IEP plan changes and school changes? Psychologist evaluation?

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    • #113175
      ddt1981
      Participant

      Is there anyone out there that has had experience or considered using a psycologist, ADHD coach or do any additional testing beyond your pediatrician?
      Our pediatrician did survey testing to diagnose my son with ADHD. He evaluated answers from me (mom), his Dad, and many teachers that work with him on a daily basis.
      He has an IEP plan and we are continuing to monitor his social behavior/ relationships and his struggles with reading and writing.
      He was diagnosed with ADHD in 1st grade, so he missed a whole year and struggled all throughout kindergarten.
      He is behind level on his reading and writing.
      We have tried a few things on medication that his pediatrician described.
      Vyvanse he was allergic to. We have tried different strenghths of concerta. Right now he has 27mg of concerta in the morning, and 1 mg of intunive at night.
      At home, he seems like a normal energetic 8 year old, we work on reading and homework at home. The only symptom I see at home sometimes is focus.

      At school, they have a hard time with his focus. He does focus better with adding the intuniv and he is a very happy pleasant kid, no outbursts or anger.
      They just have a hard time with his reading and writing.
      The school is slightly suggesting we get him tested further. We have a meeting coming up this monday.

      Also, I am wondering what else I can ask (demand) the school to do and make adjustments to help him. Like a quiet room for reading, quiet room for writing, etc.

      Looking for suggestions please!

      thank you, a very concerned overwhelmed Mom

      • This topic was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by ddt1981.
      • This topic was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by ddt1981.
    • #113206
      amznwmn
      Participant

      I have two kids, both now in their late 20’s, who went through the same things, although my son much more than my daughter. We had an IEP, which was pretty useless as it made no demands on the school and required that my son do everything.
      Anyway, I researched the hell out of learning issues for kids with ADHD, especially when they wanted to put him in a 2nd grade reading level while he tested at an 8th grade level (he was in 4th grade). They (being the school) based this decision on his lack of ability to read out loud.
      What my research showed was that kids with ADD/ADHD when reading to themselves skip over the small, inconsequential words such as “the”, “of”, “to”, etc. so they can read quickly while still comprehending the material. When it came time for my son to read out loud, though, he stumbled and stuttered and barely got through a paragraph.
      Even though my son was in a “Talented and Gifted” (TAG) program, the teachers and administrators didn’t understand how his brain worked.
      There is a good book I found about teaching kids with ADD/ADHD that would probably benefit you to read because it will, in all likelihood, give you additional tools for being your son’s best advocate. I don’t remember the exact name of the book but it was something along the lines of “Teaching the ADD/ADHD Child(or teenager)”. It was an oversized, softcover book.
      Once we had the reading issue straightened out, we addressed his problems with taking tests/quizzes and his extreme avoidance to standing in front of his class to give a report.
      For both of these problems, we put in his IEP that he be allowed to 1) verbally respond to test questions asked by the teacher in a one-on-one after-school session, and 2) present his report to the teacher, again in a one-on-one session before or after school.
      One other thing I will say about your son’s diagnosis-according to every bit of information and every report I’ve read, a true medical diagnosis entails more than asking survey questions of his family and teachers; it should encompass a complete neuropsychological exam to determine the extent that ADHD affects the performance of everyday tasks and executive functioning. Based on that information, a determination should be made as to the correct medication and appropriate dosage. My suggestion would be to not rely on your pediatrician, but to find a children’s mental health or counseling program and have him evaluated there, and appropriate medications monitored by doctors who specialize in treating childhood ADD/ADHD.

    • #113258
      Outsider
      Participant

      A good neuropsychological evaluation from a licensed psychologist who specializes in testing is well worth it. It can also cost a lot of money if you are not insured for it. Not only will you get a diagnosis, but a good evaluation will give you information on your kids learning strengths and weaknesses which can set you up for how to approach school. Also, do not accept an evaluation from the school in lieu of having it done on your own. Remember, when the school pays for it, the psychologist works for them and not you.
      After my son was tested, we figured out the best ways to work with him, found his unique learning style and found a good treatment program for success. He is now an honor roll student applying for colleges and eligible for some academic scholarships.

    • #113181
      Dr. Eric
      Participant

      School Psychologist and Licensed Educational Psychologist here…

      If you are in the U.S., you are entitled to a school-based assessment for consideration for an IEP (services) or 504 (accommodations). If the school is calling you in for a meeting, I suspect that this is what they are considering.

      Generally speaking, school-based assessments are different from pediatrician assessments.
      – The school-based is narrowly focused on eligibility for school-based programs, not clinical diagnosis or needs.
      – Unless you got a comprehensive assessment from a developmental pediatrician or other specialist, general pediatric survey and evals are not very thorough and often do not seek to eliminate potential differential diagnoses.

      As always, individual results vary, and the quality of the professional matters more than the letters after the name.

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