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Coping with excessive emotional outbursts in the gifted child - Page 3

post #41 of 49
To get a 504, in general, you need a diagnosis of some sort (anxiety is considered an "other health impairment") and show how it impacts the child in school. That does not need to be an academic impact, and emotional outbursts in the classroom would be considered a classroom impact (this is the big one for my DD). I am not sure how it fairs with charters and I'm sure it varies by state.

We had a private evaluation. I would not personally ask the school system for an evaluation. They have to legally accept an evaluation from a private party, as long as that party meets their criteria. Generally this means it has to be someone licensed in your state and who has a minimum degree criteria (LCSW, PsyD, etc.).

Have you spoken with the school counselor? I would suggest starting there to see what accommodations can be made at your school and to make sure they (the counselors) are aware of the issue. Our counselor has been very helpful in acting as an intermediary with DD's teacher once he became aware of the issues.

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The societal disapproval for her behavior is so intense, and then getting it from the school as well has just put me into a tailspin where I come down on her really hard.
I hear you. It's really, really hard.

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just looked up GAD--nope, she's a risk taker and not a perfectionist
Obviously I don't know from here whether or not your DD has anxiety. But you don't have to have all the symptoms for the diagnosis to fit. But if your DD is at the point where they would consider sending her home for the day and may not allow her to return, then an evaluation from a professional seems like the next reasonable step to evaluate her and get a handle on what is happening in the classroom.

Another thought on the therapist. My older DD confided some things to her that were happening in the classroom that she had not told me. The teacher also told the therapist some things and concerns he had that he did not want to share with me. Both of these pieces of knowledge have allowed all of us to help her better.

Good luck OP. It can be so hard to know what to do.
post #42 of 49
Thread Starter 
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I would not personally ask the school system for an evaluation.
Why not?

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Have you spoken with the school counselor?
There isn't one. The school is very small, and the only staff other than teachers are a principal and a front office person. I think part of the reason they want to send her home for outbursts is simply staffing.
post #43 of 49
Perhaps it would have been more accurate to say that I wouldn't rely on the school system for an accurate or timely evaluation. Most school psychologists are hugely overworked. Their large caseloads mean that it could be weeks before your DD could be seen and evaluated. Whereas if you bypass the school, then you could get an evaluation much more quickly. Also, generally, to get an evalution by the school you will first need to petition for it, they have 10 working days to respond, then perhaps meet again to decide on what is the appropriate testing, then schedule the evaluation, then have a meeting to review the results.... As you can see it could be a very lengthy process. And while there are many terrific school psychologists, to some degree it is in their interest and in the school's interest for them to not find a diagnosis for your DD. Not all schools or psychologists are like this, but some are.

By having a private evaluation, we were also able to jumpstart the process. We had an evaluation in hand when we requested DD's 504. We had one meeting in which they approved our request for a 504 and then one more meeting to discuss the actual accommodations and get those approved. I know we would still be waiting for an assessment at this point if we had gone the school based evaluation route. The therapist also gave us a long list of accommodations that she thought would be beneficial to DD which was helpful to have at the meetings.

Also, the fact that DD was already seeing a therapist was a big deal to the school. They knew from this that we were taking her issues seriously, that we were not just trying to "explain away" her problems, and that we were being proactive, not just relying on the school to "fix it".

Are sure that a counselor is not available to the school? Many schools, especially small ones, do not have a counselor on site or do not have a full-time dedicated counselor, but one is available when needed.

And again, obviously I'm not you and your DD is not my DD. But our DDs sound somewhat similar in personality. It has been my experience that DD's emotionality has gotten better over the years, but she is still quite a bit out of step with her class cohort. I guess our teachers have been more tolerant (and it is a much bigger school) and it was really only this year that it became a big issue with the combination of poor teacher fit and hugely increased homework and behavioral expectations in third grade.

ETA:
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For extra irony here, the school claims to have a gifted enrollment of 20%.
FWIW, my DD is actually in a gifted classroom this year with a gifted "certified" teacher! It has just been my experience that some teachers have a bigger toolbox for dealing with outside the box kids than others. This teacher's toolbox is not that big. One things the therapist said, which made sense to me, is that having the 504 plan gives the teacher a bigger toolbox to draw upon. He now has suggestions for helping her cope that he would have never thought of. His natural instincts for how to deal with a highly emotional kid were pretty disastrous for her. Even though it's a gifted classroom, in our case most of the kids are pretty even keeled and easy going. Which is great for them, but makes her emotionality stand out even more.

