In preparing for the independent evaluation Dr. Kay sent multiple checklists to the teachers. All the teachers collaborated and they were to check off anything that applied.
Under basic reading skills and reading comprehension five items were checked off. “Lacks fluency and speed”. The teacher noted not accuracy. “Confuses similar letters, words or sounds.” “Follows with finger or pencil.” “Subvocalizes when reading silently.”
Under listening comprehension two items were checked. “Confuses similar sounds when listening.” and “Has trouble following verbal directions.”
Under spelling three items were checked off. “Reverses letters or sounds.” “Incorrect letter in words.” and “Requires continued drill and practice to learn new spelling words.”
Under Mathematical Calculation and Mathematical Reasoning another three items were checked off. “Can do paper pencil math but not mental math problem solving.” “Does not remember Math facts.” and “Difficulty solving Math Word Problems.”
Under Language Skills and Oral Expression they had one item checked off. “Poor verbal expression for age.” The teacher made a note “Occasionally.” How they missed that he had difficulty on “Word Finding” I’ll never know?
Under Writing skills and Written Expression two items were checked off. “Reverses letters and numbers when writing.” “Cannot finish written work in a reasonable time.”
Under Behavioral, Emotional, Social there were only three items checked off out of the largest check off list. They were, “Easily Distracted.” “Inconsistent Behavior.” and “Easily Frustrated.”
I think the three page checkoff list said alot. How could they have expected a child with all these difficulties not to be frustrated? Why did they wait so long to admit these things?
There was another rating scale that the teachers were asked to fill out. The numerical five rating was, “The behavior always occurs.” Out of forty eight items listed only one was rated as a five. “Fears criticism”. Of course he feared to be criticized, Didn’t he feel like enough of a failure already? The numerical four rating was, “The behavior occurs most of time.” Again out of forty eight items this time three items were marked with the number four. “Poor Speller.” “Fearful of New Situations.” and Rarely takes chances.” Of course, Why would my son want to take chances of what he perceived as possibly failing again? The numerical three rating was, “This behavior occurs some of the time.” Out of forty eight items this time eight items were marked with the number three. They were, “Anxious”, “Distractible” “Poor Reader”, “Problems Judging Time”, “Defies Authority”, “Critical to Others”, “Problems with Writing” and “Poor Expressive Language Ability”. The other two ratings were, “The behavior is rarely exhibited.” and “The behavior does not apply to this child and is never observed.” Therefore those ratings were pretty non-significant.
Ironically, my child was one of the lucky ones. He was only in second grade and because of my advocacy he had already started to get alot of interventions but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. The teachers did not have the training or resources to provide the intensive services he needed. The quest would continue for years but this was towards the beginning of what seemed the never ending.
June 15th, 2004 we traveled to Lancaster, Pa. for our appointment the next day. I was on a mission to save my son….
Copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT