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User Topic: Angry at the school system - Update
simplydevastated
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Member # 25001
Default  Posted: 1:13 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

*Update #3*

Well, something good came out of yesterday. I received another email about my son from the university. They can do testing on learning disabilities as well as dyslexia. The cost is $500. Not too bad considering my son's pediatrician said it can cost up to $2000. The hard part will be finding that money. My husband doesn't believe there's anything wrong. He didn't even want to look at the paperwork I printed or even discuss it. I don't know how I can ask for that kind of money. Especially since he already has the Xbox One pre-ordered which costs $499. Sigh...

In my response to this email I gave him my phone number in case he needed to discuss anything in advance.

Wish us luck...

____________________________


*Update #2*

I received a response from my email. The person I contacted said that he is retired and no longer tests for dyslexia; however, he said the university still does and he knows some people in private practice that can help as well. In my response to him I asked about cost and told him that my son's pediatrician said that testing can run upwards of $2000. I asked for verification of this amount and told him that I'm unemployed. I hope going through the university is more affordable because there will be no way that I will be able to get my husband to pay for this because he doesn't even want to listen to my theories about our son possibly being dyslexic. Ugh...

I'm happy that I received a response and I feel I'm finally making some sort of progress.

___________________________


*Update*

I was getting my hair cut last weekend and I was talking to my hairdresser (she's dyslexic). She told me that she was tested at Boston's Children's Hospital, but for other reasons. She then told me that one of her clients had their child tested at a local university. She said it was years ago but it would hurt to check into it. So I did. There's an entire department the specializes in testing children for any and all types of learning disabilities. It didn't cost anything for her client to have her child tested. I'm preparing an email right now. I'm so excited just knowing that there is finally some help out there for my little man.


_________________________________


I don't even know where to start. I've had a feeling my son is dyslexic for a long time. I approached his 1st grade teacher and she said "no he isn't." His second grade teacher wanted him tested because he's "immature" and not doing his work. We switched his school at the end of his 2nd grade year. The testing (recommended by his 2nd grade teacher) came back that he did't need an IEP. I been asking and asking and ASKING his elementary school that he attended for 3rd and 4th grade to test him for dyslexia. I told them that if he has a problem with reading that it will trickle down to all of his other classes. Each time I asked I was blown off and said that they don't test for it or that "dyslexia isn't a disease and there's no cure for it." Well no FUCKING SHIT SHERLOCK! When did I EVER say I thought it was a disease and that I wanted a cure? That's right, I NEVER SAID THAT!!

So, here we are in 5th grade. I spoke to his principal about not putting him in remedial math because in 4th grade he kept coming home with E's (Exceeds Grade Level Expectations - Equivalent to an A). I explained how my son does work over the summer in workbooks and he never needs help from me. He answers all the questions right when I check his work. The principal said that since because of what I just said that we'll keep him out for now but if he struggles in a regular class then we'll discuss putting him in later. Ok. That conversation sounded productive.

Today, I get a call from his teacher. She tells me that she's putting all of his grades (since 1st grade) in a database to see about having him tested. I AGAIN mention to her how I think he's dyslexic and that I want him tested for only that since he's already been through a battery of testing. We spoke for about a half hour and she didn't seem to receptive about the idea of him being dyslexic.

So for years I've had zero support (this includes my husband) about this. I've done so much reading and research about this, I see too many parallels that it's screaming at me and I can't seem to get the people, who claim to want to help children, to listen to me.

Some of the traits (I can't list them all) that my son is showing me are:

General

* Appears bright, highly intelligent, and articulate but unable to read, or spell at grade level.
* Labelled lazy, dumb, careless, immature, "not trying hard enough," or "behavior problem." (I've heard this from a number of people including my husband)
* Isn't "behind enough" or "bad enough" to be helped in the school setting. (As found out from the testing he went through)
* High in IQ, yet may not test well academically; tests well orally, but not written. (I don't know about his IQ scores, but he doesn't test very well.)
* Feels dumb; has poor self-esteem; hides or covers up weaknesses with ingenious compensatory strategies; easily frustrated and emotional about school reading or testing. (Absolutely!! Because people are telling him he's lazy, not trying etc... including his father)
* Talented in art, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, building, or engineering.
* Seems to "Zone out" or daydream often; gets lost easily or loses track of time.
* Difficulty sustaining attention; a "daydreamer."
* Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids. (He loves hands on projects.)


Math and Time Management

* Has difficulty managing time, learning sequenced information or tasks, or being on time. (definitely! I've written down a morning routine that he has to follow and he does a good job following it)
* Computing math shows dependence on finger counting and other tricks; knows answers, but can't do it on paper. (Sometimes)
* Can do arithmetic, but fails word problems; cannot grasp algebra or higher math. (He's actually pretty good with the little algebra that they are introducing to him.)

