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Dyslexia for a friend - school testing

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I have a dear friend who has a very academically strong child - said child is 15, an upcoming junior, and taking the ACT in September.  Dyslexia is in their family and actually they thought this child was the only one that was not dyslexic.   (First flag)


So they admin'd a practice ACT the other idea and did not complete within the time frame, but still got really good scores.  I was curious what the scores would have been if the test was completed.  We disregared math as this child is math weak currently, but mom is outsourcing math this coming year as she doesn't feel she can teach math adequately so we didn't pay any attention to the math score.


However, if the child had had more time, the scores showed a 32 in Reading and a 34 in Science.  The English score was 34 and that was completed within the time frame.  Granted, this was a practice test, but those are incredibly high scores.  



Child is a slow reader, a thorough reader, but a slow reader.  (Second flag)


I'm thinking the student may well be dyslexic considering the flags.  My personal experience may color this - our DS (17) is moderately dyslexic and tests extremely high, even in reading so I know these dyslexic kids with an amazing academic ability, even on tests, do exist.

If dyslexia is a factor,  the extra time could be a game changer for ACT scores and, therefore, scholarships.




We did private testing so I'm unsure what is within her rights to ask from the school system.

We used the school district for testing but the results were worse than useless, but I didn't know what to ask for and how to interpret on my own.  My understanding is that you can request specific tests through the school district.


Is this correct?  Is that every state?  They are in SC.

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Random thoughts:


Many LDs involve slow processing speed (i.e. the motor speed to fill out a standardized test as in the Coding subtest of the WISC).  Could be dyslexia, could be something else entirely, could be just slow processing speed.  I would want the math angle looked at closely.  I'd be wondering about a possible 2e situation.


With the math issues and the slow speed, I'd also want to rule out developmental vision issues with a COVD optometrist.


If private testing is affordable, I'd probably go in that direction rather than the school system, especially with someone experienced at getting SAT/ACT accommodations.  (I don't know about testing in our state, but e.g. IEP services are not available until a student falls two grade levels below, or something like that, and I don't think testing would occur without attempted intervention by a teacher first.  Just not finishing the ACT in time would not be a reason they'd test, here.)


I'd also have the student try the SAT, as that may be slightly less tightly-timed than the ACT.  Come to think of it, that's probably the first thing I'd do.

Edited by wapiti
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Is it going to take a private eval to get additional testing?  The reason I ask is because they are so expensive.  They are a big family like us and I know our eval was $1500 out of pocket and that's a LOT for a kid who is VERY academically successful without a "real" dyslexia diagnosis, kwim?  She carried straight As this year at CC level at age 14 and took 5-6 classes.  Just to get additional time seems so much.


Yes, they are pretty certain the math issue is simply just not being exposed except to half of Algebra 1.  The score was 18 I believe which would align with a child who has only had minimal exposure to Algebra, imo.  I really don't think it's slow processing speed.  I'd have recognized that ( I have one of those) and this kiddo is quick, quick, quick.  I actually didn't realize she read slow until I asked why in the world she wouldn't have finished.  


Goodness knows I could be wrong, but both of us have had special needs kids and that is the only thing on our radar and that big OOP expense seems like so much ****IF*** the testing was available within the school system.  I know WE had to go outside of our district to get correct testing, but I was hoping it was different elsewhere.

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It does not sound like she would qualify for an IEP in public school (too high performance in reading and math issues due to lack of instruction), so private testing will probably be necessary to get a diagnosis that would give accommodations for ACT if such a late diagnosis will even be accepted by the ACT.

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