Testing Results For easy child Are Back!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    The long version of the diagnosis is: learning disabled, cognitive disorder not otherwise specified.

    Basically what this means is that if you ask easy child to tell you a story he can come up with a great one, including all kinds of interesting details and descriptions that make it really good. He's got a great grasp of language. Now, ask him to write that same story and he can't do it. His brain seems to work differently. It's one of the big reason that he has such a huge amount of trouble with spelling. He can't get the information from his brain out onto the paper.

    I asked why this didn't come up when the school district did their testing in the spring and the psychiatrist said that it's because he's now in 3rd grade (he was in 2nd when the school testing was done) and when they do the testing in 3rd grade they have to write an essay, which is what brought his scores down.

    I'll get the written report in about two week (although he said that if I become a squeaky wheel I will get it earlier) and that my next step is to contact the school and request another CSE meeting. He thinks that an IEP needs to be put into place which allows easy child several things. One is that when the kids take written tests that easy child be given time and a half (if the kids get an hour for the test, easy child should get and hour and a half). He also thinks that there are some tests that easy child should be allowed to take orally rather than have to write them out, like history. He can tell you that Columbus discovered America in 1492, but he might not be able to write it out. I asked if a spelling test could be done this way and he said that he didn't think that they would allow it for spelling. (I asked if the point of spelling it to learn to spell the word or write the word and his answer was, "Yes!", meaning that the point is pretty much both.)

    This makes ALOT of sense to me. There were many times last year when we would pound spelling words into easy child's little head. He could spell them to us perfectly, but he would get a 50 on the test. We just didn't get it. Now I understand why. He could spell the words. He just couldn't write them.

    I asked if he thought that auditory processing testing should be looked into, but he feels that that is not the problem. He feels that the main issue is this cognitive issue. The psychiatrist did say that he sees some ADHD symptoms in him, but that it's not to the point where it really should be written down as a diagnosis. That may change as he gets older. It's something to keep an eye on.

    In many ways, I feel vindicated. I've been saying since the start of 2nd grade that something was not right and that he was having trouble. The answers that I got from the school district last spring ("He's lazy. He's never going to be anything better than a C student and I need to change my expectations of him.") were of no help. He has a GREAT teacher placement this year and I know that she is more willing to work with me as a partner than his teachers last year were, so I'm hopeful for him.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Research dysgraphia.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    OK, now that I'm home from work...

    Sounds to me like your son has dysgraphia. It's not so much a "putting pen to paper" problem as it is a "putting thoughts on paper" problem - it isn't physical, it's a learning disability.

    Standard accommodations and interventions for dysgraphia include: (so you know what to fight for)
    - untimed tests in a non-distracting environment
    - scribe for tests - he speaks, scribe writes
    - oral exams
    - if reading is great and it's just writing, multiple-choice exams
    - alternative format answers for any written work where the content is more important than the format (e.g. history, social studies, reading comprehension... alternative format doesn't work when what is tested is "essay writing skills", but almost everything else... has an alternative format) - can he do a power-point? write a song? make a speech to the class?
    - technology support - laptop with Dragon Naturally Speaking, dictaphone-type recorder

    difficult child was allowed one word answers in social studies, for example, which was gradually increased to short phrase (3-5 words).
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Thanks!! One of the things that I want to ask for is oral tests, and if tests must be written then I will see if they ask that they provide a scribe. I didn't know they could do untimed tests, but I will ask about it. I will look into dysgraphia and see what I can find.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    difficult child 1 has had untimed tests since 3rd grade and for BIG tests, he was given a room to himself and a scribe. He has great verbal skills but he's got the whole "head to hands" issue too.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. Best of luck! Keep us posted. There are great ideas on this board, too.
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    easy child has the BEST TEACHER EVER!!!!! She e-mailed me asking me to ask the psychiatrist what the best way to administer a spelling test to easy child. I called the doctor and he feels that for easy child the best way would be to give it both as a written test and an oral test. Let him take the written test like the rest of the class. If there are any words wrong, have the teacher ask him to spell then to her orally to see if he really knows how to spell them or not.

    The school psycologist calle me yesterday afternoon while I was out, saying that he got my letter requesting a new CSE meeting and "wants to discuss things with" me. Yeah. Because I'm looking forward to talking to one of the school people who characterized by son as "lazy".
  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Sorry, I'm having "brain gas".....what is CSE? Anyway, you're right. That teacher IS AWESOME! Any chance she would be open to rapid cloning?? I want one and I know there are others here that would.

    As for the meeting, yea, go in their and listen, don't say a word and when they are done, throw as many of their exact quotes from the past back at them. Just a "friendly reminder" of why you aren't being very "cooperative". Stick to your guns.
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Oooops! Sorry about that!

