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Suspected learning disability

I suspect that my 9-year old daughter may have some type of learning disability; she struggles in nearly every subject, but especially reading and math. I don't really know anything about learning disabilities; my suspicion is based in the gap between the extent to which she struggles with basic learning in school and the intelligence she displays on a daily basis (she's quite perceptive and resourceful and gets abstract concepts you wouldn't expect her to understand at her age). Her speech development was quite delayed (she didn't really start speaking until 2.5 yrs old and it took her quite a long time to learn to make sounds properly although her speech if fine now). She is getting help in school (reading specialists, extra math help, etc), but I suspect that our school system is unmotivated to diagnose learning disabilities due to the expense of coping with them. What is my best course of action here?

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:55 PM on Jan. 12, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (11)
  • Force the issue, put it in writting and request further testing, getting the teacher on board also helps. They can not deny testing once the parent and teacher steps up, it is against the law.

    Answer by luckysevenwow at 5:11 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • If you suspect a learning disablity then your first step is to go see her doctor. He/she can talk to you about your concerns and see if it warrants a specialist to look at her and maybe even test her themselves. By law, the school must test her for a disability. Now, if you are not in a school district then they might have very little resources. But, I would talk to her doctor first to see if they are seeing the same thing as you are. There could be a number of reasons why and the school is either not seeing the full picture or are just too ignorant to bother looking.

    BTW, my son is autistic and we got him tested first w/ the doctors and then the school board.

    Good luck!

    Answer by krisytina03 at 9:15 PM on Jan. 12, 2009

  • Go fill out a form with the guidance counselor. The school won't have a choice but to do this. It takes a while so don't expect it to be done the next week, or even month. Make sure you write down when you put the form in and when you get a response and what not. Make sure the paperwork doesn't get lost.

    Answer by ConnorsMommy521 at 12:13 AM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • I was in your shoes about five years ago .First thing I did was demand a child study team meeting which consists of a meeting with your child's teacher, principal,  guidance counselor, and  psychologist. Put all your concerns on the table, use everything you have as ammunition to back up your instincts. Your goal is to shine light on your daughter serious need for intervention . She needs to be evaluated by the  psychologist asap. Only then will most districts recommend intervention.   Should her test results show a need for help then a plan will be coordinated between you ,your child's teacher, and whatever educational support services your school district offers.enough if you truly feel that your daughter has an issue she . Channel your concerns to be an advocate for your child. One last piece of advice, don't ask for things demand them but do it with a smile on your face!! >


    Answer by ericarae4 at 10:48 AM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • My daughter has a learning disability. The school refused to test her. There is no harm in testing. It came back that she needed help mostly in math. And in schools now a days there is no smaller classes there is just an extra teacher in the classes to pull certain ones aside and assist with the struggles they are having. Teachers are so different now. Everyone is so quick to throw a kid on meds and think that will fix the problem. My daughter seizured for 10 hrs when she was 2 wks old and the hospital kept telling me i was being paranoid. And her peds now believe that caused the slight disability she has. but regardless u  have to demand the issue with the school. If they won't her ped should be able to prescribe a doc that can request the testing then they would take it to the school. But good look


    Answer by momneedshelp3 at 11:20 AM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • contact the student counselor and or the administrator. I have a 3 with learning disabilities

    Answer by angelwings63050 at 1:44 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • Contact your family doctor, have her hearing and eyes tested and if they are okay THEN have a pyschologist (spelling??) who is trained in learning disabilities test her...then take the results to the school and ask for a IEP (or whatever your state version is).

    Answer by tiggerrrt at 2:06 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • 1)
    First check out the department of education website and download the "Whose Idea Is This" packet. This packet provides procedural safeguards to parents and explain the process from suspecting a disability to providing services. Also, talk to some one who is knowledgeable - as you cannot have your child tested at a Dr's office and then take the results to the school and ask for an IEP.
    There is a process, which begins with a referral to the Intervention Assistance Team (IAT or some other acronym depending on your district). Please keep in mind that the rules governing education differ for public vs private facilities. Public schools operate under FAPE - Free Appropriate Public Education - and must abide by federal and state rules. Private schools do not.

    Answer by tsd at 4:21 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • 2)
    As such, if your child is attending a public school it is your right to request an evaluation. The school has 30 days to respond to your request and either proceed with the evaluation or state that they do not suspect a disability. If they proceed with the evaluation and determine that your child meets the eligibility requirements to receive services as a student with disabilities, an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting will be held and services outlined. If it is determined that your child is not eligible for services, she / he may be able to receive accommodations under Section 504 of the law.

    Answer by tsd at 4:22 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

  • 3)
    In short - if your school is attending a public school, they do not have an "option" to choose whether or not to conduct an evaluation. You can request this verbally or in writing, though writing will be best in order to maintain your documentation. It sounds like your school is on the right track in terms of providing interventions and having supports in place (extra math help, reading assistance, etc.).
    Schedule a meeting with your school, express your concerns and go from there. Read up an dbe informed before you make any requests.

    Answer by tsd at 4:22 PM on Jan. 13, 2009

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