Questions Regarding psychiatric/Ed Testing

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by SearchingForRainbows, May 21, 2007.

  1. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    The school district is going to give difficult child 2 a psychiatric/ed evaluation. He is going to be taken out of class for two hours each time, twice this week to have the testing done.

    The pyschologist doing the testing sent me a lengthy questionnaire. husband and I filled it out immediately and sent it back. I also spoke to the person doing the testing for about 10 minutes over the phone. She just asked a few general things about difficult child 2. She also sent questionnaires to all of difficult child 2's teachers to complete. She said that after doing the testing, if she felt it was necessary, she would send me additional forms to fill out.

    I have a good impression of her even though I only spoke to her briefly over the phone. I'm interested in finding out what exactly is needed for a psychiatric/ed evaluation to be thorough. Any information is greatly appreciated!!! WFEN
     
  2. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

  3. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    difficult child had this testing done last week. Two hours at a time, took two days. She said it could take more, depends on child. We were also given forms as well as teacher (spec. ed) and difficult child was given one also. psychologist said it was amazing all of us completed it almost exact. She said they are different for each of us, but basically gave her the same answer from all of us. Today was IEP and we went over test results.

    This is what she tested: (again, different for each state or school district??)

    cognitive Abilities - Woodcock Johnson III tests of cognitive abilities

    Academic achievement - WIAT - II Weschler indivicual Acheivement test

    Behavior - BASC - Rating Scales
     
  4. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Sheila and Kjs, Thanks so much for the info!!! I really appreciate it!!!

    Kjs, I think it is really good news that everyone's answers were basically the same. Having everyone on the same page has to help when deciding how much and what type of services are needed for difficult child.

    Thanks again. WFEN
     
  5. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Since the WJ cognitive abilities test also has an achievement test, and the WIAT is an achievement test that is normed on the same population as the WISC series, the school district should have chosen one from each. This makes direct comparisons between ability and achievement problematic.

    I doubt this was an accident. The only justification for giving the WJ cognitive is it contain one unique item found on no other test. Otherwise, like the RIAS, it is given only because it is cheaper than a WISC.

    The BASC is the "standard" behavior scale and also has a student form that should be given to difficult child (for students over age 8.)

    FYI

    Martie
     
  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Trouble with the testing is that nobody explained the results. just said he scored in the superior range and kept bringing up auditory how superior that was. On the graph she showed me he was in the 130 + area for everything. but only 70% for visual. That is all that was said, besides the fact that he refused to do it each day, and showed severe anxiety and was terrified to fail. Just waiting for the hard copy to see if I can figure anything out.
     
  7. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Martie,

    Thanks for the additional info!!! I'm sure I'll be returning to this forum when I get the results back. WFEN
     
  8. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Kjs,

    in my opinion, it is the school district's responsibility to explain the testing to you. As soon as you get the hard copy, I would request another meeting to have the results explained in detail. Schools are just so much fun to deal with :grrr:!!! WFEN
     
  9. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Do NOT make decisions until ther results have been expalined in full--this should be done PRIOR TO the Determination-IEP meeting.

    This is not law but it is BEST PRACTICE to say nothing of commons sense. One cannot process evaluation results while participating in a meeting.

    Sometimes I have the fantasy that only Sheila and I had SDs that KNEW they could not schedulule meetings without producing evaluation results first. Of course that is not true but it is an important point. I was able to get direct release--and sometimes a school district will not do that citing the need to release to a "qualified professional." If they will not release drectly to you, then they must go over the evaluation with you.

    in my opinion it is important not to give in on this one.

    Martie :warrior:

     
  10. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Martie,

    Thanks again!!! Hopefully, I'll have a school district that will give me the written results before the IEP meeting. I've had trouble with this in the past but we have a new SPED director.

    If the school district won't release the results to me, I'll DEFINITELY ask for them to be explained to me prior to an IEP meeting!!! :warrior:

    Hopefully, I'll be back here again soon with more questions. difficult child 2 was supposed to have more testing today but he said the person doing the testing didn't come. Hopefully, she'll be back tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed as I want this completed ASAP!!!

    Thanks again!!! I'm so glad this forum is here!!! WFEN
     
  11. Michellenurse0

    Michellenurse0 New Member

    We too had all of the testing done. And they never went over the results till the IEP meeting. But I know that the school psychologist in our school district does some of the testing but can read all the results. She went over the entire test results (in the IEP meeting) and answered any and all questions. I also had other questions for her later on after the meeting (he was also superior intelligence) and she was good enough to answer them. At the time he was given a 504 but then upon continuos issues and failing grades they gave him a SE 89 OHI. Call you school psychologist and see what she can tell you. Good luck.
     