Like I said, there's more. This is just a sample.

I'm pissed that this has gotten to this point and I'm also pissed that his father won't even take the time to read anything that I found out AND printed (and highlighted) and he didn't even read the report from the testing and had no idea that OUR son has low self-esteem.

All of this is staring everyone in the face and I'm the only one who can see it! The elementary school that he was in wasn't even allowed to use the word dyslexia. WTF!!! It's not contagious! All it is, is people with dyslexia (like Albert Einstein, Alexander Gram Bell, Thomas Edison) read with the right side of their brain instead of the left. They read and process the information differently.

As I'm tying this I'm reading a fascinating article from Jack Horner. He's a Paleontologist and is also a dyslexic. Did I ever tell anyone what my son wants to be when he grows up? He wants to be a paleontologist.

So, where do I go from here? How can I get him the help and testing that he needs? I just want to help my boy.

[This message edited by simplydevastated at 8:48 AM, October 31st (Thursday)]


Me - BS, 39 (I'm not old...I'm vintage)
Two Wonderful children - DS10, DD7
Married, for now... (4+ D-Day - listed in profile.)

Posts: 5854 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: In the darkest depths of hell!
TrulyReconciled
♂ Member
Member # 3031
Default  Posted: 1:17 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Have you considered the possibility of ADHD? Some of the symptoms described are fairly classic and it is treatable.

Also, if you're not up for neuropsychiatric testing ($1500-2500) meds alone can provide a diagnosis, as approved by an appropriate care provider.


"In a time of deceit, telling the Truth is a revolutionary act."

Posts: 21040 | Registered: Dec 2003 | From: Hell and back, way back :o)
simplydevastated
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Default  Posted: 1:25 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

His pediatrician gave me and his teachers a survey for ADD/ADHD and he doesn't meet the criteria. That's another thing with dyslexics, that it can be confused for ADHD because they find ways to get the attention off of their struggles with reading.


Me - BS, 39 (I'm not old...I'm vintage)
Two Wonderful children - DS10, DD7
Married, for now... (4+ D-Day - listed in profile.)

Posts: 5854 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: In the darkest depths of hell!
alphakitte
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Default  Posted: 1:37 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

can you have his pediatrician refer him for testing?


------ Some people are emotional tadpoles. Even if they mature they are just a warty toad. Catt

Posts: 349 | Registered: Sep 2011 | From: 3 klicks north of Ambiguous
simplydevastated
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Member # 25001
Default  Posted: 1:47 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I could, but the problem is that the school system keeps telling me that they don't test for dyslexia. When I look online to find out who is supposed to test for it everything says the school system.


Me - BS, 39 (I'm not old...I'm vintage)
Two Wonderful children - DS10, DD7
Married, for now... (4+ D-Day - listed in profile.)

Posts: 5854 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: In the darkest depths of hell!
Mommato4
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Default  Posted: 2:23 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

What about looking into a 504 plan? Slightly different than an IEP.

Does your school offer LAP? (Learning assistance program)
My son needed extra help with his reading as he was below standards and he went to this a few times a week during the reading time. His teacher did recommend it. He was in it for about half the school year when he improved and no longer needed it. They help for math too.


Updated 2014:
BS-me 41
XH-doesn't matter
4 kids
Divorced-7/25/08

SO-5 years together-he decided to end it by cheating too


Posts: 1377 | Registered: Aug 2007 | From: PNW country
TrulyReconciled
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Member # 3031
Default  Posted: 2:25 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

His pediatrician gave me and his teachers a survey for ADD/ADHD and he doesn't meet the criteria. That's another thing with dyslexics, that it can be confused for ADHD because they find ways to get the attention off of their struggles with reading.

I hear you. I would also get a second opinion from a neuropsychologist or child psychiatrist.


"In a time of deceit, telling the Truth is a revolutionary act."

Posts: 21040 | Registered: Dec 2003 | From: Hell and back, way back :o)
MissesJai
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Default  Posted: 3:09 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would also get a second opinion from a neuropsychologist or child psychiatrist.
I completely agree with this.


FWW - 41
I'm big on personal responsibility. Own your shit. ALL OF IT.

Posts: 5846 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: So Cal.....
tushnurse
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Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 4:01 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Yup Neuropsychologist is who you need. You also need to be talking to the counselors, or LD teachers at the school, not his regular teacher. If they are unwilling to listen then go to the principal. It is inexcusable in this day and age for this to go unrecognized and treated.

