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OT: Public school testing

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    OT: Public school testing

    We are pursuing educational testing through our local public high school and have a preliminary meeting next week with the diagnostician. We did this years ago when we needed a diagnosis, but now we need an updated battery of tests in case our son needs accommodations for standardized tests or dual-credit classes. Also I want to know where he’s at in the different learning areas. Any suggestions, things to bring or important questions to ask?

    Thank you!
    Catherine
    Catherine

    2018-19
    DS15, 9th
    DS13, 6th
    DS11, 5th
    DD11, 5th
    DS6, K
    DD3
    DS 10 mos

    Homeschooling 3 with MP
    2 using First Form series in school

    #2
    Re: OT: Public school testing

    Good morning, Catherine. First, revisit those tips in the assessment chapters of Simply Classical. Second, you might ask for interest/aptitude assessments to be included if the guidance counselor has something available. Your son has difficulties but he also has great ambition! Third, be sure to tell them your purposes in the testing (e.g., a record of need for future testing, services in college, etc.), so they cover everything you intend for them to cover.

    Let us know how everything goes. It is good to hear you are pursuing this for him!

    Comment


      #3
      Re: OT: Public school testing

      We just got our evaluation test results back this week from our public school. It’s 40 pages long (GULP). I’m wading through it right now with a highlighter and a cup of coffee. This morning, I was fine with it. Now, after a heated conversation with my husband, I don’t want to look at it. But I’m only halfway through. Soldiering on!

      Bottom line looks like an intervention course based on Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. They administered the WISC-V, ADOS-2, KTEA-3, psychological, executive function and social skills, Vineland III, Beery Visual-Motor Integration Test (Sensory Profile 2), and the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals — Fifth Edition, Children’s Communication Checklist. He scored low on everything. My brain is overwhelmed.

      This is confirmation of what I’ve pretty much always known. So I’m okay with that. My husband...? Not so much. It’s stressful. Prayers!
      Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
      Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
      Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
      Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

      “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
      ~Pope St John Paul II

      Comment


        #4
        Re: OT: Public school testing

        Originally posted by Anita View Post
        We just got our evaluation test results back this week from our public school. It’s 40 pages long (GULP). I’m wading through it right now with a highlighter and a cup of coffee. This morning, I was fine with it. Now, after a heated conversation with my husband, I don’t want to look at it. But I’m only halfway through. Soldiering on!

        Bottom line looks like an intervention course based on Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. They administered the WISC-V, ADOS-2, KTEA-3, psychological, executive function and social skills, Vineland III, Beery Visual-Motor Integration Test (Sensory Profile 2), and the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals — Fifth Edition, Children’s Communication Checklist. He scored low on everything. My brain is overwhelmed.

        This is confirmation of what I’ve pretty much always known. So I’m okay with that. My husband...? Not so much. It’s stressful. Prayers!
        My husband never wanted to read those reports either. His was not denial; he simply preferred to deal directly with the child in front of him. Eventually you can be the filter through which the understanding revealed by the testing is conveyed to your husband, but first you will need to grapple with it yourself. This is monumental on its own. Fwiw, our reports on both children often read "severely impaired," "profoundly impaired," etc. This is the "science" of special education that can dehumanize and discourage, if we let it, even as it enlightens. You might want to swap your coffee for chamomile tea.

        Praying for you and for your husband. Remember that sometimes with biological children, a person is dealing with similarities that strike a little too close to home. Your husband will have his own grappling to do. All of this ebbs and flows and will take time. Years ago you didn't think your W would even be evaluated. Now you have the information in front of you.

        One tip: The WISC-V penalizes working memory & processing difficulties with a low overall IQ, so look to the subtests instead. And just because I'm curious: What are his highest subtests on the WISC-V? And what were those scores? These will be the things that will encourage you as they remind you of W's strengths and provide insight into ways your beautiful boy will thrive in the future. The weaknesses help you know what to target and how to modify, but the strengths are often even more important long-term.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: OT: Public school testing

          Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
          My husband never wanted to read those reports either. His was not denial; he simply preferred to deal directly with the child in front of him. Eventually you can be the filter through which the understanding revealed by the testing is conveyed to your husband, but first you will need to grapple with it yourself. This is monumental on its own. Fwiw, our reports on both children often read "severely impaired," "profoundly impaired," etc. This is the "science" of special education that can dehumanize and discourage, if we let it, even as it enlightens. You might want to swap your coffee for chamomile tea.

