ARDs, IEPs, Red Folders, and Other Stuff

A mother works with her son's school to get him the education he deserves

Dreena Melea Tischler April 18, 2014
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DSCN7280Well, it finally happened.  The Captain’s Kindergarten teacher called me in with concerns about his progress.  The gap between The Captain and his classmates has finally grown wide enough that it has raised her concern.

She said, “I’m calling you in to let you know that I am concerned about The Captain’s progress, and I have started a red folder for him.”  (A red folder is an actual thing, a red folder, identifying the student as one with learning issues; eventually he will have a 504 plan to go in that red folder.)

I didn’t know quite what to say. “Thank you?”

It’s been clear to those of us on the inner circle for some time that this sweet boy is not going to be able to read at the end of kindergarten.  Phonics requires auditory skills that are deeply buried in this child.  Does that mean he can never accomplish these things?  I don’t believe so- but he needs a diagnosis and appropriate treatment.  We are still a few months from the beginning of that.  It will be at least 60 days before he can even take his next test (his 5th in this realm), and it’s impossible to guess how many more tests and doctors we will see before we get any kind of diagnosis.

The whole situation challenges me; I’m such a “do it now” person.  Such diagnosis’ are a process of elimination, and one by one we are eliminating possible sources of the trouble.  The school district will not even consider their own evaluation until First Grade, which has me reconsidering the thought that we should hold him in kinder one more year.  Will holding him back from First Grade also delay his opportunity to get more specialized help?

Sometimes the answers just lead to more questions, don’t they?  Stay tuned . . .

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Dreena Melea Tischler

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