Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The worry, the stress, the Guilt!

I have now spoken to 3 of the 4 Certified Dyslexia Testing Specialists from the list I received from Susan Barton.

The first was a lovely, understanding, woman. In other words she did not call me an idiot who just hadn't read to her child enough and didn't know how to teach. (I have no issues with self doubt, no really, well maybe a little)

She asked me a series of questions about the boy, we talked about where his IQ test put him, where he is in math and where he is in reading. Huge disparity. She asked about gross motor skills, she asked if he was on the spectrum, can he tie his shoes, does he know our address. Gross motor skills great, not on spectrum as far as we know, he can tie his shoes (it took awhile but he is great at it now), he does not know our address, but knows my mobile number.

The second tester called, she asked many fewer questions, wanted to know why I was worried about it, luckily the conversation with the first tester really pulled my thoughts on it together so I was able to, fairly, clearly explain what I was seeing in the Boy. She kind of explained the difference between an IEP and a 504 and that we would likely get a 504 for accommodations rather than a full IEP. She then spent a good bit of time telling me which charter schools in my area are the most receptive to and responsive to the needs of dyslexic kids. COVA being one, they have the Barton System that they will loan out to parents to use. The other being one of the charters in our district, but I have a complicated relationship with all of them (in my head). It really felt like she was pushing for us to put him back in public school. Her report was priced as a report only to parents for 1 price and if we wanted a report for the schools for another $100. The thing is even if we don't put him back in school I am going to need something worded that we can use to get accommodations for standardized tests. All that to say I did not leave talking to her with warm fuzzies and I'm pretty sure we won't be using her.

Third tester called a bit later and left a message, was able to get back with her quickly. She was also lovely. She let me know when she does the intake interview some of the things she will check on are things from early childhood and birth to make sure there was nothing that might interfere with a clean dyslexia dx. She talked to me about the benefits of testing now and not testing now. She feels that using the Barton System we could help the Boy right now and he is at a good age to start it, we don't need the testing to start that. What the testing will give us is the ability to get him accommodations on any standardized testing and as a CO homeschooler, that is something we will have to do every other year starting next year. Plus when/if he takes the ACT/SAT for college he will get accommodations on that as well. If we wait to test him until after we get him tutored the results may not show the severity and we may not be able to get the accommodations he really will still need.

I'm kicking myself, I was wondering about this when we started COVA a year and a half ago. I had the conversation with the teacher then. I feel like I didn't advocate enough at that point. He is crazy smart and it gets hidden in this fight with the written word. he is so curious about different things but he can't get it for himself right now he has to use me and I'm ending up being a gatekeeper to his knowledge. I slow him down I can't read to him everything he wants to learn, he can't stand one of the most prominent astrophysicists out there making videos so most of the video lectures I find he won't watch. Ugh.

I look at the reading symptoms and he has every single one of them, same with the spelling. I had not gone back to the list for a year and a half because I thought maybe he wasn't ready yet, maybe he was being 'stubborn' maybe I was giving him too much leeway.

All that be as it may, we're doing something now. I will figure out how to get him tested, I will get to work learning the Barton System. I will see if I can become a Barton Tutor and maybe make up the cost of the system. We'll see, there are answers, there will  be help, he will be able to open the world up to his very curious mind with books soon.

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