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Crappy IEP, Going After An IEE and Studying Civil Rights! Has anyone else pursued an IEE through their School District?


Kaitfish
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I spoke with a Pediatric Neuropsychologist today at Seattle  Children's Hospital- after I read my daughter's IEP and education therapist notes to him over the phone, he said she definitely needs further testing and that our school district was not competent in testing our daughter. He suggested I study the Rights Law and formally request further evaluation through an IEE, and I can specify that it needs to be done at with a specific Neuropsychologist, even across state lines. 

 

I'm posting this because I hope to gain insight from other families that may have pursued the IEE and to also share this idea. It may not work, but it sure is worth the shot and if you would like to hear more about what happens with my journey in trying to push for this, please send me a message. Any advice is always GREATLY appreciated as well. :) Thank you! 

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I haven't even heard of an IEE.  Will be following your journey with interest.  Good luck.

 

Independent Education Evaluation.

 

I'm no help on the original question as we did private evals and private therapies and never used school system.  But I didn't know what IEE was either so I looked up that lingo.

Edited by cbollin
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It turned out testing for my sons has been covered by our health insurance.

 

And then the school has accepted that testing.

 

It is not the fanciest and it is not the most detailed.

 

However that is not needed for them.

 

I just need them to qualify for what they need to qualify for.

 

It is a VERY different situation than if you are needing to figure things out, the child is more complex (either not obvious and just requiring jumping through hoops to qualify for things, or having high areas cover low areas, or high areas missed bc of low areas).

 

So I haven't done the IEE process and that is why. It comes down to our health insurance coverage and what the school accepts.

 

If you read Wrightslaw iirc (this may be dated or not apply to your location) they recommend getting a private eval instead of paid by the school. If you already don't find a school assessment adequate I think it is something to keep in mind.

 

Sometimes if you get an IEE then you must share it with the school.

 

For me I decide what is shared with school.

 

There are things I don't share bc it makes him look worse than he is.

 

You can ask advice about sharing things with school (from the tester or advocate) if you might run into this (your child testing really low or high in a way that makes it look like they don't need what they need).

 

For background on this my son scored low on an IQ test (think in the low 70s) and we have chosen not to share it with school. I have verbally shared it with the few people who understand how his score is artificially low and expected to rise. Other people would not understand and get a wrong impression. It could make them think his placement is not good.

 

My understanding is if you do anything but private pay then you have no control over sharing results.

 

Either health insurance or school will see the results if they pay.

 

In extreme cases they can hold onto the IEE results even if you go on to other private testing and want to use that.

 

I think this is more paranoid than needed for most kids, though.

 

But if you can talk to an advocate that would be great too bc you need to work in your location, and the advocate may even know people involved and have relationships with them.

 

It is very worth reading the Wrightslaw book and other books about IEPs.

 

I have had things go better than I expected -- reading books about things going poorly can make it seem worse than it may be. It made me worry.

 

But I think it is worthwhile, just remember things may go much better!

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Also ime the most helpful thing is showing failure to make progress with an IEP.

 

It is awful that comes after the failure part!

 

But if results are not what they should be then when you show the scores they don't like to see that either.

 

This is where I would be shot in the foot if there were meanies at the meeting (not the people who know my son and are also his advocates) who are going to pull a face and think he is too low on the IQ test to make progress.

 

But I have a record of progress now and then a lack of progress is a clear signal of a problem!

 

/feeling optimistic today lol, I could complain too, but things are going well now! I flipped out last year though when he had a period of time with significantly less progress than he had made over other similar periods of time, and it was extremely upsetting. But then good changes happened in response.

 

But if I had smiled and nodded, he would probably still have made little progress and people would just think he was not capable. That is my fear at least.

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I haven't seen your posts yet. Can you tell us more about the situation? How recent was your ETR for your IEP, and to what extent did you participate in the process? And you homeschool or have them enrolled in a school? And what is causing you to dispute the findings of the ETR? 

 

See here's your problem. You signed an ETR and now you have a psych saying an obvious thing, that private evals are more thorough than public school evals.  OF COURSE they are. They aren't even asking the same question. But going through the legal dispute process is going NUCLEAR. People do it and you have the legal right to, but you're way jumping the gun here. You haven't explained, as Lecka said, whether the IEP is failing to meet your dc's needs. The question is not whether it was medically accurate or thorough. All the ps has to do is identify disabilities that need specialized services in order for the dc to access their education. If the dc is accessing their education, THEY DON'T GIVE A RIP ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL DIAGNOSES. 

 

So sure maybe your dc has xyz things going on that the ps didn't diagnose. But the school can turn you down in a hot minute if you do not establish that she is not able to access her education. You have a signed IEP. You were happy before? 

 

Fwiw, I spent two years embroiled in an IEP fight with our ps. I did it to get access to disability funding for my ds, and yes I used legal counsel. I did not have to go through the legal dispute process to get that done. A LOT can be done without that. That's the LAST thing that is supposed to happen, not the first. You have a lot more questions to answer and a lot more to learn about your options and what you could do to resolve your problems in more amicable ways. Get the NOLO book from your library. They may even have an ebook that you can get tonight and read. Get it and read the whole thing. Then you'll figure out where the glitches were. Then you go to your state dept of ed website and get the LAW and read the LAW. That Wrights Law site is inflammatory and not, well I personally don't pay it a lot of mind. Read the law from your state dept of ed. There are significant, SIGNIFICANT protections built into the law and you probably have not completely accessed them yet. You want to find where the glitch is and determine the least combative way to get where you need to go. You may need legal counsel. Depending on the complexity of your dc's disabilities, it's very possible you would benefit from legal counsel. When you bring in a lawyer, the school will bring in their lawyer. Their lawyer will read over everything, slap the school upside the head, show them what they SHOULD have done, and make it happen. 

 

The dispute process and independent evals can work, yes. There are some in-between steps. Just depends. If your insurance will cover a neuropsych eval, I would get it done that way and use that as your basis for the dispute. You need to be very precise about what you're trying to make happen. The medical diagnosis DOES NOT MATTER. All that matters is whether the dc can access their education. So they can use some lower, crap, inaccurate label if they claim your dc's (more severe) disability does not affect their ability to access their education. Some hospital clinics, as part of that legal dispute process, will do what they call an educational diagnosis vs a medical diagnosis.  Merely having the diagnosis does NOT guarantee your IEP will get changed. The school has the right to deny your dispute and request for independent evals if you have no evidence that it is affecting their ability to access their education.

 

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I think the person you spoke to is correct but it may not be your best option.

 

What can happen is someone does know about legal rights but not know as much about other options.

 

Locally I would tell you to pay $500 for a private evaluation and try to get along.

 

Unless your child has needs that are a lot more than average, which exists for sure.

 

But here many, many people would get what they need with paying $500. And my insurance paid this for my older son!

 

If you have an IEP, can you adapt it? Do you require new testing to adapt it? I would not if it was less than 3 years old (personally).

 

If you want accommodations and remediations, can you get that by amending your current IEP and adding to it?

 

Bc maybe that is an option. Maybe you don't have "the best" testing, but some kids need that and others don't.

 

I don't want to hurt your feelings if your child does need to be seen across state lines by a super top person.

 

There are kids who need that.

 

Then for other kids -- you could pay for that and fight for that, but get the same outcome as for $500 and a shorter time frame and the school people not treating you like you might sue them.

 

Afraid to get sued is something that is necessary sometimes.

 

Other times it gets people tiptoeing around and not bringing things up that could be a good idea but they don't say anything casually to you bc that is not how you interact with someone who might sue you.

 

I think someone familiar with your local situation can give you advice this way.

 

In the mean time document, document, document.

 

If you want something, I have been able to ask at times "how would I show a need for such-and such?" Then I document the need as they recommended.

 

Okay, I am very lucky and have nice people.

 

But if you are unhappy, you can try making these complaints and see I they say "okay we can amend that" or "we can't" but if they can't now could you document the problem that your request would solve?

 

That is how things can go when they are going well.

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If you already have an IEP in place, and you could afford private testing, I would try to have the school incorporate the eventual findings into her current IEP. Unless the school has exhausted their ability to help her, they really could perceive this as a hostile move.

 

I think you do need to know specifically what you hope to gain from an evaluation that you can't gain by working with the school. 

 

Is the IEP new? Has she had a missed diagnosis or glaringly missing testing, etc.? It makes a big difference how you got to the place you are at now. 

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I have not done it but considered it. If this is a very recent evaluation from the school it is not hard to dispute and request an IEE even after signing. I wish I did it sooner because they will suggest doing another one through the school if it is over a year. Just write a simple letter explaining that you do not agree with the findings and would like an outside evaluation. I heard most school districts will agree to it but they may suggest which outside evaluators to go to. I have heard of people doing it successfully and it went fine. Since schools cannot diagnose having an outside diagnosis could be helpful but it may not even make a difference if you have a school that still will not consider it. I do not think it is too out there of a thing to do because a NP around here has a message when you call about what to do if it is being paid for by the school district so it is not unheard of to do it

Edited by MistyMountain
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Thanks for the replies!! I have already pulled her from this school because it would have taken me longer to train them how to teach my child than for me to teach her myself. Honestly at that point I did not have the energy to try to fight with them when my daughter was slipping so far behind and I knew that environment would NEVER work for her. The testing they did was not even close to adequate. I have put my career on hold to take this on full time and homeschool, and I'm bound and determined to fight for her to get the correct help she needs and to make sure we are doing all we can to help her learn (there is a lot of history in what I have done this past year as well, but I won't write a story here).

 

The main reason I would go through an IEE is because the hospital I want to do the specific testing (after talking to multiple psychologists and neuropsychs) is not taking patients outside of their in-house referrals. For some reason, they accept referrals through IEE's and school districts because it is government kind of stuff... I'm going to explore this and I don't mind pissing people off. I am willing to pay private as well, what ever it takes, but if this gets me the best doctor, with the most knowledge and follow-through on what my daughter needs to learn and solve the little mystery that she is, and I don't have to pay thousands out of my pocket I don't have, then I'm going to try my hardest!! 

