Need Advice on What To Do With This Student

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by KinderCowgirl, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I had a 1st Grade student this year who scored in the 97% percentile on the spatial reasoning test we give to identify GT kids. He is extremely bright, impresses me daily with the connections he can make, uses new vocab, great at problem-solving, etc. The problem is he can't read or even really write phonetically. We've gotten to the point now where he can sound out and blend words (beginning of the year he couldn't even identify letters or sounds so we started from scratch). He read 40 out of the 60 words on the required high frequency word test.

    I went through the IAT process, they are going to submit him for dyslexia testing (notoriously slow process-was warned it could take years). I know there has to be something preventing this child from being able to read. With RTI accomodations (reading tests to him, etc.) he can pass assignments easily. Without them he is bright enough to usually figure out the answer more often than not-especially if it's multiple choice and he has enough time to sound everything out.

    We're in summer school right now and I can't decide what to do with him. If he's retained, I'm not sure redoing any of that instruction is going to help him improve. I know he will be bored to tears because in all other subject areas he's mastered everything-even regrouping in math. If he is promoted, I know the teacher that gets him will probably throw a hissy-fit because he's in 2nd Grade and can't read. They'll have to go back to their basics like I did this year. They've removed his GT label (which really eats my lunch :mad: because it's not like he's no longer gifted)--but he will be in a regular class next year regardless of whether it's 1st or 2nd.

    Anyone have any experience with this or advice? I'm really struggling with what would be the best thing for him.
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    If parents can get private testing it might speed things up. But testing is the route to go. He probably needs intensive multi-sensory reading instruction.

    I say up the tier and recommend more intensive reading instruction. Also recommend a shorter timeframe for tier 2. If you could get him to tier 3 having maximum reading help (and make sure it is multi-sensory reading instruction) that will be the best of both worlds. You probably won't have enough time to give him what he needs even if he repeats.

    What you are saying about multiple choice and a bright student makes sense. All he has to do is get rid of the wrong answers. Not come up with the right answer himself - like adults and everyone other than students must do.
     
  4. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    This year I had a students with a very high IQ that could barely read - a lot of it due to severe ADD that the parents are not willing to do much about.
    (and I am not usually a "put them on meds" kind of teacher... but this kid was so spacey that he couldn't write his name some days)

    Testing got him half an hour of OT each week, but not enough support to make 3rd grade happy next year.

    On thing that really helped my kid was books on CD - classics like Treasure Island, Tom Sawyer, etc. He could comprehend complex stories, and the stuff that he could decode himself bored him to tears. With the support of the CD, he was actually following along with the book, building vocabulary and fluency, and at a comprehension level that challenged his mind!
     
  5. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    What a great idea. My GS has a high IQ, but ADD and ODD. I will get some CD's and books for him.
     
  6. bros

    bros Phenom

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    His parents should probably try to get outside testing for him, just so the district has something (and years for a test would be construed as unnecessary delay in any state, which is a no-no) to base an IEP off of.

    The student is 2e, so he needs even more help. Also, retaining him would be one of the worst things possible for his self-esteem, since it sounds like he knows the other material, but it would also be bad because I have read things that said retaining students with LDs makes them more likely to become HS dropouts.
     
  7. old_School

    old_School Rookie

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    Wow Im reading this article and remembering 2nd grade. This was the year I was declared to have dyslexia. I also did exceptionaly well in everything except reading. I honestly could not focus nor could I comprehend how to read until I went to Special Ed classes. Around 6th grade, i begin to pass the kids in the regular classes reading wise and by 10th grade, I decided to leave special ed classes.

    I would highly recomend you sit the child down alone and ask him to right letters like K, L, D and so on. When I had dyslexia, I could not for the life of me write a K correctly. I thought I wrote it correctly but it was allways backwards. Also had a hard time not skipping lines when reading, so I used a bookmark later on to help me read without skipping lines.

