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Special Education/Testing type for seizures

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Question
Hello Michelle,
My son has seizures.  If you look up the definition and the effect of seizures you will find the brain is impacted during a seizure.  A child can also have a seizure, walk and talk to you at the same time. (Now that's multi-tasking)  During a test a child can also blank out for 2 seconds due to the seizure and miss the entire exam because it may take them a while to get their bearings.  I would like an IEP for my child.  The school wants to test my child.  If my child does not have a seizure at the time of the test, my child is capable of passing.  If my child does have a seizure, my child may not pass.  A seizure can go undetected.  If the test is to be accurate, the child will need to be hooked up to an EEG to detect seizures during the test.  This is uncomfortable.  What kind of testing can a school do to measure aptitude as a result of seizures if his seizures go undetected because they are not trained professionals and the child is not hooked up to an EEG?  The grades show honor roll one marking period, the next failing classes.  Child was releived of 2 classes and placed in classes to assist with others.

Answer
Hello, Angel,

This question may be better answered by a mental health or medical professional.  Accommodations for seizures should be in place during any type of testing.  This will likely mean extended time, scheduling testing over multiple sessions, and maybe even monitoring by the nurse.  I do not think that the child has to be connected to the EEG to take tests.  If they are classroom tests, they should reflect the classwork and curriculum, and they will be a snapshot of the child's classroom performance.  The teacher and you should work together to determine if the seizures affected the child's grade, and then re-testing or other accommodations should be used.  As for psychological or educational testing, I have heard neuropsychologists explain that these tests are meant to tap into the child's processing ability, and achievement, and the examiner must be sure that the testing session is yielding valid results. The psychologist should be a trained professional.  If you have any concerns about the school's testing, you can ask for a second opinion paid at public expense.  Or you can always get the testing done by a private neuropsychologist or psychologist.  I look forward to speaking with you more about this, and very much appreciate the question!

As always, I wish you the best as you advocate for your exceptional child's education!

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Michelle R. Davis, M. Ed.

Expertise

I can answer questions about disability definitions and criteria for services, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004, No Child Left Behind, 504 plans, how to craft an IEP that drives the appropriate services, school placement, dispute options, and least restrictive environment. I worked in the public school system as a special educator and am now in private consulting practice where we assist parents as they navigate the special education process. I have expertise in all educational disabilities except blind/visual impairments and deaf/hard of hearing. This includes ADHD and other health impairments, medical conditions, dyslexia and learning disabilities, Autism, emotional disabilities, language processing problems, and interfering behaviors.

Experience

10 years as special educator and administrator in public school system; Director of ABCs for Life Success since 1998; Expert services such as analysis and testimony; Author: Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What you can do now to advocate for your exceptional child's education; Special Needs Advocacy Training Institute; internet radio show Teach Your Children Well: Hot Topics in Education; author School Success for Kids with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders released March 2010 (Prufrock Press).

Education/Credentials
Masters in Special Education with Emphasis on Inclusive Education (Johns Hopkins University); B.S.in Special Education (James Madison University); Conduct training for Universities, public and private schools, parent groups. Adjunct professor current George Washington University and prior George Mason University.

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