School psychologist doesn't agree with diagnosis

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Chewsie, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Chewsie

    Chewsie New Member

    Hi,

    I just spoke to the school psychologist after faxing the results of my son's psychological evaluation and projective testing over to her. She doesn't agree with the diagnosis of Asperger's syndrome(like who asked her)..I politely told her in a round about way "Too bad"..it is what it is...they demanded I get him seen and tested and I did. She said the results of their testing show no learning disabilities(which we knew)and at the team meeting she would explain what they were willing to offer him in the realm of his social issues. She was clearly not happy with his diagnosis. It kind of sinks their battle ship of repeatedly saying he is just doing this for attention.
     
  2. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Oh Chewsie, way to go!! Our lead school psychologist thought difficult child was being "manipulative", so wanted the school district contracted psychologist to test him. We told her "Fine!". It tickled us to death that the doctor reported he was NOT being manipulative at all and that he had severe disorders causing his poor behavior. You just found out the same thing! It'll get you further with school accommodations than you think!
     
  3. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    Good for you. I hope their ship sinks all the way to the bottom.
     
  4. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">they demanded I get him seen and tested and I did </div></div>

    Did the school district evaluate difficult child?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">she would explain what they were willing to offer him in the realm of his social issues. </div></div>

    At an IEP meeting?
     
  5. Chewsie

    Chewsie New Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Sheila</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">they demanded I get him seen and tested and I did </div></div>

    Did the school district evaluate difficult child?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">she would explain what they were willing to offer him in the realm of his social issues. </div></div>

    At an IEP meeting?

    </div></div>


    Hi,

    Yes, the school district did their own evaluation, they did not do the psychological assessment because we had it done independently. Yes, to the second question at the IEP meeting/TEAM meeting. She said he has no learning disabilities, all his issues are social/behavioral...but she didn't agree with the diagnosis of Asperger's disorder.
     
  6. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Before an IEP meeting, they would have to qualify him for Special Education. Did they do that? If not, then there is no "real" IEP. IF a school district chooses to accept an outside pscyhological as their own, they can't cherry pick it. They take it in its entirety. If they disagree, then they can do their own. Welcome at that point to dueling experts.

    I really don't think it matters if the school psychologist agrees with the diagnosis of AS or not. The school district is willing to provide social services to increase the likelihood difficult child will benefit from educational opportunity and prevent further problems. That should be enough for them. Everyone does not have to agree 100% on everything--just on the need for services, and what services.

    Martie
     
  7. lordhelpme

    lordhelpme New Member

    we have the same issue that the school psychiatric and school sw both think bipolar is a wrong diagnosis cuz the medications aren't helping yet even though the psychiatrist said it would take time as they slowly up the medications watching out for side effects.

    i must say the the princ in our school is being a :censored2: while the sw and school psychiatric are helping us get help outside help from community health. i guess we will have to wait and see what the new psychiatrist says on thurs.

    it just amazes me how we all run into the same issues. where is the education of the educational system?
     
  8. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Hi,
    It is still difficult to change the mindset of therapists who have a behaviorist training. Even if a kid has no skills deficits and motivation is the problem , relying on extrinsic motivation is not the answer. The research shows , see Alfie Kohn and Deci , that extrinsic motivation has a negative effect on developing intrinsic motivation. The problem could be the teaching environment , how to reach the kid , as Alfie Kohn said - Discipline is the problem , not the solution and of course what message do we give our kids , in the words of Eli Newberger is -
    The method of withdrawing privileges is essentially negative: I can't communicate with you, and so I'll hurt you if you don't mind me. The positive counterpoint is: We all make mistakes, and you can trust me to help you do better in the future.
    if a kid does not fit exactly into a diagnosis , it does not mean there is no problem. The dictionary defines manipulative behavior as skillful in influencing or controlling others to your own advantage - most of these children display poor coping skills , reactive , aggressive without any thought or at least distorted thinking. Discipline is from the Latin word to teach , hence the word disciple. Where are all the teaching moments, helping the kid find alternative replacement behaviors ? AS Gordon Thomas PET says every time you use ' power ' an opportunity for learning is lost. There is always room to improve skills and a kid is more likely to respond to a teacher who respects the kid, gives him a voice , he feels understood and can trust her than some one who is ' conditional ' and manipulates him with a carrot or stick. We are dealing with a kid's perceptions , a kid - and most kids are in this category - kids want to do well , want to do the right thing .
    Good luck
    Allan
     
