started showing those kinds of symptoms. His grades declined, but it had nothing to do with a learning problem, it was really an anxiety/depression problem.

It is hard to me to fathom that a child could be truly LD and it not be recognized until sixth grade, but I guess it does happen. Usually LD's will be evident enough to cause testing to be initiated much earlier than this. I will add that there is overlap in some symptoms between anxiety, depression, and ADD as well which makes diagnosis tricky.

Janis

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