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Ummm...what now?!

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    Ummm...what now?!

    The public school psychologist gave A the KTEA-3 achievement test last week to determine eligibility for further evaluations. She included the oral expression subtest as well since he sometimes has a hard time finding the right words for things.

    She’s writing up the report, but called today to let me know where things stand. He scored average or above average in everything. His highest score? Oral expression.

    Nonsense decoding: 90
    Spelling: 93
    Math concepts/application: 95
    Math computation: 99
    Written expression: 104
    Oral expression: 125

    Comprehension was somewhere between 96 and a 100.

    I lent my my copy of Simply Classical to a friend so I don’t have the standard score ranges in front of me to help decipher this; but she said everything is in the average or above average range.

    So, do his struggles just boil down to a lack of organization in his study? Is the curriculum just above him even though he’s an average kid? Here is what I put in my original request letter to the school system:

    “A has struggled throughout his academic career, specifically with memory, comprehension, ordering of information, and expressive language and these challenges have affected him in multiple subject areas. His grades show vast inconsistency, even within a single subject, alternating between high achievement and failing.

    ...the following interventions have been tried with varying effectiveness: targeted study methods using interleaving, retrieval, and distributed practice; verbal and written repetition; one-on-one directed study; allowance for additional study time before test dates; visual mapping to organize thoughts; one-on-one coaching for assignments that require the summarization, organization, and presentation of information; one-on-one coaching on the prioritization of assignments and the scheduling of long-term assignments; feedback/coaching on word choice and tone in both verbal and written communication.”


    Consistency in the above efforts is not there. Is all of this just bad study habits? He’s not lazy in his work but I have to keep on top of him or things fall through the cracks.
    Jennifer
    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

    2022
    DS18: Graduated and living his dream in the automotive trades
    DS17: MP, MPOA, headed to his favorite liberal arts college this fall
    DS15: MP, MPOA
    DS13: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
    DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
    DD10: SC3
    DD7: MPK

    #2
    To the school, he is "just fine," but these scores are reflective of your high standards and good efforts over the years!

    Here is the reality:
    - ​"Average" only compares him against peers, not against the norm for your own family. ​​​​​A score of 90 on nonsense words or 93 in spelling, for example, is a relative weakness for him and likely lower than might be expected in your home.
    - The scores do reveal some scatter. A high of 125 is high. This is good, but why are not all of the other areas 120-125?
    - Your concerns remain valid even though they might look "just fine" to someone who might be accustomed to seeing lower scores.

    Here are the implications:
    - Because of his stellar oral expression evidenced perhaps by a strong vocabulary or a bright mind, you may have unwittingly developed unreasonably high expectations for everything else. (This happens with our son.) After all, with a vocabulary and mind like that, how can he not stay on task, get his work acomplished, and think efficiently in day-to-day matters?

    Also, as his mom, you are not looking for "average." You're looking to help him harness all of his gifts and abilities to the greatest extent possible, and you are seeing him struggle in the very ways you explained to the tester.

    If it is any consolation, long ago we experienced something similar with state testing. "Not low enough to qualify" does not translate to "We can help you help him." For that you may have to continue reading, coaching, teaching and possibly explore more in-depth testing. You found the Smart but Scattered book helpful, or the book Late, Lost, & Unprepared; and you know of a family history of ADHD and similar issues, so do not take this testing as dismissive of your concerns. You can be encouraged, perhaps, that his academics do not seem to be as low as you thought they would be! But continue exploring the tools to help him with reading (teach phonics and spelling through nonsense words, as we do in SC 1), with staying on task (timer, checklist) and with organizing himself (simple tools).

    These results do not say to me, "It's all in your head," but rather, "Well done, momma and son. Good strides have been made. Keep going!"

    I LOVE that his oral expression is high. This will help him throughout his life. The downside is that people may expect much from him as a result, so he needs to understand that he has strong areas but also areas to continue working on.

    You ask, "What next?" For now I would enjoy a celebration.

    And when you're ready, dust off those books and tips you read in preparation for Tweens, Teens, & Organization, so you can use them in earnest. Continue working on visual/aural phonics for reading and spelling, and keep the conversations, discussions, and literature strong. These may have contributed to his highest score.
    Last edited by cherylswope; 02-28-2019, 12:51 PM.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for this encouragement, Cheryl! I just received the draft report and she mentions scatter several times:

      ...fluently read several “words” before his performance again appears scattered, replying correctly as well as incorrectly across a large number of items.
      ...correctly read numerous grade-level words, and then his performance appears scattered, making mistakes alternately with correct responses on the more difficult items attempted.
      ...he was required to write solutions to math problems printed in the Student Response Booklet....with a scattered performance across the difficult items.

