School wants to test my son for learning disabilities....

    • Gold Top Dog

    School wants to test my son for learning disabilities....

     Ooops, posted in the wrong section, can someone move this?

     

    I know a couple of people on here have been dealing with similar issues. My first thought is, it's about time, he's in 5th grade now and has been struggling since kindergarten, barely advancing each year. He has been tutored after school in reading and math for 3 years now, and we have had countless meetings with various teachers where I have always been told that he does not quite meet the criteria for testing, that he seems bright but doesn't try or doesn't care, or that there may be something going on, but lets watch him a little longer....and an SO (not his dad) who has been implying that it is bad parenting on the part of me and his dad.

    Well finally this year he has a teacher who is saying he is trying very hard but still falling very low on test scores, classroom work....I feel now like I should have demanded testing sooner, I have felt all along like something wasn't right with him...and I feel bad saying it like that, but.... his teacher doesn't want him to know about the testing, set it up like it's testing everyine is doing for middle school. I am scared for him, hoping to finally get some answers, and hoping to have some validation that I have not failed in some way.

    There will be a conference with the school coming up followed by the testing. I'll update when I know more.

     

    • Gold Top Dog

    As the mother of a dyslexic, ADHD son, let me tell you the very most important thing.

    THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND YOU DIDN'T DO ANYTHING WRONG.

    So tell the SO to takes his opinions and put them where the sun don't shine.

    Forcing the schools to do testing is like peeing into the wind.  It's messy, complicated and just flat out close to impossible.  Be grateful for the teacher he's got now and forget the past.  You can't change the past, all you can do is take advantage of today's opportunities and go from there.

    You are always welcome to pm or email me for moral support or whatever!

    ((((hugs))))

    • Gold Top Dog
    ^ ^ very nicely put. I have nothing to add other than to throw some support your way. Keep us updated.
    • Gold Top Dog

    Elias was dx with ADHD just a couple months ago. He is in the process of being screened in school...but the medical exemption for that is already a done deal...and he is getting help from an OT and diagnostician already as they work up a full plan for the year.

    First off, I would let him know about the testing personally. It can be a GREAT comfort to know WHY you are not able to master something. I mean right now, he probably KNOWS he is struggling but doesn't know WHY...might be very frustrated and feel hopeless even. I understand about his potential fears of classmates finding out but I really...would not be comfortable lying to my child...and it would be lying, the whole class is NOT being tested...

    He is old enough to know what a learning disability is and to know, with your support...that it is no one's fault...it is NOT a negative, that IF something comes up there ARE SO MANY THINGS that can help...seriously They have MYRIAD strategies, even tools and special PAPER for kids that just can open doors that have been shut tight.

    I personally would sit down and validate his feelings..."I know you do your best and I am proud of that...sometimes in life there are things that stand in the way of our potential and if we need help getting to and past, those things, we should ask for that help"...boys will be men someday and we ALL know what it is like to deal with men who cannot or WILL NOT seek aid because they see it as a sign of weakness. That has to start somewhere...and IMO it starts when they are boys, and we hide things from them or try to do things for them without letting them in on it.

    I don't mean to be harsh at ALL, but my 6 year old boy is on an ADHD drug and he KNOWS it...he knows why he does the testing they do in school, and he knows that EVERYONE just wants him to be able to have a fun less stressful, more educational experience in school. His stress level has simply dropped off the scale since we started to ACT and not just speculate.

    Learning disabilities are in many cases, medical conditions...like ADHD and it has to do with the brain or how info gets processed...you would not want your own Mom to keep things from you on a medical issue right? Allow him to know, and to feel in CONTROL of what is happening with him...he is NOT a "special ed case" no...but he is special...special to you and his family, and you ALL need to support one another thruout.

    The school is even able to BE, because of your own tax dollars. Make sure THEY get reminded of that...and do not ask...DEMAND that your concerns be addressed and never be afraid to go over a teacher or Principals head to get the assistance you require.