 

I will no doubt be starting from scratch, showing them the inadequacies of her current IEP, if that's what it takes. I have not pursued the IEP route because I did not want any further incompetent psychologists wasting our time through the school district, but if through the IEE, I am allowed to push for what doctor my daughter tests with, then I'm all for that. I have met very nice people in my searches, but I am pleased to meet a doctor that has the knowledge, speaks the language I've been waiting to hear, and also has some great follow-up plans for after testing to make sure my dau is getting the correct type of help and services, etc. 

 

I will report back on here as I go. It feels like I'm applying for furlough from prison, but you never know unless you try, right? Thank you for clarifying THe WRIGHT Laws, I wrote that wrong several times.  Let me know if anyone else has feedback on this topic! Thanks and best of luck to you all! 

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I think the person you spoke to is correct but it may not be your best option.

 

What can happen is someone does know about legal rights but not know as much about other options.

 

Locally I would tell you to pay $500 for a private evaluation and try to get along.

 

Unless your child has needs that are a lot more than average, which exists for sure.

 

But here many, many people would get what they need with paying $500. And my insurance paid this for my older son!

 

If you have an IEP, can you adapt it? Do you require new testing to adapt it? I would not if it was less than 3 years old (personally).

 

If you want accommodations and remediations, can you get that by amending your current IEP and adding to it?

 

Bc maybe that is an option. Maybe you don't have "the best" testing, but some kids need that and others don't.

 

I don't want to hurt your feelings if your child does need to be seen across state lines by a super top person.

 

There are kids who need that.

 

Then for other kids -- you could pay for that and fight for that, but get the same outcome as for $500 and a shorter time frame and the school people not treating you like you might sue them.

 

Afraid to get sued is something that is necessary sometimes.

 

Other times it gets people tiptoeing around and not bringing things up that could be a good idea but they don't say anything casually to you bc that is not how you interact with someone who might sue you.

 

I think someone familiar with your local situation can give you advice this way.

 

In the mean time document, document, document.

 

If you want something, I have been able to ask at times "how would I show a need for such-and such?" Then I document the need as they recommended.

 

Okay, I am very lucky and have nice people.

 

But if you are unhappy, you can try making these complaints and see I they say "okay we can amend that" or "we can't" but if they can't now could you document the problem that your request would solve?

 

That is how things can go when they are going well.

Thanks for the comment. It's a very long story and many many steps have been exhausted prior to this one. My daughter is much more severe and complicated than the normal child, per several education therapists and doctors. I have had appointments with Psychologists and then after they review her case they believe she would best be seen by a neuropsych, then ive also had ones that say they can do everything a neuropsych can do, but they did not speak the language or claim to conduct the multitude of tests the neuropsych can do. Long story, but I do appreciate your feedback and I am going to print off all of these comments to look through and consider carefully, as well as get some feed back from other resources of course.

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I haven't seen your posts yet. Can you tell us more about the situation? How recent was your ETR for your IEP, and to what extent did you participate in the process? And you homeschool or have them enrolled in a school? And what is causing you to dispute the findings of the ETR? 

 

See here's your problem. You signed an ETR and now you have a psych saying an obvious thing, that private evals are more thorough than public school evals.  OF COURSE they are. They aren't even asking the same question. But going through the legal dispute process is going NUCLEAR. People do it and you have the legal right to, but you're way jumping the gun here. You haven't explained, as Lecka said, whether the IEP is failing to meet your dc's needs. The question is not whether it was medically accurate or thorough. All the ps has to do is identify disabilities that need specialized services in order for the dc to access their education. If the dc is accessing their education, THEY DON'T GIVE A RIP ABOUT YOUR MEDICAL DIAGNOSES. 

 

So sure maybe your dc has xyz things going on that the ps didn't diagnose. But the school can turn you down in a hot minute if you do not establish that she is not able to access her education. You have a signed IEP. You were happy before? 

 

Fwiw, I spent two years embroiled in an IEP fight with our ps. I did it to get access to disability funding for my ds, and yes I used legal counsel. I did not have to go through the legal dispute process to get that done. A LOT can be done without that. That's the LAST thing that is supposed to happen, not the first. You have a lot more questions to answer and a lot more to learn about your options and what you could do to resolve your problems in more amicable ways. Get the NOLO book from your library. They may even have an ebook that you can get tonight and read. Get it and read the whole thing. Then you'll figure out where the glitches were. Then you go to your state dept of ed website and get the LAW and read the LAW. That Wrights Law site is inflammatory and not, well I personally don't pay it a lot of mind. Read the law from your state dept of ed. There are significant, SIGNIFICANT protections built into the law and you probably have not completely accessed them yet. You want to find where the glitch is and determine the least combative way to get where you need to go. You may need legal counsel. Depending on the complexity of your dc's disabilities, it's very possible you would benefit from legal counsel. When you bring in a lawyer, the school will bring in their lawyer. Their lawyer will read over everything, slap the school upside the head, show them what they SHOULD have done, and make it happen. 

 

The dispute process and independent evals can work, yes. There are some in-between steps. Just depends. If your insurance will cover a neuropsych eval, I would get it done that way and use that as your basis for the dispute. You need to be very precise about what you're trying to make happen. The medical diagnosis DOES NOT MATTER. All that matters is whether the dc can access their education. So they can use some lower, crap, inaccurate label if they claim your dc's (more severe) disability does not affect their ability to access their education. Some hospital clinics, as part of that legal dispute process, will do what they call an educational diagnosis vs a medical diagnosis.  Merely having the diagnosis does NOT guarantee your IEP will get changed. The school has the right to deny your dispute and request for independent evals if you have no evidence that it is affecting their ability to access their education.

 

Thank you for your response! I'm printing it tonight and looking through it again. I just don't see why it has to be so freaking hard! How do you know so much about this, may I ask? I'm going to take your advice and start researching tonight. I have a few contacts that I learned about today that I will be following up with as well. The problem is the results from what the school says my daughter is capable of and from what her educational therapist says she is capable of greatly differ. I did not know how severe my daughter was until we started the educational therapy for dyslexia remediation, and then working with her at home. At school, she was starting to develop an anxiety disorder and would cry every single day. Forcing them to figure it out wasn't worth me leaving her there any longer...does that make sense? I'm in the mental health field and I am not an over-reactor by any means. I literally did not have the support at the time to dispute her IEP until I learned more about what was really going on with her memory, etc. I needed confirmation from another professional that she definitely has bigger issues than what the school is saying....

 

I'm talking to another neuropsych this week that would be an alternative route to the IEE, but I feel like I am definitely going to further educate myself on these steps because NO ONE in my area (rural North Id) seems to have any specific program to offer advocacy for kids and their parents during their IEP processes... We just assume the school is going to honestly test and try to help, but I feel like with money in the picture, how could they help each child effectively when there are kids that obviously would cost more money to help.... Anyways, thanks! Please let me know if you have any other thoughts. I sound kind of all over the page, but I've talked to so many professionals the last few months, its hard to explain. I may have jumped the gun on my excitement for an IEE actually working out, which is pretty typical when it comes to dealing with kids with abnormal learning disabilities- so many dead ends! Thanks

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I think when you have gotten feedback that your child is one who needs the super top (or more specialized) person ---- well, other people are not getting that feedback. That is your situation and your feedback.

 

If you can get the better person through the IEE process that sounds better too.

 

I have heard/seen references where that is a "normal" path to take and not a "difficult/aggressive parent" path to take. Where it is just a standard thing. It may be like this where you live!

 

I think you need to clarify your goals in some ways.

 

Do you want the IEE as a way to get the testing to help you ultimately teach her at home?

 

Do you want her back at school?

 

Do you know about different kinds of things that could be put in an IEP wrt possible anxiety (aka put in the IEP not to do the things that make her anxious) ----- do you want some of those things ----- do you need to bring this up and ask it be included in her evaluation? Do you need to ask it be mentioned in the recommendations that the evaluator will write that will go to school?

 

I think if you want school -- look at many areas for IEPs and not just dyslexia and memory. Those are things you read about when you read about those things. But there are more broad kinds of things that might matter for school, that are things that if you found out about it you might want it.

 

So you can read through IEP books and not just dyslexia or memory stuff also. Hopefully that stuff comes up with the evaluation anyway, but something you want is that she doesn't have the same situation that causes anxiety before.

 

Do you have other goals? What do you want her situation to be a year from now? Can you stay out of work long-term or do you need to be focusing on making things work at school?

 

There are no right answers, but if you think about goals and what you want your daughter's day to look like and things, it can help to focus and make sure you are prioritizing things or making sure to bring up things.

 

You are going into a system where it may be set up to get her in public school, so you need to know where your personal goals are the same and different.

 

Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!

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Also this is probably your auto-correct.... but it is Wrightslaw. Peter (?) Wright is a lawyer who works with special education advocacy and court cases.

 

So it is like a company (or maybe non-profit) that helps parents to advocate for their kids who have special needs.

 

So it is a good source for information! They have a website and have published some books.

 

There are also other books about the same stuff.... NOLO is a different company/non-profit (or maybe just book author lol) that also is discussing the same information.

 

If you go to the non-fiction section in the library there will be books about IEPs together in the same location. Or you can see books once you find one on Amazon.

 

I am a fast reader and I would skim chapter headings etc and then pick several books.

 

The law that is a federal law is called IDEA. If you look at the state level there is also stuff your state may publish. But you can google IDEA and read it and I read through a library book that had sections of IDEA and then explained them, if you ever wanted to know it. (I looked on Amazon and I think this is Wrightslaw: Special Education Law.... just a book I have checked out from the library. There are many "about IEPs" or "examples of IEP goals" books too that are probably more user-friendly.)

 

So the law is probably IDEA.

 

I am on the vague side but this is my understanding.

Edited by Lecka
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I think when you have gotten feedback that your child is one who needs the super top (or more specialized) person ---- well, other people are not getting that feedback. That is your situation and your feedback.

 

If you can get the better person through the IEE process that sounds better too.

 

I have heard/seen references where that is a "normal" path to take and not a "difficult/aggressive parent" path to take. Where it is just a standard thing. It may be like this where you live!

 

I think you need to clarify your goals in some ways.

 

Do you want the IEE as a way to get the testing to help you ultimately teach her at home?

 

Do you want her back at school?

 

Do you know about different kinds of things that could be put in an IEP wrt possible anxiety (aka put in the IEP not to do the things that make her anxious) ----- do you want some of those things ----- do you need to bring this up and ask it be included in her evaluation? Do you need to ask it be mentioned in the recommendations that the evaluator will write that will go to school?

