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#1 of 6 Old 02-05-2013, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I am not a regular poster on this forum by any means, but I thought that the mamas here would be the most knowledgeable about this topic.  I have a 10th grader who has been on a 504 plan since she was 9 for SPD and dyspraxia/dysgraphia.  I think that we've got the update issues mostly worked out with her school, but I am still unclear on what is and is not the school's responsibility and how disabilities are and are not diagnosed in schools.  I've gotten very mixed messages.


I went to a presentation at dd's school this fall for parents of kids on 504s and IEPs in which the presenters said that it was the school's responsibility to do all testing to diagnose LDs and to update said diagnoses for updating 504 plans, IEPs, and having updated testing for the purposes of applying for the same accommodations on things like College Board tests.  The school counselor and psych, OTOH, tell me that they are not required to do any of the testing.  After months of pushing, and hopefully not alienating them terribly, we compromised on us paying out of pocket for a new private OT eval (insurance denied the payment due to it being related to a LD or developmental disability which, they said, was the school's responsibility) and the school psych giving dd a new achievement test with fluency measures and untimed pieces to show if the discrepancy btwn what she can do and how fast she can do it is still present (I'd be shocked if it wasn't).


So, question one: what is the school required to do in terms of updated testing?  Is it all on parent to do privately or do the schools have to do any of this testing?  This is probably purely academic in that we've already got a plan in place now, but I want to know if I've really been asking too much of them to want them to do the achievement testing piece on an individual test like the WJ or WIAT.


Secondly, the College Board tells me that they are legally required to look at a discrepancy model.  I.e. - when considering whether a child needs extra time, for instance, on tests, they can't just say that processing speed on IQ and achievement is average, so there is no problem.  What they need to look at is how it compared to the other measures.  In the interest of full disclosure, dd14 is highly gifted so her other IQ subtests are in the upper 90s (percentiles) and her achievement on untimed measures is also in the 99th percentile+ in many/most areas.  Timed things come up average-low average in general, so there is a big discrepancy there.  


In speaking with her counselor at school yesterday, she tells me that the College Board is wrong here and that a discrepancy model is no longer how disabilities are dx or how they determine if a child needs accommodations.  


Question two: who is right here?  Is a child with a two standard deviation++ discrepancy btwn timed and untimed tasks really no longer considered to have a disability nor to need any accommodations?  Doesn't this leave twice exceptional kids totally out in the cold then?


I hope that you all don't mind my popping in here and appreciate any sage knowledge that you have!

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#2 of 6 Old 02-05-2013, 02:01 PM
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IEPs have a lot of legal mandates and procedural safeguards for parents and students. You may want to contact the state you live in the Department of Education with those specific questions for clarity. I go straight to the source for the answers. Also, school personnel are well intentioned, but they may be giving you the wrong information on your rights and responsibilities. I have sat in many meetings and have had to, politely, clarify federal law pertaining to my child's specific needs. It was all collaborative. I have learned to "know the law for myself" when it comes to my child's special education needs.
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#3 of 6 Old 02-05-2013, 09:12 PM
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Another avenue for local advocacy is to do a search for Disability Advocates for your area (state or city). I work as a family advocate, but have no experience with college bound kids. IEP and 504 requirements may differ. Wrightslaw website is a good place to start for basic level information, but you sound like you already have that level. In my state, IEP accommodations carry over into community college and state universities, but private colleges have no obligation to honor them. Sorry I can't be of more help.

Rhu - mother,grandmother,daughter,sister,friend-foster,adoptive,and biological;not necessarily in that order. Some of it's magic, some of it's tragic, but I had a good life all the way (Jimmy Buffet)

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#4 of 6 Old 02-06-2013, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, ladies.  I'll see if I can get more info from someone beyond the school.  I already called the state dept of education's number for the dept that deals with 504s and IEPs.  I left them a msg last week and have not gotten a return call so perhaps I need to call back.

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#5 of 6 Old 02-06-2013, 07:00 AM
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I would second looking through wrightslaw.com  It is a vert thorough site with lots of information.  

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#6 of 6 Old 02-06-2013, 08:11 PM
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Have you talked to the specific college(s) where she is planning on attending? We aren't there yet, but my friends who are are all about which universities are easiest to deal with for accommodations.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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