Originally Posted by brendon
You know, the school could also ask parents for information about their child. Does your child skip? If not, what are they doing? How does your child hold a pencil, right hand/left hand?
Good point--and some districts do...ours does.
Reality is, though, *how* a child completes a task is as important as the task itself (directionality, formation of letters/numbers, memory tasks). A teacher will be looking at specific behaviors that a parent without an education background may not notice.
Yes, yes yes!
For instance, my son can write all of his letters, but many of them are written functionally incorrectly. (which I didn't realize until he had OT and it was explained. I always answered that he could write letters because, from my uneducated perspective, he could since he was 2) He now has the tripod instead of palmer grasp, but still isn't using fine motor to control the writing (coming from the shoulder instead of the hand/wrist), can draw a "person", but when he is asked to draw "Zane", he writes his name. He can draw a person when prompted, but is isn't what they are looking for. They are looking for clues to self-concept, not just drawing skills.
Ds can't skip. He also runs with a slightly modified gait, enough that a professional can tell there is an issue, but probalby not enough to get PT. He can't do a lot of the motor planning tests.
I often ask during assesments if they are looking for the core knowledge (which he usually has) or if they are looking at how he answers specific types of questions. He has a lot of knowledge, but he can't answer questions if they are not formed in the right way often. For instance, he can tell you which one is a bird, but it can flub him up if you ask which one flies. It is a specific type of thing that indicates communication disorders.
The teachers need to make sure there aren't too many of any one group of kids in the classroom, and they are trying to keep kids apart with particular characteristics. For instance, you don't want a child with poor social skills in a class with a kid with severe behavior problems, because the social skills kid will imitate the behavior kid and you will have two behavior kids when it didn't need to happen. Also, some kids do great apart, but cause a lot of problems if they are together.
I am helping in a class of Kindergarten kids and the gulf between kids is astonishing. It isn't just that some kids can't read or write their name, there are kids in there that can't even tell you the difference between a letter and a number, or the difference between a square and circle, and then there are kids who are starting to read. And then you have kids like my ds, who is severly impared in social skills, but can read and do addition and subtraction. It is truly amazing what these teachers face on a daily basis.
And often, at the kindy level, there are a number of kids that will eventually become part of SpEd, but the parents just dropped them off with no indication of anything being wrong and the teacher just has to discover it through assessments and classroom time. They know about ds' issues, and that is why I am in the classroom. I can tell you that there is another girl in there that I recognized immediatly as having severe SID, and possibly some other LDs, and there are a few kids who are clearly going to need some pull out and one-on-one time. There are a lot of kids who should have been in the SpEd programs for years, but are just getting noticed now.