Jul 8, 2018

Reading problems


My child's triennial is coming up. I believe she may have dyslexia. Are there any tests that I should request to see if she has this problem?

Jul 10, 2018

When a school does assessments for a Triennial they need your permission to assess and will give you an assessment plan to sign to give your consent to assess in certain areas. On that form, you can ask that they please assess to determine if she has a specific learning disability. You can say you suspect she has dyslexia.

Schools are not allowed to diagnose. They can determine with testing or consideration of other factors, if she qualfies under a specific learning disability. They may say she has a SLD in the area of reading, but they won't say dyslexia. If you have through your doctor a diagnosis of dyslexia- they can put in the IEP under present levels, child has a diagnosis of dyslexia.

A team will likely determine the presence of an SLD not by one specific test, but a combination of tests and facotors. They will likely use tests as part of her psycho-educational evaluation to determine if she has a disorder in at least one area of psychological processing and they may consider an SLD if there is a discrepancy between her cognitive/intellectual abilities and her achievement.

I would not reccomend that you ask for them to use a specific test or series of tests. Rather I would tell the team that you suspect that your child has a specific learning disability and can they please conduct testing as part of the triennial assessment to determine if she has an SLD and let them use their own measures. If you have already signed the assessment plan, send an email to the case manager.

If you ask them to assess for a SLD, they probably will do this. Many tests that are conducted as part of a regular triennial will have infomation to determine an SLD. But they may ignore your request or give you a letter- Prior Written Notice letting you know that they will not be test or consider an SLD and indicate why they will not. If this happens you may want to consult with an advocate, there is recourse even for this. But more than likely they will do the testing. Or consider an SLD as part of their testing.

If they do the testing and you do not agree the report, (lets say they do minimal testing or just observations and say in their report that she has no SLD) you have the rignt to disagreee with the assessment and ask for an Independant Educational Evaluation at public expense. That is a sort of second opinion assessment done by a qualified outside evaluator of your choosing. Most experienced advocates or attorney's could refer you to a reputable independant assessor.

You may trust the feedback of an IEE if you do not agree with the schools assessment. (you specifically have to state that you disagree with their assessment as part of asking for an IEE) And even if the IEE assessor does not find an SLD- it is likely that the assessment will be more comprehensive and will outline suggestions to abate your concerns. I'm guessing that if you think she has dyslexia that she is struggling with reading, writing, spelling and or is not making appropriate progress. This is at the heart of why you want good assessments that will lead to a good IEP with goals, services and accommodations to ensure apropriate progress.

Best of Luck,

Barbara Major

Jul 12, 2018

Thanks Barbara. Your information was very thorough and very helpful!


Sincerely, Phil

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