          Praying for you and for your husband. Remember that sometimes with biological children, a person is dealing with similarities that strike a little too close to home. Your husband will have his own grappling to do. All of this ebbs and flows and will take time. Years ago you didn't think your W would even be evaluated. Now you have the information in front of you.

          One tip: The WISC-V penalizes working memory & processing difficulties with a low overall IQ, so look to the subtests instead. And just because I'm curious: What are his highest subtests on the WISC-V? And what were those scores? These will be the things that will encourage you as they remind you of W's strengths and provide insight into ways your beautiful boy will thrive in the future. The weaknesses help you know what to target and how to modify, but the strengths are often even more important long-term.
          Thank you!

          Full scale IQ — 70 very low
          Verbal Comprehension Index — 70 very low
          Visual Spatial — 75 very low
          Fluid Reasoning Index — 79 very low (figure weights is a 9, which is average)
          Working Memory — 76 very low (Picture Span is an 8, which is average)
          Processing Speed Index — 63 Extremely Low (Symbol Search is a 1, which is the lowest score in the scaled test results)
          Last edited by Anita; 12-06-2018, 12:32 PM.
          Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
          Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
          Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
          Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

          “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
          ~Pope St John Paul II

          Comment


            #6
            Re: OT: Public school testing

            Yes, so you have a "double whammy" diagnosis, just as Colomama did. (Also known as an almost unbearable kick in the gut.) I have to ask: Do you feel as if they caught him at his best? Was he cooperative? Eager? Rested? Did he know & trust the tester?

            Assuming yes to all of the above, his processing and verbal are very low compared to others his age, but as you said, you knew this.

            When looking at strengths, we talk about "relative strengths," i.e., strengths for him. This is where the small subtests will be helpful. Clearly the difference between a 1 and a 9 is a statistically significant difference! The 9 falls in the average range, but for him it is notable!

            The tests have changed from the time I administered them, but based on the preliminary scores, his relative strengths may lie in these areas:

            fluid intelligence
            mathematical reasoning
            inductive and qualitative reasoning
            abstract thinking
            broad visual intelligence
            the ability to see conceptual relationships

            When you have the energy, see if he has any other subtests at the level of 6, 7 or above. When you go back, highlight these. The abilities measured on these subtests will be key to helping him in his lower areas and keeping up his confidence.


            For now, just have a good cry if you want. It is HARD. Take time to let everything sink in. It is grieving, so you are feeling the heavy weight of that.

            More than anything, remember when you look in his face that he will always be more -- humanly and eternally -- than those numbers. Prayer for all.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: OT: Public school testing

              Originally posted by Anita View Post
              We just got our evaluation test results back this week from our public school. It’s 40 pages long (GULP). I’m wading through it right now with a highlighter and a cup of coffee. This morning, I was fine with it. Now, after a heated conversation with my husband, I don’t want to look at it. But I’m only halfway through. Soldiering on!

              Bottom line looks like an intervention course based on Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability. They administered the WISC-V, ADOS-2, KTEA-3, psychological, executive function and social skills, Vineland III, Beery Visual-Motor Integration Test (Sensory Profile 2), and the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals — Fifth Edition, Children’s Communication Checklist. He scored low on everything. My brain is overwhelmed.

              This is confirmation of what I’ve pretty much always known. So I’m okay with that. My husband...? Not so much. It’s stressful. Prayers!
              Praying for you this morning, for peace and for a good plan for moving forward.

              love,
              Catherine
              Catherine

              2018-19
              DS15, 9th
              DS13, 6th
              DS11, 5th
              DD11, 5th
              DS6, K
              DD3
              DS 10 mos

              Homeschooling 3 with MP
              2 using First Form series in school

              Comment


                #8
                Re: OT: Public school testing

                Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                Good morning, Catherine. First, revisit those tips in the assessment chapters of Simply Classical. Second, you might ask for interest/aptitude assessments to be included if the guidance counselor has something available. Your son has difficulties but he also has great ambition! Third, be sure to tell them your purposes in the testing (e.g., a record of need for future testing, services in college, etc.), so they cover everything you intend for them to cover.

