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When I get a referral that says, "Johnny cannot read and is not working up to grade level", with no more information than that, I do standard battery of tests. Then, when I learn later in conversation with that same teacher that Johnny can't sit still, or Johnny can't attend for anymore than two minutes, or Johnny has missed X number of days of school, or Johnny recently lost an uncle, I realize that perhaps I used wrong test.
If I had known this information first, I might have given a different test, perhaps one for Attention Deficit Disorder. So I have to go back and do that test afterwards. That information also affects HOW I give test. Perhaps I could have given it in shorter time spans.
My friend had some excellent points. The more specific information you can give, better it is for child. Testing is difficult enough on any child, but when person doing testing doesn't have right information, or not enough information, it can make testing more difficult.
I always found it helpful when teachers would show me as evaluator, any concrete illustrations of child's problems, such as written work that shows how he spells, or documentation of specific instances of difficulty in classroom, like his trouble with being able to copy information from board. I realize that teachers have a tremendous work load, but any specific information you can give about that child will help child not just on testing, but in future as well. And, after all, isn't that student's success in life what education's all about?
For more plain talk about learning disabilities, please visit us at www.ldperspectives.com.
Sandy Gauvin is a retired educator who has seen learning disabilities from many perspectives - as the parent of a daughter with learning disabilities, as the teacher of children with learning disabilities, and as an advocate for others who have diagnosed and unrecognized learning disabilities. Sandy shares her wisdom and her resources at www.LDPerspectives.com.