This might be a silly question

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by house of cards, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    but, is low IQ a reason for Special Education?? My L was recently denied for sp ed. She showed mostly average with a few low average scores which I guess you can say is her potential?? But she is struggling with reading and math. In particular she has trouble telling time, counting money and decoding words, she can only read sight words she knows. She is in 3rd grade.

    I've been reading up on reading problems and I'm not even sure I should be pushing for sp ed anymore, I've read that sp ed doesn't do well with reading. The school is a good school, they have her in take out with a reading specialist several times a week, She also has anxiety problems and they have placed her with an incredible teacher that has been way above and beyond helpful and gentle with her yet she still struggles even with the support.

    So, I guess my questions are, how would you go about proving she needs sp ed and would you even try to get her in sp ed? The reading concerns me the most at this point. At this time she has a 504, she is given Occupational Therapist (OT) and this year started counseling for the anxiety.
  2. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Have you talked to anyone at SEARCH about this? Also you can go into the office and ask for the forms to do the psyc evaluation and IQ test yourself. Talk to the priciple about your concerns.
    Special Education is a level of services that is more than 504. Here the FAPE IDEA IEP give the school the access to provide a wider level of me they are not lableing your child nor will they keep those services going unless either a teacher or you require it. It isn't about wether your child is getting a low grade it is about how they learn and where do they need special specific support to achieve. Highly intellegent kids have learning challenges that do not solve themselves. The testing shows how your child does learn. And where they are struggling. I encourage you to go for it and what are they going to say? No? Then call over that persons head...the only thing you have to loose is the quality educaation your child is required to recieve by law.
  3. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    My daughter had ST at age 3, then formally tested in 1st grade. the ST qualified her for an IEP and, later, LDSC placement. her IQ was 71-73 (i'm not sure which since both #'s are in her IEP) which is boarderline. she didn't start reading until 3rd grade and is falling just short of district standards (Iowa tests last year) You could request in writing to have the school test her if you feel she needs more help.
  4. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    The school did evaluate L and found her to NOT qualify.

    School has tested Wechsler Intelligence Scale, 4th ed and she scored:

    Verbal comprehension 81-10%
    Perceptual Reasoning 79-8%
    Working memory 74-4%
    Processing speed 91-27%
    Full scale 76-5%

    Woodcock-Johnson III:

    grade equivalant/ standard score/ age equivalant
    Oral language- 2.7/ 99/ 8-4
    Oral expression- 3.2/ 102/ 8-10
    Listening comprehension- 2.5/ 96/ 8-1

    Broad reading- 2.4/ 91/ 7-8
    Broad math- 2.2/ 91/ 7-7
    Broad written language- 5.1/ 126/ 10-4

    Basic reading skills- 2.2/ 88/ 7-8
    Math calc skills- 2.2/ 90/ 7-7
    Written expression- 7.7/ 140/ 13-1

    Academic skills- 2.5/ 93/ 7-11
    Academic fluency- 4.4/ 119/ 9-9
    Academic Apps- 2.1/ 90/ 7-6

    These results are messed up because she scored super high or the sub-test for writing fluency which was most likely a mistake..she didn't repeat the score at neuropsychologist testing.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  5. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    neuropsychologist tested;


    Reading composite 81 low average
    Mathmatics composite 77 borderline
    Spelling 93 average

    With memory testing she scored low average in

    verbal learning
    design reconition

    she scored borderline on

    design memory
    picture memory recognition

    Visual-motor intergration 81 low average 10%
    Visual-perceptual-motor (where we thought there were problems) above or at expected levels

    Purdue pegboard: right 13-31% average
    left 11 16% low average
    both 7 2% borderline

    Behavior Assessment System(BASC2)

    clinically significant Internalizing problems

    at risk Adaptive skills
    social skills
    functional communication

    I'm sorry for giving so much info but I need advice on what is appropriate services for her and I don't understand what to make of this stuff...I know I need to get some good books and learn but I need to know what to do for her NOW, so thank you for reading through all of this and any help you can give me.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Kathie, maybe I'm missing something, but how is L able to get Occupational Therapist (OT) and counseling without an IEP? Those are services not generally provided under a 504 plan.
  7. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    They list Occupational Therapist (OT) 1 x a week in the accommodations needed descriptions, counselling was added after the 504 and isn't mentioned but she goes with a woman for lunch with 1 other girl 1 x a week. Other things listed are vertical math, extra time, check for understanding of directions, quiet testing area, use of manipulatives and multisensory approach.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    The counseling my M is getting under her 504 sounds similar to L's.