                Let us know how everything goes. It is good to hear you are pursuing this for him!
                Thank you, Cheryl! I will do all of that. One of the things they are asking is for records of grades for the past 3 years, as well as current grades. Our state doesn't require any record keeping at all, and although I kept a list of the subjects we studied, I did not keep grades in elementary and middle school. I can figure the current grades, since I was planning to do that for a high school transcript now that he's in 9th grade. We always worked to mastery, so really every grade would be an A. Do you think that's okay or will it look suspicious? My husband thinks this likely won't matter because it is just paperwork for the file--would you agree?
                Catherine

                2018-19
                DS15, 9th
                DS13, 6th
                DS11, 5th
                DD11, 5th
                DS6, K
                DD3
                DS 10 mos

                Homeschooling 3 with MP
                2 using First Form series in school

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: OT: Public school testing

                  It seems reasonable and fitting to present his grades accurately. If this is straight A's, then so be it.

                  Because you homeschool, you might just want to explain that you do not automatically award A's (and even perhaps that you know how it might look to some) but 1) you teach for mastery and do not consider something A-level until it is, in fact, mastered and 2) your son strives for perfection. You might add that his striving for perfection can be part of your concern.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: OT: Public school testing

                    Anita, prayers honey. Cheryl recommended Chamomile tea. I recommend something stronger, up the proof per se. Ha!

                    It's true, our boys, born just one a week apart are truly two peas in a pod. These results prove it.

                    My dh also didn't want to hear the results. As Cheryl said, they hit too close to home. So true.

                    To the OP: include your dh as much as possible in the testing. If they send home a parent questionnaire, ask for two copies to complete. One for each of you. My dh wasn't involved at all and insisted the results were a knee-jerk reaction. He somehow missed the 40 different appointments that led up to the diagnosis.

                    Anita, did they actually make a diagnosis or have they given you follow-up info to receive one from a different provider?

                    Give your husband and you time to digest this. We're talking a month or two here. It's hard. You can have concerns and suspicions, but a third party validating them is hard. It's nice to have an answer, but not THAT answer, right?

                    We went through this probably exactly a year ago. My husband just ordered a book about kids with Asperger's. I'm like, he has autism, not Asperger's. Even with the old diagnosis langauge he wouldn't have had Asperger's. So, he still is grappling with it. A year, folks. But, he did order the book...so maybe it's starting to get in there.

                    Finish reading the report. Put it down. Stay off those internet sites, you know the ones. Read the report again next week. Read it a month later. These things take time.

                    Praying for the whole family. Hugs

                    PS, symbol search was my son's lowest to.
                    Last edited by Colomama; 12-06-2018, 06:16 PM.
                    Married to DH for 13 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

                    DS10- Simply Classical 4 / Grade 3 Classic Core,
                    DD8- Grade 2 Classic Core,
                    DD 6- Classic Core Kindergarten

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: OT: Public school testing

                      Originally posted by Colomama View Post
                      Anita, prayers honey. Cheryl recommended Chamomile tea. I recommend something stronger, up the proof per se. Ha!

                      It's true, our boys, born just one a week apart are truly two peas in a pod. These results prove it.

                      My dh also didn't want to hear the results. As Cheryl said, they hit too close to home. So true.

                      To the OP: include your dh as much as possible in the testing. If they send home a parent questionnaire, ask for two copies to complete. One for each of you. My dh wasn't involved at all and insisted the results were a knee-jerk reaction. He somehow missed the 40 different appointments that led up to the diagnosis.

                      Anita, did they actually make a diagnosis or have they given you follow-up info to receive one from a different provider?

                      Give your husband and you time to digest this. We're talking a month or two here. It's hard. You can have concerns and suspicions, but a third party validating them is hard. It's nice to have an answer, but not THAT answer, right?

                      We went through this probably exactly a year ago. My husband just ordered a book about kids with Asperger's. I'm like, he has autism, not Asperger's. Even with the old diagnosis langauge he wouldn't have had Asperger's. So, he still is grappling with it. A year, folks. But, he did order the book...so maybe it's starting to get in there.

                      Finish reading the report. Put it down. Stay off those internet sites, you know the ones. Read the report again next week. Read it a month later. These things take time.

