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Old 12-09-2010, 02:33 PM   #1
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Would you have testing done just to know? UPDATED

I have had that "something is just not right" feeling about DD10 since she was a baby. She has had a few developmental delays but always catches up on her own schedule and gets to where she needs to be eventually.

School is getting harder the last 2 years and she will start middle school next year. She has a big problem with classroom tests. I just had a Child Study Meeting at the school to discuss my concerns and see if the school will test but didn't get anywhere, even though I had the teacher's support. She actually compensates very well for most of the issues that I see, and her teacher is providing some accommodations for her on her own. Her grades are great and her standardized test scores are all average or above. Yep, on paper she looks like a perfect student. But that doesn't reflect that she fails many tests -- and then they have her make corrections to bring the grade up, and that we do a whole lot of reteaching at home and the stress and frustration she is showing at home. She does okay on Standardized tests because she doesn't have much trouble with multiple choice.

Next year she won't get much one on one help at school like her teacher is giving her now (30 kids to a class in Math and English ), tests will not be unlimited time like she is getting now and I really think we are going to see things get bad. The majority of her grade now is from homework and projects which she gets 100 on so the bad test grades (and subsequent corrections) just mean she gets a B on the report card despite actually failing nearly every test. I know in the Middle School the majority of the grades are based on tests and quizzes, often given at a rate of 1 each every week for each class.

I have been doing a lot of research and I really think that she has Word Finding Difficulties (thus why multiple choice tests are no problem, but fill in the blank is darn near impossible for her) and possibly dyscalcula (Math LD). She fits every profile that I read on those two things.

She has been dx with IBS due to stress, but she seems to be a very happy and laid back child. I think that she is feeling stressed because she too knows that something is wrong but isn't really sure what and it is frustrating her.

So should I go ahead and have private testing done and see if they find anything, so that we can offer more focused help at home and can be prepared if she starts failing in the next year or so when things get way more difficult? Or, since the school won't really recognize or do anything even if we can show she has a dx just wait until she tanks everything and then push for them to test and see what happens? I am worried that by the time the school does anything she will be way to far behind to catch up and emotionally and mentally scared from the frustration.

Is there any value in testing just to have a dx, or to rule everything out? Right now I wonder if it is worth it just for MY peace of mind after 9 years of worry.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:42 PM   #2
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Quite honestly, if you can get her tested, do it. Armed with a dx, you can go to the school and have an IEP (individualized education plan) implemented right away. This could definitely help with her test scores and get her grades to a more accurate reflection of her aptitude. Waiting until her grades start tanking could really tank her self-esteem, too. Good luck to you!
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:55 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by It'sWDW4me View Post
Quite honestly, if you can get her tested, do it. Armed with a dx, you can go to the school and have an IEP (individualized education plan) implemented right away. This could definitely help with her test scores and get her grades to a more accurate reflection of her aptitude. Waiting until her grades start tanking could really tank her self-esteem, too. Good luck to you!
This is really what I am most worried about. I really don't give a flying fig about test grades, but she does.

I really doubt that she would even need an IEP, but think that there definitely may be a need for a 504 plan with accommodations for testing and access to extra help starting next year.
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:44 PM   #4
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Yes, an auditory processing evaluation can pick up a lot of EF issues and Brief or WPS SRS evaluatin can check to many underlying anxiety creating issues.

I would try to tind a good developmental pediatric neurologist

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Old 12-09-2010, 03:49 PM   #5
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Yes, an auditory processing evaluation can pick up a lot of EF issues and Brief or WPS SRS evaluatin can check to many underlying anxiety creating issues.

I would try to tind a good developmental pediatric neurologist

bookwormde
Sorry, I have no idea what all those letters mean. Would you mind clarifying?
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Old 12-09-2010, 03:58 PM   #6
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EF is executive funtion which is how the brain take in, stores and processes information. the other 2 evaluations check for EF, sensory and social differetials.

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Old 12-09-2010, 05:06 PM   #7
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EF is executive funtion which is how the brain take in, stores and processes information. the other 2 evaluations check for EF, sensory and social differetials.

bookwormde
Thanks!

I think part of my fear too is that if I am clearly seeing things that fit the profile of 2 types of LD then what is it that may be affecting her that I am not seeing, which it sounds like is what you are saying also.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:28 AM   #8
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Aren't schools obligated to provide help to kids with learning disabilities? Because if that's the case, absolutely get her tested.

