Originally Posted by LynnS6
If you suspect that your daughter has learning difficulties that are leading to her reading problems, you can request to have her evaluated by the school. You need to put that request in writing, and then they have, I believe, 90 days to assess her and propose an IEP if one is warranted.
This is only partially true. You can do this, but the problem with it is that they cannot determine a learning disability without "RtI" (response to intervention) data. They are doing pullouts to get this data. They have to track her progress on an evidence based program. Based on how she makes progress, they will be able to determine a learning disability or not when they go to testing.
It IS true that you can request the testing and they have to do it. However, under the newer IDEA guidelines, they will not be able to make a determination of whether or not a disability is present. It used to be that they used a discrepancy model. Which means they got IQ and achievement scores. If there was a 16 pt. difference between IQ and achievement, it meant you had a learning disability in that area. NOW, with the RtI model, you must put the child through an evidence based program. If sufficient progress is not seen, coupled with the test scores, a learning disability can be determined reliably. With the old system, you would often run into kids who were intelligent, but had a difficult year, gaps in instruction, or behavior problems that caused them to lose ground academically. When put in a good evidence based program, those kids (who would have been labeled LD under the old system) make progress. Conversely, kids with lower IQs had to be almost barely functioning in able to get a 16 pt. discrepancy. I used to always feel frustrated because if you were on a second grade level and had a second grade intellect, you were not LD EVEN IF YOU WERE IN FOURTH GRADE.
it was maddening to watch the kids struggle. So RtI is a much better system, but its frustrating for parents because they feel they are getting the "runaround" when it comes to testing, but in reality its just so the testing can really get to a conclusion. So it would basically be a colossal waste of their and your child's time....unless of course, they have enough data from last year's pullouts. If she's not making progress (like you stated) perhaps that is enough to move forward with testing??
I have always wondered though, as a speech pathologist, how any time I pull a child from class we must agree to it in an ARD, yet regular ed kids are getting pulled left and right to do computer programs without even parent consent? It seems strange from a Least Restrictive Environment standpoint. I've been in IEP meetings before where the teacher explains the child is going to My Reading Coach or Destination Math every day, and then explains to the parent that their child is out of the classroom for multiple hours every day in the computer lab. As a parent, my reaction would be "give me the program and they can work on it at home." But the reality is, the school has to have documentation of all this RtI to be able to determine the presence or absence of a learning disability.
So declining pull outs carries some definite consequences. If you think its possible she has a learning disability, I would be very wary of doing so. My guess is that if you decline the pullouts and she fails the grade or struggles, they will have no choice but hold her to promotion/retention standards and continue with regular education until such time as they have the data from those pull outs. Don't wait until the end of the year, if it looks like its going to be an emergency pass/fail situation. It will be too late to gather the RtI data, and she would be retained
Tough situation. Best wishes to you.