Lorene Dillard Advocacy and Consulting

A mother who continues to walk the same path as you.


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Measures of Success

Posted on July 17, 2017 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (1)

A question I receive often is "how do I know if the goals which are being proposed for my child are measurable?"  In addition to this quesiton, I often find parents asking "how can I determine if the IEP goals and educational goals I would like to propose for my child are measurable?"  Below are some quick reference points which may help with this.  

Another task we are often given, in the assurnace of looking over our child's IEP and progress reports, becoming familiar with the information below will assit may parents.  If you are able to achieve "good, sound" measurable IEP goals, it will ensure measuring progress over the course of the IEP year, is much easier for you and the IEP team

What are the four critical components of a measurable goal?

A. Timeframe identifies the amount of time in the goal period and is usually specified in the number of weeks or a certain date for completion.

B. Conditions specify the manner in which progress toward the goal occurs. Conditions describe the specific resources that must be present for a student to reach the goal. The conditions should outline or explain what facilitates learning for the student. The condition of the goal should relate to the behavior being measured. For example, a goal relating to reading comprehension may require the use of a graphic organizer. The graphic organizer is the condition. 

C. Behavior clearly identifies the performance that is being monitored. It represents an action that can be directly observed and measured.

D. Criterion identifies how much, how often, or to what standard the behavior must occur in order to demonstrate that the goal has been achieved. The goal criterion specifies the amount of growth that is expected.

What should the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee consider to ensure that IEP goals are measurable?

A measurable goal meets the following requirements:

  • indicates what to do to measure accomplishment of the goal; 
  • yields the same conclusion if measured by several people; 
  • allows a calculation of how much progress it represents
  • and can be measured without additional information.

Updated State Assessment Information

Posted on July 16, 2017 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®)

Performance Labels and Policy Definitions

MASTERS GRADE LEVEL* Performance in this category indicates that students are expected to succeed in the next grade or course with little or no academic intervention. Students in this category demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply the assessed knowledge and skills in varied contexts, both familiar and unfamiliar.

* For Algebra II and English III, this level of performance also indicates students are well prepared for postsecondary success.

MEETS GRADE LEVEL** Performance in this category indicates that students have a high likelihood of success in the next grade or course but may still need some short-term, targeted academic intervention. Students in this category generally demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply the assessed knowledge and skills in familiar contexts.

** For Algebra II and English III, this level of performance also indicates students are sufficiently prepared for postsecondary success.

APPROACHES GRADE LEVEL Performance in this category indicates that students are likely to succeed in the next grade or course with targeted academic intervention. Students in this category generally demonstrate the ability to apply the assessed knowledge and skills in familiar contexts.

DID NOT MEET GRADE LEVEL Performance in this category indicates that students are unlikely to succeed in the next grade or course without significant, ongoing academic intervention. Students in this category do not demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the assessed knowledge and skills. 

Texas Education Agency Student Assessment Division April 2017

ARD Checklist

Posted on August 19, 2015 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

ARD Checklist

Be sure the IEP for your child includes the following:

___A statement of progress your child has made on her previous IEP goals

___Information about current academic achievement and functional performance

___A statement of how the disability affects the student’s involvement and progress in the general curriculum (TEKS)

___Measurable annual goals based on peer-reviewed research

___Short-term objectives for student’s taking the alternative assessment (STAAR-Alternate)

___Method for measuring progress toward goals and how and when progress will be reported to you

___Special education and related services to be provided

___Positive behavior strategies and/or a behavior intervention plan (required if your child’s behavior interferes with his learning or the learning of others)

___Modifications of the curriculum (TEKS) (such as a different instructional level) your child needs to participate in the same learning activities as other students her age

___Supplemental aids and services your child needs to participate in regular education classes and activities

___Supports and training to be provided for school personnel

___Specifics about each instructional and related service, including date services begin, minutes per session, frequency of sessions, location of services, and the position (e.g., “special education teacher,” “physical therapist,” rather than someone’s name) responsible for each service in the IEP; you should also clarify whether your child will be receiving “direct” or “consultative” services

___Special materials, equipment, resources and/or assistive technology needed and when they will be made available

___A statement of ANY academic or extracurricular activity in which your child will NOT participate with nondisabled students and the reasons why

___A determination of which state assessment they will take, STAAR, STAAR-Modified or STAAR-Alternate

___Any accommodations she needs to take the STAAR

___A statement of any exceptions to the district policies such as participation in extracurricular activities and the student Code of Conduct and the reasons for the exceptions

