My child was recently diagnosed with a learning disorder in written expression through Perspectives of Troy. He also has a diagnosis of ADHD and depressive disorder. I had our school do an IEP evaluation for him, and they came back and said that he didn't meet the "district standards" for an IEP for his impairment and that he didn't meet requirements for a BIP with his ADHD. I did receive a 504 for him, but I do not feel it is enough to help him get to where he needs to be. He has always struggled with reading and writing and has rarely met or stayed at grade level. He is currently in 8th grade and still only at a 4th grade reading level. This is with 2 years of a reading intervention class and an independent tutor the year before that. Since 7th grade his grades have decreased in all areas and he is now having behavior issues in the classroom. Mostly due to his ADHD, but it has progressed into anger and frustration. Especially in ELA. I am looking for advice as to where he should go for another evaluation and to also get help for his impairment.

Dr. Pierson's Response: 

I'm sorry that your son is not getting the services he needs. It is not unusual, unfortunately, for a student with dyslexia to not qualify for services in the schools. Here is a piece that I wrote about that.

We do not provide any direct services via DyslexiaHelp. I typically refer people to this list of providers from the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) . (You'll see that I am on the list of providers via my private clinical practice.) Not everyone on this list diagnoses -- and I'm not sure that another evaluation will get him the services in the schools anyway. I'm not familiar with Perspectives in Troy. I would have thought with 2 years of reading intervention -- if it was designed to his needs PLUS an outside tutor -- you'd have seen some nice improvement. What I have found with intervention in the schools is that our students with dyslexia need structured literacy intervention (SL) -- and educators, including those in special education, have not been trained in SL.

It seems to me that if you want to go with another assessment, what you need is one that really gets at his profile of strengths and weaknesses and what to target in therapy. Now that he is in 8th grade, beyond decoding and spelling, he needs strategies for reading comprehension, study skills, learning to write for different genres, maybe learning how to dictate and use speech-to-text software. He definitely should be using text-to-speech software. This list can go on. I see students all the time who are in middle school and just have not gotten a good assessment or good intervention. Really frustrating, I know. You really want someone who understands middle school and high school, since that is only a year away.