You've requested an evaluation, but it was denied and you aren't sure of the next steps.
We've outlined what you should do next in the infographic below.
If you have noticed that your child is struggling, event at the preschool level, don't ignore it. As early as preschool, the signs of dyslexia can be present.
Preschoolers or Kindergarten age children with dyslexia may:
Many times, school encourage the wait and see method, their a boy/girl, the need time to mature, things just haven't clicked. These are all stall tactics and are a waste of your son's or daughters precious time. The earlier you find out what is happening the better off your child will be in the long run.
What can you do if you suspect your child is having difficulty?
If you follow the steps below, you can get the ball rolling by requesting the school conduct an evaluations. You need to understand what is happening, why, and what can be done to help.
1. Write a letter.
You have to make a request to the school to conduct an evaluations. At the preschool level, school will often use observations to vs. actual testing. To avoid this, we've created a sample letter to show you what you may want to include in your request.
Click Here to Take a Look.
2. We didn't understand what you were asking.
You aren't writing to a friend, you should think like about your letter falling into the hands of a complete stranger. If someone who knows nothing about you or your child were to find this letter, would they understand what it is asking?
3. We'd like to have a meeting to discuss your concerns.
Here is a little trick that schools like to play. You send in your letter, they send one back asking to have a meeting. What the trick? It eats up time. Considering most schools have 30 school days (no weekends, holidays, etc.) Having a meeting lets them eat up time. When you write your letter, state that you are giving consent for your child to be evaluated. Also, request they send a completed “Consent to Evaluate” ready to be signed.
4. We never got your letter.
Schools have been known to help letters from parents make their way to the circular file. If you don't know what that is, its the trash. To avoid this, we suggest either making an in-person visit to the principal's office and request that the school provides a date-stamped copy for you. We also recommend sending a copy it via return receipt requested. It is harder to say, "We didn't get it." When you've handed it to someone and you have the card from the post office showing who signed for the envelope.
5. We are working on it.
After five days, if you haven’t heard anything, check in with the school. You can do this by phone, but send an email or letter to confirm the next steps that were agreed upon in that conversation.
What happens now?
After you've signed the consent, the initial evaluation must be completed within thirty school days. Another fifteen days is added to the clock totally forty-five school days. Within that fifteen days, the school must have a meeting to review the findings. Prior to the meeting, two days prior, written reports of the evaluations must be made available to you. Here is the catch, you have to ask in writing.
Click here to take a look at a letter.
If you aren't 100% sure that what you have written is accurate or appropriate, please learn more about how we can help you craft your request. Visit our services and coaching page for more information.
Back in my advocacy days, I had a client who had been evaluated and found to be a student with dyslexia at age six. Up until middle school, he was enrolled in private school. He presented as an unusual case because he had a significantly higher comprehension rate than should have been seen and enjoyed writing, at a level three to four years above his current grade level.
Fast forward to an IEP meeting to discuss results showing a lower than expected reading level. The reading "specialist" a term I will use loosely, began spouting off her qualifications to hodge podge together a reading program. It included work with two specialists who espoused the benefits of whole language and a handful of weekend seminars. She was not all to pleased when her offer for remediation was declined.
Although most schools are going to try to convince you that they have a specialist, like the one I mentioned or a scientifically based, peer reviewed reading program, it is very unlikely that they do or what they have to offer is going to be effective for a student with dyslexia. A school will not willingly offer Orton-Gillingham (OG) tutoring/remediation. Almost always, it is because the school does not have anyone with OG training and certification. That combined with they'd have to pay to have someone trained and they don't want any of the other parents to find out they spent money on training.
In the 1930’s neurologist Dr. Samuel T. Orton and educator, psychologist Anna Gillingham developed the Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction for students with Dyslexia but the approach can be beneficial for all learners.
I’ve been called in to copious IEP meetings after a parent has presented a medical diagnosis for their child at their IEP meeting. They are disheartened after the team, or truly, the other side of the table, fails to qualify their son/daughter for any services. There are often two issues at play. The first is that the presence of a disability doesn’t automatically qualify a child for individualized services and two the school somehow feels compelled to ignore the diagnosis of the medical doctor or say the child in question doesn't qualify for services.
This morning in the local newspaper, there was a child find education brief from a location school district. Sadly, it contained a significant amount of incorrect information. It stated:
"XXX screens special-needs students
School City — XX Public Schools looks to identify children who may be in need of special education services. The child must be found to have a documented disability, must not be making effective progress in the general curriculum and need specialized instruction or related services.
Students who live in XXX who are enrolled in private schools or have left school without a diploma also may be eligible.
Screening appointments for children ages 3 to 5 may be made by calling ... For concerns about students ages 5 to 22, contact the special education office at ..."
Here is the actual child find information:
"Schools are required to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities from birth through age 21. The Child Find mandate applies to all children who reside within a State, including children who attend private schools and public schools, highly mobile children, migrant children, homeless children, and children who are wards of the state. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3))
This includes all children who are suspected of having a disability, including children who receive passing grades and are "advancing from grade to grade." (34 CFR 300.111(c)) The law does not require children to be "labeled" or classified by their disability. (20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(3)(B); 34 CFR 300.111(d))."
