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Dr. C Morning Minute

Five (5) Things You Really Need To Know About Special Education

The School District Does not have to evaluate your child just because you submit a signed request to evaluate. When you submit a written and signed request for an evaluation, the school district has 15 days to meet as a team, discuss your child’s educational needs, and provide a written response with indication of a game-plan to meet your child’s needs. That “game-plan” does not necessarily need to include a referral to the school psychologist for an educational evaluation. It may, rather, include any number of other options including modifications to how the classwork is assigned. However, you can appeal their feedback and request due process in that regard. To determine eligibility for special education services, most Districts still use the 15 point discrepancy guideline If your child is evaluated by the school psychologist, various tests are administered (IQ, Academic…). The scores are listed as “Standard Scores” with an average ...

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How is ADHD Diagnosed? (and is it over-diagnosed?)

Pathologizing? There is wide-spread belief that children are over-diagnosed and over-prescribed, which implies that some kids are ‘just being kids’ and we’re pathologizing them, i.e. giving them a diagnosis, counseling, and medication when we should, rather, be sensitive and accommodating to the wide-spectrum in children’s activity-level and ability to attend. Is this an accurate perspective? Just the facts Mam’ First, lets look at the stats: Rates of children, ages 4-17, diagnosed with ADHD are at about 7.8% (according to a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), which is not especially high, and stimulant prescription rates range between 4.3% and 4.4%, which you can see is substantially lower than 7.8%. Also, in that same survey, it was found that only 48% of the ADHD sample had received any mental health care over the prior 12 months, which would suggest children are, actually, being under-treated. How is the diagnosis made? To ...

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DSM-V and the Autism Diagnosis: Is the Change Hurting Children?

Fuss There has been lots of fuss about the DSM-V and the autism diagnosis; will it result in less children meeting diagnostic criteria and therefore less children getting the services they need? Is this concern legitimate? I’ve written about this in prior posts, but here I’ll provide further elaboration. What’s the problem, and what is the diagnostic criteria? Is the DSM-V Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis the issue at hand, or is it another DSM-V diagnosis that might be a “problem”? First let’s take a brief look at the ASD, the criteria includes: 1.   “Deficits in social communication and social interaction” manifesting in, for example, poor back-and-forth communication, deficient eye contact, and absence in an interest in peers or inability to sustain the relationship/interaction.   2.   “Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, and/or hyper or hypo-sensitivities. There are also specifiers for severity of the social and verbal deficit, ...

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