Sheri in BG

Testing for LD or not?

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Sheri in BG

My 14 yo DS is finishing 8th-grade using core F.  He was slow to learn to read and we eventually went through vision therapy which did help.  Still, reading is painfully slow for him - like 10 hours to read a book that took his 11yo sister less than 2 hours.  Reading aloud is worse in that he doesn't retain anything he has read.  He has significant issues with word recall, especially nouns.  Sentences like "I got the thing for that stuff" are common.

 

The question is this:  should I pursue testing for him to get a label which could be used for accommodations in the future?  Are there risks in seeking testing through the school system?

 

Any advice would be welcome!

 

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NCBlueberry

I'm a fan of testing, usually. Obviously, it's not a one-size-fits-all situation. I've had both of my kids tested for various things and the only thing I regret is not doing it sooner for my oldest child who is now 13. With my daughter (my younger child) it was much more obvious, we found out the had chromosomal abnormality and MUCH testing followed. The testing has been extremely useful because we were able to use it to make decisions on school placement and curriculum choices. We were able to find better options for her for schooling/curriculum because of the information we received.

 

My son was more complicated because intellectually he was on target, but something is/was off in the writing department. At first I refused testing because it wasn't going to 'fix' anything and I didn't want him to feel badly about himself if it said he wasn't good at something. Eventually, as he aged, I found that we really did need to know what exactly was going on because he was going to need modifications if he was in a typical school setting. So we had the testing done and while the writing isn't fixable, I did learn that he had major ADHD-impulsivity issues that were making things much harder for him than they needed to be. We decided to give him medication for 1 day and have him retested on that day and he scored MUCH better. I had numerical proof that the medicine helped. We have continued the medicine, at ds's request, he loves how much better he can think when he takes it, and we have paper documentation that he needs help or modifications when it comes to actual handwriting. He just really struggles with the fine motor skills needed to write. After that experience I think it was very helpful to have him tested and I would do it again. Hearing that he needed medicine and struggled to write wasn't new to him, he already knew that, and he appreciated the doctors ideas for how to modify things for that.

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Laos1975

Following this as I'm on the fence with youngest dd.

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doxa

I can't see any downside to having him tested.  

 

Your thoughts about securing potential accommodations are right on the money I think.

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Sheri in BG

 Thanks for the suggestions.  I think we will look into it.

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Merry

I would recommend getting testing done to secure future accommodations. As far as risks with getting the testing done through the school system--you may trade time for money (in some districts it can take months to get in and you have to be very proactive). I would try to talk with others who have pursued testing through the system--was it helpful? Did they feel the testing was accurate? And so on. There's going to be a ton of variance from one district to another. You might talk with your child's pediatrician to get feedback on what their experience has been as far as getting testing results. Find out what kind of testing would be done through the school district, and see if it hits all the areas you are concerned about. Sometimes there is an advantage to private testing--but it can be expensive too. Again, try to talk to others who have tested and see what their experiences have been.

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Sheri in BG

Thanks, Merry!  You have very good suggestions!

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Sippin' Lymeade

I just had my 14 yo dd tested by school district. They said she was "fine", but when/if I can afford it, I'm going to seek private testing.  Their test results showed she was just above the acceptable line in many areas, but high intelligence (just short of gifted).  Since they were only judging on skills (like reading comprehension), it seemed to me they were saying that as long as her achievement in all skills but spelling were about 30% or so. It didn't matter that there was a discrepancy of most other skills and her intelligence being at 80% or so and many skills in the 30% percentile.  But what about the fact that other than the fact that she fits the symptoms of dyslexia?......just has managed to learn to read!  She can't tell left from right, still sometimes reversed letters or numbers, can't memorize multiplication facts, etc. And has almost no phonics skills despite years of phonics and All About Spelling and also using the Seeing Stars program.   Yeah....I'm not upset that I tried the school district first, but I don't think they were accurate in their assessment, even based on their own testing! :( I am frustrated with the results and my lack of funds to pursue it more.

