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Son wants to go to school, please help me figure out accommodations


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#1 soror

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 08:45 AM

To my dismay, ds13 says he wants to go to school next year. He was eval'd 3 yrs ago by a NP who diagnosed him with ADHD, from what I've seen and read they won't take that diagnosis though and will want to do their own. He doesn't want accommodations but the more I think about it the more I think he needs them. As much as I don't want him to go to school I don't want him to fail.

 

So, do I send them a letter and ask for an eval? It is my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) that I'd be better off to do that now while hs'ing (1) b/c it takes forever and (2) if the teacher(s) don't' think he needs one once he starts it won't go through.

 

His main problems are:

mistakes due to inattentions, especially in math, he will forget a sign, leave off a number etc.

 

memory issues- it takes FOREVER for things to sink in- he just asked me yesterday what's sum mean again, but then he can understand higher concepts, so I've moved him forward and just keep reviewing, over and over again- his working memory isn't great (although seems better than what it was)- I've been working on having him write out all the steps but as most kids his age he finds this annoying

 

processing speed- he is not a fast worker, there are slower ones to be sure but I worry how he'll get done the amount of work assigned in trad. school

 

handwriting- I've worked on remediation and it looks better but is still atrocious

 

writing- sometimes he can do a really decent job, but remembering things like capitals and punctuation, UGH

 

spelling- was atrocious but has improved, although he may randomly spell some easy word wrong it is generally decipherable by spell check

 

focus- as it is with ADHD, sometimes good and sometimes not, doesn't even have to be loud for him to be distracted his own thoughts can be distracting enough sometimes but noise doesn't help

 

The NP suggested that he use a spell check and keyboarding and no timed tests. The school uses Chromebooks for most of the work so that is good but that doesn't help in Math of course and he is interested in STEM fields.

 

Can you help me figure out this process or point me where to go? 

 

What accommodations do you think would help? I'm so used to him and doing what he needs to succeed I think I'm a little blinded right now. I help me with scribing Math sometime- talking him through steps to keep him focused. I use programs with fewer problems and work extensively with him. I can read his handwriting and have had him using the computer to type assignments for years. I seriously worry about his ability to do tests at all. I have no faith in the system and the accommodations they will provide (if they give him any), I know that is a crappy way to go into it. Sigh!


Edited by soror, 07 February 2018 - 08:46 AM.


#2 EKS

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:04 AM

My experience with schools and accommodations is that you're going to want them to be *very simple* to implement and the fewer the better.  Also, your son is going to need to advocate for himself likely every single time he takes a test or is required to write something by hand--meaning that at a minimum, he will need to remind his teachers about the accommodations.  If he doesn't want accommodations, he won't do this.  Ask me how I know!

 

I would ask for extended time (they will likely not give unlimited time).  Ask for double time or whatever the NP said.  I'd ask for being able to use a keyboard and spellcheck for all written work.  And I'd ask for reduced distractions for tests if distractibility is a problem.  These were my son's big three accommodations.

 

As for dealing with the school, I just walked in and said that my son has an ADHD diagnosis (the dyslexia diagnosis came later) and needed the above accommodations.  I presented documentation from his doctor.  They wrote up a 504 plan and that was it.  That part was easy.


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#3 Ravin

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:09 AM

We are doing just what you describe--having an IEP/504 plan worked up this year before DD starts high school next fall. Once this year's is in place, we will take it to the high school (different district for reasons) and ask for an IEP to be in place from day 1. 


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#4 PeterPan

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:05 AM

Some schools are pretty unhelpful, but maybe your school will surprise you. They do see this a lot. I'm not sure they're going to care about the specific things you listed. If they put everyone on chromebooks, some of those issues are eliminated. They're going to be looking at what affects his ability to access his education. 

 

-working memory-they won't care

-slow to learn, needs more repetition--Unless your test scores show this, I think that's going to wait till they seem him and work with him. 

-processing speed-well again, do you have data showing this creates a problem? Did the np recommend extended testing time? Oh, he said no limits. You can get somewhere with that.

