Any psychologists out there?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Katieladybug, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Katieladybug

    Katieladybug Companion

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    Dec 4, 2009

    I have a question for you

    How do you determine if a student who refuses to do work frequently (and will actually lie and say "I don't know how to do that" but does occasionally chooses to do it and can do it without help in class) has a disability and needs special education services.

    I have had two different students who I wonder about this year.

    Student A - A 4th grade Poster child for ADHD (previously had meds but parents moved and never got a new Dr. to refill the prescription. He was able to control himself so much better on meds and was making gains.) He is unable to stop himself from moving, (feet, legs, hands, head, whole body) making noises (clucks, clicks, whistles, hums), has no concept of whispering. Struggles with reading and writing sounds but if really forced to focus he can eventually get it. Math is his strong subject. He still needs a lot of teacher support to stay focused but not reteaching, repeated practice.

    He is up for re-revalue and the school psychologist takes him for one day of testing for IQ and one day for academic. During academic Student A told her several times, "I do not know how to do that, I have never seen that before, I am dumb, I do not know" Psychologist does not push him to try and lets him move on. He ends up scoring at beginning/middle 1st for reading, K for writing and beginning 2 for math.

    I find out that he told her that he has never seen a multiplication problem before (even thought the day before I helped him study for his fact test in math, and in 3rd grade he was one of the top students in fact recognition in his class). I asked her to retest because he lied to her and that math is his best subject. She never did, and he now qualifies LD in all areas.


    Student B - 5th grader - He has a conduct order label through the court system. At school he has verbal outbursts, breaks down crying, refuses to work, leave the area, clogs the toilets, steals and destroys other students belongings. After talking to previous school they suggested that we continue the "he doesn't have to do work, but he must behave" plan that they had to work on his behavior. So now as long as he is not disruptive in class he is rewarded with free choice time on the computer. He is failing all subjects since he does not turn in work, take tests, read, or even participate in class. He also is court ordered to attend school because his past attendance record is so horrible.

    He is being tested for EI but suddenly I get the email saying he is qualifying LD in all areas. WHAT???? He is only testing 1 1/2 year behind and has no record of any RTI.


    Any insight?
     
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  3. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Dec 4, 2009

    Have you determined the cause of why Student A refuses to do work?

    Is it because they have the wiggles or because the work in genuinely hard for them when not in a familiar environment?

    Have you considered a Pervasive Developmental Disorder for Student A?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pervasive_developmental_disorder

    Student B - They may have done the classic (and bad) approach of placing a student in a classification based on grades. Some things you should try with the student are attempting to gain their trust in a private setting (Like talk with him 1:1). Have you tried a behavior chart for Student B? Has an FBA been performed by a qualified professional and a BIP been put into place?
     
  4. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Dec 5, 2009

    It is really hard to tell what the psychologist is basing his/her decisions on without seeing the psycho-ed report, or at the very least, the scaled scores and percentiles of the tests that were administered for each student (which I DO NOT suggest you post here for confidentiality reasons). The psycho-ed report should give a reason for qualifying the student which involves more than "is falling behind in all subjects." It should list the specific disability, and how it is affecting his academic achievement. Also, the psychologist can usually tell if the student is "faking it" or not, and should be reporting that in the P/E report. The psychs are trained to watch the students like a hawk when administering IQ tests, and to note anything that may affect the student's performance or the validity of the test scores. The psychologist will NOT push the student very much during the tests, because it can invalidate the the results.These are standardized tests with very standardized instructions, and varying from the instructions can change the validity of the test scores. Most tests have a very specific script that the psych cannot vary from, or ad lib from. To do so would invalidate the results.

    Student A, at the very least, should qualify for a 504 plan, since his disability is clearly affecting his ability to learn. ADHD doesn't necessarily fall under a qualification of LD though, so there must (should) be something else in that report to qualify the student for SPED services.

    Student B: Clearly, this student should qualify for SPED services with a primary disability of Emotional disturbance. Again, I cannot comment much on the qualification of LD without reading the report and/or seeing the scores for all the assessments that were conducted. Also, you can probably ask the psych directly what the qualifications are, and have them explain them to you. I know in the districts where I work, we are usually more than happy to talk to the teachers about the students, as the teachers often have valuable information about the student that we won't really see in the 4-6 hours that we assess the student.
     