  12. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    I received the results of difficult child 2's psychiatric/ed evaluation yesterday. The school district has scheduled a meeting for July 3rd to go over the results of the evaluation. The SPED Director and a BCBA (Board Certified Behavioral Analyst) will meet with husband and I. As far as we know, no other persons will be present. I have lots of questions!!!

    First, here are the tests that were given to difficult child 2:

    Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV)
    Weschler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-ll)
    Achenbach Behavior Checklists (Parent, Teacher, and Youth Self-Report Forms)
    Walker-McConnell Scale of Social Competence and School Adjustment.

    Are these tests adequate in a thorough psychiatric/ed evaluation?

    I know I've heard that it is important to have an experienced person administering the test. difficult child 2 was tested by a Pre-Doctoral Psychology Intern. (I didn't know this until I got the evaluation.) Is this ok??? The evaluation was signed by this person as well as by a Licensed Psychologist who never met difficult child 2.

    I've been told that from a psychiatric ed evaluation you can determine the social age of a difficult child. What do I look for on the evaluation to determine difficult child 2's social age?

    difficult child 2 was given two new diags based on the evaluation. According to the evaluation, difficult child 2 meets the criteria for Asperger's and Anxiety Disorder not otherwise specified. Also, according to the evaluation, he might have a co-existing mood disorder. Is it common to receive diags based on psychiatric ed testing alone??? HELP!!!

    Also, this is not an IEP meeting. We were not sent the appropriate form to fill out and sign. This meeting was set up informally over the phone by the SPED's secretary. We were given one week's notice. I will not sign anything at this meeting. The way I understand things, this meeting is to explain the results to us. It may also be to set up a temporary plan to help with difficult child 2's transition from middle school to high school.

    The school district violated the law by not getting the psychiatric ed evaluation completed within the 45 day limit. I sent the school district a certified letter and also hand delivered a copy to the SPED office last Tuesday. I received a phone call that very day telling me that we would receive the evaluation soon and that a meeting would be set up to go over it. The evaluation was mailed that morning. I received it that same afternoon. (We live in a very small town!)

    Well, enough questions for now!!! My head is spinning trying to make sense of this report!!! I appreciate any and all help!!! WFEN
     
  13. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The WISC and WIAT are achievement and ability tests that result in an IQ and can reveal LDs or signal the evaluator that more specific Learning Disability (LD) testing may be needed. It's important that you have the subtest scores that make up the Standard Scores.

    These type scores can be presented in a variety of ways, e.g., standard scores, percentile, age equivalent, grade equivalent, T scores, etc. Tests and Measurements for the Parent, Teacher,
    Advocate & Attorney at http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/tests_measurements.html is helpful in understanding what the scores mean.

    To the best of my knowledge, the other two tests you listed are Teacher and/or Parent checklists. This type data can give evaluators important clues such as potential attention problems, general behavior, anxiety issues, social problems, etc. You might want to do some research to see exactly what the tests can red flag.

    I would think the report also has a psychological section that at least summarizes the basis for the dxs and addresses social-age type items.

    Is the testing adequate? I can't answer that. So much goes into the final analysis that's not in the reports.... I read these reports on my son, review them again, check for conflicting information within the report, then step back and ask myself questions such as: "Based on whatI know about my son, does this make sense?" "Does this report address behaviors I see such as X, Y or Z?" "Does it reflect academic strengths and weaknesses I see?" "Does the Recommendation section of the report cover all issues?" "Are the Recommendations targeted at difficult child specifically, or is it boiler plate report writing (one size fits all)?"

    Are credentials adequate? It's signed by a licensed psychologist, so technically "yes." But, again I can't answer that realistically. Credentials tell you that the individual is capable of performing to a certain standard -- it doesn't tell you that they did their best work or even adequate work. I've had a highly credentialed, highly recommended private evaluator for difficult child that proved disappointing. In contrast, one of the best evaluations for educational testing done on difficult child was performed by a "dyslexia expert" with-the school district that didn't even have the status of Diagnostician. Further, the report she produced was second to none.

    But I can tell you that if you do not agree with the school district's evaluation for any reason, you can request an IEE.









     
  14. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Sheila,

    THANKS!!! I bookmarked the site you gave me for helping me to understand the scores. I'll read it carefully as soon as I have a quiet moment - Hopefully this afternoon!!!

