Learning Disability (LD) testing - specifically, dyscalculia

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterby, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Who does the testing, especially when you don't trust the school to either do it, or do it right?

    As difficult child already has an IEP, do I need to send another "sample letter" deal to get this testing done?

    I have sent an email to difficult child's math teachers, guidance counselor, sped director, and our MR/daughter support person asking for assistance in an area, telling them "I am stumped", and wondering if it could possibly be a learning disability in hopes of kind of making it their idea. The thinking there is that if it's their idea, they're more likely to do something about it. However, if they don't take the "hint", I am going to pursue this via the proper channels. I just have no idea who does Learning Disability (LD) testing.

  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I'm not sure at the school level who does that specific kind of testing. Have you checked with your Dept of Ed? Otherwise, you might want to check into having done yourself. The Occupational Therapist (OT) I am taking difficult child to has found visual perception problems, great difficulty reading black writing on white paper, and has given us tools to help with that. Sorry I can't be of more help. You might have to specifically request testing for that specific thing but as you said, I don't trust their evaluations either. Good luck.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    What, specifically, makes you think it is dyscalcula?
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Math has always been a tremendous struggle for her, while she is gifted in reading and writing (tests at high college level). Something happened tonight that really stumped me and someone mentioned dyscalculia. When I looked it up, she has just about every single symptom.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    So, since I know a thing or two about my daughter and have looked into this and feel it deserves being investigated further, I'm just trying to discern who, outside of school personnel, does the testing.
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    TeDo, thanks - I'll check with the DOE. Don't know why I didn't think of that. I'm also going to check with our psychologist. Just wondering if it's more of a neuropsychologist thing....
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    That split in skills is what I was looking for... some kids are highly gifted in reading, and struggle with both math and writing... in which case, there's a higher chance of something like a motor skills disability such as Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). But that doesn't sound likely in this case, given the success with writing.

    Not sure exactly what qualifications are behind testing for that one... some schools test for the full range of LDs - others leave it to the medical side...

    Do you have a Learning Disabilities Association? They are often a good source for testing... and/or can point you in the right direction.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    A neuropsychologist probably could do it. The developmental pediatrician we saw had a policy that every new patient to the office was evaluated by the entire team. They did what I guess amounts to what the neuropsychologist would do plus the psychiatry evaluation. I am sure there are some tdocs who could test and that school would have someone, but I don't know that I would trust it. I wouldn't trust the school because they get a lot of pressure to not find things (from the administration because $$) and sometimes the people they claim are "experts" have only had an hour or three of training.

    I did a google search for "who diagnoses dyscalculia and one of the results was a test to specifically screen for it. Here is a link to the site I found: http://www.dyscalculie.com/dlbin/dyscalculia_screener_manual.pdf

    here are the results from the google search, not that you couldn't do it but since I already had, I thought I would throw it into the post: http://www.google.com/#hl=en&cp=18&....,cf.osb&fp=287cb8a321ceab01&biw=1600&bih=679

    I also found some great info including an easy to understand description of the different types of dyscalculia. It is on www.dyscalculia.org - http://www.dyscalculia.org/diagnosis-legal-matters .

    According to this, universities must accept a learning disability made by any professional with at least a master's degree (Chavez 1997 - 10 Boston Univ students sued to get requirements for graduation changed to accommodate Learning Disability (LD)'s).

    If you look on the left side of the page on dyscalculia.org and click on "Experts" it will give you a table with various experts. You might be able to find one of them near you (haven't looked at the table) or contact one to see if they have any recommendations.

    You could also contact the closest university to see if they have anyone who does this testing either in the education dept or in the psychology dept. You might ask if they have an educational psychometrist (someone who specializes in administering and scoring and interpreting tests for this type of thing) or if they teach students how to become one or in the basics of giving various psychological tests.
    Have you called the psychiatrist or therapist to see if they recommend someone for this type of testing or if they do it?
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Thank you, Susie.

    This actually just came up tonight, so I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone about it - other than the email I sent. I don't know that I have heard of this specific Learning Disability (LD) before - just a generic math Learning Disability (LD).

    Her psychiatrist is through Children's, so that is probably an avenue I can take.

    However, even if I do that, I need to get the school to do their thing, so do I need to send another sample letter, or something less formal? Do I still need to make sure the timeline is followed, or is that different since an IEP is in place?
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    neuropsychologist did the recent testing on difficult child 3, where his splinter skills ran from 99th percentile to 1st percentile. Then we discovered that difficult child 3's problems were greatly aggravated by Citaloprim. So functionally he had diagnosable learning problems, but the medications were a major factor in causality. Took him off the medications, he has improved. Working memory was his main presenting problem due to the medications.

  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    medications can definitely play a role. I often wonder how much, if any, of a role my medications play in my cognitive issues. However, for most of her life, difficult child has not been on medications, while the math issue has always been there. Working memory has been identified as a problem in both her neuropsychologist evaluation and with school evaluations.
  12. keista

    keista New Member

    I know you can call a meeting to ask for evaluations (IEE meeting I think). The school is supposed to re-evaluate at least every three years. If I'm not mistaken, timelines do apply for parent requests.

    I would keep pursuing it outside of school as well as inside and see who comes up with something first. (or even if it's the same results)
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Wiz was diagnosis'd with this years ago. Assistive technology was a big help.
  14. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    She is not due for another re-evaluation until next year.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Does the three-year rule apply, even if the question being asked (the testing being requested) was NOT done on the last round? Here... those are NOT considered re-test, and can be requested at any point.
  16. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I sent an email calling for an IEP meeting, with a brief explanation of why. They all got the email I sent last night. My son is planning to attend, as well, as he has worked extensively with difficult child this year on algebra, and has worked with her in the past (he's a math smartie). Among other things, one of the nice things about having MR/daughter is that I cc our support person and the SD isn't going to say they didn't receive the email. Saves me money on certified mail.

    If they don't find anything, I'm going to request an IEE. I would normally go about getting independent evaluations first, but that can take a lot of time that we don't have at this point. She's already a junior, and she's failing the class.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Billy was dxd with dysgraphia and dyscalcuia or however you spell them back when he was in 1st grade. This lasted all through elementary school. His dysgraphia has lasted his entire life but his math somehow got better in HS. He has become quite good at it. I have no idea why either. He says he had a teacher in either the last year of Jr High or first year of HS that just explained things in such a way that clicked for him and it suddenly made perfect sense.