Dr wants assessment, school doesn't think its neccessary? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-30-2015, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dr wants assessment, school doesn't think its neccessary?

So my DD has always had some issues at school. She has anxiety, and a lot of other behaviours/learning struggles that I feel are being overlooked.
This is our FOURTH school year where we yet again are so frustrated that we just want to pull her out. However, she gets on very well socially and does not want to leave the school because she really enjoys seeing her friends at lunch and recess. I fear pulling her out now, and the transition issues that would ensue would cause more damage than harm.
However, her learning is really behind, and its being overlooked. She was recently told she needed to go back to the spelling level she was at in the beginning of grade 1 (shes in grade 3) until she gets them all right and then she can proceed. With no help. No one seems to think this is odd. She reads above grade level, but can't make sense of letters/phonetics/spelling, and this is the answer?
I had to request she see the counselor at school because she is now in her 4th year of being petrified of the bathroom to the point where she refuses to go and is nearly wetting herself by the time she gets home from school. There are a lot of other anxiety related issues, and also many sensory as well. She wears headphones in class (that she says do not help) and sits on a 'sizzle seat' as she is incredibly distractable. She HATES sitting with a partner, or any kind of partner work. She has been telling me lately (and this is not the first time, shes said this a lot in past) that she cries every day in class because she doesn't understand the work. Of course her teacher is on some type of leave and the sub does things very different, so that's not helping.
She also has sleep disturbances (always had) - night terrors. Has a panic attack with loud sudden noises, or low droning sounds. Spent an entire summer once with her hands over her ears. Is sensitive to certain clothing and sensations to the point of a melt down. She has always been very quick to be overstimulated, that has come on with age, but still holds true.
There's so much more. While each concern, on its own may be fine, we have always, always felt there is a deeper issue here.
I emailed the school counselor to tell her that our GP suggested we go private and have her assessed, and she seemed to think that was over the top. But the school certainly isn't helping at all!!! No one has referred her for learning support, even though every year I am in there harping on about her self esteem being damaged because she can't focus and doesn't 'understand' direction (her words).
I suppose I should be happy that the email at least got the ball rolling in that they are having a team based meeting regarding her on Monday. Hopefully they can be helpful and we can put off assessement as its really expensive. But, I'm willing to dip into our down payment $$, as a single income family if it means I can get some answers to help her thrive.
She is such a beautiful, soulful, sensitive, creative artistic child and to see her like this is just heartbreaking. It seems to ebb and flow, as every year we get to breaking point, and then things seem to get better for a while.
I don't really know why I'm writing this, partly that I need to vent, and also I really need some support from other parents who understand where I am coming from. I am so sick of people who only see part of the picture poo-pooing my concerns away. I am very aware that there are many kids at her school with greater needs, that are more disruptive and may not have parental support, so I know that she is not on the priority list for them by any means. But I'm just not willing to stand idly by anymore.
Wah.
If you read this, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mum to DD1 '06 & DD2 '11


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#2 of 12 Old 01-30-2015, 09:07 PM
 
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I'm so sorry that you and your DD are going through this, and that the school isn't being helpful.


First, the school is required under federal to evaluate any child with suspected disability. It is unfortunate that they are trying to get out of it. Depending on how your meeting goes, I suggesting requesting a evaluation in writing in a real letter with a date and a signature because that starts the clock ticking on how long they have to complete the evaluation. The amount of time they have to evaluate varies a bit from state to state, but is usually 45 days from the date the you request it. However, just mentioning that you think it is a good idea isn't the same as legally requesting it, and getting in the habit of doing everything in writing protects your and your daughters legal rights.


Second, in your posts, you bring up a lot of issues, and they aren't very organized. I suggest organizing them with heading and bulleted lists. Start with academics because this is #1 for schools. Start with key skills: reading, writing, and math. Note struggles with either classroom performance or standardized tests. Does her confusion about what is going on show in her work? The only subject you listed as having problems is spelling -- how is she doing compared with their expectations for her grade? What are her grades like? Then list the social/emotional stuff because a lot of what you are describing sounds like anxiety.


It sounds like she may have some sensory integration issues. I'm sad to say that it is nearly impossible (impossible in many states) to get accommodations or support for sensory integration in a school setting unless it is part of another diagnosis such as autism, which she clearly doesn't have.


Finding ways to address the sensory issues outside of school *may* help a great deal at school. The Out of Sync Child by Kranowitz was super helpful for me in finding ways to help my DD. By creating the right "sensory diet" and then making sure she got what she needed each day, she was able to be more calm and more focused. A sensory diet is the type of activities that help meet the sensory needs of a specific child. This is not something that you will get help on from the school -- it isn't there problem according to the law. However, figuring out ways to address it at home *can* help substantial with school and academic tasks.


I also suggest learning more about the special education process because you may need to really advocate for her. Wrightslaw is a great source of information, but it is a huge site and can be a bit overwhelming at first. http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/test.index.htm

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#3 of 12 Old 01-31-2015, 01:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for your response!
I hould have added that we're in canada. She goes to an alternative school that doesn't test or grade in the traditional sense.
I will look into tht book for sure.
I was venting last night - but I do have a document with bullet points. It would be helpful to organise them, though.
Her teacher, counsellor and learning support teacher and going to e bringing her up at their team meeting Tuesday. I just want answers, so we cN help her!!