    If I were you, Id pull him aside for about 10 to 15 mins and observe his reading and spelling habbits one on one. If the student can nto read, its likely they will need some special help. The one on one attention they recive from special ed really makes a huge difference. Also might consult with a special ed teacher as well for way to detect dyslexia. If you catch it in time, the child can grow out of it as I did my self.
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I'm trying to get mom to do that but it's just her and the 2 kids (the older sister usually watches my student while mom works). I think the funds to pay for it are the issue.

    I appreciate your insight with the self-esteem issue. I know he's already self-conscious that he's so far behind. They wrote poems about 1st Grade after the first 2 months and he was talking about how he really wished he could get 100% on a spelling test. I know it bothers him.

    I talked to one of the 2nd Grade teachers and she said they always get kids with very low reading skills-so having one more wouldn't bother her. I'm really going to try and get him promoted. I think that would benefit him the most in the long run.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Do you have any Orton Gillingham trained teachers in your district?
     
  10. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I am against retaining under most circumstances. He should move on. Let the 2nd teacher know what you have told us here. There is no way he should repeat the grade.

    I think you should approach the parents about getting him tested privately. If he is dyslexic, he can get help early and not suffer the loss of self esteem that could happen otherwise. Get the parents in on it, but please do not retain him. He is bright and retention is a blow to self esteem that lasts throughout the rest of the school years.

    Would a 2nd grade teacher really have a hissy fit over this? Surely this is not the first student who has had delays in reading.
     
  11. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I've always heard that it is of no benefit to hold back a student with an LD.
     
  12. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I had a dyslexic first grader this year. He is very bright, reads fairly well because he has had private tutoring with a specialist. His issue was writing. I would have him dictate and write down what he said, then I asked him to copy it. He couldn't do it. So we talked it over and he decided it would be great if I would type as he dictated his stories. The other kids had their own handwriting up on the board, but this little guy was confident enough to have his paper look "different."

    By the way, I also read that retention has a direct relationship to h.s. dropout. It is just so damaging to self esteem. Much better to promote and meanwhile get him the help he needs.
     
  13. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Jun 16, 2011

    KinderCowgirl,
    I think you answered your own question. For me, this student would not be one I'd retain. Eventually he'll meet his frustration level and it will show in RTI, leading him to be tested and staffed if needed. I'd just put on his placement card (if you can do that) that he'll need an understanding teacher who will be willing to work with him.
     
  14. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    As the parent of a dyslexic (utah does not test for dyslexia, but by 2nd grade we had an IEP for LD) I would write a letter every year during her elementary years and say Dear P. Angie is a little girl that would make a good fit for any teacher that understands learning disabilites like dyslexia..... This idea was given to me by her 2nd grade teacher and it worked. Do you think the parent could do that? In Utah we don't retain students so I never had to face that situation as a parent.
     
  15. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Are there any state resources they can use (Like SCHIP or perhaps a local advocacy agency) to pay for testing?

    Also, dyslexia needs to be dealt with during second grade/at the latest third grade, as studies I have read stated that if they don't get intensive remediation by then, they will most likely never read on grade level.

    And if the student is already experiencing self-esteem issues from the LD, then they are in for a bumpy ride, sadly enough. I always knew I was different from the other kids, but I didn't really realize it until around third grade, so that helped a bit with my self esteem. But now, I have virtually no self-esteem.
     
  16. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I'm trying to look into that. Unfortunately we don't have much of a counselor (probably one of the reasons testing takes so long).

    I actually have a teacher in mind, if everyone stays where they are for next year and will ask them to place him there. She not only is very patient with the slow learners-she understands GT kids as well and I think will be able to challenge him in that respect. Some teachers may just see the lack of reading ability and not see the talents that can come out with the right activities.

