School testing

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    three questions:

    1) If I ask school to do nueropsych testing, am I required to sign release forms for them to discuss difficult child with any of his mental health care profs? I am getting pressure already to sign a release for them to communicate with his psychiatrist. I take issue with it. They have letters stating his diagnosis, however, just like if he had cancer, I think they just need evidence of it- I don't think they need to see or discuss his entire medical record or with his doctors.

    2) His diagnosis is bipolar not otherwise specified- at least that is what we are working on now, with a long-term hope that someday mood cycling will stop or slow down. I've written his previous test results below. These were done 3 years ago and I had them done privately. Teachers report things in the classroom that reflect the deficits seen in the test results. I'll use this as evidence that it effects his acedemics and that obviously, he has problerms that are still here even though he is no longer a "behavior problem" at school.

    ADHD was tested again 18 mos later and was found inconclusive.

    When they test for adhd, can they require or pressure me to treat him for that (ie- give him stims) even if I believe any adhd is a symptom of mood cycling? Ok- I don't think they can say I have to give him any medication, but I don't want them saying or documenting that I'm refusing to treat a condition. But I'm afraid to give him a stimulant and no one seems to see any sign of adhd when he isn't cycling.

    WISC-IV: Full scale-96 (average); verbal comprehension-98 (average); perceptual reasoning- 100 (average); working memory--99 (average); processing speed- 88 (low average); added note from psychiatric- performance across subscales was variable with scores ranging from 25th to 75th percentile

    WIAT-2: Reading composite: Average- 66th percentile-106; Math composite- Average range- 45th percentile-98; written language- average- 30th percentile-92

    WRAML2: general memory index- low average- 19th percentile-87; auditory/verbal memory- low average- 21st per.-88; visual memory- low average- 16th percentile-85; attention & concentration- average- 50rth percentile-100

    ROCF: Impaired (less than 1st percentile); done a second time- imparied (5th percentile)

    TOVA: -4.52- attentional impairments

    Halstead Reitan battery: speed/dexteroty- average for right hand; low average for left hand; non-verbal of hypotheseis- high average

    Bender visual-motor gestalt: average-70th percentile on perceptual motor tasks; when asks to reproduce a design from memory, performance was Low (3rd percentile)

    D-KEFS: trial making-average to high average; verbal fluency- low average to average; design fluency- average; color-word interference- borderline impaired to average; 20 questions- average

    3) Should I ask for them to test him in any other area than those that he scored low in previously? IQ? Any additional test that should have been done before?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts/suggestions!!

    PS- I don't know how much difference it made, but difficult child's testing was done during his first period of major difficult child trouble/out of character behavior and he'd just been released from his first acute psychiatric hospital stay about 10 days prior to testing.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Does your school have a neuropsychologist? Our sad experience is that school districts usually miss the big picture, either because they are inept or because a big diagnosis means they have to pay for more services and they don't want to do that. We got completely different results when we say a private neuropsychologist and when the school tested our son. We sort of take the school results with a grain of salt. What you are getting is strictly academic ability testing. There is A LOT more than all that to a neuropsychologist evaluation. At least, our son had ten pages of results sent to us... JMO
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ha!! I wouldn't even call the school psychologist a psychologist. They don't have to have the qualifications that are required even for private counseling. No,I am not expecting this to be testing to hone in on diagnosis or do anything other than confirm that difficult child needs to be on an iep due to deficits in some areas that effect his school performance. I would love to do it privately again, but I can't afford it right now and he's due for an iep triennial review plus he moves to high school level this year.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I would ask the school to pay for an independent/private evaluation since they are not qualified to do it themselves. I think you can specify WHAT information is shared with them. You certainly don't have to sign a blanket release if you have reservations about what you want them to know. It would be best to talk to the psychiatrist before hand to have him/her help you clarify what you want discussed.

    I'm working on setting up an evaluation for difficult child 1 now because of him entering highschool in the Fall as well. Fortunately for us, though, our insurance covers this 100% (or at least they covered difficult child 2's last year).
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks gcvmom! Also, I was thinking more about the insurance coverage after reading you and MWM's replies- my insurance only covered about a third of testing costs before. But, now it would appear that they should at least cover re-testing of areas that difficult child scored low in before. I will also talk to difficult child's psychologist (he does testing too) and see if he can check with insurance comapny and find out what would be covered.
  6. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'm with the others, only release what you're comfortable with. You can specify that in the release. You may also be able to request to be present.