 

I think if you want school -- look at many areas for IEPs and not just dyslexia and memory. Those are things you read about when you read about those things. But there are more broad kinds of things that might matter for school, that are things that if you found out about it you might want it.

 

So you can read through IEP books and not just dyslexia or memory stuff also. Hopefully that stuff comes up with the evaluation anyway, but something you want is that she doesn't have the same situation that causes anxiety before.

 

Do you have other goals? What do you want her situation to be a year from now? Can you stay out of work long-term or do you need to be focusing on making things work at school?

 

There are no right answers, but if you think about goals and what you want your daughter's day to look like and things, it can help to focus and make sure you are prioritizing things or making sure to bring up things.

 

You are going into a system where it may be set up to get her in public school, so you need to know where your personal goals are the same and different.

 

Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you!! 

 

My ultimate goal is for her to be able to go to a private school at some point, but if she learns best through homeschooling then we will continue that path. The goal for the next year is to figure out how she learns, what global issue is going on with her memory/retrieval/processing etc and have assistance developing a specific program, with other services as needed (OT etc). So It's difficult because I want her to be able to go to school with the other kids (even though we socialize quite a bit and she would rather homeschool), but all of my work to get an IEE would only be to gain information for how severe she is, how she learns, and what we can do to help her...then from there decide if she will do best at home or if there is a private school or amazing public school that can accommodate her. Sigh, I like the goals idea though- I have it written down but as I figure out which path to take here, I will do a pros and cons with my goals list for sure. Thank you for taking time to help me sort through this. I will look into the Wright law, etc. Cheers!!

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You asked how/why I went down this path. Our state offers extensive disability scholarships. You get an IEP, give up your FAPE, and spend the scholarship through the state list of providers to service the IEP. Makes for some pretty ugly fights, because there are big bucks on the line. When you have ASD, there's one more step that I didn't quite understand when I started, which is private placement. At that point the school admits they can't service your enrolled dc, and they pay for complete private placement. Could be $80K a year, could be anything. So they always try to keep things down, down, down, because they're trying not to let it get to that point. 

 

What do you feel is going on with your dc? You said her situation is complex and that you're using an educational therapist. That's a sort of unregulated field. They're doing OT-type activities, working on reflexes, doing cognitive therapies, etc.? I think it's very concerning that your dc's anxiety is being provoked during this process. I could go on a little rant about how low my opinion has become of therapists (of all kinds), but I won't. People confuse liking the therapist and getting results. There are a lot of people out there who have a little bit of information, and the more complex the situation, the more careful you have to be. I would STOP a therapy that was resulting in negative things for the dc. I would be extremely cautious with therapies. It's not at all uncommon for someone to be trained in one thing but not understand precursor things that need to happen for the dc to be ready for that.

 

I'd like to let you elaborate on what you think is going on. You mentioned dyslexia, anxiety, and cognitive issues. What did the ps diagnose? What further do you think is going on? Yes, in some areas a neuropsych eval would be considered the norm for SLDs. Like around here, yes. Of course there are some really slipshod neuropsychs too who crank out evals and don't do all the testing themselves. Also, there's usually a big pricepoint difference between private and hospital, with the hospital system inflating the cost of everything. I wouldn't assume the eval is necessarily better. Might be or might be about the same. I personally like someone who specializes in the area of concern and whom I'm find it helpful to talk with. Merely being an expert isn't good enough; you're actually wanting them to speak peace into your soul and help you get on track and reframe how you view your dc. Sometimes one psych or another will be a better fit for that.

 

Also, depending on the evals you've already had, you might be able to make up the difference with a less expensive eval. Again, elaborate on what you think is going on and we can try to help you. I put GREAT STOCK in mother gut, so very probably what you think is going on is going on. If you think three SLDs and the school said one, you're probably right. That kind of thing. If she's already had a private psych eval by a clinical psych (yes?), then you already have some pieces. You've had IQ and achievement? A CTOPP? Something for language like the CELF or CASL? Really, it's possible to over-assume what the neuropsych will add to your understanding. Depends on what you've already had. There are more tests they run, but sometimes they're for screenings (semi-worthless) or more to look at the thing from multiple angles.

 

How old is this dc? There's also an unfolding process that happens, especially if you've been intervening aggressively. What happens with bright kids with SLDs is they get interventions, pull ahead, look amazing, then fall behind again as their peers progress. So sometimes something is obvious 6 months later but just didn't quite have the data to get you there earlier. I'd also be interested to see the school's data and how they interpreted it. Around here, some really common scenarios are getting shafted completely on the autism question (common) and having them admit the CTOPP is low but them wanting to keep the dc in RTI rather than calling it dyslexia. And of course you have your normal thing of the parent realizing the dc needs much more intervention than they're going to get in the IEP. 

 

So it really goes back to what they found, what you think is going on, what you hope to accomplish. Do you think they failed to diagnose certain areas? Or you think the IEP services are inadequate? I'm also a little confused, because you're talking about cognitive things. The school won't care. The school is going to care about IEP goals and the things they have to service. They don't have to do everything that COULD be done, and they don't have to give a rip about your dc's potential or what you think ethically SHOULD be done. As long as they eliminate 2 standard deviations of discrepancy, they're DONE.

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When you say memory/retrieval/processing? The school doesn't care. Sorry, but they don't care. As long as she can access her education, they don't care about all those nuances of what would help her achieve her potential. As a mom YOU want it, but they don't care and don't have to care. It's not something they're going to intervene on. Did they diagnose ADHD or do a full IQ to get you processing speed and working memory? 

 

Now if you're saying she had TBI, that's totally different. That they have to care about. But if she just has the normal brain differences that occur with SLDs and ADHD, they won't give a rip. It's true cognitive therapies can make a HUGE difference! And really, I sort of assume that what you're actually leading to is that you think she has NVLD/ASD, not straight dyslexia. That would make it more complex and require a stepped up IEP. Is that why you're unhappy? You think there's something else going on?

 

The school won't care if she has ASD even, as long as she was able to access her education. She was there and she stayed in the room and participated, yes? So she was accessing her education, in spite of other diagnoses that might be going on medically. Unless you have pragmatics testing showing enough discrepancy, they won't add goals and won't care. Does she require behavioral supports? The ps system has a whole process for how they handle that. You're talking lots of evals, observations, interactions to build a plan like that. Our ps kind of lick and promise does it for us. There's a lot of sort of oh we can meet and amend this and make it better during the year that happens. If you think you have serious behavioral issues going on, you might as well hire a BCBA, get your diagnosis, move on.

 

I'm tiger mom too. It's possible to spend a lot of time fighting that would have been better spent intervening. It's a really hard balance to strike. My ds has all three SLDs, is gifted, with ADHD-combined and ASD. He saw three psychs over a year and got three different explanations and combinations of explanations. Part of it is that unfolding process. Then we kind of moved on from that and brought in the BCBA. For us, we had to move on to getting help. It's true that you almost have to have concluded what is going on in order to go to the right person to get the diagnosis. I really don't think more $$ is better. I think it's how many hours of testing they do and the rapport you have working through how to apply those results. But psychs, especially neuropsychs, are sort of, well I have a decreasing opinion of them. They can say any kind of crap, get paid WAY MORE than you or I, and they have NO ACCOUNTABILITY. It sort of inflates their heads without actually making them necessarily better or more wizened at what they do. Be very skeptical. You may find that a numbers geek is only a starting point and that your real help comes with your on the ground, subtle help. Or, as one really wise audiologist told me, BUILD A GOOD TEAM. 

 

If you don't want to burn out, build a good team. 

 

I'm sort of iffy on the re-enroll them in school thing as a goal. Social becomes challenging/necessary/needful later. Problem is, the more complex the dc, the less likely a school can meet those goals. It takes really careful placement or deciding what you'll compromise on. I wish it was like this perfect thing. I really don't think you fix kids or intervene so much it's poof. It's going to be there, just in differing ways. Me, I haven't talked with ds a lot about his disabilities. He kinda thinks he's a genius.   :lol:  That can have its own disadvantages too.   ;)  Now he's to where he's seeing a discrepancy between task and effort, and he's getting an opinion on it. No amount of achievement test scores help that perception image, sigh. It's really challenging to handle. I think I'm saying as a mom that, having started so early with intervention, I WISH I could have been so effective that it would have just GONE AWAY and not been obvious. And how to come to the other side of I'm sorry it's hard but let's perservere, I'm not really sure how to get there.

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Also, not to point out the obvious, but your state law may not require them to give you an IEP now that you've withdrawn. Legally you can dispute your ETR (evaluation team report) or whatever they call that stage in your state. Federal law mandates that they identify disabilities affecting your dc's ability to access their education, irrespective of placement, so they have to eval. You can dispute the evals. But by withdrawing, you *may not* have the legal right in your state to dispute the IEP. It's something to check. Back to your dept of ed and a lawyer or consultant. You might have the legal right to dispute by the legal timeline but they might say they aren't required to write a new one. You can also call your state dept of ed.

 

The only reason my ds has an IEP is because the scholarship laws in our state require the ps to write the IEP. If he were not applying for the scholarship, then his only protection would be the federal law requiring evals. At that point it's the mercy (and budget) of the school to decide whether to do more. Also, some states require the ps to provide services to all and some do NOT. Again, read your laws.

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If you have a state office of Protection and Advocacy, talk to them. They may or may not have someone on staff who specializes in school law,but they will know the law at least. (My brother is an OPA attorney, but works primarily with adult clients in the criminal justice system who have developmental disabilities or mental illness).

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So much great info, thank you! I really have so much more to learn. The most difficult thing about building a team, is the last year I've been trying so hard but I feel like I can't find any well-educated folks up here, and I work (ed) in an industry full of mental health professionals! And you're totally right about the ed therapist- my daughter adores her and I do believe the repetition is helping her, but as far as knowing where to send me or what steps to take, she hasn't helped at all.

 

I honestly feel like I have lost my trust for most professionals because I have had so many dead ends, or people that have said one thing and then it ends up not happening or being the right connection. So when I heard a doctor on the phone that speaks the language and seems to have a plan, and could possibly be covered financially, I was optimistic.  I go in waves of working hard on this because I am also homeschooling and she requires almost one-one teaching. I just know there is something bigger going on here and I don't think it should be this hard to find the help we need.  It could possibly be sitting right in front of me too! I'm headed out of town for Christmas, but I will check back here after the weekend and I will also PM a couple of you. I really appreciate this forum as from what I can tell, moms know way more than most professionals when it comes to finding the right path for getting help for our littles. Thank you!! Have a blessed Christmas!

