expert advice MORE
Referral System for Evaluation
Q: How do I go about getting my son evaluated by an OT for writing difficulties and other fine motor difficulties? We are having trouble getting him assessed to see if he has other learning problems. I think he is very bright but has some learning disabilities. I feel like I'm pounding my head on a stone wall trying to get help in California.
A: As a parent, you definitely have the right to request an evaluation for your child. It sounds like you need someone to help walk you through the referral system in your school district. I don't know where you are in California, but I do know that there are branches of the Learning Disabilities Association of America (http://www.ldanatl.org) and the International Dyslexia Association (http://www.interdys.org) in your state. Someone there should be able to help you to navigate through this maze in your particular community. The Coordinated Campaign for Learning Disabilities (http://www.aboutld.org) may also be helpful.
You might also want to look at attorney Lawrence M. Siegel's book, The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child. He offers many helpful tips about the general evaluation and placement process for children with special needs.
More on: Expert Advice
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.