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Old 01-31-2011, 04:05 PM   #1
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Testing scores and determining need for services

Okay, I am so far beyond confused it isn't even funny. Quick rundown:

Requested that the school test DD for LD based on observations I have had since she was little and things getting worse. Official Child Study Meeting held and request was refused because she is passing all subjects on report card and is at or above grade level on all standardized tests.

Had Private testing done by a top guy in our area and he found definite Processing Difficulties, dx Gifted and LD and is recommending a 504 plan ASAP. Have to wait for his final written report to get all the specifics of his findings and recommendations.

Been researching up one side and down the other. Found first of all that just because she is passing was no reason for them to turn me down. Also that because we specifically brought up that teacher and parents are providing additional support they needed to consider the impact of that in the fact that she is passing. So I am a little ticked off that it seems that their written reason for refusal is contrary to law but I didn't know better (I do now!) so they ran right over me.
So the one thing I can't find is anything that gives specifics on HOW the school will make the determination of LD when they do THEIR tests. What numbers they are looking for, what deviations they consider etc. Everything I find seems to just say that the state/district can set their own standards. So if I don't have anything in writing to tell me what the standards are they can just snowball me again and say "Well, according to all OUR tests she is at or above grade level so there is no finding of LD." and I can't refute that. I know that I can request an Independent Evaluation if I don't agree with them but not sure I want to trust anyone that is on their list. KWIM? They have already said that they won't really put much relevance into a private evaluation that we had done.

I am hoping that since I am only asking for a 504 they will just decide that it is too much work to argue with me and let the Eval we have stand but based on what they said at the first meeting I think I am in for a fight.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:57 PM   #2
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SLD is sort of an everything else has been rulled out and there is still a learning deficit thing.

More often than not, it actually comes from a specific disability but the evaluations that the schools do lack the sensitivity to determine that, this is especially true in the EF areas of concentration and processing (the other things that schools do is to though it in a ADHD/ADD grouping which is not very helpful).
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:47 PM   #3
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Hi Lovestoscrap,

What state are you located in? Are you familiar with Response to Intervention (RTI) and the national movement towards no longer using test discrepancy models to identify students with LD? You are correct that states and districts are given greater flexibility under the IDEA reforms to use RtI and alternative methods to determining eligibility.

Florida changed it's LD rule this past July, and does not allow districts to use the IQ and achievement test scores to determine if a child is eligible for LD services. We are still doing many of these evaluations to provide more information about the student's strengths and weaknesses and to guide interventions, but the test scores do not stand alone. The schools must document the child's response to tiered levels of interventions. Many parents and teachers are not aware of this change. Our schools are at varying stages in terms of training and preparedness.

You have the right to ask your district about their specific eligibility procedures. It might be helpful to start with your specific state's department of education for help. I've included a link to a document you might find helpful. You are your child's best advocate and I encourage you to do your research!

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Old 02-04-2011, 02:41 PM   #4
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I would have a full neuro psych evaluation done. Check with your health insurance. Sometimes they will cover either all or part of it. A would also find a good educational advocate. One that works for a non profit. It will make them sit up and notice more. It shows them you mean business and won't be snowed. When you do get your meeting type up a list of questions you want to discuss. When you go into the meeting introcuce yourself to each person individualy. Shake their hand and hand them the list. It says you know what you are doing even if you really are not sure. Hope this helps. Let me know if I can be of anyother help. I would write more here but it would get kind of lengthy.
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:56 AM   #5
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Federal Definition

CHeck out the federal guidelines that pretty much gives a definition of any educational diagnosis.

In my state this diagnosis is an educational diagnosis which means if the disability impacts the education of the child and they on testing they are at least 22 points below IQ then they can possibly qualify for LD (discrepancy in my state).

If it is not proven through standardized testing, observations, school performance, and school staff input then chances are your child will not quailify for services.

Why did you conclude that your child has a Specific Learning Disability diagnosis? It sounds like school performance is great. You and your child are very lucky because kids with an LD diagnosis have average to above average IQ but do not perform to their potentional in a specific area: reading, writing, or mathematics.

This is a team decision- not just a parental decision. In my state outside evaluations have little bearing on what the team decides.

There is also a grievance process that you should be able to process.

Also, it is also the gen. ed. teacher's duty to differentiate instruction so that every child in the classroom is successful to the best of their ability. Your child might not qualify for services but that gen. ed. teacher should be helping her too. She probably already is though...I hope.

Last edited by ma2nojo; 02-05-2011 at 08:04 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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Oh, you can also find a child advocate that can help you wade through any issues that the school might put you through. Usually schools don't really like to mess around with them and will make sure everything is done correctly. Don't give up!!!

Unfortunately with budget cuts everywhere districts are always looking for ways to save money.

What the other poster said about RTI is a great idea.

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