    Thanks again!!! It is so difficult to get difficult children the help they need. It makes it even harder when I have trouble deciphering (SP?)the evaluation, especially after I worked so hard to get it!!!
    :warrior: :warrior: :warrior:

    I'm sure I'll be back here after the meeting next week. WFEN
     
  15. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    I agree with all that Sheila said.

    A predoc intern is LIKELY to be better trained (and supervised) than many school psychologists trained years ago at the master's level. Also, the licensed psychologist who signed as supervisor is putting his/her license on the line if there is a major error, so I would not be prejudiced vs the evaluation due to the predoc status of the evaluator. This person has had at least 4 years of graduate work.

    On the other hand, anyone can be wrong, including the supervisor who signed the report. Read carefully, check the references Sheila gave you, and develop a list of specific questions you have BEFORE the meeting. Make sure that all of them are answered--don't "wing it" by just listening to them talk. You have to be proactive to get the questions that are important to you answered. It is usually easier to think BEFORE a meeting than during it.

    Martie
     
  16. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    First I want to thank everyone for your help and suggestions again. I'm so very glad this site is here!!! I carefully read and reread every comment, idea, and suggestion that was given to me. I truly value each and every opinion.

    Sheila, the site you recommended was excellent!!! I printed a copy of the chapter on tests and measurements and husband and I both read it several times. Martie, husband and I took your advice and wrote down a specific set of questions that we wanted answers to. I also photocopied some of difficult child 2's written assignments and a description of the daily living skills program that I wanted difficult child 2 to attend in the fall. (Unfortunately this program has most likely been cut due to lack of funding.:thumbsdown::nonono:. While I found this out prior to the meeting, I still wanted the SPED director to review the course material.)

    The meeting went much, much better than anticipated. It was truly a meeting just to go over the results of the evaluation. As I already mentioned, the only persons in attendance were myself, husband, the SPED director, and the Board Certified Behavioral Analyist (BCBA). The meeting lasted almost two hours!!!

    The BCBA went over each item on the evaluation and gave us time to ask questions. The four of us discussed what we believed to be the main areas that need to be addressed. Although husband and I disagreed with some of the information concerning written expression, the four of us agreed on most things.

    The BCBA had to leave while husband and I still had a few things we wanted to discuss. However, the SPED director answered the remaining questions we had. The SPED director invited the BCBA back at the end of August when the SPED director is going to assemble the entire team for a team meeting. At the next meeting, we'll write an IEP for difficult child 2.

    The SPED director told us that on friday, he is going to meet with the principal to go over what was discussed at our meeting, and to review the written assignments I gave him.

    For husband and I, one of the best parts of the meeting was when the BCBA said that she could give difficult child 2 a vocational survey to determine what types of work he would best be suited for upon graduation. The SPED director, husband and myself thought this was an excellent idea. husband and I mentioned that we want difficult child 2's high school education, as much as possible, to revolve around skills that he can use in the work force when he graduates.

    The SPED director said that if we want, he will begin the process of getting difficult child 2 tested by our state because he believes he might qualify for state aid on many levels once he graduates. I don't want to be too optimistic (SP???), but, I'm beginning to see a glimmer of light at the end of the long, dark tunnel we've felt trapped in for so long...

    For now, I'm going to take a few days off from thinking about difficult child 2's future. I hope I'm able to do this because I truly am exhausted and stressed from the past few months!!!

    I'll be back with an update at the end of August, beginning of September. I hope that things continue to go this well. I've NEVER had such a positive experience with a SPED director in the past!!! I've heard that our new SPED director has a good heart and tries to do the right thing... I hope he doesn't let us down...

    Thanks again, WFEN
     
  17. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Wow! What a great Sp Ed Director! Kudos to your school district! :biggrin:
     
  18. IMSnoopee

    IMSnoopee New Member

    I can only speak for the state I live in, but we have IEP partners who are trained in the IEP process, the law, and resources for parents that attend the IEP meeting with you.

    Here's the link: http://www.orpti.org/

    They can attend the meeting with you, take notes, and help you through the process. The degree to which they are active in the meeting is up to you.

    I know when I first went through an IEP meeting, it was a lot of school people talking to me. It irritated me and I did A LOT of homework and research. Our next meeting I came prepared speaking their language -- which made a huge difference. Amazing how a different set of verbiage can change things.

    Anyhow, don't know if I helped! :smile:
     
  19. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    I'm glad things went so well for you.

    A transition plan should be in the IEP. A vocational test is a beginning but there should to be a plan that addresses each aspect of the needs he has. The law requires that this be in place by 16 but Best Practice is 14.

    Martie
     
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