  9. SchPsych

    SchPsych New Member

    Hi,
    New to this board. Just offering an opinion so please don't get upset because I work as a school psychologist. While I don't know the motive behind particular school psychologist's actions, I hope that reading some of these posts doesn't create an "us vs. them" mentality. Child study teams should be willing to help parents with diagnostic issues and not try to reject outside diagnoses. I believe strongly in what the last post says, "if a kid doesn't fit into a diagnosis it does not mean there is no problem." There should be help for all children that struggle in school. What I would encourage all of us to do, is look at the federal and state laws and legislators, and ask why Special Education. laws have strict categories for eligibility, or why enough money is not given to schools to hire enough good teachers and child study team members who can help every child, or why state legislators are making laws about education when most of them have no idea what it takes to educate our children these days. I know bad child study team members and bad teachers, and one terrible part of the system is tenure. It keeps bad teachers in schools and bad child study team members who don't want to help the students. All of these laws and rules keep those of us who work in schools from doing the best job possible. I can work 12 hours a day and still not help a fraction of the kids in my district that need it. Yet other psychologists will put in a 7.5 hour day and go home and not worry about anything. There is a lot of ineffective management of schools and the law that really hurts the kids more, and create situations that allow bad psychologists to remain in positions where they can "reject" reports or try to refuse to help a student to the best ability of the school. Just a thought...
     
  10. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    SchPsych,

    I responded to your other thread first.

    I agree with some of your assertions--others perhaps not, but it does not matter. We are all stuck with the law as it is currently written an interpreted through case law. I think it is a fair statement to say that in the history of Special Education, the children with the most educated (and affluent) parents have gotten the best educational services. We cannot make everyone affluent here in our little corner of the EBD world, but we can try to level the playing field so that parents have access to knowledge that will allow them to be effective advocates for their children OR work more effectively with their on-site advocate or attorney if they have one.

    I am a professional in the field but came to this board as a parent. My child was unjustly deprived of FAPE and his life was put at risk despite all I know about Special Education. law. If that can happen to me, what will happen to the average parent who trusts that professionals will serve their difficult child's well? We bailed out of the public system and provided our son with a private therapeutic boarding school education and then a private day high school. Not everyone can do that and no one should HAVE to. I do not have a "thing" vs public education. My easy child graduated from a public high school and ex-difficult child made it through 8 grades before disaster struck.

    I am not the only professional who feels this way. Craig Fiedler, author of Making a Difference: Advocacy Competencies for Special Education Professionals, states openly that his severely disabled daughter received the public Special Education service she did because he is an attorney and his wife is a special educator. It is a matter of social justice that the law work the same for everyone; that requires knowledge because, unfortunately, the squeaky wheel still gets the grease.

    Would you mind preparing a signature? That way, you will not keep having to explain who you are.


    Martie
     
  11. SchPsych

    SchPsych New Member

    Martie,
    I appreciate you welcoming me to the board in your other post, and your responses as well. You are right, knowledge is extremely important for parents to use to level the field and the squeaky wheel does still get the grease. And that is not fair or legally acceptable. My original point really was that advocacy can be done on many levels other than just in individual meetings between child study teams and parents. I think broader changes in the law and in school districts could ensure greater quality of education to a greater number of students. I do think it is terrible that families are unjustly deprived of FAPE, and I am trying to be active in my own district to improve the inequalities. It isn't and probably never will be a perfect system because the dedication to providing FAPE is not equal in all school districts. People need to know their rights as well as they know their kids. I give a lot of credit to parents that are reading this forum and seeking knowledge because they are actively advocating for their child. I wish families in my district had the access and education to obtain this same level of knowledge but ordering books and going to websites is not always easy for the lower socioeconomic families in my area where families don't all have computers and work all hours of the day to support single parent families.
    Just to clarify, I only joined this board to try to offer my own opinions that may or may not be helpful to others based on experiences I have as a professional. My purpose is not to challenge others or act as an authority. I just find it helpful to hear different perspectives on issues. And I appreciate having a better understanding of parents' points of view. I'm not familiar with all of the abbreviations or signatures in all of the entries, and maybe I can learn that. But if my responses interfere with the help you provide each other I can certainly refrain from writing as well.
     
  12. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    You do not need to refrain from responding. I just suggested that you add a signature so you don't have to keep saying that you are a school psychologist who is interested in learning more about self-advocacy or whatever you want to say--signatures are personal preferences but moderators encourage them to keep people straight.

    There is a section of the board that explains the abbreviations and how to construct a signature.

    The board has long wanted the participation of various professionals--but it is not always easy. I have an advantage because I am a parent and I have been around since 1999. by the way I am a faculty member at a university and I work for the School psychiatric program at the moment. I also am an active researcher and this group of parents is very supportive of any research that will help our children.

    Best to you,

    Martie
     
  13. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    You do not need to refrain from responding. I just suggested that you add a signature so you don't have to keep saying that you are a school psychologist who is interested in learning more about self-advocacy or whatever you want to say--signatures are personal preferences but moderators encourage them to keep people straight.

    There is a section of the board that explains the abbreviations and how to construct a signature.

    The board has long wanted the participation of various professionals--but it is not always easy. I have an advantage because I am a parent and I have been around since 1999. by the way I am a faculty member at a university and I work for the School psychiatric program at the moment. I also am an active researcher and this group of parents is very supportive of any research that will help our children.

    Best to you,

    Martie
     
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