  5. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Dec 5, 2009

    ADHD is classified under OHI.
     
  6. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    I know. :D
     
  7. Katieladybug

    Katieladybug Companion

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    Dec 5, 2009

    Student A - It is because they have the wiggles. Once I let him know that I knew he could do it and that I expected him to and would be checking with teachers he is able to get it done - he is able to do it. He is smart enough to have figured out at an early age that if he acts like that people, (especially Mom) will lower expectations and he will not have to do it. Some things are hard for him (reading and writing) but I do not think enough to be LD.

    Student B- I am starting a BIP on him but I have not really worked with him and the teacher he has, has not ever done one.
     
  8. Katieladybug

    Katieladybug Companion

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    Dec 5, 2009

    Her report does give "reasons" for why they are LD in these areas. She is big into RTI and how they are progressing (Student A - was qualified under OHI -ADHD before and I have known him since he was in 1st grade now 4th). If they are not progressing then she works until she can find a way to get them in. With Student A she never mentioned his ADHD in the new report or present level area of IEP, she would not even talk to me about keeping him under an OHI label. Even when the teacher consultant, gen ed, school counselor, social worker agree with giving him an ADHD-OHI label.

    She does not think that he is faking it, when asked to complete the work. Even when the TEAM asked her to retest and provided reasons why, she refused. I know that all the tests have all the "rules" but I do know that some students learn easy/quick who they can slack off with and who is not going to accept it. (I have at least 3 other students who are masters at testing who will let them slack off and who makes them try to complete it.)

    Student A - Has qualified as a student with a learning disability in basic reading, reading comprehension, written expression, math calculation and math reasoning. There was no mention of his ADHD other than he was previously certified as OHI. I do agree that he needs some help but I am not sure it is what he is getting.

    Student B - needs the EI (emotional impairment label) and more help than I will be able to give him in my resource room. I unfortunately do not have the reports yet and since this is an initial the psych will not talk to me until the IEP. The gen ed teacher will not question her since she is just a long term sub and any help would be welcome for him.

    I am feeling lost and over whelmed by it all. The psych will not listen to me or others and I feel like she really is a caring person who wants to help students but thinks that special education will "fix" them.

    Do you have any suggestions on questions I should ask? Research I could read and reference? I just want to serve these kids and give them the best that they deserve and I do not think I am getting my thought across.
     
  9. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Dec 5, 2009

    With RTI, if students are not progressing after tier 2 and tier 3 interventions, then SPED services should be considered (which I am sure you are already well aware of). I don't really know why the Psych will not consider continuing the qualification of OHI, since it sounds like that is clearly a major source of the student's difficulties.

    Students are indeed well aware of whom they feel they can manipulate, and who they cannot. If the psych does not think they are faking it, there are two possible reasons why: (a) the student really isn't faking it, and can only complete the problems with assistance, or (b) the psych is not picking up cues from the student that usually lets us know when the student is faking it. This is not a good scenario. When the psych refused to re-administer the tests, it may be because it will inflate the scores due to practice effects as a result of retaking an assessment in such a short amount of time. Some tests like the KTEA-II have two forms (alternate forms) to prevent practice effects, but many (most?) tests do not. There ARE other tests they can administer that assess the same thing in cases like these, but it really just sounds like the psych isn't working well with the team, which is really too bad.



    As far as I know, students shouldn't qualify with a learning disability in "basic reading, etc." They qualify due to a Specific Learning Disability (which is usually named) that will affect basic reading, reading comprehension, written expression, math calculation, and math reasoning. If the actual SLD is not mentioned, then it will be hard to help the student since we don't know WHY they are doing so poorly in reading, math, etc, so we won't know how to help them. I hope that makes sense.



    I think with this student, you will just have to wait until the IEP (which I hope is soon). It sounds like the student may need another placement in order to receive the assistance that he needs. In CA, there are 5 criteria for a student to meet in order to qualify with an Emotional Disturbance.

    5 CCR 3030 - Eligibility Criteria

    (i) Because of a serious emotional disturbance, a pupil exhibits one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree, which adversely affect educational performance:

    (1) An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.

