Dyslexia/Reading Disabilities Testing

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wonderful Family, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. Hi Everyone - Any suggestions of the best place to get easy child tested for reading disabilities? I need it to be covered by insurance; I recall getting difficult child tested for disabilities and diagnosis when he was much smaller by a psychologist. But not sure if they will do this for easy child since he doesn't have behavior issues. He is ADHD and can't manage at all off his medications; but he's a real sweetie.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My understanding is that reading disabilities should be tested by a speech and language pathologist. I suggest you call your insurance company to see if this would be covered.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I recently had this done for wee difficult child. Waiting on the results, actually. My insurance claims they will pay for some of it, but I've been told that's rare (and thus far they haven't coughed over any money, but they haven't processed the claim yet, so...verdict is still out).

    We had a very hard time finding someone to do the testing and actually ended up traveling out of state, but I think we are finally on the right path with my difficult child and to me, that's worth it.
  4. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    The American with Disabilities Act states that the school systems must provide the testing. Thus many insurance policies do not cover testing for learning disabilities as it is the responsibilities if the school system. Until recently the school systems had to provide the testing if requested by the parents. Sometimes they would recommend against it but if the parent were persistent the school system was still responsible to provide it. I understand that with the no child left behind act, school systems now have the ability to do "pre-screening" which means they can chose not to perform the testing even when the parents insist. I was told by a private school Learning Disability (LD) director this has resulted in no private school kids in our county receiving testing with in the last year. Funny they all did not meet the pre-screening requirements. It is my opinion that this is a national disgrace, one which means the testing is only available to the wealthy.

    The testing is only part of the battle. When my son was in Kindergarten I requested testing. The school provided it, and stated he should receive "services". Our county does not recognize the term "dyslexia" they use "specific language disability". I did not care what they call it, just provide him the proper training. I had done lots of research, and quickly discovered that the school had no clue on how to train a dyslexic. When pushed for which program they were going to provide him with they finally gave me a book list! They did not even know what a program was let alone how to determine if one would be effective. They also ended up with Reading Readiness. Which is an OK program for kids with mild reading issues, but does not go into enough detail or the level of phonemic training required for a truly dyslexic kid. It was a nightmare.

    I ended up hiring a private academic therapist. I never had him privately tested as I knew he was dyslexic and I felt my money was better spent paying for the therapist. It has been a long road, but he reads well now. (Major organizational issues, but we are working on them). This is not the best approach as the testing provides some writes to school services and accomodations.

    1) You need to put in a formal request to your school system requesting testing for reading learning disabilities
    2) Obtain your parents writes document and read it.
    3) Appeal any decisions you don't like
    4) Use the schools documentation to support things like "reasonable accommodations" and school provided services, but do not stop there. In our county the school systems do a terrible job.

    The International Dyslexic Association can provide you with resources (http://www.interdys.org/) including where to get the testing done.
  5. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    testing/paying for the testing is the school's responsibility. Even if you don't have behavior problems with him they are still responsible for educating him and therefore need to do it right.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    While this is true, tho, the school's often, as was pointed out, don't have the knowledge or training to know what they're dealing with in a dyslexic student, even if they're willing to test them. They also will only test to the degree that a disability will impede the student. If the student is creative enough to "get by", the school won't help them.
  7. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    Very true. I was being very simplistic in saying that. But, if the child needs further assistance the school is still responsible for providing the assistance. If they do a preliminary testing and deny services the parent then needs to request an IEE. The school is still required to pay for the IEE and they (the school) also need to figure out how to educate him.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  8. Thanks for the input; I did forget to include detail. The school is starting the testing process - but it is another 9 weeks while they try to "intercede" in the classroom and then they start the testing process. This means Jan/Feb for the testing even gets scheduled, and most likely March before interventions get put into place. If we get the testing done ourselves, it forces them to move much faster. Teacher, husband, and I are concerned about letting that much time pass. We did this with difficult child because his SD didn't believe there were issues beyond ADHD; but we had a psychologist that we worked with that could do this through our insurance. We work with a counselor for difficult child out-of-pocket and we're trying to avoid some cash outlay if we can.

    easy child's teacher has been actively collecting work samples; but wants to meet with us for each thing she is doing in the classroom - and then moving on from there. She is wonderful, but the time it takes with my travel schedule (she wants me there) and to sign-off for the next step is also playing a factor. husband and I are guessing that she's had lots of parents in the past with the "not my kid" mentality. We've told her about difficult child and we'll just sign what she needs; but she still wants to meet . . .

    I tried to force the issue a bit last year, and knew there was a problem; but easy child technically passed the state testing. Between being crushed at work, dealing with difficult child's issues and husband becoming unemployed, I let it slide . . . my fault. Fortunately, difficult child is on a bit of an upswing at the moment, so I can focus on easy child more.

    So - to make a long story short - if we formally request the testing, do they have to do prelimary testing "immediately"; or since the problem has already been discussed and plans are in process, do we have to stay as we are (as far as timing)?
  9. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm not sure how long they have to complete testing. Someone else may have that answer...I know they have a set amount of time to complete an evaluation for services and I would assume this falls under that. I think they have 60 days from the date of request to complete an evaluation... But double check that.

    That said, tho...my wee difficult child is 7 and we honestly felt if we didn't take matters into our own hands this year, that it would take another full school year to really get things in place for him and we dont' think he will "hang on" that long. We sought the testing on our own and got an advocate to help push things thru school. Since bringing the advocate on board, the school has been more than willing to do things for/with difficult child, but I'm not sure we'd be half way this far if we hadn't pushed them by doing things on our own.

    In all rights, the school should do it, but only you and your husband know what's best for your child...can he wait that long? Or is your window of opportunity closing?
  10. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Depending on your SD they may be going through what's called RTI- response to intervention. This is new with IDEA 2004 and gives SD's the option to attempt a series of graduated interventions before assessing a child for Special Education. You are right to be wary of how long it could take.

    If you feel really certain that your child requires Special Education services like speech then I would take the principal a letter requesting assessment for Special Education and mail a copy to Special Education at the district. State your concerns about your child or give any diagnosis or test results that might be applicable. See the Wright's Law website for more info/templates.

    Once you submit a formal written request the SD must begin the assessment process or give you prior written notice - IEP-speak for telling you in writing why they believe your child is NOT a child with a disability that requires intervention for him to access the regular curriculum. They have 60 days from receipt of your request.

    As it is, if you wait through the whole RTI process and then request assessment it could be late next spring before they even begin assessment and the following school year before you get an eligibility meeting.

    If you aren't sure and it may be that your child just needs some more intense short term help like you can get through RTI then I would wait and see. You can always request Special Education assessment at any point.
  11. I don't think our window of opportunity (so to speak) is closing; but I am very concerned about easy child falling further and further behind. He's major ADHD, but not a difficult child (many people might consider him a difficult child, but after our difficult child - we consider him a breeze).

    Information about the response to intervention is interesting, this is exactly what they are doing.

    Thanks for the input.
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Thanks for that info! Its good to know and I was not aware!

    I'm glad your "window" is not closing. My little guy is a major difficult child...we were all very concerned how much longer he would even care to try before he just gave up, so time was a big factor for us this year.
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Our difficult child was diagnosis'd with his dyslexia from a nuero-psychiatric.