Hello! Can anyone help me figure out the steps to getting my daughter diagnosed with dyslexia so that we can arrange a 504 for school next year, 3rd grade?
There is a history of dyslexia in our family. She's been struggling since the end of kindergarten. Last year, we met with the Child Study Team and they said that because she was progressing she wasn't a candidate for services. Also, they don't specifically test for dyslexia. I imagine they'll say the same thing this year.
This year, she's been going to reading specialist and again, she's progressing, but she's about 6 months behind 'the benchmark" and it's pretty clear to me that she does not make the letter sound connections, that something is missing. She spelled people today: peole. That second P doesn't register with her, and I see things like that with her homework all the time.
Do I need to take her to a hospital and see a battery of specialists for screenings? I really don't want to. She's definitely not ADD/HD.
What do I do next? Where do I go? And why is it so hard to find info on how to handle this? We're in Monmouth County, NJ in case anyone is local and knows specifics.
Thanks for your thoughts!
Well, you can request testing for a learning disability IN WRITING, and the school has to respond. Although, if your child is not showing "significant academic impairment," the school can state she is not eligible for services. Sec 504 is fairly vague regarding how the school can define a disability or impairment.
You should not need an entire battery of specialists. Look for a psychologist with a specialty in educational testing. You can set up an appointment, and specifically ask for testing for dyslexia. Our experience was an initial appointment, where they took a history, and spoke with my family and my DS. The second visit was actually testing (sometimes the testing is divided into multiple appointments depending on time and the child). Once the testing was all over, we met with the psychologist and went over all the results, what they mean, and her recommendations.
Once you have that, you take those suggestions and request a 504 or IEP armed with a diagnosis.
Check out www.wrightslaw.com for specifics on the school's responsibility. Your situation is complicated because, like anj_rn said, if there isn't significant academic impairment, they may not be obligated to provide accommodations. You can request (in writing) that an IEP eligibility meeting be called, and the school must do it within however many days. Learn what your rights are (the laws are federal, but different states and districts interpret them differently) before you start the process. The school can be required to do evaluations, but you may not be able to demand which specific ones.
Another possible angle to approach this is to get the evaluations done privately, then bring the results to the school. In an air of cooperation, ask if they can implement any suggested programs indicated by the evaluation results. Or consider supplementing the classroom work with a private tutor who specializes in dyslexia. You may be surprised how available and reasonably priced tutors can be. One possible starting place might be one of the chain tutoring centers, like Sylvan Learning Center, or Lindamood Bell. Or perhaps they can recommend someone in your area. I found great tutors on Craigslist, but it was a process of interviewing many applicants. In my area, they charge between $15 and $30/hour.
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)