504/IEP meeting -- difficult child poor in math -- Martie/Sheila help please


New Member
Hello. I used to post as Seeker. My difficult child is on a 504 plan. Used to be an IEP until last year, but she was deemed no longer qualified for an IEP because of supposedly performing OK in academics, no educational impact of disability. This is despite that report cards all last year showed zeroes in eleven different math topics (on a zero vs. check grading system -- zero means has not mastered skill at grade level, check means has mastered skill up to grade level expectations). Testing with WISC shows an IQ of 125. Testing on the MAT-8s showed 20%ile performance in arithmetic computational skills per grade norms. Woodcock-Johnson math testing by school psychologist showed she was above age level, at grade level. But still these zeroes -- in eleven different math topics (e.g. place value). I had her tutored this summer -- just twelve hours, a drop in the bucket. Still adding 6 + 4 by counting on her fingers. Takes wild guesses on bigger sums. Has not mastered basic math facts. Math curriculum in our district is "constructivist" fuzzy math -- University of CHicago Everyday Math, which is now being rejected by National Council of Teachrs of Mathematics (see NY Times a few days ago) in favor of drill in basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. I think my kid is someone who will not learn math easily when it is presented with this "constructivist" method, just like 20% of kids did not learn to read when taught by whole language method, and needed specific instruction in phonetics. I think she needs the drill. I am sure the school is going to say no, for the third time now, to my request for one-on-one or small group Special Education instruction in math. She is calm and well-behaved at school. They wanted to drop the 504 plan altogether. I know her little brain is different from average, because she was slow on motor milestones, had a six month expressive speech delay, scored 5th %ile on the Beery-Buktenica and got Occupational Therapist (OT) for fine motor at school. What shall I say to the school on Friday? DEx will be there and say "my kid's fine, doesn't need anything, her mother's just neurotic". What next step should I insist on? An independent evaluation, or mediation, or a BSEA hearing? She has not had a complete evaluation outside of school since age 4 -- and I think that was of debatable value because she just hid under the examiner's table and sucked on her pacifier though most of the testing. That said non-verbal learning disorder, but I think the psychologist was just guessing, and offering the standard diagnosis made in their shop. I've gotten mega-help here in the past, so I look forward to hearing what you all have to say today. Thank you in advance. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/9-07check_writer


Hi Seeker. I remember you. Welcome back.

As you know, a high IQ does not rule out a learning disability.

There's definately a conflict between what the school psychologist found (above grade level) vs what the teacher is seeing in the classroom (zeroes in eleven different math topics).

You tried tutoring and that didn't work.

You could request a complete reevaluation from the school district (use certified mail for letter).

I wouldn't wait on the school district to uncover the underlying problem though because everyday your daughter is getting further behind for some reason, the school district knows it but they are not taking the initiative to get to the bottom of the problem.

Did you get all the scores from the recent testing? How's her processing speed and working memory?

Sorry to hear that dad still has his head in the sand.


New Member
Help me out -- I know I am supposed to know these things, but I don't.
What subtests of the WISC or what other tests would be good
indices of processing speed and working memory? Performance IQ subtests? As I
recall (and I don't have it all in front of me) there was not much "scatter" --
not much difference between the subtests on the WISC. All pretty even.

I do know
a high IQ does not rule out a learning disability. I keep emphasizing her IQ to
the school to mean that someone with an IQ of 125 is fully capable of learning
math, and if she is not learning math the way they are teaching it she must
have a specific learning disabiity that makes her not able to get it that way,
so they need to accomodate her learning disabilty and come up with a different
instructional technique that makes her get it.

I am torn between just paying for her to go to Sylvan Learning Center or Kumon
once or twice a week to get taught math there, vs. asking the school to pay
for, or paying myself for, an evaluation ($1800) by a good private
neuropsychologist. Not sure which I should do.

Thanks for your response. I certainly remember you too, and appreciate all your
excellent work on this site. :warrior:


You mentioned that your daughter hasn't been evaluated outside the sd since she was 4 yrs old. I'd want her reevaluated to see where she is today -- taking a real hard look at subtest scores and getting additional testing in weak areas, if warranted.

If you can afford private schooling, I'd certainly look into it. BUT, I'd still want her reevaluated first. Why? Identifying the cause helps develop the appropriate treatment. Otherwise, a lot of "guessing" can go on. No use treating a broken left arm, when in fact, it's the right arm that needs the treatment. lol

https://web.archive.org/web/20060509132159/http://alpha.fdu.edu/psychology/ has a lot of test instrument information. If you'll look on the left-hand side of the page, you'll find links to specific tests, test reviews, etc.

See the Changes in the Composition of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition
chart at https://web.archive.org/web/2013012...fdu.edu/psychology/melissa_farrall_WISCIV.htm for subtest scores which tenders the PSI.

I don't know how comparable the subtest scores between WISC III and WISC IV are, but it's amazing what you can find using the first testing as a benchmark. I don't think all the tests were changed, but I can't recall any specifics.