-writing-yeah, they'll say everybody is junk at punctuation. What would be ADHD-specific is needing supports for executive function, like graphic organizers.

-spelling-they won't care

-focus-that's your problem. Is he on meds? 

 

They will not do OT at this age for ADHD. If he is having self-regulation issues (losing his temper, leaving the room, getting frustrated and needing breaks), THAT is very significant and something to tell them. 

 

Does he have anxiety? They'll care about that.

 

What EF (executive function) supports does he need? They'll care about that. Stuff like making sure his binders are organized, that he gets to the right classes, that his homework is written down, that sort of thing. Anything affected directly, blatantly by EF, they'll will probably be like oh yeah, bring in supports for that.

 

The school has the legal right to say you don't have enough evidence and that they want to observe him a grading period first. Your job is to be a super squeaky wheel and make things happen during that time. if they go ahead and eval now, super fab. I'll just though that you've got an older student. I took my dd in like this and they eval'd her, sure. It was free and the psych liked her and spent time, a really positive, reasonable experience. Reality is, this is a time when they are fading supports. It's a pretty structured setting anyway, and structure is the buzzword for ADHD. It's possible they'll look at you funny and say to let him come in and see what happens. Maybe they won't! They could be like oh wow, we see it. But they might really want to let him just come in. 

 

So where you have EVIDENCE that the disability is affecting his education, there you'll be most solid. The challenge is you're asking them to make a plan for someone they can't really get to know. They might go kinda bland in the beginning and ramp up as he's enrolled. He might surprise you. He might respond very well to the structure. My dd is wicked ADHD. She does really well in high structure environments, but she needs help with problem solving. She has access to a weekly academic coach (this is college) who works with the disability kids. This lady doesn't keep her from failing, but she controls the fail and helps her learn how to problem solve and how to think through her schedule and work in the system.

 

So you want to look for what supports like that they provide in high school. They're not going to hold his hand. This is not elementary. If you want that level of support, he'll have to stay home. Hopefully he does fine. I would focus on the executive function stuff and be very specific and make lists. Think through his day in the school and what things he will struggle to do. Will he be able to remember his locker number? Like seriously, will he? Not all kids with disabilities can. The other thing you can do is just start by asking THEM what services and supports THEY provide. Like let THEM brag, kwim? You're not going to get them to do things they don't do, but at least in our area I usually find out they are surprising and have more supports in their toolbag than I imagined.

 

The IEP process starts with evals, and at that initial meeting, where you sign consent to eval forms, you are deciding the whole direction of how it goes. Your key there is to get every area of concern listed and tested. As long as you win that, the rest will flow naturally. If he has social concerns, you want that on. If you have fine motor concerns, get that on. Get everything listed as categories on that eval. And let them brag to you and get them flowing with how helpful they could be. Suck up and slather.


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#5 soror

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 10:48 AM

We are doing just what you describe--having an IEP/504 plan worked up this year before DD starts high school next fall. Once this year's is in place, we will take it to the high school (different district for reasons) and ask for an IEP to be in place from day 1. 

Good luck to you!

 

My experience with schools and accommodations is that you're going to want them to be *very simple* to implement and the fewer the better.  Also, your son is going to need to advocate for himself likely every single time he takes a test or is required to write something by hand--meaning that at a minimum, he will need to remind his teachers about the accommodations.  If he doesn't want accommodations, he won't do this.  Ask me how I know!

 

I would ask for extended time (they will likely not give unlimited time).  Ask for double time or whatever the NP said.  I'd ask for being able to use a keyboard and spellcheck for all written work.  And I'd ask for reduced distractions for tests if distractibility is a problem.  These were my son's big three accommodations.

 

As for dealing with the school, I just walked in and said that my son has an ADHD diagnosis (the dyslexia diagnosis came later) and needed the above accommodations.  I presented documentation from his doctor.  They wrote up a 504 plan and that was it.  That part was easy.

Your son still found it worthwhile to attend though, right, or only partially so?

