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How do you handle Evals with special needs child?

Posted by on Dec. 3, 2017 at 9:18 AM
  • 12 Replies
My youngest is special needs with a speech & language delay, but there's something more. We haven't finished having him evaluated for autism, but I believe he falls somewhere under the spectrum.

Anyway, I started him in Kindergarten this year, but I'm worried about Evals at the end of the year. He doesn't take to new people well and I'm afraid he'll clamp up, shut down, and/or hide under the table when it comes to his Evaluation.

Have any of you had to deal with this? If so, do you have any advice?
by on Dec. 3, 2017 at 9:18 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Leissaintexas
by Silver Member on Dec. 3, 2017 at 10:37 AM
Does your state require them? If so, can you opt out?
If there's no way around it, then the only thing you can do is just suffer through it and move on. They can evaluate all they want, it doesn't change anything. In any case, whoever does the eval will certainly realize you can't evaluate sn kids the same way you do typical kids.

This also can be a good teaching monent. Teaching him how to respond to new people is every bit as important as academics.

Leissaintexas
by Silver Member on Dec. 3, 2017 at 10:38 AM
Wait, I just read that he's just beginning kindergarten. Double check to see if K is even required. In most states it isn't. This may buy you another year.
Oddyssey
by Member on Dec. 4, 2017 at 1:03 PM
Thanks for your replies. Yes, K is required, and although they don't have to start until age 6, but I already registered him in K.... and he's been doing some K stuff for a while now.

Once a year evals are required, but I can look into opting out due to his special needs status. I didn't think of that. But yes, it can be a good teaching moment.... IF he's having a good day. Otherwise it'll be a disaster. *sigh*
MomLeslieM
by on Dec. 4, 2017 at 2:26 PM

What state are you in?  Most of the time for homeschooler's yearly evals have different requirements than the public schools do.  For example, where I am in NY, we just had to do a standardized test with at least a 33%ile rank OR growth for the year.  Even though special needs both mine were able to get above the 33rd %ile BUT I have friends who used "growth" so they gave the test in year one and as long as they student showed the same or better score the next year they were fine.  Are you a member of HSLDA or a homeschool group in your area or state?

Oddyssey
by Member on Dec. 4, 2017 at 8:13 PM

We're in Florida. No, I'm not a member of HSLDA yet. I keep thinking about joining, but honestly haven't had the funds to do so yet.

I think that so long as they show progress of some sort, they'll be ok, but if he shuts down and won't cooperate at all, then he won't be able to show any progress. Of course, this will be his first time, but there are a few things that she looks for in Kindergarteners.

Have any of you ever had the evaluator meet your special needs children ahead of time? I wonder if that would be a reasonable request or if that's asking too much? Even then, it all depends on the "mood of the day" with him.

Quoting MomLeslieM:

What state are you in?  Most of the time for homeschooler's yearly evals have different requirements than the public schools do.  For example, where I am in NY, we just had to do a standardized test with at least a 33%ile rank OR growth for the year.  Even though special needs both mine were able to get above the 33rd %ile BUT I have friends who used "growth" so they gave the test in year one and as long as they student showed the same or better score the next year they were fine.  Are you a member of HSLDA or a homeschool group in your area or state?


collinsmommy0
by Kim on Dec. 7, 2017 at 2:05 PM
What kind of an evaluation? Do you mean the special ed evaluations or the general kindergarten evaluations?


When I worked with kids with special needs, it was rare for a child to refuse to work with me. I had teacher say that a student wouldn’t do any work in the classroom but then they would work with me for evaluations (& after, they would work with me on their academic work). A lot of evaluations for special needs start off easy and stop when a child gets 3 wrong in a row, so a level of frustration is not reached, and it’s done one on one.

If your child refuses to do the general ed assessment, then it is likely not a good placement for your child anyways.
MomLeslieM
by on Dec. 8, 2017 at 2:10 PM

Looking at the actual regulations for FL it looks like you do have several choices for the eval.  If you go the route of having an evaluator do it I don't see why you couldn't have them meet your son beforehand.  I would also check with the local homeschool groups near you because I'd bet that they have a list of people who are homeschool friendly who can do the evaluations!

Quoting Oddyssey:

We're in Florida. No, I'm not a member of HSLDA yet. I keep thinking about joining, but honestly haven't had the funds to do so yet.

I think that so long as they show progress of some sort, they'll be ok, but if he shuts down and won't cooperate at all, then he won't be able to show any progress. Of course, this will be his first time, but there are a few things that she looks for in Kindergarteners.

Have any of you ever had the evaluator meet your special needs children ahead of time? I wonder if that would be a reasonable request or if that's asking too much? Even then, it all depends on the "mood of the day" with him.

Quoting MomLeslieM:

What state are you in?  Most of the time for homeschooler's yearly evals have different requirements than the public schools do.  For example, where I am in NY, we just had to do a standardized test with at least a 33%ile rank OR growth for the year.  Even though special needs both mine were able to get above the 33rd %ile BUT I have friends who used "growth" so they gave the test in year one and as long as they student showed the same or better score the next year they were fine.  Are you a member of HSLDA or a homeschool group in your area or state?


Scribbleprints
by Group Admin on Dec. 21, 2017 at 1:19 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't have an answer to this myself, but can I suggest another place to ask this question?   The Well Trained Mind community forums has a whole section on "Learning Challeneges" with a subsection just on special needs, and I've gotten some really good answers there....

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/

Quoting Oddyssey: My youngest is special needs with a speech & language delay, but there's something more. We haven't finished having him evaluated for autism, but I believe he falls somewhere under the spectrum. Anyway, I started him in Kindergarten this year, but I'm worried about Evals at the end of the year. He doesn't take to new people well and I'm afraid he'll clamp up, shut down, and/or hide under the table when it comes to his Evaluation. Have any of you had to deal with this? If so, do you have any advice?


Oddyssey
by Member on Dec. 29, 2017 at 6:34 AM
1 mom liked this
Thanks Thanks to everyone who have replied. You all have shared some good suggestions. And thank you Scribbleprints, for the link. I'll check that out as well.

I appreciate all your support. :)
gramabrenda
by Member on Jan. 8, 2018 at 11:37 AM
You have gotten some great responses to this. My personal take is that even a special needs child must pull it together and behave and complete their work even on the bad days-"you are expected to behave just like everyone else, nothing else will be tolerated." I lightened the load and adjusted the environment somewhat to make it easier for them to comply. But we held our ground. This is teaching, slow but sure.

It worked, even though it was tough to enforce. We measured consequences in smaller doses and tried to be consistent.

I am praying for you that as you school this special child; God will give you wisdom and special abilities. I have seen autistic children become strong, well adapted adults fully functioning in the work world. They still have their unique approach and attitude but some may be able to do well.  I believe we need to do our best to help each child function at the best level they can. I pray that God will bless you and your family.
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