                      Praying for the whole family. Hugs

                      PS, symbol search was my son's lowest to.
                      A day apart! My Buddy is one day younger than your Buddy.
                      We are trying to get a non verbal IQ test done. With someone who has such poor verbal processing, a WISC-V (heavily verbal) is going to be a bad diagnostic. Our Eminent SLP says the WISC-V is “notoriously bad” at assessing IQ in verbally impaired kids. She pointed to scores of 85-91 in Math and visual reasoning on other tests as proof. This is likely not something the district will administer or pay for, but we may spring for it on our own.

                      The assessment is for IEP purposes only, and we are suggesting that it be annotated to state as much. It is not a diagnosis, it is a recommendation of study for remediation of skills.

                      Husband is invested in “being right” about IQ and our son not having Autism. However, if further testing reveals that he is wrong, he will (might?) accept that... (shaking my head and sighing).
                      Last edited by Anita; 12-06-2018, 11:57 PM.
                      Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                      Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                      Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                      Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                      “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                      ~Pope St John Paul II

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: OT: Public school testing

                        Originally posted by Colomama View Post
                        Anita, prayers honey. Cheryl recommended Chamomile tea. I recommend something stronger, up the proof per se. Ha!

                        It's true, our boys, born just one a week apart are truly two peas in a pod. These results prove it.

                        My dh also didn't want to hear the results. As Cheryl said, they hit too close to home. So true.

                        To the OP: include your dh as much as possible in the testing. If they send home a parent questionnaire, ask for two copies to complete. One for each of you. My dh wasn't involved at all and insisted the results were a knee-jerk reaction. He somehow missed the 40 different appointments that led up to the diagnosis.

                        Anita, did they actually make a diagnosis or have they given you follow-up info to receive one from a different provider?

                        Give your husband and you time to digest this. We're talking a month or two here. It's hard. You can have concerns and suspicions, but a third party validating them is hard. It's nice to have an answer, but not THAT answer, right?

                        We went through this probably exactly a year ago. My husband just ordered a book about kids with Asperger's. I'm like, he has autism, not Asperger's. Even with the old diagnosis langauge he wouldn't have had Asperger's. So, he still is grappling with it. A year, folks. But, he did order the book...so maybe it's starting to get in there.

                        Finish reading the report. Put it down. Stay off those internet sites, you know the ones. Read the report again next week. Read it a month later. These things take time.

                        Praying for the whole family. Hugs

                        PS, symbol search was my son's lowest to.
                        Colomama,
                        Thank you for your advice. Our son was diagnosed 11 years ago, and to be honest, accepting the diagnosis has been a years-long process. At each stage of development, there’s a new level of understanding and acceptance that I have to go through. A book your husband may appreciate is The Autistic Brain, by Temple Grandin. Cheryl recently recommended it to me on another thread, to help my older children understand what their brother experiences on the autism spectrum. I just finished reading it and found it very helpful and hopeful.

                        Peace to you and to Anita!
                        Catherine
                        Catherine

                        2018-19
                        DS15, 9th
                        DS13, 6th
                        DS11, 5th
                        DD11, 5th
                        DS6, K
                        DD3
                        DS 10 mos

                        Homeschooling 3 with MP
                        2 using First Form series in school

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: OT: Public school testing

                          Dear Cheryl,

                          While everyone at the high school has been very nice and expressed their desire to help, they are confused as to how to get my son into their system. They don't seem to have ever had a homeschooled student receive special education testing at this school. In order to access the electronic IEP paperwork, they would like me to enroll my son on Monday as a regular student, let him accrue absences until we do the testing, and then dis-enroll him after the process is complete. If I want to update the testing again before he graduates high school, I'd have to enroll/ dis-enroll him again. Does this sound right to you? I believe the absences will count against the school for state funding, and I will (according to them) receive a lot of robocalls once his absences start to add up. When we did this before, enrollment wasn't an issue because he was only 3 years old. I'm going to contact my state homeschool association today too, but I'd love to hear any advice you have.