 

Some schools are pretty unhelpful, but maybe your school will surprise you. They do see this a lot. I'm not sure they're going to care about the specific things you listed. If they put everyone on chromebooks, some of those issues are eliminated. They're going to be looking at what affects his ability to access his education. 

 

-working memory-they won't care

-slow to learn, needs more repetition--Unless your test scores show this, I think that's going to wait till they seem him and work with him. 

-processing speed-well again, do you have data showing this creates a problem? Did the np recommend extended testing time? Oh, he said no limits. You can get somewhere with that.

-writing-yeah, they'll say everybody is junk at punctuation. What would be ADHD-specific is needing supports for executive function, like graphic organizers.

-spelling-they won't care

-focus-that's your problem. Is he on meds? 

 

They will not do OT at this age for ADHD. If he is having self-regulation issues (losing his temper, leaving the room, getting frustrated and needing breaks), THAT is very significant and something to tell them. 

 

Does he have anxiety? They'll care about that.

 

What EF (executive function) supports does he need? They'll care about that. Stuff like making sure his binders are organized, that he gets to the right classes, that his homework is written down, that sort of thing. Anything affected directly, blatantly by EF, they'll will probably be like oh yeah, bring in supports for that.

 

The school has the legal right to say you don't have enough evidence and that they want to observe him a grading period first. Your job is to be a super squeaky wheel and make things happen during that time. if they go ahead and eval now, super fab. I'll just though that you've got an older student. I took my dd in like this and they eval'd her, sure. It was free and the psych liked her and spent time, a really positive, reasonable experience. Reality is, this is a time when they are fading supports. It's a pretty structured setting anyway, and structure is the buzzword for ADHD. It's possible they'll look at you funny and say to let him come in and see what happens. Maybe they won't! They could be like oh wow, we see it. But they might really want to let him just come in. 

 

So where you have EVIDENCE that the disability is affecting his education, there you'll be most solid. The challenge is you're asking them to make a plan for someone they can't really get to know. They might go kinda bland in the beginning and ramp up as he's enrolled. He might surprise you. He might respond very well to the structure. My dd is wicked ADHD. She does really well in high structure environments, but she needs help with problem solving. She has access to a weekly academic coach (this is college) who works with the disability kids. This lady doesn't keep her from failing, but she controls the fail and helps her learn how to problem solve and how to think through her schedule and work in the system.

 

So you want to look for what supports like that they provide in high school. They're not going to hold his hand. This is not elementary. If you want that level of support, he'll have to stay home. Hopefully he does fine. I would focus on the executive function stuff and be very specific and make lists. Think through his day in the school and what things he will struggle to do. Will he be able to remember his locker number? Like seriously, will he? Not all kids with disabilities can. The other thing you can do is just start by asking THEM what services and supports THEY provide. Like let THEM brag, kwim? You're not going to get them to do things they don't do, but at least in our area I usually find out they are surprising and have more supports in their toolbag than I imagined.

 

The IEP process starts with evals, and at that initial meeting, where you sign consent to eval forms, you are deciding the whole direction of how it goes. Your key there is to get every area of concern listed and tested. As long as you win that, the rest will flow naturally. If he has social concerns, you want that on. If you have fine motor concerns, get that on. Get everything listed as categories on that eval. And let them brag to you and get them flowing with how helpful they could be. Suck up and slather.

I like the idea of asking them what they can provide, it would be good to push down my apprehension and negativity and make it positive. The issues with processing speed and memory are just my observations but shown on his IQ test.

 

I make a daily checklist and prompt him throughout the day, where are you at on this? You need to move onto this? I sit with him a lot of time with Math to help keep him focused otherwise he may never finish (or then again on a good day he could have no trouble)

 

I don't know how he will do. I don't know how structured they are or what his struggles will be, I didn't go to school there and my kids have never been in the system. It is a crap shoot. I know of some who have went in with diagnosis and done just fine.