      I am truly glad that there isn't an actual learning disability underneath everything. We just need to figure out how to support him on a daily basis. Here's to dusting off books...and taking a deep breath before I succumb to utter overwhelm at the amount of one-on-one support my children need!
      Jennifer
      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

      2022
      DS18: Graduated and living his dream in the automotive trades
      DS17: MP, MPOA, headed to his favorite liberal arts college this fall
      DS15: MP, MPOA
      DS13: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
      DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
      DD10: SC3
      DD7: MPK

      Comment


        #4
        Did she tell you she ruled out a learning disability?

        To what did she attribute the scatter between subtests and inconsistency within subtests?

        Did she conduct any intelligence testing?

        You might want to follow up and ask a few more questions.

        As for the overwhelm, be careful with this. We can only do what we can do.

        Keep your strategies simple and manageable, because resentment & burnout on our part is often more damaging to our children than if we fail to implement creative strategies every day. Think "easy to implement."

        If you learn more from the evaluator, you might receive additional information that will help him in ways you have not yet explored. From here it sounds like a follow-up visit or phone call might be worth your time.

        Comment


          #5
          This was the first step in their evaluation process. If it doesn't show significant discrepancies than they disqualify you for further, deeper evaluations like intelligence, etc. The report says there is no "evidence of insufficient progress or a pattern of strength or weakness relative to a learning disability". The wrap-up meeting request indicates that "...using Cross-Battery Assessment methods of SLD identification, further evaluation is not indicated." and "The public agency may not propose eligibility for [A] as a student with a specific learning disability, as his evaluative profile does not show academic weakness."

          We have a wrap-up meeting with her and the special education representative. I'm hoping to get some further insights there; her report says that the scatter started when "more difficult items" were attempted but it doesn't qualify what those were except for math: decimals, percents, and geometry.
          Last edited by jen1134; 02-28-2019, 03:12 PM.
          Jennifer
          Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

          2022
          DS18: Graduated and living his dream in the automotive trades
          DS17: MP, MPOA, headed to his favorite liberal arts college this fall
          DS15: MP, MPOA
          DS13: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
          DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
          DD10: SC3
          DD7: MPK

          Comment


            #6
            Jen,

            if it is is any consolation, my daughter had “scores of scatter” as well. Her scores were even crazier and she was labeled “ADHD”, but no learning disabilty! Her IQ was quite high (not quite gifted) and there are many times I question using a special needs curriculum. However, whenever we try to do “regular” MP, we are back to SC fairly quickly. The great difference in her scores require the special needs because she typically can use her intelligence to “get by”, but it can only work for so long. She also has application issues. She us a rigid, black and white thinker and this crippled her in learning sometimes!

            The “overlearning” in SC has made sure she is actually learning and not using her intelligence to merely get by.
            Christine

            (2022/2023)
            DD1 8/23/09 -Mix of MP 6/7
            DS2 9/1/11 - Mix of SC 7/8 and SC 9/10 (R&S 5, FFL)
            DD3 2/9/13 -SC 5/6

            Previous Years
            DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, Mix of MP3/4, Mix MP5/6
            DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, AAR/Storytime Treasures), CLE Math, Mix of MP3/4, MP5 (literature mix of SC 7/8/MP5)
            DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1, MP2

            Comment


              #7
              How old is A?
              DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
              DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
              DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

              We've completed:
              Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
              Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Colomama View Post
                How old is A?
                He’ll be 16 in May.
                Jennifer
                Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                2022
                DS18: Graduated and living his dream in the automotive trades
                DS17: MP, MPOA, headed to his favorite liberal arts college this fall
                DS15: MP, MPOA
                DS13: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
                DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
                DD10: SC3
                DD7: MPK

                Comment


                  #9
                  Did they test processing speed? My son (same age) also scores very high in intelligence and academic achievement but very low in processing speed, which then leads to so much frustration, anxiety, and even depression over schoolwork.

                  Do you suspect any particular underlying issue that you can bring up in your closing meeting with them?
                  Catherine

                  2021-22
                  DS18, 12th
                  DS15, 9th
                  DS & DD13, 8th
                  DS9, 3rd
                  DD6, 1st
                  DS3
                  DS & DS 6 mos

                  Comment

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