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HI Ladies, here is a bit more information for those that were interested in trying to help me sort through my own story and find help. My daughter is 9 yrs old. The only testing they did on her school eval for IEP was the Woodcock Johnson III Test of Achievement, administered by the special education teacher. Then it said the same test was administered by a school psychologist a week earlier. The test was done a year ago last week. Below average scores Broad Written Language (SS69), Math Reasoning (SS 78), Math Calculations (SS85), Reading Comprehension SS 74), and Basic Reading sKills (SS85). They did not test for dyslexia, nor would they accept the term dyslexia (we had her privately tested). I told them she has dyslexia and it requires a specific form of remediation, but they did not have that and they looked at me like I was stupid for asking for it, and also said that she does not qualify to use an IPAD or any sort of tool like that (which we use for most of her learning now). Most of the IEP looks to have data from watching my dau in the classroom and the WJTA is the only actual test conducted. As I look over the IEP, I can't believe they said she would be at grade level in a year and I can't believe they did not properly test her memory or processing (you were right OhElizabeth, they don't care about that stuff). Their "remediation" was stressing her out (not her ed therapist at all). She would come home crying every day and I believe the stress was keeping her from learning- she was only memorizing what they wanted her to say back and then spewing it out like a little robot. There is a lot I should have fought them over, but my dau was so far behind and I knew more about what she needed than they did at that point, so I pulled her out and started specialized curriculum with her, which she has been doing well with, but there are still some major concerns about her memory, executive functioning, processing speed, memory retrieval etc. 

 

So our education therapist has worked with hundreds of kids in dyslexia remediation field and that is why we went to her. I like that they started my dau from the beginning, working on letter sound recognition (something the school said she was good at but she was not) and digraphs, etc. As someone else stated, it could just be the remediation program does not work, but her memory issues are beyond just her dyslexia- I feel like they are the reason for her dyslexia...

 

Here are some concerns from the therapist, who also had a few other specialists come in and observe:

"After 56 hours of one on one training, M formed a stronger letter-sound connections, however her fluency showed no improvement". "M's phonological Memory has proven to be a concern. Phonological processing provides brief, word-for-word storage of auditory information. Possible deficits in her phonological memory are impairing her ability to decode and encode, despite improvement in her letter-sound connection. These deficits are impairing her ability to listen to sentences, retain them and process them in order to write the sentences down or apply them in some way. In addition, she also has displayed deficits in Rapid Automatic Naming skills. She has demonstrated deficits in RAN when she struggles to retrieve information from her long-term memory that she nows well and with which she has a lot of experience. For example, struggling to retrieve her own middle name, her grandmother's name, the number of letters that make up the alphabet or struggles to know a word she just read. She also struggles with spacial awareness at times, such as not knowing how to get back to our office from the bathroom, even though she has used it multiple times.

 

It is our recommendation that M. have a full neuro-educational assessment that evaluates closely her visual spatial skills, working memory, phonological memory, verbal narrative memory, fluid reasoning, phonological awareness, attention, processing, visuomotor integration, and adaptive functioning. We recommend a pediatric neuropsychologist for a full diagnostic evaluation. " All of these that have impacted her ability to learn reading, writing, math, etc.

 

So this is where these two worlds are colliding- I ditched the school because they seemed more concerned about making sure her levels were at the same level as the other students, and their plan was to basically exhaust her all day, making her do repetitive work, with no new technology or learning disability specific intervention. Then I started with this education therapist that was able to help me feel like I definitely am not crazy, my dau has bigger things going on than what the school made it seem. The ed psych said it was the 'worst IEP she has ever seen', but she does not have any great recommendations for neuropsychs in the North West. 

 

 I don't really want to deal with the school system and go through all of those hoops, but my goal is to find a wonderful pediatric neuropsychologist and I have not had any great feedback from other places besides SEattle Children's Hospital. 

 

I have talked to several psychologists that seemed like they knew about the tests but then when it comes to memory and figuring out processing issues, they didn't seem to have the knowledge. I want a neuropsych that does the test themselves, is sensitive to my daughter's feelings because she gets overwhelmed and shuts down, trying to please those testing her, and someone that can help me come up with a plan for after the testing- like a list of things we can do to improve her memory, or specify what type of therapy would help her. 

 

I don't plan on her going back to school, unless we moved somewhere where there was a school specific for kids who learn experientially and are sensitive to these needs. The therapist had a Autism specialist observe her, but they determined she is not autistic. She is very social and communicates very well. She is somewhat of a story teller and emotionally advanced beyond her years for sure. She was not diagnosed with ADHD either, or any Traumatic Brain injury. 

 

Reading- reads at kindergarten level, anxiety, has to block out all of the other words and read one word at a time. Often says the last sound of the word first. Remembers the rules but applies them at the wrong times sometimes. Transitioning from one word to the next is very slow. 

Writing- can have beautiful handwriting at times, but cannot spell at all on paper. Will spell the word 'our' outloud and when I ask her to write a sentence about our family, she will spell awr famlee, ven though she has aced those on her spelling tests the week before. Sometimes she will not allow for space between the words so it ends up all jumbled. If she wrote a paragraph on a topic, I could read about 50% of it and the other 50% would not make sense. 

Math- struggles to hold numbers in her mind. We recently just completed the addition facts and are working on subtraction, but still far behind her 3rd grade level. 

Attention- major executive functioning issues (my interpretation), needs reminded often to stay on track or complete a task. Is often day dreaming or doing an art project. Always has some sort of project she is planning (which I love).

Spacial awareness- Sometimes off, like if her brother is sleeping on the couch she will sit on him even after she was reminded several times he is there.

Movement- Sometimes uncoordinated, slower, trips a lot, and not always aware what is going on around her, safety concerns at times. 

 

Very artistic, and remembers everything she experiences or watches on TV- she will tell me about a movie she remembers from when she was 5 years old, down to the detail of a joke in the movie and where they were, etc. But then she can't remember how to read a word she sounded out in the sentence before the one she is reading. Or if I give her three sounds in a word, she will forget the sounds after only a few seconds unless I repeat them a bunch of times. It takes so much work for her to remember sounds of letters if she has to hold them in her mind. Writing a sentence someone says to her is extremely difficult. She definitely has strengths, which I try to teach to everyday, but I just don't know if I'm doing it the right way! 

 

Goal: make sure there is not a bigger problem, such as brain injury etc and if so, figure out what our next steps would be. Establish the way she learns and they methods that would help her retain knowledge and figure out possible processing speed issues. Design a therapeutic plan that includes activities that will help her improve her ability to learn as well as function. 

 

So this is where I'm at, I have read so much, talked to so many psychs, and our ed therapist does not have any great recommendations for neuropsychs. Since I am in North Idaho, and have not found great support or resources, I'm lookng everywhere. I feel like I'm the only one with a daughter like this and there has to be a bunch of us out there! The main doctor at WWU at the center for learning disabilities sent me to a psychologist whom they thought was a neuropsych, because after lookng over her case files, they thought she was too complicated for them...long story. Then the psychologist is not a neuropsych and has done a ton of school psychology.

 

After reading up through the Wright Laws, it doesn't seem like it would work out and I definitely don't want to get in a battle, an unnecessary one at that if they don't give a flip about memory or processing speeds, etc and won't support us going to a neuropsych, financially. If you have any other suggestions for me or advice, I'm more than asking. I think at this point I'm researching and waiting to hear from a great place I heard about in Portland. I will have to put her testing off until we can raise the money for sure. That neuropsych in Seattle made it seem so easy and that he receives IEE patients all the time and it was my right....but it just seems like so much work. Do you know of anyone I could send her IEP to and the Therapist notes to see if it was worth pursuing an IEE?

 

Thanks for reading my book here! If you know of any other moms with similar kiddos that have found a great path for help, please direct me to them! Also, please be honest if this sounds like a very cut and dry case, that maybe I have worked myself into a tizzy and the problem is I really don't have qualified educated sounding boards around me? :) #momscanbecrazy Thanks!!!

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An IEE is your right, but iIf you go the route of asking for one, or start to battle the school district, be prepared for it to take an enormous amount of time and emotional energy. They will want to know why/how their evaluation is not adequate, but legally, they can't say no. If you choose to do that, keep in mind that they have to take the new eval into consideration but will not be required to create an IEP based on it. Also, the IEE won't help at all unless it is accurate and complete, which means it needs to be done by someone competent to evaluate her. Because of the complexity of her issues, that person will be hard to find. Seattle Children's has a wonderful reputation and it may be worth following up with the doctor you spoke to there. My advice is to go with the best possible medical professional you can find. 

 

Please keep in mind that even if you have an accurate evaluation and an IEP with goals that address your daughter's real issues, it still does not guarantee that she will get her needs met in public school. Legally, they are only required to comply with the IEP, that is, go through the motions. They are not accountable for whether your daughter actually learns anything. And you will always have to advocate for her, always.

 

There is a wonderful parent advocacy group in Seattle called the Arc of King County. Here is their website: http://www.arcofkingcounty.org/ 

 

Please contact them; they are outstanding at tracking down resources and have access to an enormous network of parents. 

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I'm working through what you wrote, because it was a lot. Here's the thing. As Mrs. Tharp says, it doesn't matter a flip if your kid has dyslexia. Even if she has dyslexia and finds life easier with tech and benefits from this and that, the school only has to intervene if there are at least 2 standard deviations of discrepancy.  No lawyer you bring in will change that. Well maybe, but basically no. They look at discrepancy. 

 

So did they do IQ testing or no? There's a short form test they sometimes do. Or did you provide IQ testing and they accepted and used that? Because right now, with no IQ testing and pretty acceptable achievement test scores, I don't see discrepancy. You might get there if she has a 99th percentile IQ. What is the standard deviation (SD) on the WJIII? I can't remember. Is it 10 or 20? So basically, with say a 90th percentile IQ, you'd need to see 20-30 points below that in achievement testing before they'd even begin to care.