    Good luck with this and do PM me if you have questions or even just to tell me to butt out LOL. This is all fresh with me and honestly there is SO MUCH that can be done to help nowadays...once you know what direction to head in!

    eta: if you are in a financial place to be able to do it...many hospital mental health facilities do their own, LD testing...your insurance may even cover all or part of the cost. We went that route with Elias and it helped us get an unbiased opinion about his issues...priceless IMO. Always remember the school will want to do what costs them the LEAST in both manpower and responsibility...having something from an accredited and schooled individual to show them can realllllly help them get off their kiesters and ACT.

    • Gold Top Dog

    Gina makes some excellent points.  I know that my son thought he was "stupid" because he couldn't learn to read.  Far from it the little stinker memorized and use picture clues to FAKE it!!!

    He was VERY relieved to know that there was something WRONG and he wasn't stupid.  I'm glad that Gina brought that up.

    • Gold Top Dog

    What the school wants depends on the school and the administration.  I can assure you that many school districts and the school psychologists who work in them will bend over backwards to be a child advocate.  You too need to be your child's advocate.  Please dont assume that your school is out to short change your child.

     You may also wish to consider that folks who can work with your child over time in familiar environments will also provide data that a hospital setting or private clinic/practice may not  offer....    I dont mean to say ignore those resources, just consider the resources that may be available in your child's school as well.  Plenty of times I spend recess and time in a classroom with kids before they ever come in my office for testing.

    You may also find valuable information at www.allkindsofminds.org 

    Check out the NASP website....http://www.nasponline.org/

     Many of us live up to the organization motto.  Helping Children Achieve Their Best.  In school.  At home. For life.

    • Gold Top Dog

     

    glenmar

    Gina makes some excellent points.  I know that my son thought he was "stupid" because he couldn't learn to read.  Far from it the little stinker memorized and use picture clues to FAKE it!!!

     

    LOL. That's exactly what I did and was able to slide through in the "average" reading group until third grade.

    Back OT: I have LD. I was fortunate to have parents that always stressed to me that I was not dumb, my mind just worked differently than other people and learning would always be tough. They were very matter of fact with me about it.

    Their support, and time spent in special classes, made a world of difference for me. I consider myself very fortunate to have had that support.

    Testing for your son is a good thing, and I would tell him that they are testing how he learns. I was so young when I was diagnosed, I wish I could remember back that far to offer advise.

    Also, this could actually be a great thing for him. It's very liberating, as others have said, to have a "why" and the support and tools to help him succeed. 

    My parents always made it clear to me that the only thing LD meant for me, in practical terms, was that I would have to work harder than other kids to get to the same place. They never apologized for that and didn't let me feel sorry for myself, but stressed that everyone will have challenges in life and this was just one of mine and I would be successful. That attitude of expected perseverance served me well, and still does.

    I went to an extremely competitive college and did very well there because I'd had the foundation I needed to cope in that setting. I don't mean that to be boastful, but rather to illustrate that kids with LD should aim for the stars like any other kid. If I did it, so can anyone else. (Often times, I feel the bar is set too low for many kids with LD, because of the obvious challenges.)

    Good luck to you and your son and keep us posted!

     

    • Gold Top Dog

    I agree with everything everyone else has said.  We are going through testing with Riley right now and have decided on the private route mainly because of her age (she is under 3).  But I would demand what you want.  You pay for it, it is your right.  I would also tell him the truth...much better than him thinking he's just not trying hard enough.  To me that is more frustrating.

    • Gold Top Dog

     Just so you know, you do not necessarily have to pay for a private eval if you want one. If you don't agree with theirs, you do have the right to request a private eval at the public expense. They have the right to tell you no, but you can at least ask for it before you shell out that money, if that's what you want to do.

    • Gold Top Dog

    rwbeagles

    Elias was dx with ADHD just a couple months ago. He is in the process of being screened in school...but the medical exemption for that is already a done deal...and he is getting help from an OT and diagnostician already as they work up a full plan for the year.

