The first meeting is always a bit stressful since the teachers, psychologist, and administrators know more about the laws and procedures regarding IEP's. One thing that I will tell you is that you really need to do some research regarding your specific State's IEP laws and also do alot or research on his specific disability so that you know all of his rights and yours as well. It really helps when the parent or parents are prepared. Do not let them control you and the way that your child is being taught since you are the parent and have the right to agree and refuse any or all education settings, situations, and specific education needs that you feel and know your child requires. I have been through 6 1/2 years of IEP meetings and I will tell you that it has really benefited me to be totally prepared and to do the research needed to not let the administrators and school control the meeting and not let you have a voice. You know your child best and as a parent are the best advocate for your child.
Make sure that you read all of the IEP papers before signing anything and do not let them tell you that you have to sign the forms that very minute. You totally have the right to read over the material and make sure that it is written the way that you want it as well. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions regarding the IEP and I will answer your questions to the best of my ability and hopefully we can get some other people to join this forum that have been through this process as well.
We had more testing last Tues and go in again this Thursday. I am not liking this testing. First off both the psycologists have accents and are using word like we have a task for you. He's 5, let's use appropriate vocabulary for a 5 year old. I heard him numerous times tell the women I can't understand you. He refuses to do the tests. Instead he turns around in the chair and refuses to look at it. He starts acting very silly which is typical of Caleb when he is feeling ill at ease. Should I demand to be in the room during the testing, should I have our therapist with us during the testing? I'm just afraid they are going to score the academic side low, when in reality it is with or above other students his age. Ahhhh Help!
It is really difficult to test a child with ADHD due to their concentration span. It takes a experienced psyc and one with a lot of patience. I don't know if you being in the room would help or be a distraction. I would definitely ask your therapist for any recommendations she has and relay that to the testing psyc's. Is it possible that they could do any thing with your son to make him feel more relaxed. In other words, don't come and and start testing but do a little give and take. Offer him cookies, etc ?
I would certainly voice your fears to the psychologists (leave out the accent part). Definitely let them know he is feeling ill at ease and ask if there is anything they can do to help this so that the test accurately reflects his abilities.
One last thought, remember your academic side (in school) is based a lot of how you do on the school tests. If you have a difficult time testing, then no matter how smart you are, your tests will score low. What schools look for is a difference between innate ability and academic ability. I know in California, this became hard to do because they banned IQ testing, so it became much harder to get a true reading of the kids ability.
Hope some of this helps! Good luck - keep us posted.
I have asked that they continue the testing at Caleb's school instead of the psych office which is just a lot of office cubbies. I think he may be more comfortable in a familiar surrounding. I have also talked to the woman who is in charge of the department about the wording the psychologist is using. Caleb does better when allowed to do it with no verbal encouragment, this just distracts him and makes him nervous. She was telling him to finish fast and that he was doing perfect. Both being timed and being perfect really hightens his anxiety. She said the test is timed so they want him to do it quickly. I responded that it's fine if they time the test just don't tell Caleb their doing it. Does this sound right. I'm so tired.
Saturday I speak to the Psychiatrist regarding the anxiety issues and what I believe may be depression.
Very good suggestions.
I don't understand why the pscy is telling him to finish fast. Does she have other appointments? And I don't understand the timed tests. Even in school when the kids are taking the STAR test at the end of the year, they can have all the time they want. And this is for non-challenged kids! I have forwarded your post on to someone who maybe can shine a little more light on the subject. Hang in there!