 

My ds was diagnosed with SLDs privately and the ps confirmed his eligibility for services in all three areas, also in K5, based on severe discrepancy. We're talking like gifted IQ with 25th percentile achievement test scores. I don't remember how low. Even 50-60th percentile is discrepancy on him. But his scores go up and down with intervention because the amount of material necessary for this age is so small. So your interventions may have bumped those scores a bit, sure. 

 

I don't understand why there was no CTOPP? Did you have one done privately? I'm sorry, but I don't think it's standard to get to an SLD reading diagnosis with no CTOPP score. Did your ed therapist do one?

 

Your ed therapist is incorrect in her analysis, btw. We could go down that rabbit trail of unregulated fields, but we won't. Her conclusion about the dc benefiting from more complete evals is correct, but she's not using terms correctly. Technically what she's describing is poor word retrieval, and that does *not* have to be associated with dyslexia. It's also commonly associated with praxis (praxis of speech, overall praxis). While a neuropsych *can* do the testing for that (my dd's did on her, because it was an issue), an SLP can also do it. In other words, you had evidence that the ps should have done an SLP eval. That's what you're looking for here, evidence to indicate more should have been eval'd. You're not in a good position to dispute the actual IEP, because you've withdrawn. However the law DOES protect you on disputing the evals they did. THAT you can get help with. You also could choose to go privately, using a neuropsych, SLP, OT, etc. But the ps could have run that testing, yes.

 

She's also commenting on issues that warrant an OT referral. Again, that's something the ps should have done.

 

You can have all the scores you listed, all the complaints you listed, and have it not be dyslexia. We haven't seen CTOPP scores before intervention, so I don't know. I'm not disagreeing, just saying you want a psych diagnosing it, not an ed therapist, no matter how many people go to her or like her. You need IQ testing for discrepancy and more complete testing. Has someone done IQ and a CTOPP on her yet?

 

If she has had a clinical psych eval and gotten the SLD reading diagnosed that way, I would just add SLP and OT evals.

 

The irony is, if this ed therapist were as good as she says, she would have brought up the RAN/RAS scores by now.  They're VERY easy to intervene on, mercy. I've done it with my ds, and you can see the improvement. Take big grains of salt with people, big.

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Still reading what you wrote. Yes, the way you're describing her writing/spelling is typical of dyslexia. What you're describing about her level of work does not match the achievement test scores you posted. When was the ps testing? She could be falling behind her peers, making the disabilities more obvious. If you have more recent achievement testing that demonstrates at least 2 SD (standard deviations) of discrepancy, you have strong evidence to go back to the school and argue for new testing. Federal law requires them to identify children with disabilities. If it has been at least 6 months to a year since your last evals with the ps, I wouldn't hesitate to do that.  The fresh achievement testing would be new evidence to compel them to go at it again.

 

It would have been helpful if your ed therapist had run a pragmatics eval instead of only having someone observe her. If you knew the qualification process for an "autism specialist" you might be less than impressed. These people get a masters in it, take a few courses, and think they know something. Autism is not necessarily apparent in a single setting, in a single day. That's why a psych would want multiple observations over multiple days and forms filled out by a number of people. Now in a homeschool setting, we struggle to get people who have enough time with our kids to fill out those forms. With my ds, people just had snippets, 30 minutes here, 30 minutes there, often in highly preferred situations. Those people weren't seeing the behaviors BEFORE the classes or afterwards, only how he was exactly for that 30 minutes. And it's very common for girls with ASD to get missed because they present differently and more socially. That's where pragmatics testing can help you bust through. It's what the ps will typically do to determine if they need to do social skills intervention. There are a couple different, really good tests they can run. If you do a private SLP eval, that's something the SLP can do. In our ps, the SLP runs the pragmatics testing. If your insurance will cover an SLP eval, it would be a fabulous back door way to get some of this done.

 

DO NOT ASSUME your ed therapist is correct on the autism question. I'm not saying your dd has autism, though I will observe that your level of stress is typical of a parent dealing with a dc with autism. I'm only saying your ed therapist wasn't qualified to decide that and I would want the ADI-R or updated GARS, pragmatics testing, observation in multiple settings, and a really thorough discussion of it with someone qualified like a phd psych or a BCBA. Just my opinion. Because if it's the elephant in the room, you don't want to miss it, kwim? Just the fact that it was on the table as a concern means it can get missed but be there. And, fwiw, the data is that pragmatics testing becomes much more reliable around age 10. In other words, their peers pull away and the kids with disabilities become more obvious. If your dd's girl strengths were covering some things, she's going into the time where it's going to become more obvious. Just something to watch for. You can also benefit from social thinking intervention without an autism label. Language is no longer in the DSM definition of autism, so that isn't even on the table as decided it. Like if her thinking was language seems good (which it's not with poor word retrieval, hello), therefore no autism, well that is no longer correct under the new DSM.

 

Yes, I'm just seeing a huge gap between what you're describing for her academics and her achievement test scores. If it has been 6 months to a year, it would be good to update them. With what you're describing, she should have probably also gotten SLD math. For my ds, 6 months was enough to let those scores drop as his peers pulled ahead, making the disability more obvious.  Once you get the fresh testing, begin Ronit Bird immediately.

 

I don't understand why her working memory is so low. Have they not been working on it? Same with the RAN/RAS. These are basics, foundational skills they need to work on. Get the CTOPP done immediately for a baseline, then begin. 

 

On the writing, clearly you need to go to dictation or software for a while, work on typing, use some predictive spelling software, and get going with Barton. Are you doing Barton or using a tutor? She's going to need consistent, effective intervention, preferably 3-5 days a week. If you can do it yourself, that would get you the frequency. Barton would become your everything for a while. And bring in Talking Fingers for her typing. It sounds like it would complement where she is with phonological processing and spelling.

 

You're describing very serious sensory integration issues that indicate she probably has retained primitive reflexes. I've been to numerous OTs with my kids, done stuff, took my dd to a fresh person (this time a PT), and she STILL had retained reflexes. It's the glitch that keeps on giving. The retained reflexes are probably behind part of your dd's anxiety.  I would strongly, strongly, strongly encourage you to up-prioritize finding someone who does a good job with them and get going. PT is seeming to be good here, but she went to the state univ and got extra training. This stuff is just not common to be trained in, sigh. So ask around till you find someone.

 

Neuropsychs are a funny gig. Technically they can diagnose and discriminate autism from other things, but they also kind of find what they're looking for, go really fast, and have inflated heads. Think through what you can afford and start taking some steps. Did you look up your state law on your dept of ed website to find the length of time, your window, to dispute your evals? You are not on good ground to dispute the IEP, but you ARE on good ground to dispute the evals. But you're going to want to do this the most polite, least combative way possible. How long has it been since those ps evals were completed? If it has been a year, they will redo their evals rather than rolling with independent evals, I would think. 

 

So give us some more info on dates, whether there have been any private evals, and the dispute window in your state. Figure out what your insurance will cover, because private will be better than ps. And see if your insurance will cover some unexpected things (SLP eval, behaviorist referral, etc.). Just see, kwim? Just the fact that they saw enough that they thought they needed to do the autism eval is concerning. I know girls who were missed by 1 point for years and finally got diagnosed. Girls get missed, and it would be an explanation for the intensity of your frustration right now. Even the statements like oh her language is fine SHOULD HAVE BEEN BACKED UP WITH DATA. Where's the data??  I see no data. The ps wants data. If you had had data, you could have pushed things. If this ed therapist didn't run standardized tools (CELF, pragmatics testing, ADI-R, etc.), then you have nothing to work with. See if she has data in there, something standardized.

 

 

 

 

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Thank you!! Wow that's a lot to process. I'm headed out but wanted to say thank you so much for your time. Some of those things you talked about were so right on- she has not had all of that private testing you mentioned. I'm going to get going on researching more of what you said and get back to you. Thanks, OhElizabeth and everyone!

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Kaitfish, you wrote: "Very artistic, and remembers everything she experiences or watches on TV- she will tell me about a movie she remembers from when she was 5 years old, down to the detail of a joke in the movie and where they were, etc."

Where the reason behind this, is that her thinking process.  Takes the form of a 'movie', where she can take clips out of a movie.  Then reconstruct them, as a thinking process.

Which is a dynamic way of thinking.

Perhaps you could consider the process of editing a film, where film clips are added together, to form an entire film.

 

Which is completely different, from a 'slide show'.  Where single still images, are organised in a one by one sequence.

 

This relates to: "Possible deficits in her phonological memory ... ."

Though what 'phonological memory' actually is? Is the broader 'auditory thinking process'.

Which is basically the ability to put sounds together in our mind.

As a creative process. 

 

Where you also wrote: "It takes so much work for her to remember sounds of letters if she has to hold them in her mind."

This is what needs to be looked into further, and understood.

What is actually involved with 'remembering sounds'?

If I ask you to remember what 'B' sounds like?

The first step, is to find and recall the sound from memory.

Then to reproduce the sound of 'B' in our mind.

As you can probably hear the sound of 'B', as you look at it.

 

The sound of B that you hear, is created in our 'Auditory Working Memory'.

The opposite of this, is to hear the sound 'B', and then picture a B in our mind. With our 'Visual Working Memory'.

Where equally, some people have a difficulty with using their Visual Working Memory.  To form a picture of something in their mind.

 

Though current Tests, don't look at Auditory Working Memory and Visual Working Memory in isolation.

But I would suggest that if your daughter's ability to use her Auditory Working Memory, was tested in isolation?

Then this would very likely provide an explanation.

As Auditory Working Memory, is in fact acquired skill.

Then she could practice how to use it, directly.

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And again, if the ed therapist was doing therapy, why hasn't she been working on this?? Yes, with my ds, when I began working on LIPS and Barton with him, we went REALLY HARD on working memory. We worked on it lots of ways, not just want. I wasn't as knowledgeable as geodob, so it seems like I just hit on something effective with good logic, hehe.  I tried to make sure that every day we worked on working memory multiple ways. So one time do it visually (using a game like Memory), another session auditory (digit spans), and another session with movement (repeating and following strings of commands). A skill, like digit spans, isn't useful in isolation. It needs to be able to work together with other skills, with motor planning, with distractions in the environment, etc. So it's just good to do things lots of ways. :)

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I think the SS are scaled scores not percentages. If so then they are very low. If they are percentages they look good but if they are scaled then they are low.