                          Thank you!
                          Catherine
                          Catherine

                          2018-19
                          DS15, 9th
                          DS13, 6th
                          DS11, 5th
                          DD11, 5th
                          DS6, K
                          DD3
                          DS 10 mos

                          Homeschooling 3 with MP
                          2 using First Form series in school

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: OT: Public school testing

                            Originally posted by CatherineS View Post
                            Dear Cheryl,

                            While everyone at the high school has been very nice and expressed their desire to help, they are confused as to how to get my son into their system. They don't seem to have ever had a homeschooled student receive special education testing at this school. In order to access the electronic IEP paperwork, they would like me to enroll my son on Monday as a regular student, let him accrue absences until we do the testing, and then dis-enroll him after the process is complete. If I want to update the testing again before he graduates high school, I'd have to enroll/ dis-enroll him again. Does this sound right to you? I believe the absences will count against the school for state funding, and I will (according to them) receive a lot of robocalls once his absences start to add up. When we did this before, enrollment wasn't an issue because he was only 3 years old. I'm going to contact my state homeschool association today too, but I'd love to hear any advice you have.

                            Thank you!
                            Catherine
                            This does sound convoluted, doesn't it?!

                            We were able to obtain all of our testing privately through insurance coverage, so I did not experience this as a parent firsthand; however, Wrightslaw.com tries to stay current and offers the following notes & laws as reference points as you advocate. Your state homeschool advocacy group will know any state-specific requirements in addition to verifying these from Wrightslaw:

                            - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act includes the Child Find mandate. Child Find requires all school districts to identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disabilities. This obligation to identify all children who may need special education services exists even if the school is not providing special education services to the child.

                            -The law about the requirement to evaluate if requested by the child’s parent is clear and unambiguous:
                            "A State educational agency, other State agency, or local educational agency [school district] shall conduct a full and individual initial evaluation ... either the parent of a child, or a State education agency, other State agency, or local educational agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability." 20 USC 1414(a)(1)

                            - "All children with disabilities residing in the state, including children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated . . ." (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3))

                            - Schools are required to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities from birth through age 21. The Child Find mandate applies to all children who reside within a State, including children who attend private schools and public schools, highly mobile children, migrant children, homeless children, and children who are wards of the state. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3))

                            - This includes all children who are suspected of having a disability, including children who receive passing grades and are "advancing from grade to grade." (34 CFR 300.111(c)) The law does not require children to be "labeled" or classified by their disability. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3)(B); 34 CFR 300.111(d)).


                            You might be paving the way for others! Let us know what happens --

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: OT: Public school testing

                              Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                              This does sound convoluted, doesn't it?!

                              We were able to obtain all of our testing privately through insurance coverage, so I did not experience this as a parent firsthand; however, Wrightslaw.com tries to stay current and offers the following notes & laws as reference points as you advocate. Your state homeschool advocacy group will know any state-specific requirements in addition to verifying these from Wrightslaw:

                              - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act includes the Child Find mandate. Child Find requires all school districts to identify, locate and evaluate all children with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disabilities. This obligation to identify all children who may need special education services exists even if the school is not providing special education services to the child.

                              -The law about the requirement to evaluate if requested by the child’s parent is clear and unambiguous:
                              "A State educational agency, other State agency, or local educational agency [school district] shall conduct a full and individual initial evaluation ... either the parent of a child, or a State education agency, other State agency, or local educational agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability." 20 USC 1414(a)(1)

                              - "All children with disabilities residing in the state, including children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated . . ." (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3))

                              - Schools are required to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities from birth through age 21. The Child Find mandate applies to all children who reside within a State, including children who attend private schools and public schools, highly mobile children, migrant children, homeless children, and children who are wards of the state. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3))

                              - This includes all children who are suspected of having a disability, including children who receive passing grades and are "advancing from grade to grade." (34 CFR 300.111(c)) The law does not require children to be "labeled" or classified by their disability. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3)(B); 34 CFR 300.111(d)).


                              You might be paving the way for others! Let us know what happens --
                              Has anyone run into trouble as homeschoolers using the public school testing. Like, being given a hard time about homeschooling, ending up on “the radar”, etc? We aren’t required to report or register in Indiana and I kind of like the freedom of that. At the same time, public school testing is already paid for by my tax dollars rather than trying to scrape money together, get financial assistance, etc for private testing. Would PS testing be as thorough as private neuropsych?
                              Jennifer


                              2018-2019
                              DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
                              DS-12 (6M)
                              DS-10 (SC3)
                              DD-8 (MP2)
                              DD-6 (SC2)
                              DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

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