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LD, Gifted Testing, and the Law
Q: The school is refusing to do gifted testing on my child who scored 127 in performance on the WISC and average in verbal. He also scored 94 in spatial, 83 in mathematics on the COgat. My son was identified as having a reading disability. The district's gifted counselor interviewed him and said he was very creative, original, and appeared to be much more intelligent than he should be for his age, but could not do anything unless the school requested it. I feel my son is being discriminated against because of his reading disability. What can I do?
A: Criteria for gifted class placement can vary greatly from district to district. If you really feel that your child is being discriminated against because of his reading disability, read attorney Lawrence M. Siegel's book, The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child. He has many resources listed in the back including more information about Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that may be helpful to you. You can also contact the Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities at 1-888-GR8-MIND or www.aboutld.org to see what advocacy resources are available in your community that can help to ensure that your son is being treated fairly.
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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.