Testing for Learning Disabilities

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Testing for Learning Disabilities
12
Wed, 11-28-2012 - 11:20pm
Okay, I am tired of seeing the same thing at the top - it makes it look like no one is reading anything in this category. So I will post and see what you all have to say. My youngest is almost 8 (in about 16 days.) He is having issues with remembering stuff (as I see it.) Addition facts, phonics rules. I hope to get into a specialist to get him tested, but my husband's hours may be cut before this can happen so we will not have insurance to pay for it. And without him having a job full time, $2000 is out of the question. So, I basically want to know what is going on with him so that I can teach him appropriately. Any ideas of tests that are near free that a reasonably intelligent person can administer to figure out what is going on? Like I said, I think memory, but it may be dislexia and or discalcula too. I have ordered a book on testing for math issues. Anything else? We belong to a charter type school with the school district, and if I get him tested they will take a large portion of our learning budget to tell me what they would do, but not what his strengths and weaknesses are. What the district would do really doesn't bear at all on what I would do. (I know they would take the learning budget because my other son gets 1 hour of services a week, for which they take 1/3 of his budget.) Thanks in advance for any help.

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Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 8:49am

We had 2 full educational evaluations done by 2 differing neurospychs 3 years apart. Insurance didn't pay for either of them. They were invaluable to us to learn how he learns since he is 2E. I could not have taught myself what the neuropsychs spend years learning. In the big scheme of life, $2000 is not much money. I would find a way.   If the school would provide an educational evaluation, you could adjust your spending from the budget they give your to compensate for the difference,  I know I'm not offering answers.  You are a caring mom who is devoted to meeting your kids' educational needs.  It sounds like its time to call in help to determine what those needs are.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 2:29pm

Last year, the school requested the neuropsych testing for us.  We were private school last year, so this would have all been out of pocket.  I contacted the tester's office and asked about what testing they did, subtesting, what information would come out of it, etc.  We were young - age 4 when they originally requested (I pushed it back until age 5).  Our testing included a lot of OT stuff and Speech stuff, which we already had evals for.  We had also already done the Woodcock Johnson testing for admissions to the school.  Our tester agreed to use our evals and the Woodcock Johnson results since they were recent.  This eliminated over half the testing she needed to do.  But in the eval, she was able to summarize the results based on all the testing.  It might be worthwhile to see if you can get that $2k cut back any with information you already have.

Your son seems to have a lot of learning patterns similar to right brain learners.  I would read more online about how to teach right brain learners to see if this applies to you.  I am on one of the listservs and there are sometimes pretty good ideas which circulate.

I think  you are really on top of your son's strengths and weaknesses.  More than anything, I think you should follow your instincts on this.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 11:40pm

Thanks, both of you.    The teacher that I had fill in the "teacher" form for the neuro pyschologist told me that she suspects dyslexia based on what I have said and the DRIEBLES (or however that is spelled) test that she did on my son on Tuesday.  She does a special dyslexia tutoring program for students at our homeschool school.   But she did say that the district would not be helpful for me.   I may enroll my son in her tutoring after Christmas.  

The "teacher" evaluation form...that was funny.  My son is not taking any academic classes this fall.  Last spring he did take a reading class with the teacher mentioned above.   When I got the packet of stuff from the pychologist, I had to call and ask them if I should fill that out or leave it blank.   They said the teacher from last spring should do it....even though I am a certified teacher. So, I had her test him and that will be part of her results.  I dealt with this Dr. with my oldest, (we needed to know if it was ADHD or Asperger's.)   He is not entirely for homeschooling, but if I know what direction to go, I am pretty sure I can figure out what I need to do.  

Right brained stuff, yes, I am leaning that way.  The school is going to have a workshop on Diane Craft and a technique she uses to get poor/sloppy/difficult writers to be able to write better.  Some testimonials online did seem pretty intreguing.  I may go that way if I get nothing else to work, but it would be nice to know better.   I wish schools would give diagnois, but I know that they will not.   I doubt they would recommend right brain stuff.   So far one OT and an Art teacher (and above teacher) have been the closest to mainstream school people who have suggested anything remotely right brain.  

Avatar for vegiemama
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2000
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 4:21pm

Do you have a college or university anywhere close by that has education programs on the neuropsych spectrum?  If so, contact them and find out if they offer the testing services that you're looking for.  You might be able to get the needed tests for a reduced cost or sliding scale, or free.  They need children for their students to work with and "practice" on, after all.  I say this because a friend of ours is head of the speech department at a nearby university, and she told me about the services her department offered to the public, when I was inquiring for a friend.

I hope you will be able to find helpful answers, without emptying your pockets.  I can certainly relate to the empty pockets and what insurance doesn't cover!


