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Dr. Silver,

My 13-year-old daughter has had trouble learning, retaining, and applying information since kindergarten. She has been in a resource program since fifth grade. This year I was informed she needed to attend a special day class that is more intensive than the one she is in. I went to visit the classroom and was so surprised to find 10 6-8th graders with very low functioning ability.

My daughter is bright and social, and never causes problems in school. I feel putting her in an all-day class like this will really hurt her self-esteem. I am wondering if she could have ADHD, although the testing doesn’t indicate this.

She also scored low on her intelligence test. However, she comes across as a normal 13-year-old. She is on the cheerleading team and is very good at dance and athletics. Can you please give me some advice?



Your school professionals appear to have developed an IEP to address your daughter’s needs. If you are not comfortable with this IEP, you have two choices.

First, you can appeal the decisions (such as diagnosis, needs, and class placement). Your school must then have another team from outside of your school review the case. Or, you can see a private professional knowledgeable in special education problems and request a private assessment. Should this professional agree with you, you can request another meeting of the IEP team and bring this person.

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