___Transition services to be provided beginning in the school year in which your child turns 14 (or younger if determined appropriate)

___Consideration of and plan for the student’s graduation

___Goals for ESY from the current IEP

___Signatures of the ARD committee members and statements of your agreement or disagreement with any part of the IEP

2015 Texas Regulation Changes

Posted on August 10, 2015 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Changes in State Regulations for Special Education in Texas


The Texas Education Agency (TEA) modified its rule on Admission Review and Dismissal (ARD) to revise the committee meeting procedures – 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 89.1050. The rule no longer requires several aspects of the ARD committee report. Among other things,

• A summary of the meeting deliberations and decisions is no longer required.

• A signatures page is no longer required.

• Allowing committee members to indicate agreement or disagreement is no longer required.

• If the committee takes a recess because there is not mutual agreement about all required IEP elements, the recess may now be longer than 10 school days by mutual agreement.

• If there is no resolution of an ARD disagreement, now only the parents have the right to submit a statement of disagreement (under prior rule, any committee member in disagreement could have submitted a statement).

The TEA deleted its rule specific to parental requests for an ARD committee meeting – 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 89.1045. The rule changed how school districts must respond to the parent’s request. Under prior rule, the district either had to grant the request or ask TEA for a mediator to address the parent’s concerns. Now the district either grants the request or issues a notice of refusal to convene an ARD committee meeting. The district is no longer required to seek the assistance of a TEA-appointed mediator.

The State Board of Education (SBOE) reviewed and modified its rule on special education instructional arrangements and settings to revise the definitions of three placement options - 19 Tex. Admin. Code §§ 89.63(c)(1), (c)(7), (c)(9):

• mainstream placement - the provision of positive behavioral interventions and supports to permit a student to remain in the general education setting.

• off-home campus - placement the provision of transition services in community-based environments.

• VAC placement - the provision of unpaid job and work experience as long as not inconsistent with wage and labor laws.

The TEA modified its rule on Full Individual Evaluation’s (FIEs) in response to S.B. 816, enacted by the 83rd Legislature – 19 Tex. Admin. Code §89.1011: When the referral for the FIE occurs during the latter part of the spring semester and the FIE report is due by June 30th, the ARD committee no longer has until the 15th school day of the fall semester to hold a meeting to discuss the FIE. Now the rule requires a school district to schedule and hold the ARD committee meeting “as expeditiously as possible” during the summer if the FIE report says that the student is in need of ESY services.

The TEA modified its rule on high school graduation for students with Individual Education Plan (IEP) – 19 Tex. Admin. Code § 89.1070: When the student takes a course with modified curriculum, the student is not eligible to be awarded an endorsement under the new Foundation Diploma system.


What to do when the school denies services

Posted on July 29, 2015 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

When the school denies


School districts and charter schools are required by state statute to inform parents that they can request a referral for special education services at any time as a part of the district or charter school’s overall general education referral or screening process. This should be communicated to parents in writing each school year. The required written statement is provided by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and includes the following statement: “Students having difficulty in the regular classroom should be considered for tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students including a process based on Response to Intervention (RtI).” Districts should clearly explain this process when parents ask for an evaluation in order to safeguard the parent’s rights, provide for the well-being of the student, and clarify the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved during the process. Districts and charters may also want to inform parents that this process could include a systematic approach which seeks to determine the child’s response to scientific, research-based intervention, commonly referred to as Response to Intervention (RtI).


Parental Written Request for Evaluation Federal and state laws and regulations make clear that parents have the right to request an evaluation for special education services at any time. Public school districts and charter schools also have the right to request such an evaluation. However, a request does not automatically start the referral process. School districts who receive written requests for evaluations submitted to the special education director or other district administrative employee should reply to parent requests with data to support their decisions no later than the 15th school day after the date the district receives the request


If you feel you may be in need of the Federal regulation:


34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §300.301 Initial evaluations

(b) Request for initial evaluation. Consistent with the consent requirements in §300.300, either a parent of a child or a public agency may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability. §300.301(b)


And as if it cannot get confusing enough, IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities) is a Federal Law, however the rules and regulation (which is how each state adheres to the Federal Law) will differ depending on what state you reside.


Federal regulations require school districts and charter schools to provide parents a copy of their procedural safeguards when they request an evaluation for special education. The procedural safeguards must be given to parents in their native language or in their communication mode whenever possible.


