Child Should Be Evaluated for Special Ed. Even If Advancing From Grade to Grade

A child with dyslexia, or any other learning disability, is entitled to being evaluated for special education and the testing that this may involve even if advancing from grade to grade

Comments from the NEUROLOGIST, 

A 10-year-old, 5th grade girl comes in with her mom because she cannot read at a 5th grade level. Her school gave her a resource room, but her mom sees her falling behind even more. She is not reading any book for pleasure at home. She takes 4 hours to do homework, which is much too long.

She needs thorough testing for dyslexia. I wrote a letter to her principal asking for the specific tests I want at the schools’ expense. The principal said no, because she has not failed a grade yet. But I don’t want her to wait until she fails a grade before the school will give her appropriate help because by then her confidence and interest in schoolwork will be mostly gone.

Comments from the ATTORNEY, 

Passing grades should not stop the school from evaluating for special education needs. This is very clearly stated in the federal regulations. “FAPE [free appropriate public education] is available to any individual child with a disability who needs special education and related services, even though the child has not failed or been retained in a course or grade, and is advancing from grade to grade” (34 C.F.R. § 101(c)).

The State Regulations also specifically state that special education shall be available “even though the student is advancing from grade to grade.” 8 NYCRR § 200.4(c)(5). Some school administrators are under the mistaken impression that passing from grade to grade removes a child from eligibility for special education.

With respect to thorough testing for dyslexia, the state educational agency, or local education agency “shall conduct a full and individual initial evaluation” to determine if the child is a child with a disability within the meaning of the law and is entitled to receive special education. The parent can request such an evaluation. This evaluation must assess the child “in all areas of suspected disability.”

The parent should make sure that the team conducting the evaluation is aware of the parent’s concern – put this in writing. The education agency is required by law to make such an evaluation – at its expense: They do not have any discretion as to whether to evaluate or not (20 U.S.C.§ 1414).

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

joshua tanner January 17, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Schools are too quick to make a child defective when its they who are often defective. To listen to educators and pols you would have to conclude kids are being born dumber these days, and schools have to work harder to overcome the increase in dumbness. When I was in first grade I was a little shy in reading class. My teacher (Miss Pascal) kept me after school for a few minutes for a couple days and we went over some basics. When I saw I could actually do basic elemental reading I got over my shyness and loved to read. Today my teacher probably wouldn't have been shrewd enough to spot my shyness, and she wouldn't be industrious enough to give me some private time.Today I would have been given a label of some kind and passed off. When I went to school teaching was still a main career for women and the brightest ones went into it. Now women want to be bankers and music executives. Education departments are like degree mills with weird agendas and pass anyone who can fog a mirror. The culture and schools are actively miseducating kids and they never own up to the part of the problem. Of course parents these days don't help because people around 40-60 were the first ones set up to fail and their kids get it even worse.
Michael Kaufman and Madeleine Kitaj January 17, 2012 at 01:57 PM
We want to give credit to the teachers who still spend the extra time you spoke about helping kids to learn. But what I see often in my practice from teachers and from students is that school systems cut back on money, class sizes increased, teachers are required to do lots of baloney paperwork, and time for the kind of one-on-one happens less often.
Rose Marie Raccioppi January 17, 2012 at 04:46 PM
In 1975, I founded the Rockland County Association for the Learning Disabled. This was motivated by the need to address the very issues discussed here. In 1983, I founded APOGEE Learning Enhancement Training Systems™ again, to address the very issues discussed here. For the last 28 years I have served the special needs of those deemed dyslexic and/or learning disabled, and offer a 28 year record of documented success. I welcome your inquiry and invite you to visit: http://www.apogeelearning.com and http://www.apogeelearning.blogspot.com YES, there are ways for each learner to succeed... I welcome your call as well 845-359-9056.
Michael Kaufman and Madeleine Kitaj January 17, 2012 at 05:04 PM
We were glad to hear from you. The more people like you that are around the better off this world is; especially for those children who have learning differences.
Rose Marie Raccioppi January 17, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Michael Kaufman and Madeleine Kitaj, Of course the sentiment expressed is extended on to each of you. Please do not hesitate to call upon me. I have an extensive background in IEP development, have been an 'expert witness' for Impartial Hearings and have developed a reading program and study strategies for dyslexics that has been shown to assure success. Our children deserve support beyond labeling. APOGEE Learning: Improved Reading Performance with APOGEE Somatic Phonics™ ~ A Breakthrough for the Dyslexic, The Learning Disabled, the Underachieved Reader. - http://apogeelearning.blogspot.com/2011/08/improved-reading-performance-with.html


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