 

If those are scaled scores I would request an IEE. You said you are ok with putting up a little fight and you are looking for a better evaluation so you can help her at home not looking for something from the school so it would be fine if they cannot provide anything.

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Probably SS=Standard Score, which is where they take the raw score and scale/convert it to something where 100 is the average, just the way other tests do like IQ. It gives you an easy way to compare scores and see discrepancies when all the data is converted to standard scores. Googlefu here says on the WJIII the standard score is 100 and the standard deviation is 15. So if someone had an IQ of 100 (average), then their achievement standard scores would need two standard deviations (30) of discrepancy to be an issue to the school. If the IQ is higher, the achievement can be higher and still an issue due to discrepancy. However that only works in states that allow you to diagnose by discrepancy. Our state does, but apparently not all do. 

 

So you can see that, with most of your achievement scores in the 70s and 80s (standard scores), you're not automatically showing discrepancy. It depends on the IQ and whether your state allows for diagnosis by discrepancy. And if the testing is 6-12 months old, her peers may have pulled just enough ahead to make the discrepancy more obvious. 

 

This stuff explains why the ps can agree you have a medical diagnosis of xyz but not give the educational diagnosis.

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People have pointed you to your state support orgs. We've also encouraged you to read the law on your state dept of ed site so you can know the exact law on disputes. Another resource you have is the complaint system within your dept of ed. Calling them can make things happen, if you can stay calm and rational and polite, hehe. The state dept assuredly, assuredly talks with your ps SN coor and things will happen. They should have a complaint dept and it's one of the things you might get asked when you pursue the IEE, whether you filed a complaint with your dept of ed.

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Yes! Thank you for the feedback. I tried to quote you guys and lost everything i just wrote... ugh. Can you guys just come to my house for coffee and I will buy you gifts? :) Thank you for taking the time for this!

 

So we have not done any other testing than what the school did (1 year ago on both) and we had the test completed for the dyslexia but I can't remember the name of the test offhand- I was like - duh- ya she has it but let's move on. Thank you, Geodob and Misty Mountain for the input as well. The auditory/visual working memory etc are things I am going to look into further. And Elizabeth, I am going to look into the complaint system for sure. I've been reading up on my state laws and resources, Idaho is kind of lame as far as not much support or orgs but I'm sorting through it! 

 

As far as her WJ-III C results: It lists SS then Percentile, so Word Identification SS-88, then Percentile 11. Under the category "Long Term Memory" and "Cluster Long Term Retrieval", she was in the 2 percentile, but in the category "Cluster auditory Processing she was in the 95 percentile. the other very low percintile was Perceptual Speed- visual matching 2% and Perceptual Speed Composite is 5%. I'm just going to do some research on how to read this again and look through all the notes I kept from our meeting (no kids with me this Friday so I'm going to figure this out, as well as all of the terms you guys posted because some of them were new to me). I just feel frustrated because these scores don't seem as bad as she is (which you explained Elizabeth) and also if she scored major low in perceptual speed and cluster long term retrieval, then how come it is never addressed anywhere else in the IEP plan for improving those things? I know I know, they don't care, but obviously that means something else is going on that is keeping her from remembering what she is learning or processing the information correctly.... Or her goal is not to improve those things but to only "be normal in math" through repetition and being in a special ed room with a bunch of other kids that don't have anything similar going on with them, but everyone is doing the same thing?? I don't want to waste any of your time, I know you addressed some of this with me again so here I go venting again...it's a cycle.

 

I totally blew off the autism thing because I am used to seeing much more severe cases of autism and i trusted what the professionals were saying; but she was never formally tested for this and she should be. We do work at home on working memory during homeschool, and some therapy, such as sequencing tasks, visual memory games, holding letters in her mind, and using multisensory tools, but in therapy I feel like they are most focused on her remembering her site words, memorizing the blends, cement sounds, etc.... which I think is helping a bit but The working memory is one of the bigger problems she has though, I think, so maybe we should better spend our money on OT or PT, and further WMemory curriculum. It is interesting though, when she is riding a horse (she takes lessons), she is smooth as butter- not as ridgid and can multitask easily, and remembers all of the sequences while riding. Her horse teacher is amazing and by request, gives her a list of things she should do on the horse and she can do them no problem, but if at home trying to do a sequence, she gets easily lost (which could be environmental totally).

 

Ok, I'm going to print off the most recent stuff you told me, continue to research the laws and by Friday be completely versed on how to interpret and IEP. I'll get back to you on Monday if I can get anything figured out or have further questions. THANK YOU! I promise I will pay it forward!!

 

 

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Going to read through more of what you wrote, but I think it will help you to read Dyslexic Advantage by the Eides and get the IQ testing a psych will do. The IQ testing will have some working memory and processing speed scores, and then a neuropsych (or some other psychs who spend the time) can run more tests to go at it more ways. They did that with my dd but didn't with my ds. What usually happens with testing is they have x amount of hours they're going to do and they squeeze in whatever they can that will be most revealing.  So with my dd, for her ADHD, it was very revealing to go into it a lot with processing.

 

I'll just sort of bat this out there, but one of the challenges that comes up in a situation like this is the NVLD question. It's not in DSM (correct?), but it's a term that gets used. So with it you have quirky motor planning, social issues, learning disabilities, etc. Trouble is, if they use that term, you're left with the autism question and wondering whether it would have gone all the way. And that's easier now under DSM5, because they removed the language component of the autism definition and streamlined everything. So instead of splitting hairs (oh it's NVLD, not autism, because x is not there), a chunk of kids will move right over to NVLD. But if your work with the ed therapist was even like a year ago, some of these things will have been in the air.

 

I'm trying to say that when your kid is complex or confusing you can widen your net. Could be a psych who specializes in autism and learning disabilities. Could be a neuropsych. Could be a clinical psych *if* they spend a comparable amount of time (at least 6-8 hours, need longer with more complex). Sometimes there are gems out there. 

 

Idaho, hmm. Never been there.  Got close, so close. We drove the Oregon coast one year, which was amazing. We thought about going to see the wheel ruts from the Oregon Trail, but we didn't get that far into the state.

 

Some links to get you started

 

‎www.sde.idaho.gov/sped/dispute/files/general/Dispute-Resolution-Comparison-Chart.pdf This is about due process complaints.

 

Dispute Resolution / Special Education / Idaho State Department of Education (SDE)  This is the main page for disputes.

 

You *need* to call or email your dept of ed and talk with them. Your state or school district very possibly has trained, paid parent support persons. This is someone who can explain to you why the school is doing what they're doing, what things mean, etc. Not a lawyer or legal counsel, but they at least can explain things to you.

 

Special Education Forms / Special Education / Idaho State Department of Education (SDE) This link has all the forms used in the special education and IEP process.

 

Ok, I'm still not clear. When was your initial evaluation and what was the date of the initial IEP with the ps?  This really matters. You're talking about perceptual scores and memory scores, and they won't care about that. It doesn't matter how low those are, they won't care. There's an actual list of terms they use that qualify you, categories (other health impairment, emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, autism, etc) and you qualify under those category terms. Then they make an IEP (the plan) that addresses all the little details. So you keep talking details and how they ought to help you or qualify you, but the school doesn't CARE about those details. You have to bring new evidence or establish that there was enough evidence prior that they SHOULD have run more complete evals to address xyz. You are saying their evals for the SLDs were incomplete and that you have evidence of SLDs. They did achievement testing and blew you off. 

 

Honestly, if they only did achievement and NOTHING else, it almost makes you wonder if they actually outsource everyone they're serious about and just didn't want to spend the money. 

 

Your trick is that if it has been a while they will say oh let us do the re-eval process, rather than doing the IEE. You'll want to be careful. 

 

Special Education Manual / Special Education / Idaho State Department of Education (SDE)

 

That's the link for their "manual" that isn't a manual, lol.  If you click chapter 4 evaluation and eligibility and click Cognitive Functioning and Psychological Processing, you'll find your dept of ed gives extensive guidance on appropriate goals for the things you've been talking about (working memory, etc.). Thing is, those alone would probably go 504. You still have to get to one of their category terms in order to be eligible for an IEP. 

 

If you click, in that same chapter 4, specific learning disability eligibility, they go through a bunch in a chart, showing federal law and state law. Federal law says *variety* and includes *aptitude* while your school seems to have only run achievement and nothing else, yes? You should have copies of everything. You should have been given a copy of the team evaluation report. I'm still trying to find what they call it in your state. In our state it's an ETR. You should have this because it was done before they could sign an IEP. Find your copy and in the copy see what testing was done. Only achievement testing or a variety? Was their anything for aptitude?

 

Your state has a form for special education reevaluation consideration. If you called a meeting, said I have new evidence and want the team to meet, that's what they would do. You would then sign a fresh consent to eval form and they would start over.

 

‎www.sde.idaho.gov/sped/shared/2016-Special-Education-Manual.pdf This is the actual pdf, just because you need some light reading, lol.

 

If you look in chapter 4, section 7, it goes through those categories and eligibility criteria. 

 

Chapter 11, section 6 is their guidance on the IEE process. It's only two pages, so there you go.  It says that when you request the IEE they will either provide the info and go forward with the IEE (ie. say yes) or begin a due process hearing to show their eval was appropriate (say no). It says they can *ask* but not require you to answer why. But the obvious point is that if you don't have some justification as to why, they could try to deny you and go to the due process hearing. Now they know they did diddley (no IQ, nothing), but they also saw achievement test scores with little discrepancy. So that's where you want some new evidence or SOMETHING, preferably something with numbers (normed, standardized) to show there was some reason to go at it again. If your ed therapist did anything that was standardized/normed, this would be a good time to have that evidence. If she did, for instance, a CTOPP, that would help. Anything with at least 2 standard deviations of discrepancy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The reason they can't go by percentages on the WJIII and some other tests is because the scores are a bell curve. So you can have kind of a crazy low percentage but actually be within the "normal" range. That's why they convert to standard scores and standard deviations. The standard deviation shows you how far outside that bell curve (cluster of normal) you are. So when you get to 2 SD, you're way outside the bell curve, way discrepant, and it's something you can identify across tools. Works the other way too. Like if you have a dc who has an IQ 1-2 SD above the norm and they have average or slightly below average achievement, it becomes a discrepancy. 

