Teacher suggests inattentive child to be assessed by educational psychologist - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-09-2012, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD will be 6 in May and is in grade 1.  According to her teacher, dd's mind seems to wander off quite often and doesn't hear the teacher.  At the beginning of the school year, teacher asked me to have her hearing checked, but it came out fine.  She said out of the 32 years she has taught, she is rarely wrong about a child.  She couldn't quite say what exactly is wrong, but something isn't right.  Apparently, dd's mind-wandering is more serious than most kids. 

 

I agreed with the teacher because I also had problems teaching her at home.  She used to go a Montessori preschool center for 3 years, and even the teacher said that she was quite easily distracted and had problems focusing on her work.  Over Christmas, I was able to spend more time with her and tried to work things out.  Before, she hated writing and would take 40 minutes to do her  work (wrote one word, sat back and looked around) vs. now it's down to 10 minutes.  I knew she was behind in reading so I also did some reading with her on a daily basis.  She caught up very quickly and gained more confidence.  After the holidays, even the teacher remarked that dd has noticeable improvement in reading. 

 

I called the teacher yesterday, in hope that she would tell me dd has improved so much so that she doesn't need an assessment (it will set us back at $1500!).  She said dd was very happy and focused during the first 2 days after returning from Christmas break, but from the 3rd day onwards, she reverted to her absent-minded self.

 

Can anybody share their experiences?  I also felt the need to have her assessed before.  In fact, dd has been assessed by three different professionals, but she was too young to be conclusive (mostly done between 4 to 5 years old).  After what I did with her over Christmas and seeing her improvement, I feel comfortable enough that for the first time, I don't think she has any major problems.  However, the teacher feels differently and apparently, dd acts differently in school.  At home, I can provide her with one-on-one attention and bring back her wandering mind quickly.  With a class in school, a teacher can't always focus on one child.  I did ask dd if she was thinking about something else in school, she said no - she just wasn't listening.

 

 

 

 

 

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Old 01-09-2012, 09:04 PM
 
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I called the teacher yesterday, in hope that she would tell me dd has improved so much so that she doesn't need an assessment (it will set us back at $1500!).  

 

 

are you public or private? what state are you in? the school is requesting you do this? or just asking for it?

 

MOST cases you do not pay. Did you prior? if so, why didn't you do an EI testing?

 

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Old 01-09-2012, 11:49 PM
 
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You might post over in the "Special Needs" board -- there are a lot of parents over there who have a wealth of experience about testing.

 

First of all, you can (and should) request an assessment from the school. It has to be done in writing by you, and that starts a process. A number of parents in Special Needs have all the details down pat.

 

Another thing that would be helpful is to know what kind of professionals assessed your daughter at age 3-4 and what they found. So, for example our son was assessed at age 5 for sensory issues and found to have both sensory issues and motor planning delays. I had him assessed at age 7 for anxiety, and the result came back "a bit more anxious than average, but not enough to do any therapy". And indeed, he grew out of his anxiety in a year or so.

 

Is it ADHD you suspect? Learning issues?


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Old 01-10-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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I would ask her to track her interventions first before going to the extreme of testing. It may be your DD needs a more structured approach, a few more verbal or nonverbal reminders, more or less challenging work, etc... I would look to the learning environment before doing testing. Adding more physical activity to your mornings may also help.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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If you are in the US and at a public school you shouldn't have to pay for the assessment. It would be done by the school psychologist. Depending on the district they may have to track a certain about of RtI (Response to Intervention) prior to doing the actual tests, but it would still be handled by the school.
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Old 01-16-2012, 03:38 PM
 
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First of all, your dd is still 5 and in 1st grade?  In our area, that would make her on the young side for kindergarten.  I'm wondering if your dd is doing work that's too difficult, or requires her to focus more than she's capable of at her age.    

 

What is it the teacher wants you to have her evaluated for? If the teacher suspects some kind of learning issue, you can request in writing that the school evaluate her for learning issues.  But it sounds like the teacher is angling for ADHD?  If that's the case, again, I think you need to look at her age compared to the rest of the kids in the class. 

 

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Old 01-16-2012, 08:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaimom View Post

First of all, your dd is still 5 and in 1st grade?  In our area, that would make her on the young side for kindergarten.  I'm wondering if your dd is doing work that's too difficult, or requires her to focus more than she's capable of at her age.    


Oh wow, I missed that the first time I read the OP.  We're talking about a kiddo who's pretty darn young for grade.  It could be that she is just exhibiting normal behaviours *for her age*.  At dd's school anyway, there was a big leap in expectations between kindy and grade one.  I know she would have had a disastrously difficult time sitting still and staying focused if she had been even younger in grade one (as it was she was the youngest in her class - she was 5 for the first 3 wks of school - and I think that made things more difficult for her than for those kids who were already close to 7).

 


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Old 01-16-2012, 11:03 PM
 
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I don't believe it's normal for a school district to pay for a full developmental evaluation, which I'm guessing is what we're talking about at that pricetag.  Anyhow, it isn't around here.  My DD gets a bunch of services and has been evaluated in different ways, but the district isn't able to diagnose conditions, only describe symptoms and suggest what they think might be appropriate in-school accomodations/interventions. I would guess the teacher is thinking ADD (inattentive type, not hyperactive), which would fit with the distractability, hard time focusing without personal attention.  It sounds to me, form the OP's experience over Christmas, that the teacher's suggestion that disatractibility/focusing is an issue in the classroom since the OP's daughter made good progress over the break, with one-on-one tutoring at home. 

 

OP, does your insurance cover the evaluation?  Our does (or anyhow, would if we went to one of their preferred provider, with the downside being all their preferred providers have huge long waiting lists!), but I'm sure some don't. We did get ours to cover the provider we selected because we found one with a wwwaaaay shorter waiting list (a clinic at the local University that doesn't deal directly with insurance), but it took talking to gobs of people and filing a lot of paperwork to get semi-pre-approval.


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Old 01-24-2012, 06:21 PM
 
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You need to check in your state, but where I am, as soon as a teacher mentions any kid of psych problem (adhd, add...) the school district is responsable for paying for the test.  It was bashed into our heads at all teacher training to never bring anything like that up to a parent.  I was at one school district that got sued by parents and they won and had to pay thousands of dollars for different testing.  So... now that her teacher brought it up, go straight to the district and tell them they need to test her.

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Old 01-26-2012, 01:48 PM
 
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Before you do other stuff... there are two simple things to try-- have her get more sleep at night, even if it's 30 extra minutes, and cut out all sugar.  I have ADHD and dyslexic tendencies (how it's diagnosed in my area).  If I am short on sleep or eat any sugar (even ketchup) my "tendencies" crank up and make any kind of learning hard.  It was tough on me, but I made it through school (even grad school for a couple of degrees).  I've learned how to compensate, but the first steps were making sure I am well rested and not on sugar.  I know that many people don't credit sleep and diet with affecting learning, but anyone who knows me knows that both have a huge effect upon my ability to particiapte in a classroom.

 

For the record, if you are in public schools in the US, they should handle the testing procedures and cost.  If you are in private, then take your time to make sure it isn't a developmental delay, or something that you can control, especially since she is young.  If she responded well to your help at home, then it *might not* be a learning disability.

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Old 01-26-2012, 04:59 PM
 
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I wrote the long post below before I read this:

Quote:

Originally Posted by chaimom View Post
 

First of all, your dd is still 5 and in 1st grade?  In our area, that would make her on the young side for kindergarten.  I'm wondering if your dd is doing work that's too difficult, or requires her to focus more than she's capable of at her age.

 

She turns 6 in May...our school year ends in May!

 

I wonder if the "problem" is that she is a year young for her grade? If ADHD were an issue that would likely make the age discrepancy worse as ADHD children are generally 30% less mature than their age mates.

  

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Quote:

Originally Posted by elmostoney View Post
I called the teacher yesterday, in hope that she would tell me dd has improved so much so that she doesn't need an assessment (it will set us back at $1500!).  She said dd was very happy and focused during the first 2 days after returning from Christmas break, but from the 3rd day onwards, she reverted to her absent-minded self.

 

Special Education evaluation governed by federal law and implemented by the states. If she is currently in private school she may still be able to be evaluated through your public school district; you could ask on the SNs board for further direction on that.

 

If you decide to request the school do education/learning disability testing, 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 one; 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 ...

 

 

I recommended reading "Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy"; the information from the book can be found on their site as well (Table of Contents). Reading "Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition," would be a good idea as well).

 

An educational evaluation done by a private practice psychologist would likely run well over $1000, but hospital clinics tend to be much less expensive; ds' interdisciplinary (dev ped, psychologist, and speech therapist) and educational evaluation at our children's hospital was about $300. You may want to do what you can through the school and get on the appointment list for a clinic. And though her hearing may be fine an audiologist conducts specific tests to evaluate for auditory processing disorders; we had to travel 2hrs to a university in another city to have ds tested for CAPD.

 

Whether she does her learning at home or at school it would be beneficial to know if there is an issue to be addressed.

 

Information Processing Disorders (Navigate through links at left)

 

Neuropsychological Evaluation

 

Psych-educational Testing

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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 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.]


Eligibility under IDEA for Other Health Impaired Children

Key Differences Between Section 504, the ADA, and the IDEA.

 

(http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/sec504.summ.rights.htm)


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