“My 11 year-old daughter is blind and language impaired. She has been in a public school for the blind. As part of her triennial re-evaluation, the team insists on doing IQ testing. I refused as these tests are not designed for the blind. The school is threatening me with due process.”
Before we can give more than general advice, we need to know more.
- Is your daughter totally blind or does she have low vision?
- Was she born blind?
- Where are her reading skills relative to her peers?
- Has she been taught to read with Braille?
- When was her last evaluation?
- What tests were used then?
As a parent who is not a psychologist, you are not in a strong position to say what tests she needs or doesn’t need.
You need an independent expert in your corner.
Do you know an independent evaluator who has expertise in testing and teaching children who are blind and have language problems?
If not, places to look for a qualified evaluator are a medical school, a children’s hospital, or a school for the blind. If you do know an independent evaluator, schedule an appointment, discuss the problems, and ask for his/her advice. This person may be able to test her. If not, s/he can probably refer you to someone who can.
From what I can determine, you are correct in saying that many tests used with blind children are outdated or lead to inaccurate findings.
Because testing requires the use of so many accommodations and modifications, results should be “interpreted with caution.”
Chapter 11: Assessments of Hearing, Vision, and Motor Skills.
Chapter 12: Auditory, Visual, Visual-Motor, and Sensory Processing Assessments.
An evaluator should select tests that allow your child to show what she knows – tests that measure your daughter’s abilities, not her impaired skills.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) offers many programs, services, and resources for parents of blind children.
The NFB also provides mentoring relationships for individuals who are blind and need resources and guidance on blindness issues.
We encourage you to contact your state affiliate for information and resources that are specific to your local area. You can also contact us at our national headquarters using the contact information listed on this page.
Re-edited from a post originally published 08/11/2008
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