    Thank you so much for all the advice. I really appreciate it. I can't tell you how much I struggled with this decision. We do placement next week so I'll let you know what happens-I'll be pushing for him to move on. :thumb:
     
  17. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    So I think there are basically 2 questions here - how to help the child read, and what to do specifically about retention. The first question is a broader question and probably will require more assessment. With retention, I agree with others that say no. The research on retention is incredibly poor, and unless there is a very specific intervention that would only be available through retention, I'd promote. I know it's a tough call though - you don't want to put a child in an environment that's over their head!
     
  18. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    This doesn't make sense to me. Why will it take years to test him, or why would he need to get a private evaluation? If he has a high IQ and cannot read, there would probably be enough of a discrepancy to get him services for learning disabilities. It does not need to be called dyslexia specifically to get services.

    He does not sound at all like a student who needs to be retained, but he will need a lot of accommodations to make it next year. Can he get those before qualifying for special education services?

    He is still gifted, he's twice exceptional, but with the learning disabilities, accelerated curriculum and additional work may not pan out for him. There are plenty of gifted children in general education classes. As with special education, inclusion is preferred, unless there is a need for instruction that is very different than what can be provided in a general education classroom.

    I have had 3 gifted students with dyslexia this year who were not identified (provided services) until 3rd grade, and they are all reading above grade level now. There is no strict cut off for when a child can benefit from interventions.

    I hope he gets what he needs. Soon.
     
  19. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Texas has the designation of dyslexia.

    It seems like the school district has a backlog of evaluations that they have to do?
     
  20. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Because he didn't have failing grades (they weren't good grades compared to the rest of the class, but he was bright enough to squeak by)--he is not considered a candidate for standard testing. That's why we went the dyslexia route. I could have failed him, but then he still would be in 1st next year and who knows how long it would take him to get through the system. He is technically still gifted in my opinion, but our policy is to put them on a growth plan and then exit them out of the program if their grades drop below 80%. Don't get me started on that.

    Our teachers have referred kids in the past and folders have had to be filled out year after year because they got "lost". I referred a child once in Kinder, was told you can't refer kids in Kinder (although they gave me all the paperwork to fill out and I had 16 weeks of IAT documentation-this kid was an extreme case), he went to 1st, repeated 1st and finally now in 2nd Grade has been actually tested and qualified for services. I'm not holding my breath for our system to work for this kid, but I'll definitely stay on top of it. I know it's not fair but other than trying to advocate for the kids in our classes, there's not much else we can do.
     
  21. Leatherette

    Leatherette Comrade

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    That sounds so frustrating. I guess that Texas and Washington work differently. We have a backlog for evaluations as well,but nothing like that. It sounds like you have been a great advocate for your student.
     
  22. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Grades are not a reason to delay testing

    http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/elig.sld.osep.felton.htm

    http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=3402
     
  23. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    I had a similar case like this three years ago. My school moves way too slow with IAT. All I had to do was get the parent to write a letter demanding that their child be tested. Texas education code says if a parent wants their child tested, the school is obligated to do it. I think the code is 29.004. I had the parent submit the letter to my principal, to me, and the special Ed teacher. Once the letter was submitted, everything moved very quickly. This child tested and qualified in just a few weeks.
     
  24. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    THIS is a prime example of why EVERY TEACHER, special education or not, needs to learn the laws of the federal government both ADA and IDEA and the state laws pertaining to special education.

    Many of the things districts to do not align with the law. At least knowing you know when the district is bs'ing you and when they are not.
     
  25. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Very true. I even said that in the meeting about failing grades not being a requirement. The response was-yes, but that's how we do it. That the diagnostician would have just sent the folder back saying they didn't qualify for a referral. It's very frustrating when all you want to do is what's best for the student.
     
  26. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    As another poster said, have the parent write a letter requesting a full psycho-educational evaluation to include dyslexia, and any other learning disability.
     
  27. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    So, some other thoughts to consider here. I hear what folks are saying with the last few posts, but there are a few things to consider when thinking about moving forward...

    Failing grades isn't necessarily a requirement, but sort of - there needs to be some documentation of educational impact - the ultimate "general outcome measure" for academic achievement/educational impact is grades, though some could argue other assessments could be used instead. I would be strongly hesitant to place a child in special education, or even evaluate, if the child's grades were on level (with some exception).