 

I looked up his original eval, it has been 4 yrs. I don't see anything about tests but I know we talked about that, ugh. It is just not me that sees these things what prompted my post is that he is doing an outside class and the teachers have asked me about what difficulties he has because they are seeing things- like his writing is messed up, he bombs tests even when he seems to understand the stuff (due to difficulty paying attention), he has scads of mistakes on his work due to inattention.

 

This is the short list of accommodations the NP rec'd as the most important to begin with-

- small student to teacher ratio

- close to teacher seating

-increased distance between desks

-cueing to stay on task

-skill practice and repetition for consolidation

-scheduled work checking for errors

-short break between tasks

-breaking down complex tasks into small manageable tasks

- check frequently for understanding

-make sure he is paying attention to working time and elapsed time

-bypass handwriting with keyboarding and use spell and grammar check

 

She also recommends medication which we've not done because we've been able to manage at home. I feel sick at him having to go to meds to keep up with school when I think it is inferior in the first place but I'm trying to focus on what he wants.


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#6 soror

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:13 AM

He also did an eval at the Speech and Hearing Center at the rec of the NP their diagnosis and prognosis was-

 

Hearing, articulation and receptive and expressive language was within normal limits. Strengths in intelligence, syntactic, morphological, pragmatic, and lexical areas of language and reading according to TONI4, TOWL4, CELF5 and GDRT2. Oral structures fine, weakness in coordination of speech mechanism when taxed. 

 

Weaknesses were in spelling, writing, personal organization, task initiation, and task completion according to TWS, SPELL, TOWL4 and BRIEF. He has a moderate spelling disorder.

Word finding skills are also a weakness, without a visual aid he demonstrates difficulty verbally expressing complete narratives, provide context, and using contextually relevant vocab. 

 

Recommendations were pretty basic- monitor grades and behaviors and review spelling programs and she rec'd a bunch of programs. His spelling is greatly improved. I had my aunt look at his writing and she said it was fine but I had to give him more help then he would receive in PS and they don't seem to care about spelling anyway.

 


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#7 PeterPan

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:27 AM

How long ago was the SLP center eval? That's very important stuff and stuff they'll care about. You can say he had those issues identified and that his teachers are saying he's still having issues with them.

 

It's helpful that he has other people seeing him enough and working with him enough to fill out forms for the school. 

 

They're going to be pretty high structure. A LOT of kids need structure these days (for a variety of reasons), and so what they're doing, to keep it discrete, is they just do it for everyone. Like Zones of Reg (for emotional regulation, a behavioral support), they'll do it for the whole class, the whole SCHOOL, not just one child. Seriously. So some of this stuff that is being recommended you might find they do for everyone. Like I'm hearing people talk about homework in an online site parents can access, which eliminates the whole wrote it down incorrectly thing. You can email with teachers. Lots of things that would be helpful will probably be there.

 

You're definitely right to be requesting, and that SLP center eval especially is giving you stuff they'll care about. If he can't get out his thoughts and structure his writing, that definitely affects his ability to access his education. 

 

Some of those psych recs are just outdated, like not age-appropriate. Those aren't things they'll put down now that he's 13, kwim? You would have to have test scores or a serious behavioral issue for them to say yeah smaller class size, resource room, etc., kwim? Have you done standardized testing? Is it on track and as you'd expect? 

 

Hopefully that writing at least will get you somewhere. Even if they eval that informally, they'll do something. Like the psych with my dd gave her an essay prompt and had her write. It can be as simple as that. They might do formal testing or they might just do it observationally like that, but that writing is something they'll definitely care about. Anything behaviorally they'll care about. Make lists and be really specific about what happens. When he becomes frustrated, this happens. When he works beyond 20 minutes, this happens. Make data for a few days so you can be really precise.

 

I think as far as breaks and stuff, the structure and flow of school will probably take care of it. Sometimes kids do, with herd effect, things they can't get themselves to do at home. Now an ADHD kid can wear themselves out trying to keep up with that, yes. My dd's documentation says reduced load. That's HUGE with her. Even in college now, reduced load. Even with meds, reduced load. Her brain just wears out trying to process and keep up with them. 