    First off, I would let him know about the testing personally. It can be a GREAT comfort to know WHY you are not able to master something. I mean right now, he probably KNOWS he is struggling but doesn't know WHY...might be very frustrated and feel hopeless even. I understand about his potential fears of classmates finding out but I really...would not be comfortable lying to my child...and it would be lying, the whole class is NOT being tested...

    He is old enough to know what a learning disability is and to know, with your support...that it is no one's fault...it is NOT a negative, that IF something comes up there ARE SO MANY THINGS that can help...seriously They have MYRIAD strategies, even tools and special PAPER for kids that just can open doors that have been shut tight.

    I personally would sit down and validate his feelings..."I know you do your best and I am proud of that...sometimes in life there are things that stand in the way of our potential and if we need help getting to and past, those things, we should ask for that help"...boys will be men someday and we ALL know what it is like to deal with men who cannot or WILL NOT seek aid because they see it as a sign of weakness. That has to start somewhere...and IMO it starts when they are boys, and we hide things from them or try to do things for them without letting them in on it.

    I don't mean to be harsh at ALL, but my 6 year old boy is on an ADHD drug and he KNOWS it...he knows why he does the testing they do in school, and he knows that EVERYONE just wants him to be able to have a fun less stressful, more educational experience in school. His stress level has simply dropped off the scale since we started to ACT and not just speculate.

    Learning disabilities are in many cases, medical conditions...like ADHD and it has to do with the brain or how info gets processed...you would not want your own Mom to keep things from you on a medical issue right? Allow him to know, and to feel in CONTROL of what is happening with him...he is NOT a "special ed case" no...but he is special...special to you and his family, and you ALL need to support one another thruout.

    The school is even able to BE, because of your own tax dollars. Make sure THEY get reminded of that...and do not ask...DEMAND that your concerns be addressed and never be afraid to go over a teacher or Principals head to get the assistance you require.

    Good luck with this and do PM me if you have questions or even just to tell me to butt out LOL. This is all fresh with me and honestly there is SO MUCH that can be done to help nowadays...once you know what direction to head in!

    eta: if you are in a financial place to be able to do it...many hospital mental health facilities do their own, LD testing...your insurance may even cover all or part of the cost. We went that route with Elias and it helped us get an unbiased opinion about his issues...priceless IMO. Always remember the school will want to do what costs them the LEAST in both manpower and responsibility...having something from an accredited and schooled individual to show them can realllllly help them get off their kiesters and ACT.

    Ditto!!  I would have written the same exact note Gina you hit the nail on the head.   Best of luck!!

    • Gold Top Dog

    Might I just make that point that I don't for a minute believe that MOST teachers or educators are bad or uncaring.  I didn't mean to imply that I did.  For the most part I had wonderful relationships with the schools and school boards.  However, there were places that I had to fight tooth and nail for basic (for my son) testing and services.

    I KNEW in my gut at the age of 3 that my son was dyslexic, but, darned if anyone would test him until SECOND grade.  And, on one hand I do understand that, but there were other issues that I really had to fight for on his behalf.

    And by golly, NO plans can be made without an IEP and know that you have the right to disagree with that, and request further testing or whatever if the IEP doesn't seem quite "right" for whatever reason.  Yes, the educators or the experts in education, however WE are the experts in our children.

    • Gold Top Dog

     One of Mike's boys has ADHD - in school he was tested, but his mother didn't want him "on drugs" so he went untreated.  The result of that was that kids called him stupid, he got into fights, he failed in school,he quit in his senior year, and he could not even succeed in the military.  He is floundering, to put it mildly.  Fortunately, while he will never recover and get the education he could have had, apparently the message that Mike and I kept pounding into his head made a difference.  As an adult, he has sought treatment on his own, and is now taking an appropriate medication and doing somewhat better.  But, how I wish that his teachers had been more insistent, or his mom better educated (she did teach him nice manners, but that doesn't help pay the bills if you can't make a decent living).  I also think that if you have a SO who is making such comments in front of your child, or is blaming you, it isn't a constructive relationship and might even be harmful to your son.   Please think carefully how to handle that - of course, at this stage in my life, Glenda's suggestion about putting it where the sun don't shine is very appealing.

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