Expert Advice

School District Must Review Doctor's Tests

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Eileen S. Marzola, Ed.D.

Q
My nine-year-old, who has ADHD and LD, is classified as disabled. The doctor said she needs one-on-one help in school but the school said we don't have to listen to the doctor since it's only a recommendation. Is that true?

One person used to work with my daughter all day, and now she only works with her in the morning and someone else works with her in the afternoon. My daughter cried a lot in school because they just shoved the afternoon person on her without gradually getting her used to the change. What can I do about getting the morning person to be with my daughter all day? Can you give me some phone numbers I can call to find out what can be done?

A
Even though a doctor diagnosed your child with a disability, the school district she's in still needs to review the testing that was done and perhaps fill in with some of their own testing before they will recommend services for her. Once the services are written down on an Individual Education Plan (IEP), they must be provided. You have a right as a parent to request an evaluation for your child. Try calling these organizations to see if there is someone they can recommend to walk you through the system to get the help your daughter needs:

Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities (1-888-GR8-MIND)
International Dyslexia Association (1-800-ABCD123 or 410-296-0232)
Learning Disabilities Association of America (1-888-300-6710 or 412-341-1515)
National Center for Learning Disabilities (1-800-575-7373 or 212-545-7510)
Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (1-800-233-4050)

For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.

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