Friday, January 9, 2015

Any downside to IEP or Testing for Learning Disabilities in Schools?

Any downside to IEP or Testing for Learning Disabilities in Schools?

Thank you so much for writing and asking. This is a question I don’t talk about much, because with anything, something good can be used as something bad.  I can’t answer how your school will treat the test or outcome, but I can tell you what I know from other past events.  

Ask the school “does the test stay in her long time file?”  Why ask this, so when she is in high school, and overcomes her dyslexia.  Will her file still say she needs “special Help” and they will guide her not to take higher level classes?  This is one downside, she has been labeled by the school system and it might be hard to unlabeled her when she overcomes it.    Sad to say, but this can be a downside.

In most schools the testing is done to fund the child’s learning level.  Also the school will get extra funding to help.   The downside is, schools get extra funding for special needs and gifted children in the same bucket.  So it’s up to the school, to pick how to spend the money.  Some, not all schools will spend more of the funding on “gifted” kids and use the special needs kids to fund it.   So asks what the school spends the money on, check how many gifted programs they have vs special needs. 


Here are some red flags to watch out for:
1. Use the word dyslexia, if the school pops back with “ There is no clinical definition for dyslexia”   ---  I’m curtly working on a document for parents to answer this remark.
2.  What percentage of children takes the test in your school?  Look for a lower number, not like they are fishing to find someone, for extra money.
3. Can we have the outcome of the test to use for an outside source?  If no, or we will just tell you, this is not good
4. Who will give the test?  Doc?  How are they trained?
5. What will the test show us?  How she Learns, or just label.   I’m big on finding out, how someone learns best, not just how they don’t learn or can’t do.  It gives you something positive to tell the child, “ We found out you do this really really well”..


If you do go with someone outside, don’t use anybody ‘chain” system. If you have to finance it, “run”….   So at the end of it all, You can have the test and work with the school on getting extra help.  Or you can go outside and pay for help.   It comes down to asking this question, does the school work/help on other problems that may come up?


I hope that helps, 
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