Dr. Andrews' Blog

Important considerations for parents before accepting a finding of ineligibility for special education - Cont.

If your child has discrepancies between ability and achievement (in combination with below average performance relative to children of comparable age), in any academic area including word reading, reading comprehension, pseudoword decoding, numerical operations, math reasoning, listening comprehension, spelling, or written expression – he/she should be found eligible for an Individualized Education Program. If your child shows no underachievement academically but ADHD is interfering with his ability to benefit from his/her public school education than he/she should receive a 504 plan with Other Health Impaired as the eligibility category.

Children with untreated ADHD are at high risk for academic underachievement and usually eventually qualify for an IEP due to gaps in learning over time. The WISC-V or Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales could be added to the ADHD evaluation to address a question about his/her overall intellectual capacity. Special education advocates and special education attorneys usually look to a Neuropsychological Testing Evaluation to help enforce the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the All Handicaped Children Act. The cost is high in part because the document is a legal document that in some cases is sent to the Board of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) hearing in Boston.

Many parents don’t realize that the range of cost for special education for children with SLD or multiple disabilities is from a few hundred dollars a week for a single pull out service such as OT all the way up to $160,000 per year in a residential education program. There are hundreds of potential services at various level of intensiveness and cost that fall in between that the school district is responsible for providing for handicapped students as well ancillary services such as transportation. They can only be obtained with an IEP and getting an IEP often requires a comprehensive independent Neuropspychological Testing Evaluation and vigorous advocacy.
1. Deliver a letter to the Director of Special Education of your child’s school district requesting a comprehensive initial evaluation for special education eligibility. The evaluation should consist of a cognitive evaluation including intellectual and academic achievement testing as well as a psychological assessment (i.e., evaluation of social, emotional, and behavioral functioning).

13 steps to take when you suspect your child may have dyslexia, dysgraphia, and/or dyscalculia.

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