heading towards academic testings

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Ktllc, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Let me say that V has a wonderful teacher. She does so many accomodations and in such detail that it would be hard to list them all in a this thread. All of them have been listed in V's 504 plan.
    As today was his first day with the Isense FM system, i talked with his teacher early this morning and explained how it works.
    She then asked if I had a few more minutes and we walked out of the class in a quiet area.
    She explained that V is having difficulties with reading and writing. Blending sounds is extremely difficult for him (his Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is working on it 2x week). He has the usual on and off days which I keep track in a journal so we can better gauge it over a long period of time (the teacher tells me everyday if it was a on or off day). V never has behavior issues at school, it's just that some days he simply cannot learn. He goes in outer space.
    She said that the gap is getting bigger and said she was glad we have a scheduled team meeting at the end of the month. I'll receive his quaterly report Jan. 17th and we'll meet afterwards.
    I asked her if she thought we should launch school testing for learning disabilty. V has been classified (by the school AND his therapists) as being at risk for specific learning disabilities.
    She said that it probably was time to do the testing. The gap is big enough now that testings should reveal something and qualify him for services.
    She added that the only reason the gap is not bigger is because V has benefited from early intervention through private therapists and myself. Always nice to hear some one recognize it! :)
    My question to you: what tests should I request?
    The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) tests were done less than a year ago so the school should be able to use them. The ADOS and SCAR did not reveal his Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) though. They used other standarized test to diagnosis V (tests relating to theory of mind). I was told by an advocate that the school could not pretend to offer better Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) testings than this university.
    So what do I ask: put V in a Autism category? Just specific learning disabilty?
    V is not classic in any way and I'm not sure what the best course of action should be. All I know is that the teacher has my back and will help V any way she can.
    Having a free advocate come to my remote location is probably not doable at this point. The Autism society said that they would do it if things really don't work. Right now, I can have phone conversations with them, that's pretty much it.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He's already flagged for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)... right? at least at the general level?
    But has he been tested for it? or is he old enough? (usually 6 or 7)
    Reason for asking is... it makes a difference which Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) he is dealing with - or more than one.
    For example, "auditory figure ground" has to do with filtering out background noise. Which is distinct from "auditory discrimination", which is the ability to tell the difference between similar sounds.

    Can they check for dyslexia? this would affect both reading and writing
    How about dysgraphia? this impacts writing
    Fine motor skills may also come into play... did the Occupational Therapist (OT) screen for motor integration?
  3. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) is NOT recognized as a disability in NC. Crazy, I know... Right now, the audiologist found issues with phonemic awareness. At 5, we cannot do thorough Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) testings yet.
    His does have issues with fine motor but severe enough to be picked up by school Occupational Therapist (OT). But he gets tired easily when writing and needs to focus a lot to achieve good hand writing. He can do it but it takes lots of efforts.
    I do plan on requesting reading testing (dyslexia or other reading disabilty). That is the area the teacher is most worried about.
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh man! I wrote my response out and lost the whole thing on my phone. I am going to try again, hope I dont forget something....

    I'd advocate for him to be under the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) category. I have seen many kids without a medical diagnosis be placed under that category, so even if Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified or not a diagnosis he could have that label. The reason I say this is that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is established to often need related services such as Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and you do not have to qualify separately for each service. SLD (specific learning disorder) is not necessarily associated with those and while he is young it is easier to get Occupational Therapist (OT) but much harder when they get older so to have the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) will help you in that case with both. Also, even though the gap is widening, on the academic testing that is needed for SLD there are few items for a child his age and it is easy to look within normal means (as you have had happen before) and it could still be that way, plus if I remember, there has to be a gap between ability and achievement that is met, so it is not age based necessarily. (or grade based).... BUT with the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) category, any related issue including academic issues can be addressed. This will likely vary over his life so it would be great to have it be an option and not have to have him qualify for SLD every few years (kids generally do not NOT qualify for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) once they are in sp ed....but sometimes SLD they do end up doing well and then have to re-enter later.

    IF he does qualify now or later for SLD he can have it listed as a secondary disability category. But keep Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) as the primary. I think you can also use Other Health Impaired to work on the Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)....(again as a secondary disability category).

    Regardless of whether he qualifies for SLD, he can receive full support for his academic challenges and the accommodations that are common for Autism will be much easier to obtain if he is under Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    Just my humble, (but have seen kids and families struggle) opinion....

