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school testing w/o consent

Posted by dgbg (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 21, 02 at 8:53

We found out from our 7 year old- not her teacher, not the principal, that my has been being tested for ? - ADD/ other- When questioned the teacher said DD is struggling too much for as bright & well behaved as she is. This was a shock as "unfinished work" has tapered off, and her weekly progress reports are all "s" ( S= satisfactory, I= improvement needed, U= unacceptable) My DD started at this (Catholic) school in Jan. She was a book level below in MATH & Religion, and I really haven't seen the language book, but homework seems about same level. We have done a LOT of work at home to get her up to speed, and I thought in 3 months time she had. There are 30 children in this classroom. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks, Denise


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: school testing w/o consent

I'd not be happy about that. Who administered the test? I guess since it's already been done, and if this was the only incident that displeased me at the school, I'd move on and figure out what to do with my DD next. I'd probably ask what their policy is on notifying parents of these issues to make sure that it doesn't happen again. If I was happy with the school in all other ways, I'd probably be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt that they meant well.

I don't think the teacher gave enough explanation, though. I'd want a lot more answers. I'd get more educated on how, why and who tested her and what the test is supposed to determine. And on ADD, or whatever they felt the problem might be. I'd want to know their results. Whatever the results, are they qualified to make any kind of diagnosis? Or to recommend some kind of treatment of behavior therapy? I'd think not in a school environment, and certainly not without parental consent. So what whas their purpose behind testing? Is it a preliminary test that would only result in a recommendation for further testing? When did they plan to let me know about the test and its results? What were they going to do with the information?

Then I guess if they still thought there was a learning problem, I'd get a second, outside, opinion. Whatever the school has done, I'd take over from here and let the teacher and administration know that I appreciated their concern and welcome their insight, will happily work as a team with them to solve whatever learning issues DD may have. BUT, I'M the coach of that team, I call the shots from now on!


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RE: school testing w/o consent

Your daughter's teacher is NOT qualified to make a medical diagnosis, unless she happens to be a doctor on the side. In my state it is not even legal for teachers to say that they think a child has ADD - they can only say that the child is struggling or has so-and-so problems and should see a pediatrician. I don't know if this is state or federal law.

IMO this teacher has stepped WAY over the line. I would write letters to the principal and the board of directors to complain. Angry letters.

ADD and ADHD are way over-diagnosed, in part because of teachers who overstep their bounds. Next is that teacher going to start giving you legal advice? I would be so mad. I would take my child out of her class, especially since she hasn't been giving you ANY information about how she is supposedly struggling.


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RE: school testing w/o consent

Do you know for sure what your daughter was tested for?

Did your daughter know?

Was she able to describe the tests?

Is it possible that the test was not for ADD?

Why not ask prior to jumping to conclusions?

Mommabear


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RE: school testing w/o consent

I DID ASK. AS MUCH AS I COULD before the teacher was turning away, & then another mother stopped her and began to ask about her son. Teacher said the Resource teacher has been doing "some testing" on my DD. The teacher's remark I stated in my first post was accurate. I WOULD LOVE MORE INFORMATION. HOW, WHY, WHEN & by who (her ability to do testing), and why I was not told about the testing. I do playground duty at the school, we play on the playground after school, I've done crafts w/ the class, I sign THREE forms a week, I have NOT been out of touch. I most likely would have allow the testing, but THAT IS MY CHOICE AS THE PARENT. Now, should I wait for results? And what will those results mean? - Denise


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RE: school testing w/o consent

If I were you I would take my child to a child pyschologist and have her tested. The teacher is not qualified to do this type of testing. She could advise, maybe. But doing the actual testing "No" she is not a Pyschologist and she and anyone else at the school that is not a pyschologist should have tested her. I have never heard of this. And also no type of testing should go on without your consent. The teacher should have planned a conference with you. Then she may could have implied your daughter was having troubles and then maybe you could take her to a child pyschologist. She is overstepping her grounds and her job. She job is not to test your child for ADD or any other Attention or learning problem. Her job is to have a conference with you and let you know about how your child is progressing if she has trouble.
I would tell her she doesn't have the RIGHT DEGREE to test your daughter.


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RE: school testing w/o consent

Thanks for your replies. It is the "resource" teacher that is doing the testing. Is that better? What tests? What will the results mean (special classes, more one-on-one, nothing)? If the teacher would have ask me BEFORE hand, these would be answered and it PROBABLY would be no big deal. I am not saying "not my DD, oh no not my genius offspring"- even though I think ADD and "other" is way over used today. Trendy illness with Federal Funds for the school! BUT 30 6-7 year olds from 8am-3pm is a lot for Saint SUPER WOMAN, let a alone a nice, smart mortal! And several people (3 who are teachers) have asked what my daughters I.Q. is- thinking it is high, not low. I don't know her I.Q.- because she is a HAPPY LITTLE kid, and that is what I want in a 7 year old! We can find out as we go along, say when she gets into Harvard... I like the school, like the teacher, but I am an involved parent- no need to cut me out! I am a visual learner, very independent- my husband was NOT, and my daughter is not. She is VERY social and a class with 30 kids would be "normally" distracting to her. I would have like to point this out BEFORE testing... Now I will be on guard, I have doubts about the teacher-parent relationship. My hubby & I have put together the following letter, which I thought I'd only have to do in a public school. ONE phone call to me before testing could have gone a long way!