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#4 of 12 Old 01-31-2015, 02:03 PM
 
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I don't know how things work in Canada.


I know there are other moms in Canada on mothering..... may be post in a few places noting that you need help navigating the system in Canada?


Also, I can't hurt to have the doctor write a letter stating his views, even though it isn't an "official" part of the process.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#5 of 12 Old 01-31-2015, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I suppose I'm more annoyed that they aren't more supportive. I can certainly move ahead and get a private assessment done and bring the recommendations to them, and work on an IEP.


I do feel a but like they are treating me as though I am over reacting, or that I am looking for issues. But my DD is not thriving at school, and is highly anxious. Surely we can do things in a better way for her.


As they say - the squeaky wheel gets the oil - so im just going to keep on making noise.






I suppose Im also just looking for parental support from others who have gone through similar issue with their little ones.

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#6 of 12 Old 02-03-2015, 06:42 PM
 
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I would look outside the school for evaluation, psychological, neurological, and whatever else your doctor can suggest. Even if you got the school to cooperate, they would not be equipped to do as much. The school is only responsible for diagnosis as it relates to learning and academics (at least in the USA). A full assessment would include all the other aspects of life as well. <br />
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If it is possible, bring that evaluation to the school. It should include suggestions for how to support your child, at home as well as at school. In the US, Charter Schools are not required or expected to meet the needs of every kid with disabilities. You may find that this is not the best place for your child.

I went through much the same process with YoungSon, and ended up homeschooling. Even though they agreed he had "special needs", they didn't have much to offer that would be helpful.
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#7 of 12 Old 02-03-2015, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the reply!
I had 2 meetings Monday morning and they both went well. We can do a prelim test through the school, that focuses on academics (obviously, and I suspect a learning disorder as well so im ok with this). Apparently it also touches on some psych and will give us some valuable information. Then Im happy to go from there.
They also had a team meeting this morning about my DD. The counselor, principal, teacher, vice principal and learning support teacher were all present. I actually noticed a huge difference in her behaviour at school today and I reckon its from the awareness brought forth in the meeting. So im feeling much, much, much better right now. We'll see what the follow through is like!
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#8 of 12 Old 03-03-2015, 06:55 AM
 
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OP, I totally feel your struggle. I've been going through the same thing with my 9 year old DS. He has always had issues with reading and spelling, and his teachers never took it that seriously and seemed annoyed when I wanted to do a meeting for a possible IEP. DS did not qualify for that, but I did get him evaluated outside of school. Your daughter's issues sound similar to his. He has ADHD, dysgraphia, and SPD. Those diagnoses will qualify him for a 504 (they BETTER, because I am well past the point of being patient with his school). Part of the problem is that he is very well-behaved and doesn't have issues with other children. These types of kids have their learning difficulties overlooked more often (according to my son's occupational therapist). I definitely agree that you should go outside the school system for evaluations. It gave me a huge sense of relief that I was not wrong, or seeing problems in my son that were not there. DS is now in occupational and speech therapy, which I am very hopeful about. I am also looking into different school environments since I think that is a big contributor to the problem.

You are most definitely not the only person dealing with these problems

Me bfinfant.gifDP caffix.gif one silly 5 year old  boy blahblah.gif and a brand new babyboy.gifcd.gif  signcirc1.gifgoorganic.jpg
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#9 of 12 Old 03-12-2015, 09:28 AM
 
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Look up your state's early intervention program, someone may be able to help you figure out what the referral process is. Itll be different for your daughter because she's school age, but when I called for information I ended up referring kiddo on the spot.

It sounds like your daughter may need to be evaluated by a psychiatrist and occupational therapist. Your insurance should cover some of it, you may want to talk to your insurance about what the process is, if her doctor can refer her.

I'm sorry her school is being so crappy. I hope you can get this sorted out soon.
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#10 of 12 Old 03-16-2015, 07:52 PM
 
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Is her alternative school part of the public system? Sometimes alternative schools don't do as much to accommodate disabilities... because they don't have to.
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#11 of 12 Old 03-16-2015, 08:01 PM
 
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I know that your daughter wants to stay at school because of her friends, but it really sounds like a toxic environment for her. Pulling her out may be the best thing for her; she can always see her friends other times. It's just not worth it. She's not learning, and it sounds like she's terrified. Maybe if you talk to her and assure her that you'll make sure she sees her friends, she'll agree. Her learning and well-being need to come first.
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#12 of 12 Old 03-16-2015, 08:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shelly S. View Post
I know that your daughter wants to stay at school because of her friends, but it really sounds like a toxic environment for her. Pulling her out may be the best thing for her; she can always see her friends other times. It's just not worth it. She's not learning, and it sounds like she's terrified. Maybe if you talk to her and assure her that you'll make sure she sees her friends, she'll agree. Her learning and well-being need to come first.
The OP doesn't say what the alternatives are. It's really hard to say here, but, honestly, the kid isn't learning anyways. I expect that the first few weeks/months of homeschooling will be a mess of transition misery and pursuing evaluations and desperately trying to hold together a schedule, but with how bad school is- might be better to rip that band aid off now. The kid might surprise her and start doing way better with that anxiety relieved.
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