 

That's a rabbit trail. Just saying don't get freaky about the percentages, because, while they're bad, they don't tell you how scores cluster.

 

I BELIEVE you when you say she's not functioning well overall!  EVERYONE here believes you.  No one is doubting you. What's probably going on though is that it's complex, a mix of things. If she were just low in one area, other areas would compensate. You'll even see that with kids, where they'll have splinter skills or the brain funneling energy to one area that gets crazy crazy strong. 

 

What's hard is when so many things are challenged that that doesn't happen. My ds has the three SLDs, ASD/ADHD, and is gifted. He basically looks like squat for school work, but when you get in his head he's astonishing. Kids like this CAN have good outcomes, and of course you believe that or you wouldn't be working so hard to help her! They just take a lot of custom work. It burns people out. Our state has a disability scholarship process where you give up your FAPE and receive an amount to implement the IEP. I use this to fund behavioral work, tutoring, therapies, etc. for my ds. My ds is working with a tutor right now in fact. :)  I guess they could pay to clean my house and I could teach him more, but variety is good. Burnout is not good. They can't do the custom things I do, but they can do stuff. They're playing games a bunch this morning and they'll do science kits, play with toys, etc. I'm going to run the Roomba, eat breakfast, and try not to get bronchitis again, ugh. 

 

I'm saying run in the back of your mind that question about what you can do to get help. If her situation is complex, it's something you might want in some fashion. It can even be worth moving for, say if Washington has better disability services than Idaho. Just saying. 

 

That's really concerning that she's having trouble with sequencing. There's sequencing and working memory, and they're not really the same. For instance, my ds would sit at the counter and BANG for his breakfast. He couldn't sequence the steps to get what he wanted. I actually had to physically walk him around, show him the steps, make visual schedules for the steps, etc. Visual schedules are a standard tool for kids with sequencing issues. You can google for images for each step and make a page and print. I put them in page protectors. We do it for anything with steps, like packing your bag for gymnastics, getting ready for church, anything. 

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The IQ testing is often the WISC. You might go through your paperwork to see if the school ran that. Around here, evaluations include both IQ testing and achievement testing, so that one can see a comparison between IQ and achievement. If your school did not do the WISC along with the Woodcock Johnson, it sounds like they did a slipshod job.

 

If I were you, I would gather together all of the paperwork that you can find about testing that has been done and put it in one pile or binder. I still tend to have a stack here and a stack there, so that I have to sort through to find things, and it is frustrating. Having things all in one place will make a difference for you. Find that test that was done for dyslexia (who ran that for you?) and see if it was a CTOPP. If you don't have a copy, contact the people who ran it for you and ask for another copy of it.

 

Then I would make an appointment to discuss your question with the special ed coordinator at the public school. Ask them to explain their process and the tests that they usually run. Make sure that they ran the proper tests for your child. If they did not, ask them if they can re-run some things. You won't know until you ask. I would ask nicely and see if you can work with them before pulling rank and contacting the state department of ed or requesting a IEE.

 

This might end up getting you nowhere, but it is a way to start working with the school in an amenable way.

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No one has said this explicitly, but if it comes down to memory, processing, or attention and not an SLD, ASD, etc., they will want to do a Section 504 (that part was stated). However, if it's severe enough, and you can demonstrate why/how in a compelling way, that can sometimes be covered under Other Health Impairment. Kids who have ADHD that is too severe for a 504 to manage or who need specific skill work to improve their odds can sometimes get an OHI qualification.

 

Have you had eyes checked with a developmental optometrist? Did you have hearing and auditory processing checked? I tried to skim back through to check, but I feel like I am missing some of the information (in a hurry today!).

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Good to know. No I have not had her eyes checked with a developmental optomostrist, but a pediatric opt. We have not had any processing testing done besides what the school has done, that is why we are looking for a neuropsych. Thanks for the tips on the 504!

No one has said this explicitly, but if it comes down to memory, processing, or attention and not an SLD, ASD, etc., they will want to do a Section 504 (that part was stated). However, if it's severe enough, and you can demonstrate why/how in a compelling way, that can sometimes be covered under Other Health Impairment. Kids who have ADHD that is too severe for a 504 to manage or who need specific skill work to improve their odds can sometimes get an OHI qualification.

 

Have you had eyes checked with a developmental optometrist? Did you have hearing and auditory processing checked? I tried to skim back through to check, but I feel like I am missing some of the information (in a hurry today!).

 

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Thanks for explaining that a bit more for me and providing the links! I totally know you guys believe me but now I wonder if I've made her sound worse than she is haha. I was explaining her behaviors and symptoms to just see if anyone had ideas, and I am so overwhelmed by the suggestions, in a good way. I'm sorting through this and printing everything you guys say! Her sequencing is not terrible, she just begins a task and if her heart is not set on it or i have not prompt her enogh, she will end up doing an art project, so it takes a lot of prompting and setting up tasks, typical for executive functioning kids I'm guessing. I will look into the other ideas you had for sure. I have read the Dyslexic Advantage and loved it- I just let my mom borrow it and then im going to read it again. That is the thing, my dau is SO talented at some things, I just want to unlock her brain and figure out how to play to those strengths more and make sure we are doing everything we can. 

 

Her tests at the school were done 12/15/15 and her IEP was 2/10/16

 

I totally agree with more recent testing completed, she has not had a formal testing through her ed. We have also been limited on how much $ we can spend as I have quit my job to pursue this and homeschooling, so I have been careful to research the testing and I believed the WISC would be the next test we did. So I think putting money into a couple of those tests you mentioned, to have something to measure off of that, would be huge and would help me decide if this is worth the effort. Thanks again Elizabeth!! I hope you are not getting bronchitis! It's nasty this time of year for sure!! Bless you!

Going to read through more of what you wrote, but I think it will help you to read Dyslexic Advantage by the Eides and get the IQ testing a psych will do. The IQ testing will have some working memory and processing speed scores, and then a neuropsych (or some other psychs who spend the time) can run more tests to go at it more ways. They did that with my dd but didn't with my ds. What usually happens with testing is they have x amount of hours they're going to do and they squeeze in whatever they can that will be most revealing.  So with my dd, for her ADHD, it was very revealing to go into it a lot with processing.

 

I'll just sort of bat this out there, but one of the challenges that comes up in a situation like this is the NVLD question. It's not in DSM (correct?), but it's a term that gets used. So with it you have quirky motor planning, social issues, learning disabilities, etc. Trouble is, if they use that term, you're left with the autism question and wondering whether it would have gone all the way. And that's easier now under DSM5, because they removed the language component of the autism definition and streamlined everything. So instead of splitting hairs (oh it's NVLD, not autism, because x is not there), a chunk of kids will move right over to NVLD. But if your work with the ed therapist was even like a year ago, some of these things will have been in the air.

 

I'm trying to say that when your kid is complex or confusing you can widen your net. Could be a psych who specializes in autism and learning disabilities. Could be a neuropsych. Could be a clinical psych *if* they spend a comparable amount of time (at least 6-8 hours, need longer with more complex). Sometimes there are gems out there. 

 

Idaho, hmm. Never been there.  Got close, so close. We drove the Oregon coast one year, which was amazing. We thought about going to see the wheel ruts from the Oregon Trail, but we didn't get that far into the state.

 

Some links to get you started

 

‎www.sde.idaho.gov/sped/dispute/files/general/Dispute-Resolution-Comparison-Chart.pdf This is about due process complaints.

 

Dispute Resolution / Special Education / Idaho State Department of Education (SDE)  This is the main page for disputes.

 

You *need* to call or email your dept of ed and talk with them. Your state or school district very possibly has trained, paid parent support persons. This is someone who can explain to you why the school is doing what they're doing, what things mean, etc. Not a lawyer or legal counsel, but they at least can explain things to you.

 

Special Education Forms / Special Education / Idaho State Department of Education (SDE) This link has all the forms used in the special education and IEP process.

 

Ok, I'm still not clear. When was your initial evaluation and what was the date of the initial IEP with the ps?  This really matters. You're talking about perceptual scores and memory scores, and they won't care about that. It doesn't matter how low those are, they won't care. There's an actual list of terms they use that qualify you, categories (other health impairment, emotional disturbance, learning disabilities, autism, etc) and you qualify under those category terms. Then they make an IEP (the plan) that addresses all the little details. So you keep talking details and how they ought to help you or qualify you, but the school doesn't CARE about those details. You have to bring new evidence or establish that there was enough evidence prior that they SHOULD have run more complete evals to address xyz. You are saying their evals for the SLDs were incomplete and that you have evidence of SLDs. They did achievement testing and blew you off. 

 

Honestly, if they only did achievement and NOTHING else, it almost makes you wonder if they actually outsource everyone they're serious about and just didn't want to spend the money. 

 

Your trick is that if it has been a while they will say oh let us do the re-eval process, rather than doing the IEE. You'll want to be careful. 

 

Special Education Manual / Special Education / Idaho State Department of Education (SDE)

 

That's the link for their "manual" that isn't a manual, lol.  If you click chapter 4 evaluation and eligibility and click Cognitive Functioning and Psychological Processing, you'll find your dept of ed gives extensive guidance on appropriate goals for the things you've been talking about (working memory, etc.). Thing is, those alone would probably go 504. You still have to get to one of their category terms in order to be eligible for an IEP. 

 

If you click, in that same chapter 4, specific learning disability eligibility, they go through a bunch in a chart, showing federal law and state law. Federal law says *variety* and includes *aptitude* while your school seems to have only run achievement and nothing else, yes? You should have copies of everything. You should have been given a copy of the team evaluation report. I'm still trying to find what they call it in your state. In our state it's an ETR. You should have this because it was done before they could sign an IEP. Find your copy and in the copy see what testing was done. Only achievement testing or a variety? Was their anything for aptitude?

 

Your state has a form for special education reevaluation consideration. If you called a meeting, said I have new evidence and want the team to meet, that's what they would do. You would then sign a fresh consent to eval form and they would start over.

 

‎www.sde.idaho.gov/sped/shared/2016-Special-Education-Manual.pdf This is the actual pdf, just because you need some light reading, lol.

 

If you look in chapter 4, section 7, it goes through those categories and eligibility criteria. 