    Here's what I know (and perhaps Sheila will correct me when she checks in): Getting to the bottom of why a child is not reading is very difficult. It takes a very good evaluation -- preferably with a knowledgeable private speech and language pathologist -- to figure it out. The kind of evaluations the school district does are not enough. The type of reading problem then determines the specific reading interventions.

    Some interventions (for example, Orton-Gillingham or Wilson Reading) are more appropriate for one type of reading problem than another. While it's always preferable to have an IEP over a 504 plan (more protection), my understanding is that some SDs may choose one method of remediating reading when your child may require another intervention. I understand from some parents in my school district that it's been challenging to prove their children need an intervention other than what the school district is serving up. Obviously, I have no idea what occurs in your school district.

    I still would push for an IEP, especially because L's not decoding words. That way she will have measurable goals (something that's not in a 504), and the school district is responsible if she's not meeting her measurable goals.

    Under what grounds was L recently denied an IEP?
  9. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I'm not sure. The summary of the school report states she is average except for a low average in basic reading skills. They were of the opinion that L's teacher being a bit strict last year hightened her anxiety and that she could actually preform better then she shows, which is partially true. Does the neuropsychologist results show enough extra weakness to argue the point with them? It did clear up the unexplainable result she had with superior ablility in writing (the school's test) wasn't accurate.

    I left things with them that I didn't agree with their conclusion and would be seeking outside testing, I expressed disbelief in the writing fluency. They told me to come back if I get more data, I believe they will work with me but I want to make sure I approach it the right way. They do not have the neuropsychologist report at this time.
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I don't think the testing used in neuropsychological evaluations is always "sensitive" enough to catch learning disabilities in reading. There are many facets of reading that could break down, and it could take a private speech and language evaluation to pinpoint exactly what's going on with L. However, make sure that any testing you do on the outside will be accepted by the school district before you do it.

    I hope Sheila will chime in here because she has a lot of experience with reading issues.
  11. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Ok, thanks alot Smallworld. I will get her tested by a speech/language person, I can ask M's speech therapist to recommend someone to me. The school has always accepted outside evaluations so I don't think that would be a problem and my insurance will cover the testing in full. I just need to get a referral from my pediatrician, which she will do, just need to get the time to do it all. Thanks, I now have a direction to go in.

    I also will find out what reading program they are using with her in school. I am feeling a little bit more aware of what I am doing, thanks all.
  12. Superpsy

    Superpsy New Member

    House of Cards,

    Looking at the testing results (just based on those only) it looks like the school district is saying difficult child doesn't have a learning disability under the discrepancy model. This model for looking at testing results looks for a statistically significant discrepancy between her cognitive and academic scores. The long and the short of it is the school district investigates whether difficult child is performing at a level (academics) that would be expected based on her cognitive scores (IQ test). If we look at the WJ-3 scores then the school district might say that she is doing better than expected (WJ-3 scores higher than WISC scores). If we look at the neuropsychologist scores then the overall profile is pretty flat.

    by the way, I've noticed the writing portion of the WJ-3 is typically inflated and not a good measure of writing. The WIAT-2 is a better measure.