Sue
Homeschooling mom to DD15 & DS11

CL of Homeschooling, Signature Showcase, Ectopic Loss, and Fertility Charting

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Fri, 11-30-2012 - 6:18pm
Thanks, I will check into it. There is a college, but I am not sure that they offer anything in those areas. (It is known for being one of only a few to have a nuclear reactor though...interesting, but doesn't help me!) Two hours away is a college that does do auditory processing...which may be part of his issues too and we may end up looking more into them as well.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2011
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 9:58am

Why is being right brained a disability? What if we only taught for right brain and all the left brain types had to be tested and labeled instead? It totally bugs me. Yet, I have been there done that and currently doing it again with my youngest. Only my middle child is a bit more on the left, of thinking...yet strong in the right enough that sometimes it trips her up, just way less than her other two sisters.

Testing it aint cheap, and if you can beg, borrow or steal (within reason) to have it done, it would be worth it, for the child and family to co-exist in a better way! The district here sucked with my oldest kids needs and it lead us to homeschool. Yet she is back in  the district now (seeing they closed the Art school, we loved and that worked well for us), and they still rub me the wrong way, yet listen a bit more, seeing I have showed them what I can do with her and they could not do, denied, complained about, and regret now!

  I already need to call and tear a hole in someone over a credit we deserve and some idiot educator is holding back from us because that educator has an  attitude problem! Does not understand the methods we use and the time it did take....yadda yadda. Not to mention we did it because they did not give her the class she needed, and we volunteered our time and money to do so!

 I so understand why kids get angry and find guns due to educators like this...then go hunt them down in a mental break down they can handle no more! I am glad I have better self control than the angry kids that cause problems for all of society but such misunderstandings and being pushed and in a corner to much does cause mental breaks and major problems for all of us, due to stupid educator issues on power trips!

I am waiting until after the holidays before I call and tear them apart over it! I may be visiting the Superintendent yet again! BTDT before as well. Then it will be a battle they may not want to take...I have a hell of a good case if I needed to visit a law office! All I ever wanted is what we are entitled to and deserve, or have completly earned!

Heather

Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 10:57am
Is this the PE class you did at home that they're being difficult about? You would lhink if you met the critera and documented it, there would be no issues. How frustrating!.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2011
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 9:15pm

Yes Heather....someone wants to give us crap over a stupid Phy ED credit! We asked for the online class but it was full so we were told we could do it with a homeschool aproach and get the credit. I asked for guidlines and information or curicula and they told me there was nada, so I created my own....as I as assured I could do. First....it was PE 1 and they had it marked as PE2 and never fixed that even....and I signed up as a PE1 class education. Stupid....there end. Then I purchased and created a good few books designing it around my 2E strongest needs in physical fitness. She does not like contact, so that was not required...yet I did require a group componet and PAID myself for tennis, then we did several other activities, and she read two books, wrote several papers and yadda yadda. I also drew up a sylabus and sent it all in on time at the semesters end. Got no info back, waited, waited....finally her councelor callled her down said there was a problem with us getting thecredit and gave my student a phone number to call. Really.....the councelor should have called me as I am the educator getting a denied credit. I am so pissed and it will be good for me to calm down and wait until after the Holiday before I walk in and raise some hell! EFFEN rdiculous CRAP! They should have made space for her in there own online program if they were going to no accept a home educated version. Other parents have ben given the credit....just some idiot that needs to be cut down a notch and they just messed with the wrong PARENT. Like I said, cooling off before I go in to resolve said issues. It is the time of Christmas and I will not be upset in public as I celebrate my saviors birth. Yet when Jan comes around they are going to get it! Sick of there power play crap with us!       

Heather           

Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 9:35pm
That stinks. When she called, did they explain why she wasn't getting credit? Hope you can get it straightened out.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Fri, 12-07-2012 - 10:09pm

Yes, I think we are going to pay for a couple of months of insurance out of pocket, just so we can get this paid for.  

As to Right Brain...I belong to a yahoo group that this comes up a lot.   If the kid is happy, is not struggling, doesn't care about the reading or learning....fine.   But when the kid feels bad, is struggling, there are tears, my mom instinct steps in and says "find a way to fix this."   Which many in the right brain community don't want to do, they say to wait longer.   But my kid wants to do it NOW, and that is where the struggle comes in.   My kids do need to learn to read at some point.   It is a fact of our modern world.   Right now I am looking into Diane Craft - she acknowledges Right Brain, but she also wants to keep kids happy, to not have them struggling.   But, this is me, and my views on it.   Like politics and religion, I will let everyone have their own belief as long as I can have mine.Laughing

The school PE thing sounds horrible.  I agree with you - they should take what you did, or expand the online class.   I had my own fight when my daughter was in 2nd grade.   We started homeschooling that year.   A local organization had a grant to teach kids how to play tennis.   Their grant said it was open to the community.   I checked with them, checked with the board office, who agreed it was a public thing, then enrolled my daughter.   The day classes were to start, I got a call from the school saying it was only for students at the school.   "Who pays for this?" I asked.   "Well, the tennis organization."   "Right, I said.   Does the PTA put in any money?"  "No."   "Well, Janice down at the main office said that my daughter could take this class, and so did the organization."   They ended up calling Janice, and telling me that I had to let them know farther in advance next time so that they could clear my daughter taking a class like this.   I got the form in two weeks ahead.   Not my problem that didn't look at it until then!     Unfortunately, my daughter wasn't into tennis, so we didn't do it again. 

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