I’ll start with the basics first. My son is 7 years old, in the first grade. An only child until February of 2007.
Sometime around the end of last year/beginning of this year, my son’s teacher told my husband and I during the first parent-teacher conference of the school year that she wanted us to…
First of all, I want to say that I wish there were more parents like you that are actively involved in their children’s educational and behavioral needs. I would guess that at least some of his behaviors are due to the new addition to the family. That happens to some degree with all children, but especially so with those in pre-k to about 2nd or 3rd grade. I can also relate to your son’s anxieties. I how your child knew anything was going on in the first place, though. I give Conners all the time, and the children most of the time don’t know that the scales have been given, since they go to the teacher and/or parent(s). To close, it IS illegal for testing to be done without your consent. The Conners scales, however, do not fall under that umbrella because they are not considered to be formal testing, just a “screener.” They are very helpful to practitioners in making a diagnosis, but ADHD is a medical diagnosis and several other factors come into play when that decision is being made.
It actually sounds like you got some pretty good advice from some of the ones who answered you. In Texas, and that’s all I can tell you about, a teacher can tell you what she experiences in the classroom, and she can ask if you’ve noticed the same behavior but she CANNOT reccommend that you have your child evaluated by a doctor for ADHD — and a doctor is the only one who can make that diagnose. There is no test that can be given at school to determine that. No test to determine if your child needs special education can be given without your consent. The Conner’s Rating Scale can’t be called a test. It has more than 1 part. The teacher goes through the check list, the counselor observes the child in the classroom and goes through the checklist and a third part is sent to the parent to do the same. It’s to see if all are in agreement. Without all three parts it’s pretty worthless. You can give permission, if you choose to, for an IQ test and that will settle the question of gifted. If you question the ADHD ask your pediatrician to refer your child to a doctor in this field, and get the answer once and for all. I certainly don’t claim to know everything, but I’ve worked in special education for 21 years so I do have some insight. Good luck.
I agree with what was said earlier that they CANNOT formally test and retest without your consent. At each IEP evaluation, the parent(s) are given their “bill of rights” outlining what can be done, how they can disagree, protest, file complaints. My 2 sons have been in the special education services since they were both in the first grade.
The Connor’s is just a tool for the teacher’s, not necessarily a formal test and can be administered, although you are certainly entitled to ask about the results.
From the time they were both 9, it was recommended that they be tested for ADD/ADHD. I waited another 3 years, countless counselors, psychologists, tests, behavior and food modifications, to remedy them at home. Finally, facing retention at the third grade level, I did the formal testing, with my own doctor and psychologist, the right dosage and medication was found for each of them, which took another 6 months.
It has been nothing short of a miracle, how their disorganized thoughts have been brought into focus, their grades came up and stayed at the B levels and even their enthusiasm for learning has formed.
The older one is starting high school this fall and has been slowly brought into mainstream school, he will no longer need special education services and the younger one is starting junior high and is headed on that same route also.
This has been my experience and only you can decide when, where and how your child will be helped , he’s not stupid, but don’t let them railroad you either, it’s better to become intimately acquainted with all of the resources you can, becoming aware and informed will put you on equal footing with those trained to do this.