 

Hopefully they'll get to know him and blow your mind with awesomeness. It really could happen. Even my ps, which has been really nasty toward me (because I homeschool, because I was an easy target) probably would shape right up if I said I was enrolling him. These schools really do some things well or at least try and sometimes even put a lot of heart into it. Think good thoughts, slather 'em up, and let them surprise you. Maybe they'll be horrible, but they may actually be doing some good things. Hope for the best! :)


Edited by PeterPan, 07 February 2018 - 11:28 AM.

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#8 PeterPan

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:35 AM

Yes, I would put meds on the table. It sounds like he has hit an age where he has maxed out his ability to cope. Once you're at that point, he's just under-performing. It's very frustrating for them to under-perform. I'm assuming he's pretty bright and working hard? So meds would let him be the person outside that he knows he is inside. Right now, there's a huge discrepancy. Meds would unlock that. It would be nice to have them, starting at this new school, so he can go in being the self he wants to be and be received as that and treated as that from the beginning.

 

I'm pretty crunchy, all organic, go with the flow, make it work. I'm just telling you you're at the point to change. You can google search my old posts on meds. We held out a LONG TIME. My dd thinks we held out several years longer than we should have. And it's not like it's a moral issue, but it's more that there are consequences. It's frustrating to them, and if he wants these doors open and wants to be his best self and show who he is inside, then he needs that support to get there.

 

And there can be valid paths, like no meds, do an occupation that doesn't require meds, blah blah. Some people really roll like that and are fine with that, and for some people that's not comfortable and it's holding them back from the self they are inside that they want to be and live. My dd's ACT scores went up, well let's just say they went up an astonishing amount on meds. Like 50%. And her reality is that her self, inside, is this person who wants to pursue things that needs meds to show. And we can go oh well there are other paths! Well fine, but this is the path she wanted and the game she wanted to play. And to be the person she wants to be, she needs meds.

 

Meds are a nothing. The world does not end and your dc does not have to end up ruined. I know you can find stories of oh they ruined the world. But really, for about 75% of people they just take them, it's fine, they get the improvement, it's great. I was told 75% of people are fine with ANY med in fact. Like we just picked one because it had a coupon, boom it worked, done. We never tried another med and only had to change doses once. It can be that straightforward. And with them, she is the self OUTSIDE that she knew she was inside. She wanted it to show.


Edited by PeterPan, 07 February 2018 - 11:36 AM.

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#9 soror

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 11:46 AM

The SLP eval was 2.5 yrs ago.

 

I agree with you PeterPan on some of the NP rec's, I mean I never expected that they would change the class size. 

 

As I've said I know some that have done well and thrived with the structure but those kids came from homes with far less structure than I provide so I don't know how the structure will compare for ds.

 

I've not done standardized testing but could do some easily enough.

 

I had asked him about meds and he didn't want to try them, he wants to manage on his own but we might have to have a heart to heart about that.

 

If we do meds would it be accurate to ask for accommodations based on how he performed without out them or would we wait and see? I don't even know where to go with that? I'm open but leery, dh has been staunchly against it but has softened a bit.



#10 Storygirl

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:11 PM

Would he be entering 8th grade or 9th?

 

We took our son's IEP to several school districts and had meetings with the special education personnel to discuss what supports and intervention each school would offer him. All of the high schools were willing to meet with us to give us a tour and talk it through. What they had to offer was not identical. Talking to them in advance helped us figure out what high school might look like for him and was really helpful. (We actually chose a school that is not our own district, and we are planning to move -- what the schools had to offer were different enough to make a move important for our family).

 

I'm not saying that you should interview several schools and think about moving. But you may be able to take your documentation to your local high school and ask to have a meeting with someone to see what they have to offer. There will be certain ways that each school does things. They may have supports you may not have thought to ask for. It's worth a try.

 

You can also ask them if they would evaluate him for a possible IEP, or if they would just take your documentation and have a team of people write a 504 for him, without having to go through the whole IEP process. Do you think he has any learning disabilities that will require specialized instruction? If so, that would require an IEP. If he just needs accommodation and support, they may be able to just write a 504.