The state regulation reads:


34 CFR §300.504 Procedural safeguards notice



(a) General. A copy of the procedural safeguards available to the parents of a child with a disability must be given to the parents only one time a school year, except that a copy also must be given to the parents –


(1) Upon initial referral or parent request for evaluation;


The comments to the Federal Regulations state the following:


In addition to the prior written notice, § 300.504(a)(1), consistent with section 615(d)(1)(A)(i) of the Act, requires that a copy of the procedural safeguards notice be given to parents upon an initial referral or parental request for an evaluation. Consistent with § 300.503(c) and § 300.504(d), the prior written notice and the procedural safeguards notice, respectively, must be written in language understandable to the general public and be provided in the native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.


In summary, if your student/child has experienced any of the following in pursuit of Special Education Services:

 Refusal to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to the child.

The school should have issued you a 300.503 or prior written notice form, which is required by law to include the following information:

1. A description of the action proposed or refused by the agency;

2. An explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to take action;

3. A description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused action;

4. A statement that the parents of a child with a disability have protection under the procedural safeguards of this part and, if this notice is not an initial referral for evaluation, the means by which a copy of a description of the procedural safeguards can be obtained;

5. Sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of this part;

6. A description of other options that the IEP Team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected; and

7. A description of other factors that are relevant to the agency’s proposals or refusal.

There are other regulations which can be utlilized if you feel your rights are being violated in accessing appropriate evaluations for your child.  My hopes in posting this is to give basic information which you may utilize, in combination with the sample letters on this webpage, in persuit of accessing needed evaluations for your child.  If you feel you need more specialized information, I am happy to answer any questions posted in the comments, as well as you are welcome to call or e-mail me.


Placement of Services

Posted on July 27, 2015 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

In my last post  I spoke of Least Restrictive Enviorment and the importance of ensuring your Local Education Agency (LEA) was adhearing to the guidelines under IDEA (Individuals with DIsabilities Education Act).  This becomes important when you get the section of your ARD discussion of placement of services or as I like to call it "GEOGRAPHY".  What you may not be aware of, is when you are creating your IEP goals for your child with your school and IEP/ARD team, is that the IEP drives the placement of your child as well.  (i.e.  If your child is working on a majority of functional, behavioral and/or life skill related skills or goals, this may drive placement in a more self contained class.) 

When parents are concened about this, they may need to participate in the discussion of whether it is appopriate or necessary for the student to work on these skills in the school setting, or if the parent would like to address these by utlizing community resources.  This is also why it is very important to ensure you are aware of how to write effective IEP goals for YOUR student/child and what works best for him or her.  If you need assistance on how best to achieve this, you may contact me or a contact a friend, agency etc.

Placement of Services

Inclusion Class:

In an inclusion class, or mainstream placement, your child will be in a regular education class with his age peers. In addition to the regular teacher, there will ideally be a special-education teacher whose job it is to adjust the curriculum to your child's abilities. Inclusion placements have the benefit of keeping children in the mainstream of school life with higher-achieving peers, but may not be able to provide the intensive help some students need.

Resource Room:

Students who need intensive help to keep up with grade-level work in a particular subject may be placed in the Resource Room, where a special-education teacher works with a small group of students, using techniques that work more efficiently with a special-needs population. Resource Room placements have the benefit of providing help where needed while letting the student remain generally with the mainstream, but they lack the structure and routine of a self-contained classroom.

Self-Contained Class:

Placement in a self-contained classroom means that your child will be removed from the general school population for all academic subjects to work in a small controlled setting with a special-education teacher.

Students in a self-contained class may be working at all different academic levels, with different textbooks and different curricula. Self-contained classes offer structure, routine, and appropriate expectations, but some students may require a higher level of specialization.

Out-of-District Placement:

While a self-contained class may require your child to go to a school outside your neighborhood. an out-of-district placement places her in a specialized school specifically designed to address special learning or behavioral needs. These schools have the benefit of providing the highest degree of structure, routine, and consistency throughout the school day. However, they remove any possibility of interacting with regular education students, and they are extremely costly for school districts.



Least Restrictive Enviorment

Posted on July 22, 2015 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Least Restrictive Environment

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is the requirement in federal law that students with disabilities receive their education, to the maximum extent appropriate, with nondisabled peers and that special education students are not removed from regular classes unless, even with supplemental aids and services, education in regular classes cannot be achieved satisfactorily. [20 United States Code (U.S.C.) Sec. 1412(a)(5)(A); 34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Sec. 300.114.]