    Also, based on the progress you initially described (can now sound out/blend words together) as well as previous skills (high levels of verbal comprehension, etc.) I'd be very hesitant to do a full evaluation because I wouldn't expect the child to meet qualifications for LD - IF done within a traditional discrepancy model where you'd need an achievement test far below (e.g. 2 standard deviations below) an IQ score. Within a more progressive (i.e., RtI) model, there wouldn't be this consideration in the first place - whether or not testing should be conducted - because testing is more of a formative process (conducted on an ongoing basis), and you'd have some idea of whether the child's current scores would qualify the child for additional services.

    That all being said, I'm not sure what the diagnostic criteria for dyslexia are in Texas - someone (maybe bros?) brought up that there is a dyslexia category for SPED in Tx that is separate from SLD - I'm not sure what those considerations would be. KinderCowgirl, do you happen to know the decision-making rules for dyslexia in the district, and current data from the student that may be compared with those decision-points?

    Finally, to those suggesting parents demand an eval, I'd be cautious with this, and only recommend this to parents in cases when the folks not wanting to progress with evals are making a blatant mistake in judgment. Conducting evaluations that will very likely lead to no services doesn't do anyone much good - they often don't provide recommendations with high levels of instructional utility that couldn't have been figured out with classroom data, waste time of professionals that could otherwise be providing services/assessments that will lead to something value-added for kids, and not put children through a half-day or more of assessments/instructional time lost.

    With this last point, the reason testing is taking so long is likely that there just aren't the staff to turn things around quickly. If a parent makes a formal request and that bumps the child up in line, other kids will be pushed back, which means that taking matters into your own hands and trying to force a speedier eval will only hurt other kids. In other words, the district has a problem for sure, but that won't be fixed by going around procedures and demanding evaluations. I'm not against systems change and speedier evaluations, but getting parents to submit letters so their kids get bumped up the list isn't fixing any existent problem - just shifting the delay of services from this child to another.

    Just some more food for thought!
     
  28. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Admittedly I don't know. I didn't even know they tested them separately for dyslexia. They went that route like I said to get some testing started for him and that way if they find nothing wrong, we can still go with the panel for other LD's.
     
  29. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Really? You wouldn't expect the child to meet the requirement for Reading Fluency which is now a disability category under IDEA 2004. Being in TX also helps because dyslexia is recognized and one of the key problems with dyslexia is reading fluency.

    Parents have every right to demand an evaluation when the child is very behind. The fact that it is taking years means the district is violating the law. My feeling is if the parent is concerned, they have every right to do what is legal and possible regardless of other students.

    Here is a brilliant kid going to lose his chance at a decent education because the district violates the law.
     
  30. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Yeah, I'm not sure if they do. I really don't know much about what would be done differently in Texas - it is a separate country, you know :).
     
  31. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Hard to tell without having seen oral reading fluency scores - it's certainly possible. Would be interested to see those data. Also, I think Reading Fluency may be a specific form of SLD - are you sure it's a separate category? Haven't seen that if so. Would be interested to see a link to something.

    Yeah, they have the right - the question is whether, as a school district employee, it is the best thing to get the parent to assert that right. As I said, if the child would qualify services, it would be beneficial for that child specifically to have an earlier assessment, but not necessarily beneficial for other children, as pushing this child up would simply push other children back. It's entirely possible that the reason why there is a backlog of cases in the first place is because too many people are demanding evaluations that just don't need to be conducted.

    So, if I were an educational consultant and were advising this parent in particular, depending on some other data I may look at, I might actually suggest that this parent request an eval, because my client would be that family in particular. However, my frame of reference would be different if I were concerned about my entire class equally, not just pushing some children ahead of others.