 

If you think he needs special education (working with an intervention teacher), don't let them talk you into a 504 instead of evaluating for an IEP. But if what they offer in a 504 is enough support, it could save you a lot of hassle.


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#11 Storygirl

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:17 PM

One accommodation that hasn't been listed yet is getting copies of teacher's notes. DS13 does not adequately copy notes that are written on the board. He would also have a hard time taking notes quickly enough in a class where the teacher lectures and expects the students to take notes and use them to study with later.

 

He also gets to have any study guides with the answers already filled in, because he can't create a study guide for himself that is then useful for studying. (He will write answers on the wrong blanks; fill it in with incorrect information; leave parts of it undone, etc, because his handwriting and processing speed are issues).

 

When I was in high school, every class required note taking while the teacher lectures. Every school is different, so it's worth asking how the classes at your local school are conducted. These days, teachers may post their notes online automatically, so that note-taking is not required. It's something to ask about.


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#12 Storygirl

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 12:29 PM

Oh, by the way, when we met with the schools to talk about high school, DS was only in sixth grade. And we was not enrolled in any of the school districts (he was in private school). I worried they would not want to take the time to meet with us, since we were asking far in advance. But no one had any problems with setting up meetings with us.

 

We did, however, already have an IEP in place, which is different than your situation. But I bet they would be fine with meeting with you.


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#13 EKS

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:46 PM

Your son still found it worthwhile to attend though, right, or only partially so?

 

He started at a b&m school in 10th grade and then switched to dual enrollment at the CC in 11th grade.  He is now in his third year at a four year school and is doing well.

 

I think he definitely found it worthwhile to attend.  In fact, he learned how to speed up considerably when taking tests.  Before he went to school, he would take *forever* (like 4-5 times longer than expected) to take tests, or, really, to do anything related to school but after being in school, he was able to function much more normally.  For example, y the time he took the ACT for real, he was able to finish in under time and a half (I was originally thinking that even double time wouldn't be enough).

 

He also learned how to take notes in real time when he was at the CC, which I thought would never happen.  And he learned to advocate for himself, how to set up testing appointments, and so forth, at the CC.

 

I would say that the b&m high school helped him get his toe in the water with regard to how to deal with school and the CC forced him to learn how to deal with college.  I don't think he could have learned those things in a homeschool environment.  I am very glad we let him go to school when we did. 


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#14 kbutton

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 01:51 PM

I think that the most revealing or reassuring testing you could do would be to update the SLP testing. If his other testing was all in the "normal" range, and you think it probably still would be, then the school could potentially do the rest. But I would consider updated SLP testing. The right testing can be very predictive of academic struggles or help you see what is working well enough that it's a good foundation to build upon.

 

I have specific tests that I requested for my son, and they were super revealing (shocking is an appropriate descriptor for some of the subtest results on each!):

Test of Narrative Language 2

Test of Problem Solving 2

 

Both have norms for adolescents. 

 

This article talks about why narrative language is important. If your son's issues with written expression stem from narrative issues or being able to look at things in multiple ways or at multiple levels, you need to know, and these tests will tell you. If it's just hard to get thoughts down and organized, but the other stuff is intact, he's more likely to be successful with mild or moderate supports that a 504 can provide.  

 

https://www.smartspe...uage-pathology/

 

Best wishes! I think it's very possible that he will do well with a 504, and I think it's much less difficult to get one these days. We also believe in better living through pharmacology in our house, lol! It's not as scary as everyone makes it out to be, and we are so happy we've taken the plunge on meds.


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#15 soror

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Posted 07 February 2018 - 06:01 PM

He started at a b&m school in 10th grade and then switched to dual enrollment at the CC in 11th grade.  He is now in his third year at a four year school and is doing well.

 

I think he definitely found it worthwhile to attend.  In fact, he learned how to speed up considerably when taking tests.  Before he went to school, he would take *forever* (like 4-5 times longer than expected) to take tests, or, really, to do anything related to school but after being in school, he was able to function much more normally.  For example, y the time he took the ACT for real, he was able to finish in under time and a half (I was originally thinking that even double time wouldn't be enough).

