My son turned 8 in May and is in 3rd Grade.
He was "placed" in 3rd grade, not promoted, due to Benchmark scores last years saying he was below grade level in reading and writing.
I have been asking since 1st grade for him to be tested for any type of learning disability, but they didn't answer my questions until his ARD last year.
They don't do learning disability testing until the beginning of 3rd grade, so that if a child does enter into a special education IEP that is other than Speech, their TAKS Test scores wont count against the school.
(We live in Texas)
I was angry that they wait this long when they see a child is smart, but still behind.
I met this morning with the schools diagnostician who did my sons testing.
She shared she tested him over a period of 5 days.
He was administered the Woodcock Johnson Test and the WISK Test (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children)
He was re evaluated for Speech Services, tested for IQ and academic achievement.
He does not show a defecate for a learning disability based on the types of tests they administered.
He scored low in Processing Speed (77) (anything below an 85 is a cause for concern, and in Short Term Memory (72) on the Woodcock Johnson Test, but then two days later she used the WISK test and my son scored a 100 for short term memory, so that brought the 72 above the 85 mark.
He showed an 83 in Math Calculation on the academic achievement test, but they were timed Math problems, and I know my son, you cannot put him on a time restraint, he will keep working slow, and get frustrated.
One of the tests was a page of numbers where he had to choose which ones were alike, instead of going from left to right, he started in the middle, and with so many numbers on the page that intimidates him.
One of the other parts was pointing to animals when the audio recording said the animals name, but during this there was also another audio recording of noises you would hear in a restaurant, and my son said he couldn't hear the first recording, that the second one (that was meant to be there to distract the kids) was too loud, so he becomes off track and the second audio distracted him from hearing anything else.
That I already knew, he needs to be able to be focused and not bothered; he is easily distracted.
She spoke with sons 2nd grade teacher from last year, and then observed him in his class this year in 3rd grade.
He will work for a little bit and then start looking around the room, or fidgeting with his clothes, he has to be redirected to the task in the classroom, and she observed he sometimes looked like he was day dreaming.
She said for me to consider ADD or emotional set back issues.
(Husband had brain surgery in Aug 2008, we lost our home and only car in Hurricane Ike in Sept/Oct 2008, we had to move, he had to change to a new school.
Three months into the new school his 1st grade year he was touched inappropriately by three different girls in his class, the school defended the girls, and blamed it all on my son.
I withdrew him from school for three weeks after this happened and it was proven my son was not the problem, and the girls were touching other boys while my son was gone.
I had to go to mediation with the school district, my sons outside therapist, and the school administrators, and I enrolled him back in the same school because they would not let us transfer, or go back to the school we had moved from.
There were no problems during summer school or during 2nd grade.)
But now all the things he has been through, he doesn't believe he can do work that is harder than he is used to, he shuts down and wont try.
There has to be something to him being behind.
He displays Attention problems that would be the signs of ADD, but he isn't a behavior problem.
He loves to read, he loves math, and science, loves animals.
He needs to discuss books, or situations, he can't just read something on a page and retain the information.
If you discuss it, he processes everything.
If a question is read to him, he can understand it.
When there is something he likes, he will pay attention, it's just getting his attention back to you once that interest gets his creativity flowing.
He wears glasses for stigmatizms and needs to have work on paper in front of him to copy it down, he has big problems with copying from the board or a transparency projected on the board.
He has had problems for almost 4 yrs with bad bronchitis or lung sicknesses when the weather changes, he was given Allegra for allergies, but then he gets allergy induced asthma brought on by the severe bronchitis.
These allergies are factors that display in ADD children as well.
My issue with the labels of ADD or ADHD is how easy society (meaning schools, doctors, and other mental health professionals) diagnoses kids with this and how quick they are to medicate.
Also, how the schools are so quick to label these children as "problem child" groups.
I've seen how the meds make the kids zombie's and just a shell of who they really should be, which are kids, having fun, but also learning.
I am looking at all the options, and what is the best way to move forward.
It was said my son doesn't have a problem intellectually or academically, but there is an issue somewhere that is causing him to fall behind.
The next step is the school psychologist that is separate from the school counselor come to the school and observe my son in class on more than one occasion and in different classroom settings and make her observations of if it is ADD, or an emotional factor.
It will take a while since she only comes on Mondays and has a large number of kids to see, but it will go from there.
I am waiting to receive the results of the Celiac Disease tests on Sept 23rd and this may bring light to some other problems with food allergies, which can cause learning problems.
(he already has lactose intolerance).
Thanks for your reading, I'm sorry this was so long.
I hope we all can be here for each other and learn along this journey of motherhood to do the best for our kids with special needs.~*~Debbie~*~
Loving Wife to Chuck, and Proud Mommy to:
Edited 9/9/2010 5:25 pm ET by proudmommydebbie
Edited 9/9/2010 5:27 pm ET by proudmommydebbie