    (2) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.

    (3) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances exhibited in several situations.

    (4) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.

    (5) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.


    According to what you described, it sounds like he may qualify as ED. I don't know why the School Psych is choosing LD instead. In the IEP, I would bring up the behavior issues, ask for an FBA, and bring up the idea of DIS counseling for the student to the team.


    I can understand your feelings of being lost and overwhelmed. It sounds like the psych has an agenda, and isn't really taking the rest of the teams suggestions or ideas into consideration, and that is too bad. Often, the psych and the teachers all want to help the student as much as possible, but don't really agree on the best way to do that. I think the things you should ask the psych are "What exactly are the student's disabilities, how is it affecting their ability to learn, and how can I best help them with their disability?"






    As I think this over a little more, I am starting to wonder about student #2, and wonder if there really are learning disabilities that are causing the behaviors that you are describing. The behaviors sound like they are avoidance behaviors. Students who are in waaaaay over their head will often exhibit these behaviors instead of struggling with the material, or "looking dumb" in front of the others. I've seen HS students throw books across the classroom and make everyone laugh, curse out teachers, become a class clown, sleep, or just do anything possible instead of attempt the work. In one case, it turned out the couldn't read at all, and that was his way of dealing with it. It is not really all that rare, and I've see it happen all the time in my fifteen years working in special ed, as a teacher, a program coordinator, behavior specialist, and as a school psych intern. If your student has had horrible attendance in the past (as you indicate), then he may indeed be in over head, and his behaviors may indeed be avoidance behaviors in order to not be forced to do the work that he is unable to do. An FBA would be able to determine if this is indeed the case with this student. The student could also be exhibiting the behavior simply because he doesn't want to do the work, period. I do that too sometimes. :) Again, an FBA should be able to determine this.

    If possible, I would explain your feelings of being lost and overwhelmed with the psych in private (not at the IEP), and ask her what she thinks you can do. Ask her for research or literature that may be of help. Or ask the Social worker or other members of the team if you don't feel comfortable asking the psych. If you are feeling this way, you are probably not alone.

    Good luck with this. It sounds like you have your hands full. It also sounds like you are doing a great job trying to find ways to help your students in any way you can. I wish all teachers were still willing to do this.
     
  10. bros

    bros Phenom

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    For Student A: Provide them with a method to get out the wiggles, let them get up and walk every few minutes, have them tap their fingers on their desk, or their feet quietly on the floor. Or get a strip of velcro, attach it to their desk and tell him to rub it when he feels wiggly.

    Student B: No offense, but are you qualified to perform a FBA? A psychologist typically performs one, then the sped teacher creates a BIP based on the recommendations
     
  11. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

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    Hey, student B does sound like he'd qualify for ED. A lot of my students are a little bit low, (due mainly to the fact that their behaviors were so bad they didn't learn the material when everyone else did.) but they are not LD.
     
  12. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Student B definitely sounds like ED, but could he also have another underlying condition?
     
  13. Katieladybug

    Katieladybug Companion

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    Dec 8, 2009

    Thanks guys
    I chatted with the social worker who is the one who doesn't want to certify EI and does not want to have him on her service.
    I also talked with the psych this morning about him and how I feel that I will not be able to provide the services he needs if he is not identified EI. (I know that his label/diagnosis should not determine his program but in my area it is). She was very supportive and offered to help complete the behavior plan.
    She also asked about my caseload numbers. I am feeling very positive about going into the IEP tomorrow morning.
    I am upset that I can not access our SPED program to look at the reports and think about goals.

    I am hoping that I can build a positive relationship and help raise his self-esteem and decrease the behaviors. Thank you for all the support
     
  14. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    That's awesome. I'm glad that you were able to talk to the psych, and try to get everyone all on the same page.

    Good luck!
     
  15. AngieNCEC

    AngieNCEC New Member

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    Dec 31, 2009

    :lol:Wow, someone needs to tell the district I worked in last year (and this year, for that matter) that teachers aren't "qualified" to perform Functional Behavior Anaylses. I originally started teaching in a self-contained B/ED classroom and my kids NEVER saw a school psychologist ... I did an FBA and BIP on every single child I served that year.
     