Why is knowledge in this so important? Learning environments can look like a lot of different “things” and because LRE can be presented in different ways, it is important to understand what to look for BEFORE it is presented to you.




Mainstreaming refers to placement of a student with disabilities, into ongoing activities of regular classrooms, so that the child receives education with nondisabled peers. These services must be provided even if special education staff must provide supplementary resource services.


Integration includes mainstreaming into regular classes and access to, inclusion, and participation in the activities of the total school environment. Integration combines placement in public schools with ongoing structured and non-structured opportunities to interact with nondisabled, age appropriate peers. A student with severe disabilities should be able to participate in many general school activities such as lunch, assemblies, clubs, dances or recess. The student should also be able to participate in selected activities in regular classes such as art, music, or computers. The student should also be able to participate in regular academic subjects in regular classes if appropriate curriculum modifications are made and adequate support is provided. The student should be able to use the same facilities as nondisabled students including hallways, restrooms, libraries, cafeterias and gymnasiums.

Integration can refer to integration of a special education student into a regular education classroom in the same sense as in “mainstreaming.” However, “integration” also refers to placement of students in special education classes located on integrated school sites (that is, sites that have both special and regular education classes). An “integrated” placement includes systematic efforts to maximize interaction between the student with disabilities and nondisabled peers.


Full Inclusion

Full inclusion refers to the total integration of a student with disabilities into the regular education program with special support. In full inclusion, the student’s primary placement is in the regular education class. The student has no additional assignment to any special class for students with disabilities. Thus, the student with disabilities is actually a member of the regular education class. She is not being integrated or mainstreamed into the regular education class from a special day class. The student need not be in the class 100% of the time, but can leave the class to receive supplementary services such as speech or physical therapy.


Reverse Mainstreaming

Reverse mainstreaming refers to the practice of giving opportunities to interact with nondisabled peers to a student who is placed in a self contained or segregated classroom (or school) or who lives and attends school at a state hospital. It brings nondisabled students to a segregated site or to state hospital classrooms for periods of time to work with or tutor students with disabilities. School districts should not attempt to fulfill the LRE mandate by using reverse mainstreaming exclusively.


They should make systematic efforts to get students with disabilities out of special classrooms and into the school’s integrated environments. Reverse mainstreaming alone is an artificial means of integration. The Individual Education Program (IEP) team should consider placements that encourage more natural interaction with nondisabled peers.


Special and regular educators must make innovative and systematic efforts to promote positive interactions between students with disabilities (both severely disabled and learning disabled) and their nondisabled peers





Federal law provides that each local school district must ensure that:


. . . to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1412(a)(5)(A); 34 Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Sec. 300.114(a)(2); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56342(b).]


The Steps To A Completed ARD

Posted on July 4, 2015 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The 3 steps to a completed ARD

Evaluation, Plan and Placement

We have already through this blog discussed Evaluations, how to write measurable IEP’s which is your plan, the third and final step would be the placement of services (or otherwise what I like to think of as simply “geography”;) – since our children qualify for special education services, there are many options for WHERE this plan can take place. After you have gone over the evaluation regarding your child, this will determine the area of educational need for your child/student. Once you have reached an agreement on this evaluation, you are ready to discuss the plan, which will consist of the Individual Education Plan or IEP as well as all the services and supports which may need to be provided to ensure he/she is successful in meeting their IEP. These supports could look like:

• Occupational Therapy (requires additional evaluation)

• Speech Therapy (requires additional evaluation)

• Physical Therapy (requires additional evaluation)

• Assistive Technology (requires additional evaluation)

• Adaptive PE (requires additional evaluation)

• Modifications and Accommodations (which you will discuss in the ARD meeting)

We will discuss Modifications and Accommodations in a future Blog, as for the above mentioned additional evaluations, these were already discussed and can be found in prior blog postings.

When you have gone through this process, which can be the most time consuming part of your ARD meeting, you will then come to the placement portion of your ARD. The Individual with Disability Act (IDEA) is very specific when it comes to Least Restrictive Environment placement for children. The placement option of LRE must ALWAYS be considered prior to moving in the direction of a more self contained model for any child. I have worked with many parents where this is not being practiced and children most often have to “earn” their way into an inclusive learning environment. In reverse of this concept, I have also seen children with extensive learning needs; put in general education settings with little to no support services. What ends up happening? Parents generally quickly become concerned at their child’s lack or decrease in skill, or their child’s behavior becomes such a concern all of a sudden, they are being called into Manifestation Determination meetings by the school.