    CSE = Committee for Special Education. It's the committee that meets to decide if easy child's problems are effecting him enough in the educational setting to require that services be provided. I just spoke to the school psycologist, who advised that they just did his testing and first CSE in the spring and even if the outside evaluations find a learning disability that they failed to uncover it does not mean that they have to provide him with services. Also, apparently the psycologist isn't sure how to proceed because their testing (done last spring) didn't find anything and the private testing (done just a few months later) did. Seriously, did that never happen before? Are you telling me that I'm the only parent who ever did this?

    One of the things that I questioned was when they talk about whether or not easy child can fuction in an "educational setting', that that means his CURRENT setting, and not the nonsense that was spewed last year. His teacher this year seems to be see things very differently from his teachers last year and I think that easy child's only hope is that Mrs. H tells the committee that he really needs help.

    And I did mention to his how I felt that the resource room teacher was way off base and way out of line when she said that easy child was "lazy", that he "was never going to be anything better than a C student", and that I "need to change my expectiation of him." Of course, he told me that he had "no recollection" of those words and that Mrs. P's words were not intended to be hurtful, but to explain that easy child's problems are not a disability, but more of an attempt to help. I told him that it was probably the most unprofessional thing that was ever said to me.
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Oh boy, you've got a fight on your hands. I went through something similar with our SpEd evaluations. They are "screening" tools, that's IT. difficult child 1's said there were no Occupational Therapist (OT) issues. The private Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation we had done (THOROUGH) found so many things with the two biggest ones being his brain isn't processing black words on a white background AND that he writes so hard his hand hurts (the school staff said he was making the pain up) because his brain wasn't registering when the pencil was on the paper until he was pushing way too hard. The school evaluation said there were no reading issues and that "he went out of his way to be incorrect" on the reading testing. When I had one of their own staff (not a part of the assigned testing team) do a THOROUGH reading assessment, she found he was way behind in his reading skills. He is VERY phonetic so he reads phonetically which can make the words useless if he isn't pronouncing them correctly. That also explained why he failed most spelling tests. She also found that he is a concrete thinker and that figurative language and inferring were not someting he understood at all. When that report was presented at an IEP meeting (by that staff person herself), the head of the SpEd dept said "Well, that's not what OUR testing showed". DUH, you didn't check.

    Anyway, enough of my tangent. You are going to need to don the armour and fight with everything you have. This school has made up their minds and they are going to kick and scream to keep it that way. Get an advocate and fight. I really feel for you AND easy child. It just isn't fair and it hoovers.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Get an advocate. Now. You're going to need it.
  12. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    As a dyslexic parent of three kids with learning disabilities I feel your now in my world. There are two main things you want: proper accommodation, and effective/appropriate training.

    The accommodations are things like the extra time on a test, oral answers, scrip ect. These are reasonable things provided to be fair and support the disability. Also note there are words that I can not tell you how to spell, or write correctly, but if you have me type them I will get them correct. The finger memory for typing seems to come from a different part of my brain, so for me taking spelling and essay exams on a keyboard is one of my personal accommodations. (of course you have to teach him to type first - I like Jumpstarts training). Each individual will have a different set of reasonable accommodations. I have found the schools were very good at working with me on accommodations. Although they did seem to fight you on any accommodations that were not in their current list. Also it is important to establish and maintain accommodations. For example: professional tests, SAT, ACT Ect. will not provide any accommodations not given throughout the rest of his education.

    The second thing you want is effective training so easy child will not need the accommodations all his life. (ie he learns to write, spell and read). This is an area where I find the school failed measurably. Kids with learning disabilities can learn to read, write, spell do math, only they required specific training, which can be intensive, expensive and customized. The International Dyslexic Association (http://www.interdys.org/) is a very helpful resource on what type of training is effective and what programs are likely to work.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  13. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Oh and my third grade teacher said I was retarded and would be lucky if I made to to a third grade level of knowledge. She recommended a reading exam. (Well Ok I could not even spell simple words like "it", "an" or "the", and could not read anything ether). The reading examiner identified a high IQ and really strange errors. She said it was all behavioral because of a to lacked home environment. She recommended Orton-Gillingham training and a child psychiatrist. The child psychiatrist was the first in my life to understand dyslexia and how to deal with the effects of being dyslexic in a traditional class room. The Orton- Gillingham program was the first one found to be truly effective for dyslexics. (not the only one, just the first). Between the child psychiatrist building my confidence and Orton-Gillingham teaching me to read, I succeeded. I now have a BS in aerospace engineering and a MS in technology management. (Beat the 3 grade level.) It was a long road, I still struggle with spelling, but can communicate well, and I have loads of stories not all good.

    But, If I can go from there to here, easy child can go even farther.