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Merry

I just had my 14 yo dd tested by school district. They said she was "fine", but when/if I can afford it, I'm going to seek private testing.  Their test results showed she was just above the acceptable line in many areas, but high intelligence (just short of gifted).  Since they were only judging on skills (like reading comprehension), it seemed to me they were saying that as long as her achievement in all skills but spelling were about 30% or so. It didn't matter that there was a discrepancy of most other skills and her intelligence being at 80% or so and many skills in the 30% percentile.  But what about the fact that other than the fact that she fits the symptoms of dyslexia?......just has managed to learn to read!  She can't tell left from right, still sometimes reversed letters or numbers, can't memorize multiplication facts, etc. And has almost no phonics skills despite years of phonics and All About Spelling and also using the Seeing Stars program.   Yeah....I'm not upset that I tried the school district first, but I don't think they were accurate in their assessment, even based on their own testing! :( I am frustrated with the results and my lack of funds to pursue it more.

School district type testing will really just look for kids that are 2 or more levels below grade level in a subject (mainly reading or math). So, they don't really look at discrepancies between a student's abilities and performance. If you do go for private testing, I would tell them what happened with the school testing and what your concern is--if you have results, show those and discuss them before you spend the money on testing and see how they respond. Ask how their testing would be different (if it would)--you don't want to pay for the same experience, but want to see if they will look at more than whether she's at or below grade level.

I would also ask whether specific remediation for suspected dyslexia (Seeing Stars, AAS which is Orton-Gillingham based) will skew the results at all, and if so, can they still tell if she's dyslexic and how that part will work.

Just ask lots of questions before you pay for testing since the school testing doesn't really help you with the struggles you are seeing.

I forget if you have looked into vision processing issues already, but it's something you may also want to consider--www.covd.org.

Edited by Merry
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kolamum

FWIW, I might go to a specific specialist. You may find that his learning difficulties are related to something more specific. My 15 year old would take 10 hours to read a book that it might take a 7 year old 2 hours to read too. His problem isn't that he can't read or that he doesn't understand what he reads but how his brain processes what he sees making it difficult for him to read. Before we knew that we had a few things lined up, including vision therapy.

We were aiming to have our child tested for dyslexia, but there was no one in our tiny little area who could do it. We learned about Irlen & went with that. In the 3 years our child has had glasses he's moved up 4 reading levels. he's still not a quick reader & doesn't read his core work, he uses Learning Ally. However, he can now read a few chapters without taking hours or becoming dehydrated, exhausted, & needing a nap afterwards. He finds it enjoyable which is lovely to see.

The upside of having him tested is that we do have that proof which is needed for a few things including Learning Ally. We did not test our child through the Public School System. It wasn't even on my radar. What was on my radar was to go directly to the specialists who can help him.

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Sippin' Lymeade

FWIW, I might go to a specific specialist. You may find that his learning difficulties are related to something more specific. My 15 year old would take 10 hours to read a book that it might take a 7 year old 2 hours to read too. His problem isn't that he can't read or that he doesn't understand what he reads but how his brain processes what he sees making it difficult for him to read. Before we knew that we had a few things lined up, including vision therapy.

We were aiming to have our child tested for dyslexia, but there was no one in our tiny little area who could do it. We learned about Irlen & went with that. In the 3 years our child has had glasses he's moved up 4 reading levels. he's still not a quick reader & doesn't read his core work, he uses Learning Ally. However, he can now read a few chapters without taking hours or becoming dehydrated, exhausted, & needing a nap afterwards. He finds it enjoyable which is lovely to see.

The upside of having him tested is that we do have that proof which is needed for a few things including Learning Ally. We did not test our child through the Public School System. It wasn't even on my radar. What was on my radar was to go directly to the specialists who can help him.

What's Learning Ally?  (Sorry for just getting back. I need to change my notification settings! Plus we just finished tech week for theater last week and my parents moving next door!  A little busy!)

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kolamum

What's Learning Ally?  (Sorry for just getting back. I need to change my notification settings! Plus we just finished tech week for theater last week and my parents moving next door!  A little busy!)

 

Learningally.org is a website for people with vision disabilities in any fashion. Our son{s} qualify due to having SSS/VPD/Irlen. We simply submitted the cover letter from their specialist. You can have a free 14 day trial to their website, but beyond that you won't be able to access it without proof that your child needs help. They will help you obtain that help if you don't have it. Thus far, any SL book we've looked for over there has been available which is lovely. :)

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Merry

What's Learning Ally?  (Sorry for just getting back. I need to change my notification settings! Plus we just finished tech week for theater last week and my parents moving next door!  A little busy!)

Learning Ally: https://www.learningally.org/

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