    Individual states can determine if they use the discrepancy model or what is called the RtI model (response to intervention)...not sure what NJ does. For example, a student in Ohio with difficult child's situation would remain in the IAT process and I would recommend that they enter the RtI process. This means that we would look at their specific reading deficits, look for a research based targeted intervention and then implement it. Typically this intervention can be as intensive as every day for half-hour to twice a week for half-hour each session. difficult child would be monitored weekly to assess progress (or lack therof) and the intervention may be tweaked at the end of 4 weeks. Interventions should run about 8-9 weeks total and then we look at the data. If difficult child shows significant progress then we continue the intervention (why stop it if it's working?). If there is not significant progress or regression then difficult child would be considered a student who "did not respond to intervention" and would be eligible for services as a student with a disability.

    Having said that it seems that difficult child would probably be eligible for services on an IEP under an emotional disability (anxiety) or other health impairment (adhd). She is receiving counseling and has shown clinically significant anxiety. Also, the working memory on the WISC-4 being in the 70s is an ADHD red flag for me. She's going to probably have a hard time in school (based on those scores). Students on these kind of IEPs can receive academic support since the disability does affect her education.

    Hope this helps.

    *Edit- Somehow I missed the crux of your question and just focused on the testing results (I'm pretty sure it's the school psychiatric in me...). The bottom line is that in order for difficult child to be eligible for services under an IEP she has to be identified as a student with a disability under IDEA. Your school district is saying that she does not have a disability under IDEA or there is no negative educational impact when they reject an IEP. In terms of recommended reading help I think my RtI paragrpah above is a fairly good description of best practice when a student is struggling with reading. Once again...hope this helps.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  13. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    Yes, Superpsy, you have been helpful. I understand you are saying that just low IQ won't get me there but the anxiety and/or the possible ADHD will, I just need a firm diagnosis for either one. You are also saying that I could ask for proof that their reading specialist is actually helping her, which makes alot of sense, because if it is then I don't really have a problem with where she is right now. Although, I don't see how she would be able to get through school without sp ed at some point, I just want it before she totally gives up on school, right now she is trying so very hard, without alot to show for it.
  14. Superpsy

    Superpsy New Member

    If IQ is low enough cognitive(intellectual) disability is a way to be eligible but difficult child's scores are not that low so no worries.

    Like I say to teachers, "good data never hurt anyone." A good measure of reading ability is reading fluency which is usually measured by words read per minute. I do agree with you that it sounds like your kiddo may need some more intensive support to be successful in school (special education services). Good luck!
  15. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I just want to add one important point that an school district might not look at: My older daughter A has good reading fluency. But she has poor reading comprehension. It was never picked up on standard neuropsychologist testing because the tests were not sensitive enough to point to her specific reading problem. A speech/language pathalogist was able to define the reading problem for us. Both her working memory deficits and anxiety contribute to her reading comprehension problem.

    Also wanted to add that my younger daughter M, who has a diagnosis of anxiety and ADHD-like inattention, was just turned down for an IEP because the school district determined the 504 accommodations were supporting her and she didn't need specialized instruction to access the curriculum. Kathie, if you can prove your daughter L needs specialized instruction to learn to read, she will need an IEP.
  16. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    One thing I want to point out with working memory....

    Working memory is short term memory, but is also the ability to take in information and manipulate to problem solve. My daughter scored very high in rote memory - just regurgitating information - but low average with working memory.

    Wynter is a strong reader. In the 6th grade, she was reading at a 9th grade level. Comprehension is strong. She can give you the main idea, theme, antagonist, protagonist, rising action, climax, etc. But, that same year she was given a story that talked about a pesticide that was used on apples at Orchard X in Year X that made people sick. It then went on to talk about the pesticide, the studies done, that it was banned, etc. She was then asked if the apples were safe to eat. She was stumped and had no idea how to answer that. The article talked about the pesticide not the apples specifically and she couldn't make that connection.

    The working memory issues - other than the short term memory part - are really more noticeable in the higher grades when kids are working on more complex problems and are expected to be more independent. In the lower grades, they are still learning the basics. The neuropsychologist report talked specifically about Wynter's problems with complex problems and stated that she can get them, but that she needs more time and will need to have it explained in different ways. The school district never got that.

    I just wanted to give you a heads up on the implications of her working memory as she gets older.