Does Our Private Eval Have to be “Comparable” to the School’s Eval?

We want to get a private evaluation of my child. The school says they are also going to conduct an evaluation of my child, and the two evaluations must be comparable. Is this correct? Parents often claim that the school’s evaluation is not comprehensive and does not test problematic skills. If the school has evaluated your child and you disagree with the school’s evaluation, you may obtain an independent evaluation. You may: arrange for an independent evaluation from an evaluator who is not employed by the school district, or request an “Independent Educational Evaluation” (IEE) at public expense The law …Read more

Discontinuing Services? Not So Fast!!

My 12 yr old daughter has had an IEP for 5 years for deficits in written communication skills.  A year before we were scheduled for a triennial evaluation, the school requested a data review. Since she makes As and does well in school, the school intends to drop her IEP and discontinue services. NOT SO FAST! The school cannot unilaterally discontinue your daughter’s special education services unless you go along. You need to be an effective advocate for your daughter. Learn the legal requirements for eligibility. Make sure you understand how eligibility decisions are made. Comprehensive Evaluation Before the school …Read more

Socially & Developmentally Behind. Should We Retain?

My 11-year-old son, grade 5, is behind a little socially. He has no real friends who seek him out or invite him over. He says he wants to be in normal classes with friends. He is in resource now for spelling and math, and has always been an average reader, but is slipping. Next year in middle school, he should be in either resource classes or an inclusion model. His teacher says she sees benefits for retaining. Otherwise, she advised us to put “everything we can into the IEP for grade 6.” Should we retain him? I see no information …Read more

How Do I “Fight” for My Son’s Needs?

My 10-year-old has just been diagnosed as ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and Tourette’s Disorder. His doctor has recommended a parapro. Should we get an IEP or 504? I need to know how to proceed if I need to “fight” for this for my son. Advocacy Advice from the Community Helpline – From David… If you haven’t already read Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, I highly recommend it. I would never agree to a parent fighting the public school for their child’s education. You never hear of a fight where both participants win and a child’s education is a risky thing to …Read more

Reminder – A Tropical Resort in Des Moines Iowa?

Register Today! The Ramada Tropics Resort and Conference Center in Des Moines, IA will house this Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training with Pete Wright, Esq. This November 18, 2014 is sponsored by ASK Resource Center. Registration includes morning coffee, lunch and four Wrightslaw books, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition, Wrightslaw: All About IEPs and Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments. For information on registration fees, approved credits and special hotel rates, please click here! See you in Iowa!

Where Can I Find Names of Reading Tests?

My son will enter 6th grade, 3 years behind in reading. I think he has dyslexia. The school states he is “making progress.” I requested all his reading tests that show “progress.” Please tell me the name of the tests the school should have performed when screening for reading. What tests should they have used for an educational evaluation? Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that affects language. A child with dyslexia will have difficulty reading accurately and fluently. Spelling will be poor. Most children with dyslexia have weaknesses in phonological processing. Many also have weaknesses in rapid naming. Most …Read more

School Ignores What My Child’s Doctor Recommends. Should I Get an Evaluation?

My 10-year-old 4th grader will be in a new, grade-level building, in a gifted and talented classroom. He has been diagnosed severely ADHD, OCD, anxiety, and Tourettes. His doctor recommended a parapro in the classroom but the school principal said, “We don’t have the ability to provide a para.” What is the obligation of the school to make that happen? Should I fight the school? Should I get a private evaluation? What would you advise…? Sharon says: “I believe an evaluation should be done, but I would not pay for an outside evaluation. You should request an evaluation from the …Read more

Pre-Pub Special Ends May 20th! New Book! Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments

At the printer now! Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments by Melissa Lee Farrall, Ph.D., SAIF, Pamela Darr Wright, MA MSW, and Peter W. D. Wright, Esq. Take advantage of this special pre-publication offer: 25% OFF Pre-pub price $11.22 Regular Price $14.95 This special offer is good from Tuesday, May 6 through Tuesday, May 20, 2014. Pre-publication orders will be shipped during the second week of June 2014. If you order additional products, they will be shipped right away! Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments answers more than 200 of our readers’ frequently asked questions about psychological, academic, and neuropsychological …Read more

Identifying Children in Parochial Schools

My child goes to private church school. I believe she has learning disabilities, including dyslexia, so I called the local public school to ask for an evaluation. The school told me they do not test students. They said it was my responsibility. Child Find Each state is responsible for ensuring that a Child Find program is up and running. DOE requires that states have a system to ensure all children are identified and evaluated. This means ALL children – not just children who attend public schools. The point is to identify children who may be overlooked – like kids who …Read more

Cannot Teach My Child to Read? – No Way!

“Your child is reading 7 grade levels below his peers.” How would you like to hear these words? That is what we heard after years of working with the school on behalf of our son who has ADD/LD and dyslexia. He was going into 8th grade as a primer (first grade) reader. He could comprehend at grade level but could not read, write, or spell at grade level. He was good in math and all other subjects. We learned late about his diagnosis of dyslexia. His IQ was in the normal range, but he had a reading and writing disability. …Read more