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Testing for a child with dyslexia to get accommodations on the ACT/SAT


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Hello all!!  I have 13-year-old 7th grader that works hard and does well in school.  She does, however, struggle with mild dyslexia.  I have not had her tested, but I plan on getting her tested this year.  If they say that she is dyslexic and needs extra test time how long can I use the assessment?  Do I have 2 year, 3, 4 from the time that she is tested until when she takes the ACT/SAT?  Thanks so much!!

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So usually a college wants the testing to be in the last 3 years. Not sure what the College Board, etc. want for testing, because we didn't end up using accommodations, even though dd had tons of paper trail. If you go ahead and test now, it's nice timing, because you can eval, use that info going into high school, and then update those evals in 3-4 years right before college. 

You don't really know what the paper trail will say as far as accommodations, and the other thing they used to want to see (so I suppose still do) is that you've been USING them. So getting the paper trail now and using those accommodations. Also, fwiw, one of the hardest issues with kids with disabilities is getting them to USE their accommodations. The kids don't want to be different and will try to go forward without. So getting evals now is perfect because it gives her time to get comfortable with self-advocating and using accommodations. It's one of the BEST things we did with my dd. As soon as she got her evals, we signed her up for a free, brief online class (literature, something with MP) that was going to stress her disabilities. She HAD to use the accommodations there to succeed and she had to get comfortable with the idea that it was ok, that it was right. I told her things like "these are RIGHT because they let what is inside you come out" etc. Also, the instructor did a brilliant, brilliant job of it, because he thought up creative ways to handle them that both met her needs and were available to ALL. It sort of normalized it for her. And some of her accommodations are tricky, like getting discussion questions ahead of time due to low processing speed. The instructor found ways to modify, so that she got them but everyone got them, so she knew she was getting an accommodation but it also felt ok. She's had other online classes do that too. So EVERYONE gets extended time, etc. Then she sees that in fact accommodations merely let what is inside you come out. They aren't unfair and they don't statistically improve the grades of kids who didn't need them. 

So yeah, get thorough evals, see what they say, get it rolling. It's a great time to be doing it. It will suck to pay for them twice. When we ran dd's 2nd batch, we just took her to the ps. She already had her full $$$$$$ neuropsych eval from the previous time, so the ps psych just did a quickie one hour, confirmed everything, generated paper trail. Cost us nothing and was totally adequate for what she needed for college accommodations. I would not do that the first time if you can go privately, because ps evals are skewed toward what they need to provide services for, not what is medically going on. So private evals are going to answer more of the questions you have and potentially be much more thorough and helpful. But the ps evals are there as a tool in the process, definitely, and some districts do a really amazing job. Of course right now, ahem, all bets are off. IEP timelines are paused, everything.

Edited by PeterPan
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