He's in 5th grade, has he learned how to type yet? If not get him a program to help him learn, they have tons of them, and will allow him to become an excellent typist. This helps esp if there are components of both ADHD/ADD and Dyslexia.

ADD makes their little brains go to fast for their hands to keep up, and when they learn to type they can keep up. The other thing is you can finally read what they are writing.

He definitely has something going on. Do you have a Reading Specialist for your district? If so please reach out to that person. They can help you as well.

I feel your anger, and appreciate it, as I have BTDT. For myself and my kid. At least now the technology available allows them to manage it so much better.
I still see the dyslexia in things I do, esp when I am tired. Anything that is a mirror gets plugged in wrong. bd, pq E3. S5. I read very slow and still do, but I have managed to get through school, college, and accelerate in my profession. With the right help he will too.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8242 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
alphakitte
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Member # 33438
Default  Posted: 4:25 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You want answers for your little guy. Get his pediatrician involved.

It helped us immensely and we were able to approach his school with a plan.


------ Some people are emotional tadpoles. Even if they mature they are just a warty toad. Catt

Posts: 349 | Registered: Sep 2011 | From: 3 klicks north of Ambiguous
peacelovetea
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Default  Posted: 4:31 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If you think it is simply dyslexia and not other more complicated issues (not that to minimize learning disorders, but that he does not have ADHD or other behavior problems) then a psychologist would be the person to see. They can diagnose learning disorders via testing. If you think there is something more complicated going on then it would be worth the money for a neuropsychologist, but not for a basic LD assessment.

The school district should do this, though, but they often won't. Are they using a Response to Intervention strategy? If he is also bright, he may well be compensating and not triggering their criteria, in which case outside testing will light a fire under them. But still be prepared to fight for interventions. School districts are notorious for not wanting to give accomodations.

[This message edited by peacelovetea at 4:33 PM, October 7th (Monday)]


BW, SAHM
D-Day: 6/5/09, drunken ONS on business trip, confessed immediately, transparent, remorseful but emotionally clueless
M 11 years, 3 kids
4/12 Tried to R for 3 years, have decided to D
12/31/12 D final

Posts: 542 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: PacNW
peacelovetea
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Member # 26071
Default  Posted: 4:31 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Oops!

[This message edited by peacelovetea at 4:33 PM, October 7th (Monday)]


BW, SAHM
D-Day: 6/5/09, drunken ONS on business trip, confessed immediately, transparent, remorseful but emotionally clueless
M 11 years, 3 kids
4/12 Tried to R for 3 years, have decided to D
12/31/12 D final

Posts: 542 | Registered: Nov 2009 | From: PacNW
redrock
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Default  Posted: 4:37 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Do you have a social worker that works in your district?

In MI, we do, and if and when I received blowback from teachers and or the school, I found it best to ask for a meeting alone with her. Often there would be a meeting with the teacher/principal scheduled following that one. You would be amazed at how different the 'tone' was when the social worker was in the room.

Not sure if she/he could help with testing, but I always got feedback and or in touch with the right people through the social worker. And she helped with the few teachers I dealt with that were uneducated on dealing with kids with additional issues/needs.


I don't respect anyone that can't spell a word more than one way:)

Posts: 3152 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: Michigan
jrc1963
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Default  Posted: 8:00 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't know about your "neck of the woods" but Dyslexia is no longer a term used to define a special education student with an IEP in Florida anymore.

Might I suggest that you stop asking for him to be tested for "Dyslexia" - which is an extremely narrow, outdated label and begin asking for him to be tested for a Specific Learning Disability - in the area of Reading.

This can include all the areas of reading where children usually struggle: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Fluency and Comprehension.

Does he exhibit these symptoms only at school or do they bleed over into time at home?

If you think he might be ADHD you could always try a little "home test". The major component in most ADHD medications is a stimulant, similar to caffeine in coffee.

I have seen ADHD kids who aren't medicated respond to coffee to calm them down and help them focus. It's not conclusive or advisable long term, but you could give him a cup of coffee and see if that helps him focus.

Just some ideas to help you out.


Me: BSO - 46
Him: FWSO - 69
DS - 13
D-Day - 12-11-09,
R - he finally came home
Your life is an Occasion. Rise to it. - Mr. Magorium, "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium"

Posts: 24452 | Registered: Dec 2009 | From: Florida
StrongerOne
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Default  Posted: 10:31 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

As others have pointed out, the school system is not the only place to get testing. See if your insurance will cover it -- it can be expensive -- if it's a referral from the PCP pediatrician. Also, you might check around for a psychologist or psychometrist who will charge on a sliding scale or give a discount for paying cash, if the cost is an issue.