Please note that if you see your child struggling but they are receiving passing grades, advancing to the next grade, or are over the age of five, you can, in writing, refer them to the principal for evaluation to determine if they needs specialized education to meet their unique needs.
Here is a form that you can use to send to the principal, guidance counselor, or the special education director at your child's school.
Initial Evaluation Request
(EZIne)-Looking after children who have dyslexia can be a really tough job. Parents often do not know how to give the best education to their kids. No matter how good their intentions might be, they simply cannot find the best option for them. Since children with dyslexia are different than other children and have learning needs which are quite unique to themselves, it can be especially hard to find the right school for such children.
Parents often wonder if they should hire a private tutor for their child or let them go to a normal school. But given that children with dyslexia have a hard time grasping letters and words, their learning curve is a lot different than that of an average kid. For this reason, when choosing schools for them, parents need to take utmost care and choose the school that is best suited to the needs of their children.
Many parents find themselves confused between choosing a private school vs. a public school for their child, who has dyslexia. They often think that choosing a private school for their child's education will mean that their needs will be taken care of. While private schools are able to give greater attention to each child, given the optimum student teacher ratio, it doesn't always mean that such schools have special provisions for children who have dyslexia.
Children with dyslexia have needs that are quite different from other children and choosing a school that caters to their needs can work wonders for their education. Since we know how hard it is to find the best school for dyslexia, some of the points mentioned below will help immensely to find the right school.
I read with great interest a recent advertisement letter from the director of a local disabilities group. There has been a recent influx of plastic straw banning after the now infamous video of a gentleman yanking a straw from the nose of a sea turtle. Of course, we were all disturbed because that is awful and anyone with half a heart would think so. However, the conversation quickly turned from praise to discrimination when disabilities rights organizations came out against the banning of straws.
Here is a handout that offers a look at some of the most common myths surrounding dyslexia. Please feel free to download it, share it, or disseminate it on your blog, website, or social media pages.
Easy ways to help your child go to the head of the class
(BPT) - The education children receive today will help them throughout their lives. School is the fundamental component of the learning process, but education doesn't stop when kids arrive back home at the end of the day.
"Education and family go hand in hand," says Ellen Marks, curriculum director of Bricks 4 Kidz, an award-winning summer camp and after-school program. "Parents who take an active role by supporting classroom learning will not only see their kids' education blossom, but their relationship with them, too."
The start of the new year is the ideal time to evaluate what you're doing right and where you could improve in regards to supporting your child's education. Marks offers these smart ideas guaranteed to help you keep this resolution in 2017 and beyond:
Connections to real life: One of the best ways to help kids understand classroom lessons is to connect the material to everyday experiences. Practice fractions while cooking. Chat about biology as birds fly by the window. Learning moments are all around, you just have to point them out.
Daily conversations: With a fun, no-pressure approach, go over what your children learned in school. If they don't want to talk right after school, wait until later. During or after dinner may allow enough transition time so you'll find they'll open up more.
Positive attitude: Kids will mirror your attitude toward your work as well as how you view their school, homework and teachers. Stay positive, respectful and model resilience during difficult times; you'll find they'll do the same.
Enriching activities: Select fun after-school activities that emphasize cognitive development while building self-esteem. For example, Bricks 4 Kidz uses relatable tools like LEGO Bricks to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. Learn more at www.bricks4kidz.com and sign up for an After School class.
The parent-teacher relationship: Sending check-in emails, attending conferences and volunteering are ways to build strong relationships with teachers. Be proactive about asking where your child excels and what areas they may need additional help.
Homework help: Good study habits are essential to excelling at school. Create a comfortable homework space with adequate supplies and few distractions. What's more, be an active partner in your child's homework and assist when needed with gentle guidance and encouragement.
Reading buddies: Reading together can instill a lifelong love of literature. Try reading the same books your child is assigned in school so you can foster a good discussion about characters and storylines. When you both finish the book, rent the film version and plan a movie night.
Active learning opportunities: Reading, writing and solving math problems are passive learning activities. At home, encourage active learning where your child builds models, creates art projects and can ask questions. It's amazing to watch their minds work and see what they create.
Health and wellness: A child must first be well before they can effectively learn. Make sure kids stay fueled with a variety of healthy foods. Next, ensure they get a good night's sleep. Full, well-rested kids are always ready and eager to learn.
I belong to a Mom group and recently a mom asked the other Moms for suggestions on creative or proven ways to come up with more money. I jumped right in because through both ways, I have paid for college and for expensive summer programs for my child. I have had some really great, albeit challenging, experiences with getting things done.
For example, we were once lucky enough to get accepted to a summer program for kids with dyslexia. The caveat, it was going to cost us a minimum of $7,500. Now, good on you if you have that chunk of change lying around, but we didn't. However, I knew it was paramount to our child's success that we figure out a way to pay for it. Here is what we did:
The Oak Tree Academy mission is to improve the quality of life of people with language-based learning disabilities and their families by developing programs and disseminating knowledge based on current research.