How to prepare for Student Support Team? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-24-2010, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 7 yo daughter is gifted, but getting poor grades and having trouble with reading and writing. We've just taken her to a developmental optometrist who found that she has a "mid-line jump" and poor focusing, which may be the whole reason for her difficulties, but she has more testing to do, and I'd like her tested for learning disabilities, as some of her reading and writing behaviors sound like they could be due to dyslexia.

I'd like to hear from others how they would prepare for a Student Support Team, with her two teachers, principal, and district psychologist. What kind of questions and information we should bring, etc.

Mama to 3 awesome girls: DD1 born 2001, DD2 born 2002, DD3 born March 2011

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#2 of 8 Old 02-24-2010, 05:25 PM
 
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Oh this is great, I'm exactly where you are.

My dd's teacher just last week told me to request a SST for here reading difficulties and just this week we got the letter that said she was accepted into the gifted program.

I can't wait to here the advice.
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#3 of 8 Old 02-24-2010, 05:31 PM
 
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Have you talked to the teacher and does she share your sense of where your DD is at?

If you don't have prior assessments, I don't know what you can bring - heck, you're requesting that they do assessments. I'd just bring info from the dev opt (verbal from you or written).

General advice when dealing with school officials or assessors: be clear about what you're asking and requesting, keep asking questions until you understand what they're saying, and restate back to them what you understand they're going to do so that your expectations are in line with their commitments. For example, "In the next month you're going to use the dyslexia battery of tests, including the ABCD Test, and depending on the results of that, you may schedule her for an EFGH assessment with the school psychologist from the district office, but that may not happen until next year due to waitlists." I'm in a district with too few resources, and since I started using this approach things have moved a lot faster as they know I'm paying attention.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#4 of 8 Old 02-24-2010, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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joensally- thanks, your advice is great. I will definitely do that.

out#edbyJs- sounds like you are EXACTLY where we are at! We got a terrible report card sent home one day before getting the letter saying she had been accepted into GATE.

I'd love to keep in touch so we can compare notes!

The SST is in two weeks, I will definitely post about it.

Mama to 3 awesome girls: DD1 born 2001, DD2 born 2002, DD3 born March 2011

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#5 of 8 Old 02-25-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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You may also want to consider outside testing, ie a neuro psych with educational testing. School testing can be infomative, but a full eval will give you more info. I've been fooling around w/this as well. Thought we would do the full eval this summer, but then convinced myself we didn't need to. Now, I think it's time to follow through. I want an eval that looks at my child's whole functioning, not just school functioning.
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#6 of 8 Old 02-27-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katroshka View Post
joensally- thanks, your advice is great. I will definitely do that.

out#edbyJs- sounds like you are EXACTLY where we are at! We got a terrible report card sent home one day before getting the letter saying she had been accepted into GATE.

I'd love to keep in touch so we can compare notes!

The SST is in two weeks, I will definitely post about it.
yes, lets.

We just took dd for an eye exam. My dh's insurance covers eye stuff well, so we thought we would start there and move on if needed. Right away he detected a problem. She has a focus problem, something about her eyes getting stuck and not relaxing properly. And then she has an astigmatism. He has suggested trying glasses for the next 6 months to a year. If we do not see an improvement within 3 weeks of using them then we should come back in and dig a little deeper. But he also said we should not rule out dyslexia because she read the letters backwards.

He was great and really took his time to make her feel comfortable. It was great.
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#7 of 8 Old 02-28-2010, 06:01 PM
 
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Katroshka,

Hello there. I just sent you a PM as I think you and I have crossed paths in person recently. Nice to meet you here.

We just had a SST meeting for my daughter. She is gifted but also has ADHD which impacts her learning significantly. She reads at a college level (both comprehension and vocabulary) and ceilings out the science benchmark tests. Not so much math, tho. She's good at it, but doesn't have a high interest level or excel. We had the meeting because my daughter just tunes out at school, reads..and is resistant to writing. Futhermore, missed the cut off for GATE - even though all her characteristics and abilities point to her being highly gifted (according to teacher, principal, psychologist....) So, that's what led us to the SST...which, is where I am going with this.

Our SST meeting was good. They cared a lot and really listened and had soem good ideas. So I hope you have that experience too. As for information, just bring what you have. They should also give you a questionnaire to answer ahead of time that will act as a guide for the conversation. I think someone gave great advice when saying that you should ensure that you repeat what the expectation is for follow up. I didn't do that and now am in limbo trying to figure out what to do next. You will most certainly have to be the proactive advocate for your daughter. I have some more work to do with that.

I know you are also struggling with the decision of whether to transfer to a GATE school. I don't know if it would make that much of a difference. DD is in a GATE class of 32 kids. And not all are GATE. And they really don't seem to do that much differently than when she went to any other school. It may move a bit faster, and it's GREAT that she has a teacher that *gets* her. But overall, yes, dd is still just "bored." Her teacher thinks she should either be in Seminar program (which is not going to happen as she won't test into it - and who knows about availability anyhow) or should be homeschooled. Why is that always the answer these days? So, that's our experience for what it is worth. For now, we do enrichment at home and work on helping her just deal with school and boredom.
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#8 of 8 Old 02-28-2010, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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out#edbyJs-- My dd just had a screening last week, and they also found a few things: first, that her glasses that she got in July are already not nearly strong enough, especially in one eye. Second, she has a mid-line jump, so when she is trying to focus on something directly in front of her, her eyes kind of jump. Third, her eyes aren't focusing fast enough. So we are going back tomorrow for the full assessment, and then I guess we will be doing a few weeks of vision therapy. The office is covered with letters from kids saying how much easier it is to read and write and do well in school after vision therapy, so I'm really hopeful. It's a fair amount of money, but I shopped around a bit and this office was so much more reasonable, some of the other places seemed like a huge ripoff. I liked the optometrist a lot, he was very thorough and my daughter really liked him, too.

Mama to 3 awesome girls: DD1 born 2001, DD2 born 2002, DD3 born March 2011

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