    I'd be all for the testing thru the school, but my experience and what others have said is that it won't be nearly as thorough as private. It wouldn't hurt, tho, if they will test in some similar areas to see where he falls now vs. then.

    Good luck. You deserve a break!
  7. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    We signed a release for our school appointed neuropsychologist (private practice doctor). I don't care if the doctor communicates with- the school. That's how desperate I am. The only other releases I've signed is for the school to provide info to the docs. Never the other way around. I do provide copies of any reports I'm given tho, so it's not like they don't know what's going on. On my release form it states ONLY the doctor (or docs) listed are included. So you'd have control over that.

    I'd ask why they want a release form signed for the psychiatrist info. They're not paying for the psychiatrist are they?
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Good point Nancy- no they aren't paying. The principal has been wanting it forever. The school keeps wanting to look at it like it's just a behavioral thing. Never mind that I have brought them copies of documented stuff- previous test results, letters from psychiatrists, etc, AND the actual prescription bottles of medications proving they were ms's rx'd to my son by a psychiatrist, because they didn't believe it. Talk about denial....
  9. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wanted the school to communicate with our therapist, moreso than the psychiatrist ... to discuss strategies for helping Youngest cope. I tried to encourage that communication all I could. I believe I probably signed a release for the school to talk to psychiatrist as well, but I was confident in her judgment as to what to discuss with them. I definitely would put some restrictions on the release if you are at all uncomfortable with it.

    Youngest had a psychological evaluation with the school psychologist, who WAS a psychologist... she worked for the school district actually and covered several different schools. It's possible your county has someone outside your particular school that is more qualified. The testing report I have includes test scores as well as the psychologist's general im pressions of Youngest. I specifically remember her writing that Youngest scored high for ADHD, but that it was likely due to her bipolar disorder. BINGO. I think I was fortunate to have a school psychologist that understood the connection there. That and I bombarded them with bipolar literature.

    Note that it's likely FAPT will ask for releases from therapist, psychiatrist, and everyone else and their brother... even the primary care doctor.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would be VERY careful to limit the release of what info the school can have. This info can be used AGAINST your son as well as for him. Check with the Sp Ed 101 forum on the release and the testing questions - they really know what they are doing. katya also would be a good resource on how to word the release to let the school get what little info they need and to keep them from a fishing expedition or from getting info and then using it to say your son needs to be in some other placement.

    Be VERY careful with this. I REALLY don't trust your principal and school. they seem like they truly do NOT have difficult child's interests in mind. I think they may have a different agenda, possibly to want to use the info against him to force him into a facility or at least out of their school.
  11. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    You've brought them enough. Just keep declining saying that they've already gotten all the info the doctor has given you.

    And yes, if the school gets stuff from a psychiatrist or neuro they can use it against you if they want to change placement.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks Nancy! I emailed cm at school and asked if they had a licensed neuropsychologist on board. I told her I would check to see if my insurance would cover testing, since the previous results indicated problems in some areas. If it doesn't, I told her I would probably be asking sd to do them or cover the cost.

    It's funny how the sd works- when I had them done privately, they tried to say they might not accept them because they didn't do them themselves. Yet, when you want them to do them, they don't want to cover it. I'm glad people brought up about the sd having a qualified person or covering the cost if they don't. Thanks!!

    You know how they say many difficult child's think in terms of black and white instead of shades of gray? I oftened wonder why it seems like so many in difficult child's life (people at sd, legal authorites, etc) tend to think in terms of all or nothing. It seems the same to me. If difficult child has no behavior problem, then the sd says he has no problem and why does he even need an irp. If he acts up at school, then he's got such major problems that they can't handle him there and he needs another placement.
  13. ML

    ML Guest

    I feel that Susie is right about the school not having difficult child's best interests as their priority and echo what the others have said about being careful what you release; definitely not a blanet release!