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My nine-year-old daughter is in the third grade. Her work goes from good to okay to poor throughout the school year. She is getting ready to get out of school in less than two weeks. Since first grade, I have asked her teachers, school counselors, and her pediatrician to evaluation her for learning disabilities. Her biological father has ADHD and dyslexia.

I cannot get anyone to take the responsibility to test her. The school says it’s her doctor’s area, but her doctor says it is the school’s. Who really is the one who should be testing her? Her teacher says she spaces out in classes and she inverts digital 2’s and 5’s, the word “a” and “the,” and “b’s” and “d’s.” She also says her mind tells her to stand when she’s repeatedly told to sit, especially at her desk in school and at the table when eating anywhere.

Please help me help her. Her teacher even hinted she’d be better off staying back another year. I don’t know how she would handle that.

Thank you.

Wow!! Talk about passing the buck. Your descriptions suggest that she might have a learning disability and/or ADHD. One does not have to guess which. Given her difficulties with letter/number reversals and her not being where she should be academically at the end of third grade, the possibility of a learning disability is real. This possibility is even greater given that her biological father has a form of LD called dyslexia.

The only way to clarify is to have her take a battery of tests called a psycho-educational evaluation. Insist that her school professionals do such testing. See Sample Letter-Requesting an Initial Evaluation for Special Education Services. If she has LD, she will need special education services plus appropriate accommodations. The question of repeating third can only be answered after these data are available.

Should you have a history, going back to preschool of her being fidgety/hyperactive, inattentive, and/or impulsive, her family doctor should evaluate for ADHD. If she has this disorder, medication might help. Remember, it is not on or the other. Many children have both and both need to be addressed.

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