School Evalutaion Question

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by ShakespeareMamaX, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. ShakespeareMamaX

    ShakespeareMamaX New Member

    So I wrote my letter...the one demanding an evaluation for my difficult child from his school.

    I know it has to be done, but...

    ...well, I have no idea what they do!

    What kind of tests do they do? How do they do the testing? How long does it take?

    The reason I call this a fight is because the school is reluctant to do these tests as "we don't think he'll be able to sit long enough to do them".

    They now will HAVE to do the test after submitting this letter (within 60 days), but I have no idea what to point out about what they have to do! I don't know what to expect.

    Ahhh! Please respond ASAP if you have any knowledge on this subject!

  2. Mickey2255

    Mickey2255 New Member

    For my ADHD/ODD/Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)/S&L son they gave him the WISC III (old version - is now WISC IV) for IQ, the K-TEA which is for math and reading, TOWL 3 - Test of Written Language, several sensory tests/evaluations including the VMI (visual motor integration) and VP (visual perception) and MC (motor coordination), CELF-4 - for speech and language, TOPL - test of pragmatic language.

    I'm told that some of these test were not the best choices compared to others that are available and we are pursing private evaluation but since you asked and I had the list handy - that's something to get started with! Even if the test names aren't the same, you should have one for each "area" of disability including a social work evaluation. ALL the testing together probably took about 8 hours I would guess but we did it spread out over the whole summer. The IQ test took about 90 minutes. The sensory evaluations were about 3 hours. The K-tea and TOWL were about an hour (difficult child flat our refused to do some of it so the results are a mess). I have no idea how long for the CELF -4 - it was during school I guess.

    Good luck!
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The evaluation process via the sd is a multidisciplinary evaluation. The school district is required to evaluate in all suspected areas of disability.


    "Regulations: Part 300 / D / 300.304

    Sec. 300.304 Evaluation procedures....

    (4) The child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities;...

    (6) In evaluating each child with a disability under Sec. 300.304 through 300.306, the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child's special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified...."

    This means different things for different students and the key term here is "suspected." If the sd doesn't "suspect" an area of disability, they do not evaluate in that area. For instance, say, a child has ADHD but the school district doesn't "suspect" it. They would not be required to evaluate for ADHD specifically.

    Unless your state law says differently, the sd has 60 days to perform the evaluation.

    There's a "getting started" thread in the Special Education Archives that you'll find helpful. Read it, and post any additional questions you may have and we'll help if we can.
  4. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Like IEPs, evaluations should not be "one size fits all." As Sheila pointed out, the law sets minimum standards, but sometimes one area should receive more emphasis than another for a given child.

    The SD must evaluate by law. However, many parents prefer to have medical center based neuropsychologist evaluations done because many of the kiddos on this board have multiple problems and complex, shifting diagnosis's. These can be costly so I would go with the SD evaluation first unless you have very good insurance or money is not a factor.

    "Evaluation" is becoming a dirty word as RtI becomes ever more popular. I have nothing against RtI for children experiencing mild academic problems. It would be GOOD for schools to collect some performance data on how effective (or not) their instruction is. However, RtI is not going to cut it with many of our kids and to the extent it is being used as an excuse to avoid evaluation, I dislike it.

    By law, evaluation is a "must" and RtI is a "may."

    If ANYONE is getting an RtI run-around, ask to see their baseline and intervention DATA. I have a student who is very GOOD at RtI and she collects lots of data that she can produce upon request. Fortunately, she also recognizes when regular class intervention conducted by a teacher trying to manage 25 or 30 students will not work and does appropriate evaluations, too.

    I will step down from my soap-box now.

  5. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    What does this mean Martie?
  6. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Dear Jules,

    RtI is SUPPOSED to "catch" kids who are not doing well and provide intensive classroom-based interventions (usually instructional, not behavioral)that will help the child accelerate learning to become "like peers" (and not coincidentally meet NCLB standards.)

    The idea is not bad in itself as I said, if used with kids who are not responding to the general curriculum in the regular classroom but do not have major DSM diagnosis's. It has one very good point: for kids who are "marginal" for SpEd qualification, it prevents a long evaluation process followed by no qualification and the SD saying, "sorry, your kid isn't 'bad enough' YET for us to do anything." This is also known as "waiting to fail" sufficiently for Sp Ed qualification. (You need this background and if you have it, I apologize but some reading this post will not.)

    RtI was dreamed up by hard-core behaviorists who believe that ALL children should be instructed as follows:

    Collect baseline data on whatever is about to be taught
    Provide targeted, high quality instruction
    Collect post instruction data and GRAPH it.