In my next post, I will discuss LRE and what this means…I will also discuss why when requesting to the school to retain your child in school, this may not be a option your school can even legally offer you.

Some quick tips on how to prepare for your ARD meeting would be to get a copy of the evaluation PRIOR to the meeting (at least 1 week before), also to request the school to send you a copy of their drafted IEP goals for your child. You do have the legal right to have these documents as I have stated.

This will give you a opportunity to review these documents and to ask questions prior to the meeting.  Nothing is worse than suprises in a ARD meeting!


Intellectual Tests (IQ)

Posted on July 3, 2015 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

When we approach the evalaution process, we often feel helpless in the feeling of choosing and participating in the choices of tests which will be administerd to our children/students in the determination of their intellectual abilities.  Pairing a student with the appropriate IQ test, as you will see below, can make ALL the difference in understanding the outcomes and why the outcomes measured in the way they did.  Examples I often see in this are:

A child with a diagnosis with Autism will be given a IQ test, such as the Reynolds or the Woodcock Johnson (listed below) , and will score very will in the NON VERBAL sections of the exam, however will score VERY low in the VERBAL sections of the exam.   Using the information we already know and the research based teaching regarding children with Autism, we can already draw the conclusion, a child with Autism will not do well with verbal learning materal, therfore would it not have been benificial to have given a non-verbal exam to measure accurately the child's Intellectual ability?  The answers I often receive when in meetings regarding the discussion on this point is, "we like to preform verbal and non-verbal exams to get a accurate account of the performance."  What is important to understand with this, is when these scores are averaged together, it will bring the mean score down.  With the total overall score being brought down, often due to the verbal portion of the exam, it will sometimes then push a child/student into the category of qualification for "Intellectual Disability", when this is not truly the case.

If you are already aware of "how your child learns' it is best to advocate and share this information in conjunction with the tests which you feel would be a appropriate fit for your child.  being aware of this, will assist in ensuring your child starts off on the "right foot" with the school in understanding what your child's full potential is.

Intellectual Testing: What are my options?


Woodcock Johnson - The Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities include both the Standard Battery and the Extended Battery. The Standard Battery consists of tests 1 through 10 while the Extended Battery includes tests 11 through 20. There is also a Woodcock-Johnson III Diagnostic Supplement to the Tests of Cognitive Abilities with an additional 11 cognitive tests. All of which combined allows for a considerably detailed analysis of cognitive abilities. The Cattell–Horn–Carroll theory factors that this test examines are based on 9 broad stratum abilities which are: Comprehension-Knowledge, Long-Term Retrieval, Visual-Spatial Thinking, Auditory Processing, Fluid Reasoning, Processing Speed, Short-Term Memory, Quantitative Knowledge and Reading-Writing. A General Intellectual Ability (GIA) or Brief Intellectual Ability (BIA) may be obtained. The BIA score is derived from three cognitive tests which include Verbal Comprehension, Concept Formation, and Visual Matching. These three cognitive tests measure three abilities; Comprehension-Knowledge (Gc), Fluid Reasoning (Gf), and Processing Speed (Gs), which best represents an individual's verbal ability, thinking ability, and efficiency in performing cognitive tasks. The BIA takes about 10 to 15 minutes to administer and is especially useful for screenings, re-evaluations that don't require a comprehensive intellectual assessment, or research that needs a short but reliable measure of intelligence. On the other hand, the GIA obtained from the WJ III Tests of Cognitive Abilities provide a more comprehensive assessment of general ability (g) and the score is based on a weighted combination of tests that best represents a common ability underlying all intellectual performance.


Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS) – The Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS) is an individually administered test of intelligence that includes a co-normed, supplemental measure of memory. It is appropriate for individuals ages 3–94.

The RIAS intelligence subtests include Verbal Reasoning (verbal), Guess What (verbal), Odd-Item Out (nonverbal), and What's Missing? (nonverbal). Memory subtests include Verbal Memory and Nonverbal Memory. Included within the RIAS is the Reynolds Intellectual Screening Test (RIST), a quick screener that consists of two RIAS subtests (Guess What and Odd-Item Out) and takes less time to complete than the RIAS.






CTONI - The CTONI-2, a revision of the popular Comprehensive Test of Nonverbal Intelligence (CTONI™), is an unbiased measure of nonverbal reasoning abilities in individuals for whom most other mental ability tests are either inappropriate or biased. This new instrument includes an expanded study of item bias. Results are useful for estimating the intelligence of individuals who experience undue language or fine motor skill difficulties. No oral responses, reading, writing, or object manipulation are required.


