After waiting nearly eight weeks from the time the request was made until the observations and testing was done, the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team Conference (MDT) concluded that Doodicus did not meet the needs of an Individual Education Program (IEP).
In short, his ADHD is not detrimental enough to require special considerations from his school.
It’s funny, this mixed feeling I have about that. Of course I’m thrilled to know that on the one hand his ADHD is not keeping him from excelling in many areas of his school work, including “strengths in nonverbal reasoning/visual processing.” On the other hand, he will be twisting in the wind in the areas we know will be his Achilles, especially next year in 4th Grade which is heavy in writing and reading assignments: “[Doodicus] struggles most in writing and the creative process. He will require numerous prompts, examples and guidance with such assignments.”
A reminder that the eight weeks wait is because the one school psychologist (the same one we met with two years ago when Doodicus was in the 1st Grade and we first found out about his ADHD) for this district is through the public school and our son goes to a parochial school. The public schools get priority. By the time the doctor was able to observe Doodicus in class, the major hurdle that he seems to have – adjusting to an adjustment to his schedule – had already been surmounted.
How can one feel disappointed with the determination when Doodicus brought home straight As for both quarters completed so far? He is finally doing his homework nightly without too much nagging. After twelve weeks in school, he had eleven perfect spelling tests. The exception? The first test when he didn’t know what to expect.
The psychologist provided us with two and half pages of narrated observations. I’ve paraphrased some of the more interesting points below. To me anyway, since we aren’t describing your kid, right?
- His desk in appearance is somewhat disorganized (very diplomatically said because I have seen the inside of his desk – it’s the reason he’s had several late assignment slips since he can’t find anything) but his school work is very neatly done (his handwriting is enviable, even by me).
- His best friends are from outside interactions; none from school.
- He rotates his head when speaking, either to the left or the right and rarely at the examiner, and responses would need repeating as he is soft-spoken and speech more monotone. Apart from this, he’s rather articulate using words uncommon at his age. The words were not so advanced as they were just specific.
- A relative weakness for him is working memory, which is the ability to acquire and store diverse information in short term memory, to sort it, and then to present it in a new format. Math story problems, presented orally, is one example of a task requiring working memory.
- He’s a reluctant writer. He can rewrite a sentence to correct grammar or punctuation but seems unable to create a paragraph on his own.
- Other notable characteristic he has is that he seems to have a high level of anxiety but not in the clinically elevated range. For example, he expressed a concern of his mother’s health…He’s a worrier and seems to have greater self-doubt than most.
Like I said, most of it probably seems like a lot of mumbo jumbo because we aren’t talking about a child you know personally. A child who internalized so many of his emotions, by the end of the day he’ll burst into tears because instead of getting eleven french fries, he only got ten; a child who once frustrated with his homework will take an eraser and rub the paper so hard it rips into shreds; a child who still needs reminding to use the bathroom.
So, yeah, no disability, but with that means no additional help. Next year I won’t wait for the frustration and fighting before asking for IEP. I will request a new evaluation with the first request for tuition. Maybe the psychologist will squeeze us in first this time.
- If My Child Has ADHD, How Do I Get Help? (everydayhealth.com)