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  1. #11
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default Getting DC assessment/ neuropsych

    Quote Originally Posted by PunkyBoo View Post
    Thank you so much for this, Nicci. This whole process is completely new to us and in the meantime we're dealing with a kid that is often very difficult. I really appreciate your insights and perspective- we were upset that the school told us we should have him evaluated but never explained that there is a process to have the school involved- we had to be told by the therapist that the school would do anything, and do all the research on the process ourselves. It's quite overwhelming. Thank you again!
    Well at least the school isn't pushing a special education placement that removes him from the classroom. I had that scenario at one of my school's last year. There can be a lot of pressure on us to give an eligibility and recommend removal from general education when there's behavior issues. I see how difficult it is in the classroom for the teacher, but removal into special education and possibly off diploma track is a huge undertaking. I wish teachers had smaller class numbers, any TA support, behavior support, and most importantly, a developmentally appropriate curriculum in the early years. I know I'd have less evaluations for special education if the class environment was different.

    I think seeking out both evaluations will have value, and you'll find out more about DS and his strengths/weaknesses. If he's doing well academically, the school may not find he has a disability that requires special education services. We do consider social-emotional impact, but we're limited by the state ED Code, as to what eligibilities a child with social-emotional issues can fall under if they don't fit criteria for Autism or Emotionally Disturbed. A 504 behavior plan may be possible if there is a medical diagnosis. If you have a 504 and DS gets in trouble, you can ask if behavior plan was followed, and if it wasn't, why not? It's not foolproof by any means, I'm yet to see one implemented fully, but it's better than nothing as onus on school to follow their plan.

    We had DS evaluated by an educational psychologist and we learned that DS is solidly average, with some mild weakness in executive function when compared to other children his age. Recommendations were to push for IEP at school. To be honest I felt the psychologist was reaching to find something to recommend, as he was 10, and I know how long it takes for executive functioning to develop. DH and I had to accept that DS is average cognitively and academically, whereas both of us always tested above average. He has weaknesses in executive functioning and he struggles more in math, so we're helping him at home with extra tutoring. His issues aren't serious enough to warrant school interventions where he misses class time, he doesn't have a disability, and it's my responsibility as a parent to help him with areas of weakness. Main takeaway for us, was that DS is not us and expecting him to get good grades without studying like we did at school, is unrealistic.

    It can't hurt to get both evaluations, it's more information to help figure out how to help DS.


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  2. #12
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCGrandma View Post
    Nicci, what a great explanation. My family has had plenty of experience with both types of evaluations (and services), and this is a really clear summary.


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    I think many issues come from confusion with medical model and academic model for interventions. It is confusing. I've had Dr write on prescription pads that child needs speech therapy for a language disorder and tell parents to take it to school. I have to explain to parent that a Dr can't tell the school what services to give, a Dr is not licensed to diagnose a language disorder in any state in the USA, the Dr didn't do any Lang testing, and as child tests within average range for their age, they don't have a disorder. And the reply is" but the Dr said ....."


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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by niccig View Post
    There can be a lot of pressure on us to give an eligibility and recommend removal from general education when there's behavior issues. I see how difficult it is in the classroom for the teacher, but removal into special education and possibly off diploma track is a huge undertaking. I wish teachers had smaller class numbers, any TA support, behavior support, and most importantly, a developmentally appropriate curriculum in the early years. I know I'd have less evaluations for special education if the class environment was different.
    Hijacking a bit, but can you share more? Where does the "pressure" on staff such as SLPs come from to do this? It seems like it would be more expensive to have the student removed into a separate special education room than it would be to provide help in general education - but maybe not? Or is it mainly administrators who are tired of handling disgruntled parents of other students in the classroom that try to influence the IEP team to recommend a new placement? And what consequences do staff face if they disagree and speak out during the IEP?

  4. #14
    niccig is offline Clean Sweep forum moderator
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    Default Getting DC assessment/ neuropsych

    I am the only one in the room that can determine if a student qualifies or not for a speech or language disorder, as only one licensed to do so. I explain my findings. If parent disagrees, they don't have to sign the IEP and there are avenues of appeal. All my clinical decisions are made based on age norms - what is age appropriate. Most disagreements are because teacher/parent are expecting more than what is age appropriate. I blame curriculum that isn't developmentally appropriate and push to meet standards.