 

He also learned how to take notes in real time when he was at the CC, which I thought would never happen.  And he learned to advocate for himself, how to set up testing appointments, and so forth, at the CC.

 

I would say that the b&m high school helped him get his toe in the water with regard to how to deal with school and the CC forced him to learn how to deal with college.  I don't think he could have learned those things in a homeschool environment.  I am very glad we let him go to school when we did. 

Thanks for sharing your positive experience. I hold out hope that his maturation will catch up at some point, when I don't know! I have begrudgingly thought that the easier content with more focus on organization could be very good for him.

 

I think that the most revealing or reassuring testing you could do would be to update the SLP testing. If his other testing was all in the "normal" range, and you think it probably still would be, then the school could potentially do the rest. But I would consider updated SLP testing. The right testing can be very predictive of academic struggles or help you see what is working well enough that it's a good foundation to build upon.

 

I have specific tests that I requested for my son, and they were super revealing (shocking is an appropriate descriptor for some of the subtest results on each!):

Test of Narrative Language 2

Test of Problem Solving 2

 

Both have norms for adolescents. 

 

This article talks about why narrative language is important. If your son's issues with written expression stem from narrative issues or being able to look at things in multiple ways or at multiple levels, you need to know, and these tests will tell you. If it's just hard to get thoughts down and organized, but the other stuff is intact, he's more likely to be successful with mild or moderate supports that a 504 can provide.  

 

https://www.smartspe...uage-pathology/

 

Best wishes! I think it's very possible that he will do well with a 504, and I think it's much less difficult to get one these days. We also believe in better living through pharmacology in our house, lol! It's not as scary as everyone makes it out to be, and we are so happy we've taken the plunge on meds.

Hmmm, I did the SLP testing through the university and it wasn't too expensive (compared to the NP anyway). I'll have to call them and see, being a known university they would likely respect their results more than from the NP from the city. I'll have to read that info b/c I'm not familiar with the tests you mention. His story recall and verbal comprehension was very good, he always learned well from a story format and loves reading. When he tries to work he wants it to sound fancy like the book he reads but wants to skip all the organization and use fancy vocab that may or may not make sense and the punctuation seems optional to him!

 

Would he be entering 8th grade or 9th?

 

We took our son's IEP to several school districts and had meetings with the special education personnel to discuss what supports and intervention each school would offer him. All of the high schools were willing to meet with us to give us a tour and talk it through. What they had to offer was not identical. Talking to them in advance helped us figure out what high school might look like for him and was really helpful. (We actually chose a school that is not our own district, and we are planning to move -- what the schools had to offer were different enough to make a move important for our family).

 

I'm not saying that you should interview several schools and think about moving. But you may be able to take your documentation to your local high school and ask to have a meeting with someone to see what they have to offer. There will be certain ways that each school does things. They may have supports you may not have thought to ask for. It's worth a try.

 

You can also ask them if they would evaluate him for a possible IEP, or if they would just take your documentation and have a team of people write a 504 for him, without having to go through the whole IEP process. Do you think he has any learning disabilities that will require specialized instruction? If so, that would require an IEP. If he just needs accommodation and support, they may be able to just write a 504.

 

If you think he needs special education (working with an intervention teacher), don't let them talk you into a 504 instead of evaluating for an IEP. But if what they offer in a 504 is enough support, it could save you a lot of hassle.

I would be putting him in as an 8th grader, seems a no-brainer considering his difficulty and he is on the cut-off anyway but I think a 504 will be sufficient from what I understand. Where we live there really aren't a lot of options for schools, we live in a rural area. We'd have to move a good way to find more options and that wouldn't work for dh. But meeting with the school is a good first step anyway. Good point about notes, he's practiced that a bit, I think he does ok but I don't know if he could keep up with hour after hour of it and I'm not sure how the classes are set up. I've asked around some but parents seem to have no clue how school works here.