I know its not the same exactly but here's my story with schooling and all this kind of fun. I was diagnosed with depression right around my 16th birthday, but had definitely been dealing with it for longer, probably somewhere around 13. I was diagnosed ADHD about 2 months before my 18th birthday. Once I hit middle school (6th grade) things got really sticky for me. I could pay some attention in class, it depended on how the material was presented by the teacher, but homework was a battle. You could look at my report cards right up through high school and literally tell by my grades if the teacher gave a lot of homework or not purely based on my grades. The teachers that taught the way that made sense to me and didn't give a lot of homework I'd excel at, lots of projects and homework, low grades. I knew the material, but I couldn't focus on doing it, particularly at home. I was labeled a slacker and the whole "it's a shame because she's so smart" thing. The school thing played right into the depression and it got really bad. By Febuary of senior year, I'd missed 40 days of school because I'd skip, I hated it because I knew I wasn't going to graduate because I had failed a couple classes (big homework classes). When I finally brought this all up to my psych, he's like "You're definitely ADHD". I went back to the school and my counselor and told her this and she goes "No you're not. You don't exhibit any of the symptoms." I said "Well I don't do the running around little kid thing, I can't always focus, I'm majorly twitchy, I'm easily distracted, etc, I fall into a different branch." She said what boiled down to "Tough cookies". I went to the school social worker, not as mean about it, but wasn't familar with what I was describing. By this point I was so frustrated I was back into self destructive behavior (mainly cutting) and I could literally only get through my days by sleeping through most of them. I went to my therapist and told her all this and she said "That's ridiculous, I will call them, and your psych (they worked in the same group) will call and explain this all to them". No dice. I went to the principal to get the paperwork for homeschooling, figuring I could just learn it on my own, I'm a big reader and love to learn so I figured that was the solution. I got a big lecture and he wouldn't give me the paperwork saying that it wasn't the right option for me. I told him that wasn't his decision and he tried to give me detention for contradicting him. Went back to the therapist, and told her "I'm #(&%ing done with this, I'm dropping out", and to my surprise she agreed with me. She agreed that it was more harmful to be in school than to just go and get my GED at that point (which I did right away). I went in, filled out the paper work, and went up to inform my teachers. Several were livid at me, then livid at the system, begging me not to go. When the social worker found out, she called my house and talked to my mom and said "I've been doing a lot of research on this, and talked to her psych again, I agree she definitely falls into this!" but what good was that going to do me at that point? Some time passed and the school I went to was written up in the paper, basically saying how terrible it was getting with people in predicaments like mine, where they just fall through the cracks. That you either had to be a star student getting them good attention or mental/physically disabled for them to help you in anyway, and that to an extent they are obligated to help those with learning disabilities. By that time I'd been out of school for like 10 months and had already gotten the GED so it wasn't worth trying to go back and fight them, but had we known this kind of thing beforehand you can bet there would have been a hell of a fight.

So if you had the patience to read through that, I only bring it all up as a "warning" of sorts, don't let this kind of thing happen to you. Get the diagnosis, make them have some responsibility, and do it before you're little one gets to the point I did. Maybe not depression, but utter frustration at a situation that isn't really her fault.
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Old 12-10-2010, 06:01 AM   #9
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LD is an educational classification which for most kids with average to high IQs is not being used much in areas where they have proper diagnostic programs, since for most of these kids there are underlying specific disabilites which are the source and allow for much more approprate supports and accomidations to be applied.

The transition to middle school is very difficult (even with an Aspergers/Autism classificaiton and an extensive IEP for my son it has been difficult even though acedemically he is above standards) so you really need to begin understanding the underlying issues and have a good support progam in place this year.

THe great news is that A lot of our kids who have "differences" also have great gifts and wonderful core personalities which can be maintained and developed if their enviroment is not to abusive.

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Old 12-10-2010, 07:13 AM   #10
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my older DS (11) has ADHD, and some other issues. All through his schooling to the 4th grade he was the model student (he's been on ADHD meds since kindergarten) he got A's and B's, was always polite helpful and kind. He had issues, handwriting was (and is) awful, and he needed more time for tests. His teachers gave him in-class accomodations on their own (and w/ input from me, of course.) In the 4th grade the teacher and I saw what would be signs on "impending doom." It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. He was still doing really well, but we could tell that as academic pressures began to rise his performance would falter. So I was able to get him an IEP based in OHI (other health impairment - it covers things like ADHD and LDs.) We pushed the system which isn't designed for 'preventative maintenance." We pushed for accomodations based on what we felt he would need later. Color me happy because in the middle of the 5th grade we moved from one state to another and his grades really suffered. The IEP is what eventually enabled him to pass his classes in the 5th grade, albeit w/ his lowest scores ever. Armed with this we modified his IEP some, and now he's doing really well in the 6th grade. We still struggle w/ issues, mainly organization... (he keeps turning in assignments late, even tho' he never seems to have homework...*sigh* he finishes them and "loses" them in his backpack...ARGH.)
Anyways, what I mean is an IEP is a great tool for pushing for help for your kids...esp. when they get to a point when in-class teacher instituted accomodations just aren't possible anymore. Have an evaluation done, get your DX and get that IEP. You and your DD will be glad for it.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:17 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone. DH and I had a long talk last night with many of the points here discussed. We agree that the last thing we want is for her to get frustrated beyond her ability to cope and to lose our amazing laid back, always happy child. I think that just being able to show her that she isn't "stupid" (which is how she feels sometimes now), but just needs to go about things a different way will really be a great relief to her, and hopefully help with the stress.

I have just made an appt for the initial visit with a highly recommended psychologist and we will go from there.
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:32 AM   #12
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I defenitely think you are doing the wise thing!

