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Old 08-31-2009, 08:32 PM
 
634 posts, read 821,622 times
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Default IQ too low to qualify for Special Ed?

I've found limited responses to this question when I searched the forum, so I will pose this question to you all. I teach at a high school and have a student who is struggling - with language, math, reading, writing. I have special ed students in my classroom and his challenges look similar.

Our special ed teacher says she believes he is "low functioning" and has a low IQ - and with this low IQ, doesn't qualify for special ed services. The way she explained it is to have a disability, there must be evidence that something is getting in the way of otherwise successful, evidenced by a disparity between IQ and say a language test, etc.

So kids with low IQ's get no help, while kids with higher IQ's but low tests scores do? Can this be so? I believe we are letting him fall through the cracks, not at all what NCLB advocates.

Getting him tested is like pulling teeth - what's up with that? The parents don't object, but special ed teacher says her caseload is too big with 10 kids (and 2 paras) and says her supervisor frowns on new kids to test.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:32 PM
 
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I'm not sure if this is the case in every state, but the ONLY reason my son was eligible for an IEP was because his IQ was high, yet his test scores were low. I was told that if his IQ level was lower, he would not be considered to have a learning disability but would rather fall into that low functioning "pit".

I hate hearing about schools that are reluctant to test poor performers. The parents have to be the advocates though, maybe you could push them to make the request? You would be doing that child a favor. How has he made it through to high school without support?
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:40 PM
 
Location: in my mind
2,746 posts, read 9,338,606 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
I'm not sure if this is the case in every state, but the ONLY reason my son was eligible for an IEP was because his IQ was high, yet his test scores were low. I was told that if his IQ level was lower, he would not be considered to have a learning disability but would rather fall into that low functioning "pit".

I hate hearing about schools that are reluctant to test poor performers. The parents have to be the advocates though, maybe you could push them to make the request? You would be doing that child a favor. How has he made it through to high school without support?
I second this. I am not sure on specifics but I know schools are required to evaluate if the parents formally request it. well at least here, and at least when my son was diagnosed learning disabled (8th grade, so that would have been quite a few years ago). I know we had trouble with this in the past but pushed and pushed to get them on the ball. (Yes, it was a similar situation as above, my eldest has a learning disability but an above average IQ and high scores in other subjects, save that one where he has issues).
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC
605 posts, read 1,301,148 times
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Your special education teacher is wrong. To quote from the U.S. Dept of Education website that explains the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: "the criteria adopted by the State [to determine if a child has an learning disability] must not require the use of a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement for determining whether a child has a specific learning disability."

The Department of Education website also has a step-by-step guide as to how a student is classified as learning disabled. As well, it describes how the school district must then accommodate his needs. Go here for more information: Archived: Guide to the Individualized Education Program.

As a teacher, you can help to document that the child about whom you are concerned is not "[achieving] adequately for the child’s age" or meeting grade-level standards for your state (IDEA - Building The Legacy of IDEA 2004). You must also show that once you noticed the child struggling in certain areas that you implemented interventions, which did not help. Once such documentation is available, the child's family can then elect to ask for assessments given by a qualified professional that will determine whether or not he has a learning disability. Once the ball is rolling, the school is required to act within specified time frames; your special education teacher's protests can't get in the way of testing.

By the way, there is no IQ cut-off that absolves schools of having to help a child. An intellectual disability (known also as mental retardation) needs to be accommodated with an individualized education plan.
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:49 AM
 
634 posts, read 821,622 times
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Default Thank you!

Concrete websites with information is exactly what I was hoping for. Thanks so much for your responses and help. I'm going to the websites to "read up" as we speak.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Nowhere'sville
2,345 posts, read 2,439,220 times
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My son also receives services in MS. (and when we lived in VA) because of a low IQ.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:48 AM
 
20,804 posts, read 29,215,249 times
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There are different types of special education. Kids with "learning disabilities" are in a different classification then kids that are low functioning. They need different evaluations. Yes, kids with learning disabilities need to have a discrepancy between grades and IQ. It sounds like you are talking to the LD teacher, you need to talk to the special ed coordinator in your district and find the appropriate program and then get him tests/qualified for that.
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Old 09-01-2009, 08:17 AM
 
6,879 posts, read 7,942,846 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
There are different types of special education. Kids with "learning disabilities" are in a different classification then kids that are low functioning. They need different evaluations. Yes, kids with learning disabilities need to have a discrepancy between grades and IQ. It sounds like you are talking to the LD teacher, you need to talk to the special ed coordinator in your district and find the appropriate program and then get him tests/qualified for that.
That makes more sense. Thank you for clearing it up. Despite what I was told, it didn't seem possible that lower IQ students wouldn't qualify for any programs.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:37 AM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,483 posts, read 3,190,226 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
There are different types of special education. Kids with "learning disabilities" are in a different classification then kids that are low functioning. They need different evaluations. Yes, kids with learning disabilities need to have a discrepancy between grades and IQ. It sounds like you are talking to the LD teacher, you need to talk to the special ed coordinator in your district and find the appropriate program and then get him tests/qualified for that.

And I'll add to that not to back off on insisting that an evaluation be done. It's far too easy IMHO, for those kids who clearly are trying their best yet can't quite get to passing level to be dragged along when it comes to test score data (which frankly, is why I don't believe that test scores should be the "end all be all" of education evaluation).
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
605 posts, read 1,470,596 times
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A couple of years ago, I had a student that I suspected needed special ed services (I was in a room with both regular ed and special ed--he was a regular ed student who struggled more than the special ed). The parent was convinced that he had needed special ed for years but didn't know how to get him help. I was told this: a teacher can refer him for services but it will take months of documentation and testing to get him referred OR suggest to the parent that she request testing for special ed. She did, he was, and he got the help he needed a lot faster.
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