 

Chapter 11, section 6 is their guidance on the IEE process. It's only two pages, so there you go.  It says that when you request the IEE they will either provide the info and go forward with the IEE (ie. say yes) or begin a due process hearing to show their eval was appropriate (say no). It says they can *ask* but not require you to answer why. But the obvious point is that if you don't have some justification as to why, they could try to deny you and go to the due process hearing. Now they know they did diddley (no IQ, nothing), but they also saw achievement test scores with little discrepancy. So that's where you want some new evidence or SOMETHING, preferably something with numbers (normed, standardized) to show there was some reason to go at it again. If your ed therapist did anything that was standardized/normed, this would be a good time to have that evidence. If she did, for instance, a CTOPP, that would help. Anything with at least 2 standard deviations of discrepancy.

 

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Good to know. No I have not had her eyes checked with a developmental optomostrist, but a pediatric opt. We have not had any processing testing done besides what the school has done, that is why we are looking for a neuropsych. Thanks for the tips on the 504!

 

Auditory processing testing should be done by an audiologist. That said, some neuropsychs can run a computerized screening called a SCAN III to rule it in or not. The same test, given in a soundproof booth by and audiologist (and then follow-up testing if it's indicated) is still more meaningful when it's done by an audiologist.

 

There are a lot of kinds of processing, and a neuropsych can't test them all. 

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Thanks!!

Auditory processing testing should be done by an audiologist. That said, some neuropsychs can run a computerized screening called a SCAN III to rule it in or not. The same test, given in a soundproof booth by and audiologist (and then follow-up testing if it's indicated) is still more meaningful when it's done by an audiologist.

 

There are a lot of kinds of processing, and a neuropsych can't test them all. 

 

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The IQ testing is often the WISC. You might go through your paperwork to see if the school ran that. Around here, evaluations include both IQ testing and achievement testing, so that one can see a comparison between IQ and achievement. If your school did not do the WISC along with the Woodcock Johnson, it sounds like they did a slipshod job.

 

If I were you, I would gather together all of the paperwork that you can find about testing that has been done and put it in one pile or binder. I still tend to have a stack here and a stack there, so that I have to sort through to find things, and it is frustrating. Having things all in one place will make a difference for you. Find that test that was done for dyslexia (who ran that for you?) and see if it was a CTOPP. If you don't have a copy, contact the people who ran it for you and ask for another copy of it.

 

Then I would make an appointment to discuss your question with the special ed coordinator at the public school. Ask them to explain their process and the tests that they usually run. Make sure that they ran the proper tests for your child. If they did not, ask them if they can re-run some things. You won't know until you ask. I would ask nicely and see if you can work with them before pulling rank and contacting the state department of ed or requesting a IEE.

 

This might end up getting you nowhere, but it is a way to start working with the school in an amenable way.

 

Story explained this really well. Given that your testing for your initial IEP was a year ago, you *may* be inching out of your time limit for disputing the evals. I didn't see any guidance on this in that manual, but I didn't read the whole thing. Our state puts everything on the site, easy to find. We're spoiled. :D 

 

So given that it has been a year, I think going at this Story's way could be a way to start. As she said, that's SHOCKING for the not to have run IQ. No, I personally would not pay someone to run *just* an IQ and CTOPP, because that's basically what you'd get with a clinical psych. Around here that's $800. I think if you want a private psych, go ahead and use the law and make the request for the IEE and be done with it. 

 

One scenario, sort of the not nuclear, be polite approach, is to go ahead and reconvene the team and go at it again. If they'll do the improved testing, have them do it. THEN, if you aren't satisfied, go ahead and do the IEE request. It's not like that option goes away. 

 

Sorry, I wasn't telling you the stories about my ds to say your dd was at that level. It's more just to say there is a range. Your dd clearly has challenges and it's right to want them correctly diagnosed.

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No, I really enjoy hearing other people's stories!!! It's nice to know I'm not the only one battling through all of this. My family has the flu so I'm home-bound, care-taking, changing movies out, and researching all of this. I have a huge list of websites and tests etc to sort through, thanks to all of your time. I SO APPRECIATE YOU! I'll let you know what happens. I do hope that someone else will benefit from this basic chapter book we have created here haha. Thanks, Elizabeth!

Story explained this really well. Given that your testing for your initial IEP was a year ago, you *may* be inching out of your time limit for disputing the evals. I didn't see any guidance on this in that manual, but I didn't read the whole thing. Our state puts everything on the site, easy to find. We're spoiled. :D

 

So given that it has been a year, I think going at this Story's way could be a way to start. As she said, that's SHOCKING for the not to have run IQ. No, I personally would not pay someone to run *just* an IQ and CTOPP, because that's basically what you'd get with a clinical psych. Around here that's $800. I think if you want a private psych, go ahead and use the law and make the request for the IEE and be done with it. 

 

One scenario, sort of the not nuclear, be polite approach, is to go ahead and reconvene the team and go at it again. If they'll do the improved testing, have them do it. THEN, if you aren't satisfied, go ahead and do the IEE request. It's not like that option goes away. 

 

Sorry, I wasn't telling you the stories about my ds to say your dd was at that level. It's more just to say there is a range. Your dd clearly has challenges and it's right to want them correctly diagnosed.

 

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I've been really working on this, along with reading entire manuals and state laws. I had to print this off and draw it out in order to really figure out what you were saying, geodob. But after I did some more research I realized, my dau fits right into the category of kid who lacks visual-spacial working memory and  auditory working memory. She doesn't really fit the mold for visual processing but could still have it- for example, we asked her when i say B, what she pictures in her mind and she says she sees nothing. Same with  stories- she says she has to tell her mind to imagine. And if I have her memorize a set of steps, with pictures, she does not memorize the pictures, she memorizes the words, but she does not visualize any of it..... I'm still sorting through it but it gives me an idea of what I specifically want to make sure is tested. THANK YOU!!

 

I've read the entire Id special ed manual, and Idea laws that relate to me. In Idaho it is up to the district when it comes to how homeschool kids can continue to receive IEP support so I'm waiting for a call back. I also learned all about IEPs and have definitely found some discrepancies in the IEP and it fires me up again, but I know they deal with so many kids and have learned to generalize most of them to save money. So I'm calm again haha. Thanks again, everyone! I should have more answers by the end of the week and be on my way or back to the drawing board. Your posts were very helpful!!!!!

 

I

 

Kaitfish, you wrote: "Very artistic, and remembers everything she experiences or watches on TV- she will tell me about a movie she remembers from when she was 5 years old, down to the detail of a joke in the movie and where they were, etc."
Where the reason behind this, is that her thinking process.  Takes the form of a 'movie', where she can take clips out of a movie.  Then reconstruct them, as a thinking process.
Which is a dynamic way of thinking.
Perhaps you could consider the process of editing a film, where film clips are added together, to form an entire film.
 
Which is completely different, from a 'slide show'.  Where single still images, are organised in a one by one sequence.
 
This relates to: "Possible deficits in her phonological memory ... ."
Though what 'phonological memory' actually is? Is the broader 'auditory thinking process'.
Which is basically the ability to put sounds together in our mind.
As a creative process. 
 
Where you also wrote: "It takes so much work for her to remember sounds of letters if she has to hold them in her mind."
This is what needs to be looked into further, and understood.
What is actually involved with 'remembering sounds'?
If I ask you to remember what 'B' sounds like?
The first step, is to find and recall the sound from memory.
Then to reproduce the sound of 'B' in our mind.
As you can probably hear the sound of 'B', as you look at it.
 
The sound of B that you hear, is created in our 'Auditory Working Memory'.
The opposite of this, is to hear the sound 'B', and then picture a B in our mind. With our 'Visual Working Memory'.
Where equally, some people have a difficulty with using their Visual Working Memory.  To form a picture of something in their mind.
 
Though current Tests, don't look at Auditory Working Memory and Visual Working Memory in isolation.
But I would suggest that if your daughter's ability to use her Auditory Working Memory, was tested in isolation?
Then this would very likely provide an explanation.
As Auditory Working Memory, is in fact acquired skill.
Then she could practice how to use it, directly.

 

 

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I haven't seen it mentioned lately but used to see people mention IdeaChain as a possible alternative for Visualizing and Verbalizing.

 

I think you might find a speech therapist that could target similar skills, maybe. It would depend on the speech therapist.

 

V/V gets good reviews though! Just mentioning :) I look at it every so often but I don't think it is th le right time here.

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Working on visualizing is good, but the deeper question is *why* she isn't visualizing and whether there's a glitch in her developmental vision that needs intervention. Again, the school won't give a rip about this, but it's stuff a developmental optometrist checks, yes. So you'd want her checked for retained reflexes and then you'd want the COVD eval for dev vision.

 

The OT for the ps *can* run visual processing and make goals there, but remember you still have to have the discrepancy they're looking for. And the school won't be looking for underlying roots, just what is going on and whether they can do JUST ENOUGH therapy to bring those scores up.

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Thanks for the resources. I spoke with a school district employee today and a parent advocate for special needs kids in Idaho. I found out since we are not enrolled in the school, we don't have access to re-testing for an IEP in Idaho, unless she was enrolled in virtual learning. Then the parent advocate told me with the IEE, they only re-do the same tests that we don't think were done efficiently through the school district. They do not do any other testing....I'm not so sure about that one though because that is not what I have read. 

Anyways, I have one more call out to a lady to confirm what I learned today- as I have found some people think they know things and then they really don't haha. I've also been looking for someone that specializes in the area of working memory and the visual/auditory processing. I'm interested in the therapies, but Im also very interested in figuring out why there is a deficit here. I called two other pediatric neuropsychs today and I found this psychologist that deals specifically with kids with working memory issues. I would maybe want to hear more from her after the testing. I have contacted her already though. ;) The About section on her page describes my daughter to a T, it made me cry actually: http://tracyalloway.com/about/ Our Christmas break is over this week so Ill be back to homeschooling and researching in the evenings:) 

 

I'm bummed the IEE most likley won't work, but I'm also relieved. I have learned that there are definitely reasons to pursue an IEE and I hope there are parents out there, who have kids in school and still feel like they are not doing enough, that will read all of our dialogue and gain something from it. I'm going to look into some more of it before I completely give up on the IEE. I'll report back if those things I read above are actually true, for future readers of this amazing book we all created here. :) Thank you for helping me in my journey!! I'm writing down all of the resources you are giving me!!! Happy New Year!

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