My 2nd son, he's always been, how shall we say, 'quirky' He was evaluated at age 8 for ASD's, found to not be (but has 'autistic features', most of which have faded) and a VERY high IQ. He did well in elementary school, then middle school got tough-but they were very helpful and there was a lot of phone contact with me. He muddled through.

This Sept, started high school. Ohhhhh mmmyyyyy In November, I got 3 phone calls in ONE week from the school. In frustration, I made a doctor's appt. Finally, we got a diagnosis of ADHD! This child doesn't fit the stereotpye I had of that-he was never hyper or bouncy. But apparently, it's not just that. He started on Vyvanse, and wow what a difference. He WANTS to take it and wants to do better-he knows he was messing up and his self esteem was shot!

I probably should have done this in like, 7th grade. But, defenitely getting a diagnosis was the best thing we've done, school wise!
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Old 12-12-2010, 11:38 AM   #13
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I'm really glad it sounds like you'll get her tested.

I was in honors/gifted/AP classes all through school and didn't have problems really until I tried to take AP bio as a senior in high school. I ended up dropping the class. I was during all of this time messy and there were things I struggled with, but the messy was assumed to be a character failing and I worked through the stuff I struggled with.

In college, it all fell apart. If a class required memorization, it was a mess unless I could count on previous knowledge to save me. Lectures didn't help me at all. I had high anxiety and, while there was other stuff going on that didn't help, I struggled a lot. The disability coordinator at my school (I have physical disabilities) and I talked about it and she said based on what I was describing, she recommended that I get a full LD evaluation because it sounded to her like non-verbal learning disability.

Sure enough, when we did the evaluation, I had quite a few LD things. Officially I have a diagnosis of LD-NOS because I am "too good with maps" for a non-verbal learning disability diagnosis, but I have severe executive functioning problems, mild auditory processing problems, and some other minor things I can't remember off the top of my head. According to the neuropsychologist I saw, if I'd not been incredibly smart, she'd have seen me by the time I was 8 because the executive functioning problems are so bad. She couldn't give me an accurate IQ evaluation because my spacial score was so more than 20 points lower than my verbal score. So the good news was answers, the bad news was that I was 22 at that point and had never really had the support to get the skills needed. And those are things you can't easily get in college because at a lot of schools they don't exist. So I pretty much have worked through it on my own and not had the chance to really work on improving those skills. If we'd known when I was a kid, we could have gotten techniques in place so that I might not have so many problems now. It also would have been good to early on get the documentation and accommodations in place as it's a lot easier to continue to get help that's already in place than to get it new when it's suddenly needed immediately.

Please note, if you get testing now and it shows something where she will need accommodations, you will need to get testing done at least once again in the future if she goes to college. Most colleges require testing that's been done within a year or two of entrance so that they know they have the most up to date information and suggestions of accommodations possible. I know this means extra expense for you (I'm well aware how much an evaluation costs), but I would not let it deter you from the testing now!
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Old 12-12-2010, 07:48 PM   #14
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IEP's are only created when there is data showing that the diagnosed disability is creating a 'failure to improve' situation at school - that's not the exact wording, but it's the basic idea.

The failed tests may get you the IEP, but that does not always get you the help your child needs. Try to get the accommodations to be less 'avoidance techniques', and more 'strategies to help compensate'.

Right now the school is not seeing that 'failure' that requires an IEP. You can throw all the private testing results in the world at their feet, but if the child does not exhibit a failure to learn because of that disablity, they are going to fight that IEP, as well they should. We are not all A+, perfect students. An IEP is not meant to Harrison Bergeron the school population.

Remember, a difficulty is not a disability unless it significantly impairs one's ability to perform a certain life task. Both of my daughters were born with 'difficulties', but none of them have caused an impairment of life tasks, hence they are not disabled. One daughter has a palsy in one eye, no binocular vision, and synesthesia. It makes test taking, and geometry, a bit of a challenge, but she is able to complete her work above a certain average standard, and is thus not disabled nor qualified for an IEP. Could she do better with more time? Of course, but we all could! How about a word bank for fill in the blank? Hey that would help us all too!
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:38 PM   #15
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The failed tests may get you the IEP, but that does not always get you the help your child needs. Try to get the accommodations to be less 'avoidance techniques', and more 'strategies to help compensate'.

!

Absolutely I said earlier that I don't think that she would ever need an IEP. But at some point a 504 may be needed even if it was just for something fairly small like additional time to take tests.

I fully expected the school to deny my request for testing but felt like I needed to start with the logical first step-- which that was. Now we go out on our own and see what we find out. And if there is anything then be able to support her with whatever additional compensation strategies she may need. At this point we think the biggest benefit of knowing is just for her self esteem-- to know that she is doing her best and working her hardest.

The school basically said that if something is found and she does need any accommodations in the future they would probably have to retest her and go with their own findings. Not sure how all that works, but sounds like the guy we are going to see is a strong personality that knows how to get what is best for the kids he sees.
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