Should I test for a learning disability?

Are you homeschool a special needs child? Are you personally physically challenged? Here is the place to share your questions, tips, and experiences.

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momof3angels
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Should I test for a learning disability?

Postby momof3angels » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:34 pm

My daughter is 11. I've had her in private school since she started school and I have decided to homeschool her this year. I decided this because she was has always struggled in school and I thought that I could help her at home better and she could have that one on one time that I thought that she needed. Her one school that I took her out of was giving her the answers to everything and she wasn't learning anything. However she is still struggling with her work. A neighbor tested her for me and she is about 3 grades behind where she should be so I her in the 4th grade for Math and 5th for the rest. I've done all that I can think of and I'm wondering if she has a learning disability and what to do about it. I've gone a little slower with her work and gone over it with her but she still has problems. She's doing fine in Math but History, Health, and Spelling isn't so great ( Spelling is her worse ). Could it just be that she's so far behind that it's hard for her or could it be a learning disability? I worry about taking to much time on things because she has to get tested in April, I think they're called the SAT's? Not sure? Please help and any advice is better than none. Thank you, momof3angels

Mathmom
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Postby Mathmom » Thu Dec 06, 2007 5:02 pm

Momof3angels,
Depending on where you live, you may not have to give her any tests. Since you know the teachers were not helping her learn, that tells me that maybe you need to assume that was the problem and avoid labeling her with a learning disability. She's sounds pretty normal to me.
I recommend you find your local support group, find the laws for your state(look at the top of this page, click on home, look for info for your state).
Hope this helps.

momo3boys
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Postby momo3boys » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:52 pm

For some children it helps to know that have a problem and they are not just "slow". I emphasize the fact that my boys were all created differently and everyone is good at different things. My oldest is 2-3 grades behind and receives spec ed at the PS three days a week. My second is about 1 grade ahead. They are both special and I make sure they know it. It may not hurt to find out her learning style and where her weaknesses and strengths are. I found out that my son knows a lot more than I thought he did, he just can't express what he knows. What a relief for me. It's all in there I just have to figure out ho to get it out.

IMHO it help to know what you are up against to make sure you are fighting the right battles.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

bittersweet
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Postby bittersweet » Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:07 pm

I recently figured out on my own (with the help of other moms and a therapist friend) that my DS has sensory processing problems. We have decided not to persue a diagnosis at this time because we feel that this is somethign we can handle on our own.
He has always been a frustrating child. Knowing what is going on in his head has helped me tremendously in dealing with him in daily tasks, providing him with therapeutic activities and teaching him. I no longer feel at a loss as to what to do with him, and I no longer question my fitness as a mother.
If you feel that you need to know more about what is holding your dd back, by all means use whatever resources you have available to find out. Educate yourself so that you be more effective. If you decide you need a diagnosis, get one.
If otoh you feel that she is getting it, or that the problem is with the curriculum and not the child, or there is little to be gained, then forego the diagnosis. A label can be hard for a child to bear, and should only be given if it is truly deserved and needed.

Mathmom
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Postby Mathmom » Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:48 pm

I have heard that sometimes a child's poor eyesight can cause learning problems. Does anyone know if that is included in the evaluations ?

momo3boys
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Postby momo3boys » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:03 am

Unfortunately, no eye test are not included. And insurance companies don't like to cover the tests that are needed. But yes, eye sight is a big problem that often goes unchecked. Especially for those that have reading and writing issues.
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Tova
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Should I test for a learning disability

Postby Tova » Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:11 pm

I'm a clinical psychologist who does learning disability and ADHD evaluations. I work with the American International School in Israel and the New York Public School System as an ouside service provider ( I divide my time between the two continents)

My experience with kids tell me that a child knows when he cannot do something and when he or she is different from the other kids. After ruling out sensory impairment (hearing/vision loss), you shoud have a comoprehensive assessment for learning disabilities and ADHD (even if your child is not hyperactive). First, if she has a reading disability, you'll know what the problem and find out how to address it. If she is language impaired, you will be able to treat that. If she has an attention deficit, you will find treatment for this too. Once she has the diagnosis, she can get the remediation she needs. IShe'll start improving. It will raise her self esteem. There are high quality private schools for the learning disabled.

The evaluation should include an IQ test, a complete battery of cognitive and educational tests, personality assessment to see if she is depressed or how her difficulties are affecting her and a cpt test for ADHD (attention deficit disorder test). She should get a complete physical and blood tests to rule out physical causes for possible attention deficit (low iron, for example). A sleep disorder should also be ruled out.

Don't be afraid of testing. Your insurance should also cover at least some of it.

Tova Elberg, Ph.d

Tova
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Should I test for a learning disability

Postby Tova » Wed Dec 26, 2007 1:32 pm

This is an extension of my previous email:

If you get her tested, and she has a disability, she is eligible for testing accommodations on the SAT's. Depending on what the disability is, she can get a test reader, test writer, time extension, and other accommodations. But from your post, it seems she has academic deficits. As such it might be wise to postpone the SAT's until she catches up. But again, first get a diagnosis.

Tova

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Re: Should I test for a learning disability?

Postby elliemaejune » Wed Dec 26, 2007 9:30 pm

momof3angels wrote:My daughter is 11. I've had her in private school since she started school and I have decided to homeschool her this year. I decided this because she was has always struggled in school and I thought that I could help her at home better and she could have that one on one time that I thought that she needed. Her one school that I took her out of was giving her the answers to everything and she wasn't learning anything. However she is still struggling with her work. A neighbor tested her for me and she is about 3 grades behind where she should be so I her in the 4th grade for Math and 5th for the rest. I've done all that I can think of and I'm wondering if she has a learning disability and what to do about it. I've gone a little slower with her work and gone over it with her but she still has problems. She's doing fine in Math but History, Health, and Spelling isn't so great ( Spelling is her worse ). Could it just be that she's so far behind that it's hard for her or could it be a learning disability? I worry about taking to much time on things because she has to get tested in April, I think they're called the SAT's? Not sure? Please help and any advice is better than none. Thank you, momof3angels


It's hard to know whether or not you should have her tested for learning disabilities. The fact that she is behind and has always struggles does not necessarily mean that there are learning disabilities. I say this because of the many, many homeschoolers I have known who have had the same experience you and your dd have had--no learning disabilities, just the failure of the school.

I wouldn't worry about testing in the spring. If your dd does not do well, it won't be *your* bad; it will be the *school's* bad, since it is the schools which have had the teaching of her all these years. *You* are having to play catch-up, which may take more than one year.

It would be helpful to know exactly which materials you are using, so we wouldn't recommend the same thing :-)


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