Lauries Kitchen

Monday, April 20, 2009

The life of a diagnostician

Had a very trying day at work today. I feel like many people are trying to make round kids fit in the premolded square peg. I.E......everyone must pass TAKS, if a kid can't read then he must be Special Ed.......and it goes on and on. Now for those who don't know exactly what I do at work (some people I work for are still wondering that but the way). Here' s in a nutshell what I do. Students are referred to me for Special Education testing. There are many criteria the student must go through before I get the referral. Then I contact the parents and we begin collecting data, giving IQ tests, giving achievement tests, observations, etc. Again, alot of time and input is given from teachers, etc. After I collect everything and give everything, I write a report. Now the report is based on all the information I have collected. Then we input the scores in a template to see if the student has any cognitive deficits. There are specific areas that I test for. Used to be, a child's IQ was a significant factor in whether or not they qualified because there had to be a 16 point or greater discrepancy between that and an area of achievement. But no longer because of No Child Left Behind. Now I am looking for a cognitive area with a deficit (below 85) that correlates back to a low area of achievement. Many students I have tested this year have not demonstrated this deficit. Thus, they do not qualify at this time for services. Now here's where I think some confusion comes in. Many think that since a student can't read so he will qualify for Special Ed. They forget to look for the underlying cognitive deficit that the law says MUST be there. If it is not there I can't say a student has a Specific Learning Disability. And while I am on the topic, a student who is low in the three basic areas of achievement (reading, writing, and math) cannot have a specific learning disability. A student in this situation, in my opinion, has more of a general learning disability rather than a SPECIFIC learning disability. Yes, there is a HUGE crack that slow learners and students with general learning disabilities will probably fall in. This is where teamwork and thinking outside the box comes in to play. These students CAN learn. They are just slower. They may need more individualized teaching. You can't keep teaching them the same way, or you will get the same results. They are obviously struggling so change the way they are being taught. Yes, I have a huge burden on my heart for those students who I test and do not qualify, especially when I know they are struggling in the classroom. But I am bound to follow the guidelines set forth by my school district, TEA, and the federal government (since we receive federal funds). Seems like if a kid qualifies everybody loves us but when a student doesn't we're the arch enemy. Hard for an emotionally unstable (Sometimes) person to deal with on some days.

There got that off my chest! Maybe I will sleep better tonight.

Came home from work and walked for a little bit-til I started wheezing! Still on meds and breathing treatments. Went to dr this pm and it's not pneumonia again so that's good. Probably just my faithful companion a sinus infection.

Had beans and cornbread for supper. That is so hard to beat! Just to walk in and smell those beans in the crockpot made me relax a little! Grace and I are heading out to Waxahachie this weekend for her soccer tournament. Coy and JoGail have a game here. Busy Busy!

One of our Sunday school cl as member shad a stroke this morning. Please keep Mary and Jack in your prayers. They are a sweet couple. Jack was supposed to go on a missions trip to Africa this May but I don't know if he will go now since this happened to Mary. Please pray for wisdom for him in this. Also, my sister and her family are gearing up for their annual March of Dimes walk this coming weekend. While it's inspiring and healing, it's also a reminder about why they are there. Please pray for them to have a peace about everything. If you haven't but would like to donate, check out their web page.....

Hopefully we will get our t shirts this week and we can wear them Saturday as if we are there walking with them......if not, I'll wear last year's -it still fits!!!One of these years I am going to be there for the walk....forget work and really think about what's important in life.

Gotta go clean the kitchen....the cleaning fairy must be at Stacia or Leigh Ann's because she sure hasn't been here! LOL


Anonymous said...

Had a crap day here too. I blogged about it.

Got our March of Dimes shirts in. I LOVE THEM. I will post a pic on my blog.