My 7 yr old is in 2nd grade. He's an average student-a/b, some c's. we are our 3rd week into school. The only reason he is passing reading is bc of extra class assignments. He has failed all tests. He is struggling with it :( He has ADHD, is medicated with Focalin, we just upped his dosage from 10mg to 15 mg. What do I do to help him? He is not on a 504 or anything through the school and doesn't get any outside help, though I go Wed to see if we can get some services for play therapy for him as his self esteem is in the tank. I talked to him about the test and he burst into tears when he found out he made a 60 F. Where do I go to see if he has a learning disability or if there is something going on? Do I request an eval through the school? He's doing fine in math(its his strength), spelling is okay, but reading is not good and what he is reading, he isn't really reading it well enough to actually tell me what it was about.
Cassie, mom to Alex(4/7/05), Aidan(7/12/07), and Andrew(8/18/08)
Schoolwise you can access special education services; special education services also include things like OT and ST, not just academic support. My ds is in third grade now (K, which was pre-diagnosis, was horrible) and 85% of his IEP is social skills support.
Though you don't have to have private evaluations supporting the need for services you are requesting, it tends to smooth the way. We had an evaluation done at a children's hospital clinic with a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, a speech language pathologist, a psychologist, and a social worker when ds was in first grade which covered a lot of what the school's (eventual) comprehensive evaluation covered, including educational testing.
The closest program I could find in your state to the kind of program we used through the psychology department at the Children's Hospital of New Orleans. There could be others (along with private practice developmental-behavioral pediatricians).
To get the process going with the school you'll need to submit a letter of request and consent to the school (probably to the principle and resource teacher) for a comprehensive evaluation (take note of all contact with the school regarding this as it will help you ensure they keep to the legal deadlines. My ds was initially labled OHI under IDEA (other health impaired) but after the comprehensive eval was completed he qualified as Autistic under IDEA (chiefly due to his social skills deficits; this is supported by our private eval), the latter label makes him eligible for additional services; you have to give your written consent to using those labels.
I recommended getting a copy of "Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy", the information from the book can be found on their website as well; "Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition". All About IEPs is also a good book to read at the beginning of the processes. The first book is essentially a step-by-step help guide to dealing with the school and organizing your dc's records; it also has letter samples for things like requesting an evaluation. You can also go to your states dept of ed site and find their "procedural protections" guide for parents regarding special education law.
Under IDEA/IEP, if your child has a disability that adversely affects educational performance, your child is entitled to an education that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and from which your child receives educational benefit.
A 504 (from section 504 of the American's with Disabilities Act) is helping your child get the same education that everyone else is getting--more for a student that needs accommodations to help them learn (like sitting next to the teacher) or for behavior, and that they are not punished for things that they cannot control due to the ADHD (like needing to work standing up or not sit inside a group).
[A IEP or 504 is not an escalation or punishment for the teacher/school. It's more about getting all appropriate parties involved and on the same page. The student, parent/legal guardian, teachers, principals, Pupil Services administrators, support staff (i.e. nurse, counselor, psychologist, language/speech pathologist) as well as the student's physician or therapist may be involved in the placement process including the 504 meeting.]
State Parent Training and Information Center - Education Resource ... __________________
If you decide to request the school do an evaluation, you need to "start the clock" in your letter of request; the school has 60 days from the date they received parental consent for evaluation to do the evaluation and 30 days from the evaluation to present it at an IEP meeting (your state may have stricter requirements); your written request should note that this letter is the consent for evaluation. (And, if you did not do it in writing, it never happened!).
Determining Eligibility: How Many Days is 60 Days? - Wrightslaw
The Art of Writing Letters by Pam and Pete Wright - Advocacy ...