FYI, a 504 is not any easier to get than an iep. My son has had both. He had the iep when he needed services and accommodation, and the 504 when he no longer needed services, but instead needed "just" the accommodation. Try to push all this through while he is still in elementary school. Middle schools can be more of a pain in the ass, although that does depend on the school and the principal.

If you are able to demonstrate the need for services and/or accommodation, press for the iep or 504, and be vigilant to ensure the school follows through. Even the school personnel with the most sincere good intentions will F it up because they just don't get it. (Not to t/j, but as an example, every year I go through several weeks of training the teachers to use a black marker on the whiteboard so that my son can actually see and read what they write. Fortunately it has been a couple of years since I have had to say "lawyer"!)

Good luck, this is frustrating! Keep good records, set up schedules, and email teachers w cc to counselor and asst principal or principal regularly. You will be known as a PITA, but so what, that's your job, mama bear!


DDay Feb 2011.
In R.

Posts: 855 | Registered: Sep 2012
Take2
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Member # 23890
Default  Posted: 10:50 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You have a PM


"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." Joseph Campbell...So, If fear was not a factor - what would you do?

Posts: 4112 | Registered: May 2009 | From: New England
Chrysalis123
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Member # 27148
Default  Posted: 11:10 PM, October 7th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Might I suggest that you stop asking for him to be tested for "Dyslexia" - which is an extremely narrow, outdated label and begin asking for him to be tested for a Specific Learning Disability - in the area of Reading.

This..

And, read the special ed laws for your state. Find out exactly what you need to do to start the process, do it, and document everything.

Good Luck


Donít get to the end of your life and find that you lived only the length of it; live the width of it as well.†

Posts: 2651 | Registered: Jan 2010
StrongerOne
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Member # 36915
Default  Posted: 7:24 AM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Chrysalis is right -- document everything. I send email after every meeting or phone call, w cc to all pertinent parties, to say "thanks for the productive meeting/call. Let me summarize to be sure I have it right... thank you again for your support for DS!" (yeah, ok, sometimes that is a big ol lie, but more flies with honey, right?)

BTW, each state has special ed laws, and each school district will have its own ways of complying with those laws and regulations, but ADA is a federal law and school districts cannot dick around w it (although they do if you are not wary and persistent -- ya know, a PITA!).

What state are you in?


DDay Feb 2011.
In R.

Posts: 855 | Registered: Sep 2012
simplydevastated
♀ Member
Member # 25001
Default  Posted: 9:05 AM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you for all your posts and the pm.

My mom got another earful this morning. Thank god my daughter doesn't need any extra help because they can't even send home the order form for her pictures TOMORROW!! Seriously? What is wrong with people. So I spent my morning at her school. Ugh...

Anywho...

I'm in MA (which means he has to deal with the lovely MCAS testing that he'll have to pass in order to graduate high school ). I'll have to looked into the states laws about this. I do know that "dyslexia" had to be added back into the wording on the federal level, but not at the state level.

I also do not see how this is a "label." The schools and doctors don't seem to have an issue "labeling" kids with ADD/ADHD or even Aspergers. What's wrong with using the word dyslexia? From what I've read the people who have been tested and found out they are dyslexic don't have a problem with it. It seems to me that the schools/administrators are the people who have a problem with it, and I thought those were the people who would want to jump through hoops to help the children, not push back on the parents.

[This message edited by simplydevastated at 9:18 AM, October 8th (Tuesday)]


Me - BS, 39 (I'm not old...I'm vintage)
Two Wonderful children - DS10, DD7
Married, for now... (4+ D-Day - listed in profile.)

Posts: 5854 | Registered: Jul 2009 | From: In the darkest depths of hell!
tushnurse
♀ Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 9:28 AM, October 8th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I would definitely look at the testing guidlines. There may be some component to it, that doesn't allow for special allowances, or carving out of the kids with that diagnosis.

Unfortunately Dyslexia alone is not a common diagnosis, and it isn't the current "in" thing at the moment. Autism is.
Here is a thought....Have you suggested that you feel there is "something wrong with your son" and feel he needs the full testing they provide for kids that fall along the "autism spectrum"?

I know you aren't focusing on dyslexia, but I do believe that the workup/testing for the whole spectrum includes all LD's, including dyslexia.

I would definitely approach the counselors, the principal, and if you get push back take it to the admin level.

If your kid is in public school they should be following guidelines. You should have someone in the district that is a "Literacy Coordinator" as well. This would be the person to reach out to. I have friend that is this for the district, and she has all kinds of special training, and knows all levels of testing. If you can find someone like this, even outside your district, it may be worth asking them if they would be willing to perform the testing for a fee.


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8242 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
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