  16. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    DITTO! :D. When I worked in Georgia, I have never had a school psychologist perform a FBA. I always did it (as I was always asked if I completed a FBA when I had any questions or requested assistance) and passed the info. over if requested.
     
  17. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    I don't know what it is like in other states, but I believe In California, it is up to the individual SELPA to decide who is qualiied to do an FBA or FAA. in most of the districts I work with, it is usually the psych or counselor who does the FBA.
     
  18. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Districts like to cut the costs where they can :p

    Some schools contract behavior specialists for FBAs (like the SD I attended K-12 had a behavioral specialist who was contracted to do FBAs at like $200 an hour) and in the FBA they recommend what is to be put in the BIP, then a BIP is formulated + approved by the IEP team (usually a combination of the suggestions in the FBA and suggestions from people who actually know the student for more than a single interview)
     
  19. beatlebug731

    beatlebug731 Comrade

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    I actually had to do an FBA in one of my college classes a couple of years ago. I didn't know that psychologists had to do them!
     
  20. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    In my school the teacher performs the FBA and the behavior specialist creates a BIP.
     
  21. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Psychs, much like teachers, often end up being a jack-of-all-trades. We get quite a bit of training in behavior analysis to help conduct FBAs. Doesn't mean we all end up good at it, or that we even end up doing it in the district that we work in, but we at least get trained to do it, just in case.

    As I said earlier, in CA, it is up to each individual SELPA to determine who can and can't conduct FBAs. It isn't usually determined by title, but by training. If there are teachers who have history of conducting FBAs, they will probably be approved. Or if teachers have training in college (like it sounds you do), then they will usually be "qualified" to conduct FBAs as well. So it doesn't HAVE to be a psych, counselor, or behavior analyst conducting the FBAs. And if i had my way, we'd never do them, cause they are a pain in the ass to do correctly. But the reality is that teachers already have enough to do, without having to do an FBA on top of it. And often, a fresh pair of eyes, and a different point of view, will often see things that the everyday teacher may no longer be seeing. Getting the teacher and whomever is conducting the FBA together and on the same page to compare notes is pretty important, to find the true function of the behavior.
     
  22. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Here is the thing on FBAs I mentioned:
    http://wrightslaw.com/info/discipl.fab.starin.htm

    An important question is "Who should be involved in the functional behavioral assessment?" The interview is important in gathering preliminary information that will guide later direct observation. As such, it is important to talk to the people who know the child the best: parents, teachers and significant others.

    Direct observation should be carried out only by a person who has been thoroughly trained on collecting and analyzing this type of information. Directly manipulating environment events should be conducted only by a well-trained behavior analyst or someone else with a high degree of training and experience conducting these manipulations for they can pose danger to the person if not done correctly.

    As can be seen, a functional behavioral assessment is more than a group of people sitting around a table trying to determine the cause. Although it is important to gather information from significant people in the person’s life, it is not enough.

    Someone knowledgeable about behavior must be in the classroom and/or family home directly observing and measuring the behavior. Although this takes time, it is usually time well spent because the intervention is more likely to be effective than one developed without careful consideration of the behavior’s function(s).
     
  23. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Bros, IDEA does not say who shall or shall not conduct FBAs. It leaves that determination up to the school districts.
     
  24. Icare

    Icare Rookie

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    I think the parents need to be included in that decision too.
     
  25. Icare

    Icare Rookie

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    And I would be upset if someone other than a behaviorst did it.
     
  26. Icare

    Icare Rookie

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    Actually let the school decide their person to do the FBA. The parent can come back and ask for an IEE. I have seen that happen.
     
  27. Sam Aye M

    Sam Aye M Mr. Know-It-All

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    Jan 17, 2010

    I forgot all about this thread... :)

    Bros wrote :
    The problem with this wording is that it doesn't explain what "thoroughly trained" really means. Is that a weekend workshop, or a masters degree in ABA? Or is it a teaching credential with ABA classes thrown in? Does it require a BCBA, or just a certificate in ABA? Can/should a psychologist do it? Are school counselor's allowed to do it?
     

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