Dear Mrs. :

We were distressed to learn that a decision was made, and a procedure conducted, to test C for purposes other than academic progress without our knowledge. As her parents we would request that any decision to test her in the future for any purpose other than academic assessment require our permission to do so.

We further request that any findings concerning our daughter's test not be discussed or shared with anyone with out our permission. At your earliest possible convenience we would appreciate information on the test in question, why the test was given to C, and what purpose did it serve?

Lastly, we appreciate the efforts you have made with C and are pleased with her academic progress under your tutelage. However, decisions to test our daughter for purposes other than her academic progress should be discussed with us before hand.

Thank you for your assistance and attention to this matter, it is appreciated.


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RE: school testing w/o consent

Denise:

I didn't mean to suggest you were out of touch. Not at all.

It's just that your first post suggested that you weren't really sure what the testing was for. I didn't want to see you all worked up over something that might be different from what you thought. 7 year olds as messengers are notoriously unreliable! I assure you I was trying to get you calm, not rile you up. Sorry if my post had the opposite affect.

I think that if you know for sure she was tested without your consent I would schedule a meeting with the teacher. I think your letter is fine. The one thing I might add is a request for a meeting with the teacher. If the meeting with the teacher leaves you unsatisfied I would contact the principal.

My son in is the process of being tested for the gifted program Testing for gifted/special ed follows the same procedure. In my kids school the procedure is as follows:

1. Parents must have 2 conferences with the teacher to discuss the child's needs and what else the child should have to help him succeed. Testing is usually brought up at these conferences.
2. A consent form MUST be signed by BOTH parents.
3. The evaluations are done by the school psychologist, NOT a teacher. There is a gifted and ESE teacher at the school. She works WITH the psychologist, but the psychologist administers the tests.
4. There is a meeting to discuss what the results of the test are and to devise a plan to meet the child's needs.

Good luck to you.

Mommabear


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RE: school testing w/o consent

Thanks Mommabear! I was taken back by 1) the teacher not contacting me 2) the good weekly reports 3) the vague "some testing" reply to my inquiry. Now I did ask RIGHT after school, with my children in tow, but still I think a better answer was do me. The reason I think it was not gifted was the teachers comment about DD "struggling". What I got from my daughter was the resource teacher would say 5-6 numbers, then she could draw, talk, whatever- then DD was ask to give her the numbers. Also list 3 jobs & what people did who had such jobs... and "if Sally was baking cookies at 3pm to take to a friend...filler...." So who was the girl (Sally) what was she doing (baking cookies) when (3:00). Also when does DD go to bed, when does she do homework, etc., Nothing terrible- but I wanted to know more and from someone besides a 7 year old. I was already concerned about the class size (30, one special needs, 2 w/ "behavior" problems) being a distraction for my DD, but I like this teacher. I just wish she would have emailed- sent a note home- SOMETHING first. ****NEW**** The teacher was just as vague with my husband, but that may be due to the fact that she admitted to him she "forgot" to get our permission and 'everyone' was a bit 'concerned' over this. I am glad she was suppose to get permission. I am sure the whole test could be "forgotten" if we pushed for it. I DO believe the teacher was trying to help. We'll see....


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RE: school testing w/o consent

I guess the most important thing for you to find out is what kind of problem the teacher thinks your child might have. That is more important than your hurt feelings (which I would have at this point). Then YOU can decide IF she is to be evaluated and BY WHOM.

If she has a learning problem it doesn't necessarily mean she would be doing poorly, just not as well as expected. Maybe the teacher thinks she should be doing BETTER based on her apparent aptitude. I would try for an informational session with the teacher, especially if she is someone you liked until now. Also-not all kids with learning problems have behavior problems so the fact that she isn't a behavior problem in class doesn't preclude a learning problem. Sometimes they just don't focus well on their schoolwork and need help with that. I know a child like that. He isn't a behavior problem in school, nor is he stupid, he needs lots of help staying focused.

Mommabear


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RE: school testing w/o consent

Hello again- Husband had a nice phone call from teacher. The only thing my DD had trouble with was reading. She is mid-point at grade level, and struggling. Teacher said this is what she thought, and that given everything else she can't understand why DD is having problems. She said this test was a screening- more testing focused on reading WITH OUR CONSENT would probably be needed, but we could take that up with the resource teacher...


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RE: school testing w/o consent

I agree that the school should have a better policy in place to get permission from parents before testing. Hopefully, your letter to the school will cause some good to come of it. But I do want to add that IQ has nothing to do with a child's ADD or ADHD diagnosis. Many very bright children have ADD or ADHD.


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