Special Education/educational evaluation

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Question
We have a 16 year son who goes to 11th grade in a learning disability school (out of district placement).
We recently had a private evaluation for him and was shocked.  

The evaluator used WIAT-III   and placed him at Second Grade level for reading comprehension and Written Expression whereas just a few months back he passed the grade 10 Standardized State test in both ELA and Math  with low average scores!  

I am trying to find where the disconnect is and what is the true future of our child

Answer
Hi Kris,
I imagine that was shocking. There are a few possibilities. One is that your son did not do as well as he could have on the WIAT-II because of things like being tired, hungry, unmotivated, not interested, not understanding the directions, etc. Another possibility is that the test was better at picking up on some of his specific weaknesses. For example, some reading comprehension tests allow the student to refer back to the reading when answering questions while others require the student to recall information from memory without being allowed to read back. I don't know what state test he took but, unfortunately, many of them require only the most basic skills to pass so they can be misleading. I wonder what you have seen from him regarding these skills? You said it was shocking so I'm wondering if these results are not consistent with what you see. What do his teachers think? Are there any other reading/writing tests that you could compare these results to? Many tutoring centers will do reading assessments which could give you more information. Bottom line is that I would not take the results of any one single test too seriously. You want to look at all of the evidence together to see if that test is consistent with other information. I hope this helps.
Best wishes,
Morgan  

Special Education

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Morgan Potts

Expertise

I can answer most questions related to psychological evaluations including an explanation of the scores and the assessment measures. I can also answer most questions regarding special education eligibility, response to intervention (RtI), and recommendations and interventions for specific areas of disability including intellectual disability, learning disability, emotional and behavioral disorders, other health impaired, autism, and pervasive developmental disorder. I can also answer questions regarding Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and parent rights. I cannot determine if a child has a disability or not based on anecdotal information or assessment scores.

Experience

As a graduate student, I interned at a psychoeducational facility for students with severe emotional and behavioral disorders as well as other disorders including specific learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and autism. Following my internship, I was hired full-time there as a school psychologist and worked there for several years. Since then I have worked as a regular school psychologist in a district mostly completing psychological evaluations and consulting with the Student Support Team (SST). I currently work as a contract psychologist for several metro Atlanta counties.

Organizations
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) The Student Support Team Association for Georgia Educators (SSTAGE)

Education/Credentials
My undergraduate degree is from the University of Georgia in Psychology. I have an M.Ed. and Ed.S. from Georgia State University. I recently completed my Educational Leadership Certificate at West Georgia University.

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