The CTONI-2 measures analogical reasoning, categorical classification, and sequential reasoning, using six subtests in two different contexts: pictures of familiar objects (e.g. toys, people, animals) and geometric designs (unfamiliar sketches and drawings.


TONI - The TONI-4, featuring new norms to help ensure proper representation of demographic changes in the U.S. population, offers you an assessment of intelligence, aptitude, abstract reasoning, and problem solving. This language-free test is ideal for evaluating those with questionable or limited language ability.

The administration and response format are pragmatic with simple oral instructions, requiring test-takers to answer with simple but meaningful gestures such as pointing, nodding, or blinking.

• TONI-4 provides two equivalent forms, each containing 60 items arranged in easy to difficult order.

• All items are abstract/figural (i.e., void of pictures or cultural symbols); educational, cultural, or experiential backgrounds will not adversely affect test results.


Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) – non-verbal assessment and favored for children with Autism. - The WISC is one of a family of Wechsler intelligence scales. Subjects 16 and over are tested with the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS), and children ages three years to seven years and three months are tested with the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI). There is some overlap between tests, with children aged 7 being able to complete the WPPSI or the WISC-IV, and children aged 16 being able to complete the WISC-IV or the WAIS. Different floor and ceiling effects can be achieved using the different tests, allowing for a greater understanding of the child's abilities or deficits. This means that a 16-year-old child who has mental retardation may be tested using the WISC-IV so that the clinician may see the floor of their knowledge (the lowest level).


Leiter – largely non-verbal assessment and favored for children with Autism - The Leiter-3, which replaces the widely used Leiter-R, is a test of nonverbal intelligence and cognitive abilities, updated and redesigned to cover an expanded age range (3 to 75+) and to address specific disabilities. Neither the examiner nor the examinee is required to speak, and the latter doesn’t need to read or write either. The test’s engaging, game-like tasks hold the examinee’s interest, and its easy administration and quick, objective scoring make for an efficient assessment.

Since the Leiter-3 is completely nonverbal, it is especially suitable for individuals with cognitive delays, speech or hearing problems, motor impairments, ADHD, or traumatic brain injury, as well as those who don’t speak English. Because the test features a refined block-and-frame format, it also allows more accurate assessment of individuals on the autism spectrum. Lightweight blocks with rounded corners, along with foam manipulatives, ensure safe administration to examinees with cognitive or physical disabilities.


Independent Educational Evaluations

Posted on July 2, 2015 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

What if you do not agree with the evaluation?


Who are we to question the school, right? Well…exactly…WE can and SHOULD question the school if we do not agree with the evaluation results which are being presented to us for our child/student. When this happens, you have the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation or (IEE) for your child. How is this done? Hopefully, you have at this point, learned the correct method of requesting any services, documents, or in fact ANYTHING from your school. This correct way of requesting an Independent Educational Evaluation is in writing (you can also find a copy of this letter under SAMPLE LETTER tab of this website):



Name of principal

Name of school

Address of school

Dear (name of principal):


I am the parent of (name of student), a student at your school. I disagree with the school’s evaluation of (name of student), and I am requesting an independent evaluation.


Please send me a copy of the written criteria under which independent evaluations must be conducted and a written list of independent evaluators I can consider.


I understand the school must pay for the independent evaluation unless it requests a hearing to prove that its evaluation was appropriate. I will send you the results of the evaluation. I understand it must be considered in any future decisions about my child’s education.


Please send me the criteria and list or let me know within five school days of the date you receive this letter if you intend to request a due process hearing.


Thank you for your help.



Your name

Your address

Your telephone number

Your e-mail address (optional)


One thing to remember with this Independent evaluation, as with any outside evaluation you may bring in for the ARD committee, the committee MUST consider this evaluation but does not have to accept it.


I want to make sure it is understood, In most cases, the school is NOT disputing whether your child actually has the disability which is in questions, rather IF this disability is impacting their ability to learn or benefit from their learning environment.


Tomorrow I will discuss the different IQ test which are available and areas which they evaluate (verbal/non verbal) etc. – this is important for such things as understanding when you have a child which may have a diagnosis such as Autism who learns best visually and responds best non-verbal. Studies and research will show you, their best performance on IQ test would be utilizing a non-verbal form of IQ examination.