Some people are idiots.

19 08 2011

I mentioned on my blog before that we have (for like 4 years) had concerns about some of my son’s learning.  He is a really, really bright kid but can not spell – not even simple words, and struggles with tracking and missing small words while reading.  There is much more than that, but those were the major things.

So finally I get some balls (I know, physically impossible) and tell the school last year that I want my son tested for a learning disability.  We felt sure that he would not qualify for special education, that was not our goal – but when our above average thinking kid is only working at the low to below grade level because he can’t do basic writing or spelling – something needs to be done.

So, testing happened this summer.  After each test we heard how wonderful, bright and delightful our son is.  Facts we already know.  We also got the ‘even if he doesn’t qualify . . . ‘  After all this you would think I would go into the meeting with lower expectations.  The meeting was supposed to be just to determine if he qualified.  I knew in my heart he would not, but was really hoping some of the testing would finally confirm what his father and I have been trying to say for the last 3 -4  years – something isn’t processing correctly.

Instead we heard that our son’s oral language testing scored superior, and only 1 point away from very superior.  They acknowledged that his writing was ‘immature’ and his spelling was ‘poor.’  Here are verbatim quotes from both an educational psychologist and the special education teacher that tested him:

“There’s nothing wrong with being average.”

“He’s just a weak speller.”

“With everything being done on computers nowadays he should work on his typing and use spell check.”

“But when does he really have to be able to read aloud?”

“Lots of kids are very strong in one area and weak in another, wouldn’t you rather have his strong skills be in verbal which he will use all the time?”

So they said he doesn’t qualify and recommended all the things that we have already been doing to try to bring him up to speed.    And they said work with his teacher this year to bring him up to speed.  You know, like we have been doing for the last 3 years of school.    But here’s the rub, when I go through and read the report from the psychologist and the special ed teacher, this is the official report says:

“His spelling achievement falls within the below average range . . .He was able to spell some sight words but made errors on other words from the first grade Dolche list. ” (E is entering 4th grade this year.)

“When spelling, capitalization, and punctuation were not penalized, E was able to write complete sentences on topic.” (Thus she scored him in the average range for writing samples and writing fluency. )

Let me ask you this – will his teacher and standardized test score his spelling, capitalization and punctuation?   It’s no big deal that my 4th grader writes like a 1st grader because he thinks like a 6th grader – right?!!

In another area the psychologist reported that his ability to copy developmental sequence of geometric forms with pencil and paper is that of a 6 year old.  In this case he told me that he was sure my son rushed through this section.  His teacher then asked – was that at the end?  No, said the psychologist.  Hmm, he didn’t rush through any other section of the testing, this was not at the beginning or end of the testing process, but when his score is not one but 3 years below average the tester is certain that it was just him rushing!

So, frustrated beyond belief and unsure of what to do next we are left hoping and praying he has a really good teacher this year that recognizes that these things are not ok, and although my son is delightful, loves to learn, is exceptionally bright in some areas and isn’t disruptive in class it is not acceptable that he writes and spells and in some areas reads like a 1st grader.

 

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12 responses

19 08 2011
Laura

gosh, I’m so sad to hear this, this has to be so frustrating for your family 😦

19 08 2011
Jeff Irvin

A friend of ours is going through something similar and they’ve resorted to a private learning center to help. it is costly but we are told quite effective.

19 08 2011
Valerie

Kinda just found your blog, so I hope you do mind me commenting. My son is now in6 grade, he is 12, I have been fighting and I mean fighting with the schools here to get him tested since 1st gr and they would come back with “we don’t think anything is wrong and he doesn’t need any ex help”. Yet his grades with me helping him, were bad and the kept passing him too! So with each year I had to start all over and all I would hear was we think he has ADD, and we want you to get him tested. And each year I would dish out the cash for 2 different docs to tell me no, he doesn’t have ADD. And yet still no help. well last year, on the day we went to meet the teacher, I went in on fire! I sat her down told his story, then I also told her not to tell me you think he has ADD douse I WILL NOT pay to get him tested again! So she seem to understand but after a month in, she called and asked to meet so she can get him tested. Well to made a even longer story shorter, he needed help but not in all the classes. Just math they said, they also said he reads on a 3rd grade level but doesn’t need help, so we are paying for him to get help with that. I guess with all of this I would say (which I’m sure know) don’t stop fighting and find a teacher or counselor that can help you, and if worst comes to worst, call the high school talk to a counselor there, some of those kids that are in college prep classes has to volunteer so many hours, or you can find one and pay to help. That’s what I did and my son being a boy listens very well to his cute tutor and she is great! Again I hope you don’t mind me commenting and best wishes for you and your son.