The school can have a child tested without the parent’s consent, but they have to go through special procedures to do it- the teacher cannot do it on her own. She must consult the principal and others and I believe they may have to consult the legal team. Because your son had recently been tested and you verbalized your agreement to have him retested again at the end of the year, it sounds to me that they did not have grounds to retest at this time. In addition, a school/school personnel CANNOT diagnose a child with ADHD…no matter how frustrated this teacher is, only a medical dr. can actually make the diagosis and recommend treatment. Therefore, whatever these 2 CONFLICTING reports state, you must have an outside dr. make a correct diagnosis and recommend proper treatment. The special education laws are the Federal IDEA laws- check out their website- it covers when and how kids can be tested, what parents have to be told, what a school can legally do, what a school must legally do, etc. It couldn’t hurt to consult an education rights attorney to make sure your child’s rights are not being violated. I would also check into having an outside agency do a FULL EDUCATIONAL evaluation on your son…it seems that they are focusing on the behavior…it was suggested he may be gifted and therefore bored, yet they did not pursue this to detrmine if it were true. In most cases if you disagree with the school’s evaluation, you make the school pay for the IEE(Inedpendent Educational Evaluation). The IEE will not be biased and will determine your child’s exact behavior issues (if any) in additon to his intellecutual abilities. Put everything, requests and letters,etc in writing to document what you ask for and what you agree/don’t agree to. You are trying to do what’s best for your child and shouldn’t feel bad for standing up for what you think is right- you know your child better than any one. You stated that he was showing negative signs from the testing…this is not appropriate and needs to be addressed. Good for you for questioning the school and not just going with the flow. Most of the time the school acts in the best interest of the child, however, they should work “with” the parent to meet the child’s needs…it sounds as if this teacher has tried to control the situation and take the power away from you. This is not a way to work as a team to give the child what is in his best interest. Check out the IDEA laws and think about consulting an attorney if the school will not listen to your concerns. Go directly to the principal, not the teacher with your concerns as she seems unwilling to take your concerns seriously. Good luck and i applaud you for standing up for your child’s educational needs.
No, they cannot test your child without consent. However, you need to understand that the school social worker/counselor can administer screening tests for things such as depression and suicide. Also, you need to know that school cannot “diagnose” students with ADHD/ADD, that is a medical diagnosis. So info they gathered without your consent is nothing more than a rating scale that says there may or may not be an issue with hyperactivity. A good course of action for you would be to speak directly with the schools student services director or superintendent, ask that all information from that test be removed from his/her cumulative file and that a letter be placed in the persons personal file (reprimand) who conducted the test without written consent. That is a pretty serious offense.
Perhaps a call to complain to your state’s board of education would be in order. Teachers do not get to decide when to test a student for ADHD, especially since the parents decided to wait. This is way out of line.
You are right to get a second opinion and outside consultation. From what you have stated, it appears that the teacher made up her mind already. When the results from the first test came back suggesting that he was gifted but bored, did the teacher attempt to give him more challenging work? Teachers are supposed to accomodate for gifted children as well as children who are behind.
Your son should not have been tested without your consent. ADHD is a condition that should be determined by a TEAM of professionals, including you. ADHD does not automatically give your son an IEP either. A 504 Plan is often used for students with medical conditions and is not in the realm of special education. The school cannot determine if your child is ADHD, it is up to you and a medical doctor, psychologist, teachers…etc…
NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! In my state at least, this is illegal. Ask for the test results in writing so you can take them to your physician (wink, wink) before going off so you have some proof. I’m not sure what’s going on with the TOVA- never heard of it, but the Connor’s should have a parent portion anyway. I don’t if they were doing a screening just to have data or if they carried it through to actual results, but they shouldn’t have passed that along to you. There are some roundabouts about screenings, but if the IEP team is involved, I’d think it was illegal. When you ask for written test results, also ask what other tests they think they will administer. To prove your point, ask for a full evaluation. An IQ test would automatically be included in that. A high IQ result would prove your point.
be sure all iep facts include eye exams that are current and a live signature from your medical doctors. this is required to be in an iep, then have doctors check for depression in stressors recent death divorce ect. then have the councelor help making sure this time is best to test or not. again live sgnature needed for them to future test. then ask ark to help by having an evaluation done by a independent examination so each professional is not using just the observations of teachers. some states dont have advocates from ark. ask the bord of education for your state. all iep can be intimidating. note when they say home means outside the sight they imposed they get when achild is at school. they make that by what you write and your ability to make meetings and share thoughts about your child. most of that is opinin based if the words or actions are not your own. by getting ark your showing you want help for your child and not just on observation but to help get to the exact needs of a child. nothing else maters if its not for your child
I beleive the Connors is just a rating scale-a rating of the teachers observatoins-not an actual test-
it may jsut be considered a standardized teachers note on behavior
at the very least it is unethical fro teh school to do it without asking you orlettign you know–
the consent you gave may be good for a year