Thursday, February 18, 2016

4th grader disqualified from special ed help

VISITORMy 9-year-old daughter, in 4th grade, has these dyscalculia symptoms, but school won't classify her as learning disabled because she left questions on money and time blank on the test, so they said that even though she scored 2 years behind in math, she could have scored higher if she answered those questions! She skipped them because she didn't know how to do them.   
She is struggling with math and has always struggled with math.
After many stressful times and trying to deal with a teacher that tells me she needs to try harder, I asked for some testing to be done. They did and afterwards I found out that it was just a placement test and not a test specifically for learning disabilities.
I had a meeting with the principle, counselor, and her teacher. I was told that if she tested two grades below her grade then she'd qualify for services. She tested two grades below her 4th grade level but they said she didn't answer a few of the problems. The ones that deal with money and time. She said she didn't know how to do them and left them blank. And because she didn't put an answer they said that she COULD have gotten a higher score and therefore wouldn't be two grades behind. So they said they couldn't give her services or accommodations. 
After trying to help her and surfing the web I found out about Dyscalculia. And it fits my daughter. Not only her, it fits me too. I feel so stupid because I can't help her like another parent could. I made it through school like a illiterate person fools everyone into thinking they can read. I don't want that for my daughter. 
I have written a formal letter requesting testing by the special education teacher. I haven't given it to the principle yet. But I know they'll try to get out of it. They'll intimidate me like before and say that it's too late in the year.
If someone out there has any suggestions, or help that they can provide, I'd very much appreciate it. Thank you.  
Her symptoms:  (a) Difficulty with time, directions, recalling schedules, sequences of events. Difficulty keeping track of time. Frequently  late. , (b) Mistaken recollection of names. Poor name-face association. Substitute names beginning with same letter. , (c) Inconsistent results in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Bad at financial planning and money management. Too slow at mental math to figure totals, change due, tip, tax., (d) When writing, reading and recalling numbers, these mistakes may occur:  number additions, substitutions, transpositions, omissions, and reversals. , (e) Inability to grasp and remember math concepts, rules, formulas, sequence (order of operations), and basic math facts (+-x/). , (f) Poor memory (retention & retrieval) of math concepts- may be able to perform math operations one day, but draw a blank the next! May be able to do book work but then fails tests. , (g) Unable to imagine or "picture" mechanical processes. Poor ability to "visualize or picture" the location of the numbers on the face of a clock, the geographical locations of states, countries, oceans, streets, etc. , (h) Poor memory for the "layout" of things. Gets lost or disoriented easily. May have a poor sense of direction, may lose things often, and seem absent minded., (i) Difficulty grasping concepts of formal music education. Difficulty sight-reading music, learning fingering to play an instrument., (j) Difficulty with motor sequencing, noticeable in athletic performance, difficulty keeping up with rapidly changing physical directions like in aerobic, dance, and exercise classes. Difficulty with dance step sequences, muscle memory, sports moves., (k) Difficulty remembering how to keep score in games, like bowling, cards, etc. Often loses track of whose turn it is. Limited strategic planning ability for games like chess., (l) Experiences anxiety during math tasks.



  1. Dear Arkansas Visitor:
    Write that principal today and CONTEST their findings and say
    that you intend to file a complaint at the state level if they do not
    immediately devise and implement a plan to address her learning
    disability in math. They can do this under Response to Intervention
    or Special Education. Read the links below:

    Tell them you have an advocate at, so are not
    going to be intimidated by any of their excuses or objections.
    If they give you any flack, file a state complaint. That will get their
    attention. Tell them that you know you have a right to an
    INDEPENDENT EVALUATION for Learning Disabilities at the
    District's expense! And if they don't reconsider their test results
    and qualify her for special ed immediately, you are formally
    requesting a 2nd opinion paid for by the district. Go to the best
    hospital and hire the best neuropsychologist for the
    psycho-educational assessment. Make sure that whoever you get
    knows how to diagnose learning disabilities.

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