19 08 2011
Valerie

Oops sorry for miss spells. 😎

20 08 2011
kate

Why isn’t he qualifying for special ed or an IEP? Isn’t there a resource teacher at your elementary school? I am sorry you are still having issues, as I know you identified this about 5 years ago.

20 08 2011
Valerie

Well for you it was just a big pain in the butt to get anyone to listen, but his 5 gr teacher did. He only gets resource for math, they say it’s all he needs. Which kills me because his reading level is 3 gr and he is in 6 gr. So we just started this week back, and I’m hoping his teachers will be helpful.

20 08 2011
Kelly

This is such a difficult process…trust me, I know!! If you are not getting what you need from school, I would recommend seeking some outside of school testing. Start with your pediatrician and go from there. It may require some out of pocket $, but is so worth it. The schools are VERY reluctant to give any sort of label to a child that is borderline because of the money issue, but if there is something going on with your son, you NEED to have them on board. Fight for this, Kati!!

22 08 2011
Tridadoffive

Kati, I was one of those ADHD children in school. Except in my day, we did not have ADHD, we were just called a “spaz.”

Grade school was TOUGH, and I was ridiculed daily by classmates, teachers, and administrators. I have some pretty ill feelings about my experiences with the so-called professionals that were suppose to be nurturing me.

Here is the good news! My mother never gave up on me and NEVER accepted the fact that I was not smart, despite the fact that all my teachers said that I was not ever going to be a good student. I was very weak in quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, and social skills.

One PhD later, I can tell you that children just develop at different rates. I am NO school psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, or EdD., but I can tell you that your son will probably end up being an author, editor, or college professor… just mark my words!

22 08 2011
Stephanie

Kati,

I stumbled upon your blog through another and was struck by this entry. You could be describing my son. We always knew something was off and fought and fought to get him tested. The school district would look at his grades and achievement tests (we were attending a private school) and would essentially say “He is passing. We cannot help you.” This went on for two years. Finally, last summer we gave up on the school district and I found a psychologist and had him tested. He has a dyslexic processing disorder which affects his ability to spell and some fine motor deficiencies which impact his handwriting. There are many dyslexic disorders that are not the typical “backwards letter” issues. My friend’s son has scotopic sensitivity, a disorder in which colored overlays help her son read.

I guess the point to my story is to not relent and to take matters into your own hands! I cannot tell you how many times I cursed the school district and their backwards thinking! Know that you are not the only parent that has a child that falls between the cracks!

Sincerely,

Stephanie

22 08 2011
Stephanie

Oh, I forgot to add that in Wisconsin dyslexia is considered a medical problem and usually not tested for and covered by the special education team in public schools. (Perhaps this is the same where you live) Usually, you do need an independent test and with a diagnosis presented to the school which makes them do the accommodations under a 504 plan(which is used for medical impairment). Feel free to write me and I can pass along any information I gather as I muddle along a similar path!

5 10 2011
A Tough Week « CoachKati's Blog

[…] 3 years I have screamed to anyone that will listen that my son is dyslexic.  Finally this summer they tested and him, he’s too smart to be dyslexic.  He also has a wonderful teacher this year that is working […]

16 12 2011
Dyslexia – finally! « CoachKati's Blog

[…] listen) that my son was struggling with learning.  You can read my previous posts here:  Some People are Idiots and Step one:  Parent Meeting.  We have finally entered a new chapter, an actual professional […]

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