Good luck! Hopefully some of this rambling was mildly useful.
post #44 of 49
As far as the legalities, I don't know the specifics, but I do know that DH taught in a charter school in California a few years ago; and the students who needed accommodations there had IEPs and 504 plans and all the usual things you would find in a regular public school.
post #45 of 49
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Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
We will test her privately if we have to, though this idea drives me crazy since we should be able to have it done for free. I have a reference for a good gifted psych in my town, but an eval (IQ and socioemotional) will be $700.
Loraxc, just reading this thread with interest as your dd sounds similar to my older dd1 and wanted to chime in on the cost of private testing. We are just finishing up the evaluation process with dd1.

My dd1 (3rd grade) goes to a small private school that sounds similar to your dd's charter. There are about 70 kids in pre-k thru 5th grade. No counselor, 4 non-teachers (exec director, educational director, business administrator, and administrative assistant), and 11 teachers and assistant teachers. The ed director and teachers asked us to have her evaluated this spring. I'm really surprised that your school is giving you a hard time at your dd's age (Kindy?). I think her behavior sounds totally within the realm of normal developmental issues—maybe at the far end of normal, but IME there are a lot of intense little kids in K.

Anyway, on the eval costs, check with your insurance company. Mine covers in network psychologists with a $45 copay. Testing is treated as a lab and we don't pay for that. There was a charge for school observation, but our total bill will be more in the $3-400 range for about 4 appointments plus the observation plus 2 days of educational testing plus 1 day of IQ testing.

I really liked "Kids, Parents and Power Struggles" for recognizing different temperaments in kids and parents and triggers, as well as "The Explosive Child".

We haven't heard the final results of our eval, but I wouldn't be surprised if she got an anxiety diagnosis.

hth
post #46 of 49
Beanma, so funny you posted.. during this whole thread I kept thinking "gosh, it sounds so similar to DD's former school!" I'm going to email you. We've been experiencing anxiety issues with DD also (which is why I've been following this thread but not posting) for a while. I need to see who you went to...

Holli
post #47 of 49
I would test privately because then you own the results, and because of the issues mentioned up thread. The tester you hire is working in your child's interests and has no split of obligation or loyalty. I'm also not saying that all school staff are like this, or that the ones who are are horrible. A quick example: resources teachers really, really want DS to be identified as being on the autism spectrum as it would mean more funding. As a result, they tend to filter behaviours through that lense as opposed to being more broad minded about it. I have had him privately tested and seen by multiple professionals - he does not meet the criteria for an ASD diagnosis. If the resources teachers were qualified to make the diagnosis, or their cohorts in the school system were qualified, I'm pretty sure we'd be there because it's in their best interests while not being against DS's interests per se (he'd get funding and increased support).

As for the fairness of the system - it's just not, IME. I actually work in the system in my jurisdiction and this whole experience as a service user has made me heartsick both personally and professionally. I look at it this way - I'm the parent of two major outliers. They are beyond what the system is set up to handle, as wrong as this may be. I am their best advocate and where I've had to I've found ways around the system and paid for things myself that by all rights the system should have paid for.

The rate you're being quoted is cheap where I am - a good gifted psych would charge $2600 here. If that makes you feel any better . If you go ahead privately, make sure you confirm with the school first which tests they'll accept.

Last thing on why to test privately: you own the info and if you don't want to share it you don't have to. If the testing reveals something you don't want them to know, you don't have to share it and can address it privately. If the testing revealed, say, GAD and gifted, you could ask the psych to write up the testing separately and only show them the IQ/achievement testing and address the GAD privately if you decided that was the best approach with this school.
post #48 of 49
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Originally Posted by joensally View Post
The rate you're being quoted is cheap where I am - a good gifted psych would charge $2600 here. If that makes you feel any better .
I agree. I shopped pyschs before we found our current one. The private out-of-network pyschs were around $2000. I think they quoted me $1700 for the initial testing and any follow-up would have added more on. That's when I started looking at who my insurance would take. We found a great one. I really like her. Check with your insurance company!
post #49 of 49
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Originally Posted by loraxc View Post
There isn't one.
not even a visiting one? that you can make an appointment with and talk? our school only has a part time therapist.

i will also second what pp said about her dd telling her therapists things that she didnt tell her.

for dd her teacher is her therapist. this is her once in a lifetime dream teacher. and she has told him things because she wanted him to help her do certain things.
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