Are you the parent of a child with autism who is far behind their grade appropriate peers and you wonder why? Are you the parent of a child with a learning disability who has received special education services for many years, with little to no progress? Or are you concerned that your child may have dyslexia or other undiagnosed disabilities, and wonder if a neuropsychological evaluation could help your child? An evaluation with a neuropsychologist could help diagnose why your child is not learning, and what educational and related services they need in order to progress in their education. This article will discuss what a neuropsychologist is, the purpose of their evaluations, and disabilities that they may diagnose in your child.A neuropsychologist has much more training than a regular psychologist or a school psychologist. A neuropsychologist must have a doctoral degree in psychology, as well as years of additional neuroscience training and experience.The neuropsychology training involves training in psychology, neurology, neuro psychiatry and health disciplines. To be competent in this area requires several years of additional training and experience beyond the doctoral degree required for conventional practice. Some neuropsychologists are in private practice and may only work with children.The purpose of an evaluation by a neuropsychologist is:1. To find possible problems with brain functioning.2. To determine if a child has any undiagnosed disabilities. These could be dyslexia or other language based disorders, autism, Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) etc. These disabilities could explain why your child is having difficulty learning.3. To make a determination on what educational and related services a child needs, in order to make progress in their education.4. To document a child’s brain related strengths and weaknesses.5. To document changes in the child’s functioning over time.Many parents who bring their child to a neuropsychologist are doing so because their child is not making progress in their education, or the parent needs to know what specific services that their child requires. When the testing is complete, and the report is finished, many parents will then bring this to the school and ask them to provide needed services.Many parents seek neuropsychological evaluations and treatment for these common conditions:1. Autism spectrum disorder2. Pervasive Developmental Disorder-NOS3. Dyslexia4. ADD or ADHD5. Verbal and non verbal learning disabilities6. Sensory processing disorder7. Central auditory processing disorder8. Tourette’s SyndromeIt is frustrating that parents must pay for outside evaluations in order to get their child appropriate special education and related services, or to have the school district find them eligible for special education. To find a Neuropsychologist in your area contact a local disability organization and ask them if they are familiar with one who works with children. Also, you can ask other parents if they know of any neuropsychologists that work with children. Remember that you not only want a neuropsychologist that can test your child, but you also want one that can give very specific recommendations about what services that your child needs. Good luck in your efforts!
Do you have a child with autism, or a learning disability that has suffered discrimination in school related to their disability? Have they been harassed, emotionally damaged, or physically hurt in school by another student or school staff that is disability related? Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits disability related to a persons disability in any program that receives federal funding. This article will be discussing 11 things about Section 504 that you can use to protect your child.1. Disability harassment defined. In a letter from the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (that investigates Section 504 complaints) describes what is considered disability harassment. The letter states: When the harassing conduct is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates a hostile environment, adversely affecting the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the educational program.The letter further states that harassment based on disability may decrease the student’s ability to benefit from his or her education and amount to denial of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) under IDEA and Section 504.2. In the above letter the Department of Education also states that the discrimination can be done not only by school staff, but also by students. Many school districts have taken the position that they are not responsible for student’s actions-though many courts have found that they are.3. Children with disabilities who receive special education services under IDEA are automatically eligible for the protections under Section 504.4. Children with disabilities have the right to achieve as adequately as persons without disabilities under this law.5. Children also have the right to receive services and benefits that are comparable to those given their non disabled peers. For benefits or services provided to be equally effective they must afford students with an equal opportunity to obtain the same result, gain the same benefit, or reach the same level of achievement as other students. This is so important to know because many children’s services are not the same as their non disabled peers, and the child is not expected to reach the same level of achievement as their non disabled peers! Though I have believed for many years that will appropriate related and special education services children with disabilities can achieve the same as their non disabled peers.6. Reasonable accommodations must be given to meet the needs of students with disabilities.7. Children with disabilities must be educated with their nondisabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate, and in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the child.8. Children with disabilities must be taught using state standards that apply to general education, and their non disabled peers. Failure to apply standards to students with disabilities is a failure to provide comparable benefits and services under Section 504.9. A child being excluded from taking district and state wide standardized tests may be a violation of the laws comparable benefits. Why? Because standardized testing makes school districts accountable for teaching children according to the academic standards set by the state for all children. Testing is accountability and should be used for most children.10. Some parents have been successful in getting services for their children under this law that they have been unable to get under IDEA. The Early Complaint Resolution Process is a good way for parents to give input on how their complaint can be resolved, to benefit their child.11. It is possible to file a Section 504 claim in IDEA cases, but the parent must prove that the school employee showed either bad faith or gross misjudgment before they can prevail.Consider using Section 504 to help get your child needed special education services as well as stopping bullying and retaliation!