    I suppose administration could complain to my boss if they thought I wasn't qualifying students that should be qualified.










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    Last edited by niccig; 08-19-2017 at 02:48 AM.

  5. #15
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillview View Post
    If you can afford it I'd totally do the private assessment. I think they have a lot less likelihood to have a bias vs the school. ...


    Also, at least in my state, schools can't legally diagnose certain things. They can only make observations and inform parents for referrals. Do the private assessment and take that information with you to any meetings going forward.

    Your ultimate goal is to ensure your child is protected under the law, not having any issues he cannot help (due to brain wiring, chemistry, or non-neurotypicality, etc.) treated like "discipline" issues, and his diagnosis in writing so you have a paper trail should he not have access to the resources and support he might need.

    Do the private assessment.
    ==========================================
    Liz
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by StantonHyde View Post
    Do not tell the school about the private eval. Do tell the private eval about the school testing.
    Good advice until you know the results and can use them in a positive way for your child. Keep the private appointment, good luck.


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  7. #17
    PunkyBoo is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    OP here. Thank you all for your feedback. It really helped me understand the process more. We had the initial visit at the private doctor last week and they will be giving us diagnoses (if warranted) by early October. My issue now is that the doctor gave me a questionnaire regarding ADHD that I need to have the teachers fill out- so I guess I'll have to notify the school that we're also pursuing outside assessments. Hmm. That's going to be even more complicated since he's only been back in school a couple of weeks so the form should probably be filled out collaboratively with his last year teachers.
    Please excuse all my typos- typing on a kindle fire!
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    Mama to DS1 Punkin (2/04) and DS2 Boo (1/09)

  8. #18
    PZMommy is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by PunkyBoo View Post
    OP here. Thank you all for your feedback. It really helped me understand the process more. We had the initial visit at the private doctor last week and they will be giving us diagnoses (if warranted) by early October. My issue now is that the doctor gave me a questionnaire regarding ADHD that I need to have the teachers fill out- so I guess I'll have to notify the school that we're also pursuing outside assessments. Hmm. That's going to be even more complicated since he's only been back in school a couple of weeks so the form should probably be filled out collaboratively with his last year teachers.
    As a teacher I've been asked to fill out those forms, and it doesn't phase me at all. I just think the parent has talked to their pedi and is pursuing information. Don't worry about giving the form to the teacher, as they get asked to do it all the time! If you don't think his current teacher has enough info to fill it out, then just give it to his previous years' teacher.

  9. #19
    Kindra178 is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    School districts are loathe to provide services. Let the school do certain tests and the private eval do other tests. In our experience, schools do fine to administer the WISC and WIAT and the basic language texts. After that, schools just don't have the time to do a thorough eval. You can use the private eval tests to encourage the school to provide services.

    We had huge issues with what our former district declared as "average." Frankly, it was maddening. Our current district intervenes at low to middle average, which is helpful to the kids.

    I will also add that you have 90th percentile parents and a 50th percentile kid, that's a learning disability. Find it.

    SSTE has long posts on using school testing plus private testing here on this board.

  10. #20
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by PunkyBoo View Post
    ...My issue now is that the doctor gave me a questionnaire regarding ADHD that I need to have the teachers fill out- so I guess I'll have to notify the school that we're also pursuing outside assessments. ...
    I've had DD's teachers fill out assessment forms as part of her outside diagnosis paperwork. In Kindy alone, we had an initial eval from the pediatrician, a follow up from CHOP, and then a repeat CHOP eval during the 1st month of 1st grade because we were approaching her eval appointment (not scheduled for almost 6 months due to various delays on CHOP's end) and having the input of her new teachers in addition to her Kindy teacher's eval was helpful to the team.

    Definitely get the evals from both this year's and last year's teachers if possible; the more info the teachers can provide the evaluation team, the better the diagnosis will be, IMO.
    ==========================================
    Liz
    DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

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