Thursday, May 22, 2008

Long Post ---- Part 2

Another warning - this will be a long post. I am not even sure if I will finish the whole thing in this post.

So - Colin was evaluated through his school for all types of learning disabilities.

He scored a 32 on the scale that measures dyslexia. But, if you read below, you would see that this is "normal" - even though all his other scores were in the 90's.

So, the school told me that if I had him evaluated privately and got different results the would have to honor these results.

Now, keep in mind, these tests and evaluations take a long time. So, from the time that I wrote the first letter to the results was MONTHS!

So, I decided to have him evaulated on our own. I tried to get an EI evaluation, but at this point he was too old.

So, I went to his doctor who recommended a neurologist. Well, this would not be covered under my medical insurance. I had to pay $2500 out of my own pocket. $2500 is a lot of money for a single mom who is struggling to make ends meet.

I can't really tell you where I got the money. Maybe I just got my tax return or something - but I paid for it.

We got almost the IDENTICAL results that the school did. All the scores were +/- 1 or 2.

So, for the test that measures dyslexia - well he got a 31 this time.

There was nothing for me to do (through the school system that is).

So, since the school could do nothing, I found a reading tutor for Colin. This tutor was a Special Education teacher in another school district. But, she was very familar with the course guide of our school.

She worked with him on his writing skills, tried teaching some phonics, did test prep, etc. She even did "therapy" to correct his handwriting. This tutor also gave me some advice on how to help him with school.

Colin went to this tutor for years! Now, even though I could not get any help from the school, I did my own research on dyslexia and dysgraphia. And, I worked with Colin one on one outside of what the tutor was doing.

But, (and these is where I sound like a horrible mom) I worked a full time job. So, I did not have lots and lots of time to work with him. It would only be about 1/2 - 1 hour a day. It was all that I could do.

Again, throughout each grade, he spent the entire year trying to catch up to the rest of his grade. He received passing grades, and "average" scores on his standardized tests. Never enough to hold him back.

In 4th grade he was part of a program in school. I can't remember the name. But, it would pull kids out of class and have a reading program in a small group. Colin did not have an IEP - this was available to any student that the teacher thought needed some extra help.

I talked to the teachers about holding him back. He was obviously behind the other kids, he was small, he was kind of immature. I did not think that it would really be such a big deal.

Well, none of the teachers would reccommend him to repeat the year. He is where the "he is such a sweet boy" is presented over and over again.

His teachers said that his scores and grades did not warrent a repeat year. Really???? He tries his absolute hardest and he is just an average student? And I am not saying that average is not good enough. It is hard to explain. I can't type what I really mean.

He is a smart kid - really smart. He can recite things about animals that I have never heard of. He can tell an amazing story that is so imaginative that he could be a movie. He can create poetry. He can memorize anything that he heard just once. He can do complex math problems in his head.

Do you see a pattern? Read it again.

None of what I wrote is in written form. It is all in his head.

That is enough for now. If you have read both posts to the end - Thank you for reading


shawna said...

I paged you on the Nest, but I am not sure if you got it. My son has pretty bad Dysgraphia, but his is mixed with ADHD. You might try requesting an OT evaluation, if you hven't already. It is usually done seperately from all of the learning disability testing. We are slowly converting Tyler to typing for the majority of his assignments. His grades are definitely improving with his typed assignments. You can email me if you want to compare notes.

Ariella said...

I know you said not to comment but I wanted to tell you reading Collin's story is like reading my own. I have a learning disability and like Colin didn't qualify for school help at first. Then in middle school I did. My grades were awful for middle school but I learned the tools I needed and went on to graduate with honnors from college. I have a background in education now and if you want to talk about your rights and how to help Collin I would be happy to help: kittylove516 at yahoo dot com

Christi said...

you sound like a WONDERFUL mother to me, you found the money to get him help when you didn't have it, you took extra time to help him, researched all the issues that he might have and found people to help him, that's awesome! so many people don't do that for their kids... I think he's very lucky to have you!

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