    If instruction is working the graph will go UP. It's that simple. If instruction is not working, the graph will be flat or go down in extreme cases. If this happens, TRY SOMETHING ELSE.

    When a child is "targeted" for RtI, then the above process should be done very frequently in order to know if the child is "responding to intervention." If the child is, then great--the child catches up and an expensive, time consuming, and potentially stigmatizing evaluation is avoided. If the child does not respond a full CSE should be initiated.

    What is happening is schools are refusing to evaluate because they say, "We are using RtI." First, this is not legal...RtI data may be used as PART OF a CSE, but not as a full CSE substitute. Second, if a school actually IS doing RtI with a given student, they should have LOTS OF GRAPHICAL DATA for pre- and post-interventions. If they do not, then they are not doing RtI, they are just stalling.

    IF a parent requests an evaluation in the way this board recommends, parent to parent, then the 60 day time-line starts. The Feds specifically denied the RtI folks' request that if RtI were being done, time-lines should be suspended. The SD may TRY RtI but they are still bound to the 60 day time limit. This is why I think even IF a school wants to do RtI, a CSE should be requested. If the child respond BEAUTIFULLY to RtI after 30 days, then the request can be withdrawn. If the request was never made, you cannot get those 30 days of a child's life back.

    The problem with RtI even when it is not being abused, is there are no guidelines for "how long" a child should be in RtI before something more intensive is initiated. Children only have one life, and one school year to lose for each year they are alive. Common sense suggests that if RtI does not work in 6 to 8 weeks, then a referral for a CSE is necessary (because THAT is how one gets Sp Ed services.) I have students working with children beginning their second RtI year...that is clearly not serving the best interests of the child :rolleyes:. When my students ask if I think the child should be evaluated, I say yes, but it still does not happen unless the parent is knowledgeable and most parents do not understand how RtI interacts with IDEA and NCLB.

    When RtI is misused, it is just another way to say "NO" to special needs children. If a SD is legitimately and competently using RtI, then they will have data on the child in question. If not, they are either incompetent, or trying to deny services.

    I hope this clarifies...sometimes I make things worse

  7. wife of taxman

    wife of taxman New Member

    I understand. What does RtI stand for?

    I just had the case conference for my son. He is 11 and was failing 6th grade. I kept telling the teachers that he wasn't using his assignment notebook and they were not listening to me and were not forcing him to use it. He did not have an IEP at that time, so I requested testing and now the sd tells me that he does not qualify under 504. He is not Learning Disability (LD), only ADHD-PI. He is medicated and that helps him focus. I have had him tested independently and his only other problem is "sluggish cognitive tempo". All his testing shows a slower processing speed. It also shows that he is learning the material sufficiently. His major problem is organizational in nature. With me on him constantly, he is getting b's and c's which are "too good" to qualify him for any accommodations under OHI. I had to fight with them to get a 504 written that will carry him over into junior high. I am afraid that the teachers will, once again, not listen to me and his grades will fall apart again at the beginning of next year. The psychologist told me that the system was designed to reevaluate every year, but is that really the best way? Wait until he is failing then offer some assistance. So, they finally wrote a 504 that only includes the teacher checking his assignment notebook. This will expire 11/2008 so at least the teachers next year will be checking it at the beginning of the year. I also wanted extra time on tests, since his processing speed is slow, however, the teachers all say that he doesn't need extra time for tests now and is finishing his tests. He has also, in the past, just barely passed all the state standardized tests, which means he doesn't qualify for any additional help there either. I am afraid that he will be one of the kids that falls through the cracks because he doesn't qualify for anything but still struggles with a lot of things. My husband was in this situation and was miserable in school. Any other suggestions or thoughts?
  8. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    RtI stands for Response to Intervention and is the latest bee in the Special Education bonnet.

    Your difficult child sounds like a good candidate for an RtI trial....he is not qualifying and as he ages, things are likely to deteriorate, in other words, they are "waiting for failure." Ask for RtI (which is for NON-Special Education students), and be sure to GET THE DATA.

  9. Jules71

    Jules71 Warrior Mom since 2007

    Thanks for elaborating Martie. My sd is supposedly doing "pre-referral intervention services" (although they are not really "pre" anything - they started after I requested an evaluation) and they said they are not quite on board with RtI as of yet (thought it was now required). I don't know that my school has any baseline data. The only feedback they have provided is:

    "He is meeting behavioral expectations at an overall rate of 74% (64 successful intervals; 23 unsuccessful intervals) over a period of 13 school days. On average he behaves well over 5/7 intervals each day."

    The only interventions put into place were behavioral.