Many parents and educators have mistaken beliefs about the assessment process. These are some of the more common ones.
All children enjoy the assessment process.
Truth: Some children enjoy the challenge of testing. Others are embarrassed by not knowing all of the answers or not knowing whether they are doing well or poorly. Some children are very anxious about the testing process and can be upset about testing. Always talk to your child about an impending assessment.
If I refer my child for testing, my child is tested before children referred by teachers.
Truth: All children referred for testing are put on a list according to date when the parent/guardian signed permission to test. No one is "moved up" or "bumped up".
If my child is diagnosed with dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, or other problems, he or she automatically qualifies for special education services.
Truth: Not all children with diagnoses qualify for special education services. Eligibility is a two pronged TEAM decision. The child has to meet the eligibility criteria for a handicapping condition AND the child's needs cannot be met in the regular classroom.
If my child has difficulty learning, he or she will qualify for special education services.
Truth: The child still has to meet the criteria for a handicapping condition AND his/her needs cannot be met in the regular classroom.
If my child qualifies for special education, he/she will ONLY be in special education classes all day.
Truth: There is a very large range of special education services from consultation (all regular education classes with modifications in the areas of need) to self contained child development classes. The law protecting special education students (IDEA) provides that children be education within the regular classroom to the maximum extent possible (this is called the least restrictive environment).
My child will receive one on one teaching in special education classes.
Truth: Your child will receive an "individualized" program, not one on one instruction. Some resource classes can be as large as your child's regular education class.
I should take any problems I have with my child's regular teachers to the special education teacher. He/she will work them out for me.
Truth: YOU are your child's best advocate. Talk to your child's teachers. Is he/she doing the modification/accommodations written in your child's IEP? Is your child doing his/her part? Are you doing your part? Remember that your child's education is a TEAM effort involving your child, you, and your child's teachers. This is especially so with children who have been identified as having a disability. They need all the help and support possible at home and at school.
An evaluation will tell me exactly what is wrong with my child's learning.
Truth: Sometimes assessments create more questions than answers. Sometimes a problem cannot be pinpointed and the evaluation is just one step in a long line of investigation.
Once my child has been identified as having a disability, he/she will eventually, with help and support, overcome that disability.
Truth: Sometimes an identified disability is the result of a child "missing" parts of his/her education and it is just a matter of "catching up". However, most disabilities do not go away with intervention. The child learns to compensate for the disability. With the right tools, children can deal with their disabilities and be successful.
Always remember to ask questions.
Tips for a successful meeting with school staff about your child:
See the Assessment Page for links to more information.
Special Education Page
Giles County Schools page
page created by Betsie Potasz