    Possibly. Maybe not if no formal request had been found, but it is likely a violation of child find if the school district is aware of data/information which would produce a reasonable suspicion that the child had a disability. In this case, though, I haven't seen the data, and unless reading fluency data is incredibly low, my guess is the district would be fine because it has been conducted interventions within an RtI framework, and - while there are struggles - may not be enough evidence that a disability is suspected.

    I agree, and as a parent, if I felt SPED services were warranted or even possible, I would request an eval.

    Or because he is simply struggling - it sounds like interventions have been conducted, and a referral for evaluation has been initiated. I don't see anything that the district has done wrong so far. Now, if the district indeed waits years, and the child is no receiving appropriate support in the meantime, definitely - I'm with you on that one.
     
  32. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    He can't get past the frustrational level on TPRI. Our kids are expected to read 40 wpm at the end of Kinder, he's at the end of 1st and his score is essentially zero-so I'd say that was pretty low.
     
  33. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Yes it is! ;)
     
  34. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    The child I referred to earlier was tested for dyslexia under 504. Texas tests for dyslexia and if a child qualifies, they get a lot of help. The child is supposed to have a dyslexia specialist pull them out on a regular basis and give either one on one or small group. If the parent is concerned, definitely have them write the letter. If your school does nothing about it, have the parent contact the district.
     
  35. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Maybe my terminology mismatched yours. A category under SLD. I didn't think I had to specify SLD when we were talking about a reading disorder even though other disabilities cause students to struggle with reading....

    Again, if everyone was familiar with the laws...

    Regulations: Part 300 / D / 300.309 / a / 1

    (1) The child does not achieve adequately for the child's age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the following areas, when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the child's age or State-approved grade-level standards:

    (i) Oral expression.

    (ii) Listening comprehension.

    (iii) Written expression.

    (iv) Basic reading skill.

    (v) Reading fluency skills.

    (vi) Reading comprehension.

    (vii) Mathematics calculation.

    (viii) Mathematics problem solving.
     
  36. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Oh, maybe the fact that once an eval is requested the district has 10 days to conduct a child study meeting and determine if they will proceed with testing. If they decide to test they have 60 days in which to complete testing and hold an eligibility meeting. So, if OP is right and the backlog is longer than 60 days, the district is in violation of the law. If they are denying testing on backlog being the reason, once again they are violating the law.
     
  37. KinderCowgirl

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    Well, the benefit too of having the parent get them evaluated with an outside agency is we would know for sure what was going on. I would feel better about not retaining him, modifying everything for him if we knew for sure this was an organic issue.
     
  38. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Gotcha - I don't think this is a case of not being familiar with the law, just clarifying communication/language - thanks for clearing it up.
     
  39. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Wow, yeah - in that case, that's pretty low. So, you mentioned that he can blend letters and decode words - how do those skills translate when it comes to reading passages/connected text - is he not able to blend in that context? Also, I think you may have mentioned sight words - none of those?

    Yeah, in the case of a zeroed out fluency score, that might change the situation.
     
  40. EdEd

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    I'm not too familiar with how Texas tests for dyslexia - someone else mentioned that it's under 504? I haven't seen this, but it sounded like a referral for dyslexia evaluation was not the same as within special education? If it's not SPED, those rules wouldn't apply. If so, I stand corrected, and yes - the district would be in violation if formal referral for eval had commenced.
     
  41. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jun 22, 2011

    He can sound out the words-but it takes him forever to read just one sentence and even then it doesn't always make any sense. He read 40 sight words when we tested last (have to make 60 to pass, we test again next week)-however, he's sounding most of them out. We're allowed to count that as long as they sound it out and then say the whole word in the alloted time. He actually has the 100 word list in his head-if he sees 2 "o's" he knows it's look, only 1 word starts with "v"=very. Like I said, very bright.

    We were doing an activity yesterday where the kids were comparing the park and the beach. Most of the kids said: you can play at both places, it's fun at both places, there are people at both. His answer was : both places are free! I think that's a very thoughtful answer for kids this age and especially for them being the remedial group for summer school.
     

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