    What does your gut say, you always can sway me because you are very good with how you see things in relation to your little guy.....smile.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) isn't a disability here, either.
    But it is an "accommodated medical condition".

    Not sure what the difference is, to be honest... but we do get accommodations for it.
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I do think that a lot (if not all) his challenges are due to the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). And I see your point. If I had it my way, I would want the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) category. Probably would also offer more protection for other issues (such as social issues, overstimulation, etc...).
    I wonder if the school can deny him the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) category though. Some old fears coming back.
    I've had such a horrible experience with the Special Education preschool department... I really don't want a replay!
    The lead teacher of the school department has already warned me that a medical diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) does not mean the school will qualify a child in the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) category. She is a real piece of work... I hope V never has to deal with her directly.
    The principal (former Special Education teacher) seems a lot more reasonable and ready to help. But I'm cautious now.
    All I know at this point: his Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is affecting his learning. I have NO doubt.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The toughest part with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is that it doesn't just affect his learning. It affects his behavior, too. It's called "pervasive" for a reason! And that's why the earlier he can get formally recognized (in the school system), the better. Better to have things in place (if possible) before behavior becomes an issue... right, as if... school is going to be proactive? Sorry, I forgot.
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    As far as testing, I would recommend asking for the following

    Cognitive Functioning -- IQ tests (WIAT plus a non-verbal IQ test)
    Ask for both tests as a significant difference between the scores could indicate an issue.

    Academics (WJIII or similar)

    Hearing/Vision -- just the screenings unless they indicate a problem

    Communication -- speech language testing to include expressive, receptive and pragmatics
    Make sure they check connected language and not just vocabulary

    Motor Skills -- both fine and gross motor skills as well as sensory integration

    Social-Emotional -- at this age, probably just a parent-BASC and interviews

    Self-Help/Adaptive -- Vineland or similar

    Each professional has their own "favorite" test for each area. Generally, you want them to use that one because they are most familiar with it and there is a better chance of getting accurate results.
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    As InsaneCdn said, Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) testing will have to wait until he is 7. I would suggest that you have it written in the notes that this is a concern for future testing. Testing is redone every three years and he will be old enough at that time to do it.
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    That information is incorrect for NC and any other state. A diagnosed disorder does not automatically qualify a student for an IEP; likewise there doesn't even have to be a diagnosis.

    When there's a problem that is not "listed" but it (they) adversely impact learning, the category would be OHI.

    OHI (Other Health Impaired)
  11. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    The OHI category is good to know. I will write all that down. If I don't I might forget when I am at the actual meeting, I tend to be quite tense!
    It seems like the school has so much power: make the rules work against or in favor of the student's needs. If they are willing, they can find a way but the opposite is also very true!
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Thanks Sheila, that was on my original post, maybe I forgot it, in future if he qualifies for sld you can add it as a secondary disability category on the iep.you can also have ohi for health concerns that affect his learning such as Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). ADHD goes under OHI and Q has it listed as a secondary area(OHI) for his acquired brain injury(because only traumatic brain injury is a disability category....which in my humble opinion needs to change) ohi can be primary of course but in your case V' s Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is the pervasive issue so I pray you can convince them with the new medical evidence and the teachers support that Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) should be primary.

    Unfortunately you already know that normative-data wise, he has not qualified for speech Lang. services and in general...all other testing too.....so using Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) then adding Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and Occupational Therapist (OT) services as"related" services might be the best option for him. I sure hope this is your year. the good news is your school seems responsive even on the 504 and that is a comfort until you get this pushed through.
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Something else -- take care not to limit the testing the school will perform. They are required to test in all areas of "suspected" disability. Very helpful for you to help them suspect, but not inadvertently limit the testing.

    I bring this up so that in the event you do not agree with their evaluation(s) and request an independent evaluation, you are not likewise limited.

    Also, the appropriate professional to test for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) is an audiologist that has a sub-specialty in Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). It's been so long since my difficult child was tested, I don't remember age requirements, but I'd hope things have advanced since then. But school do not typically have the sophisticated tools for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) testing.

    Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) testing for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) is more like screening in my opinion. I was told these type tests can miss lots of things -- and for my difficult child that proved true.
  14. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) here... missed Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) the first time and caught it the second time - three years apart. The difference? A new screening tool. If Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) is doing the screening, they need to be screening for ALL the APDs (there's 5 or 6, including auditory figure ground and auditory discrimination). If they are not screening for those, then the screening is misleading.