RED FLAGS Signaling special needs
Cara – Grade 7 Cara’s response to a question on a literacy assessment in Grade 7- how to solve a problem-
Cara’s story • Kindergarten – bilingual program • Grade 2 – Retained • Grade 3 – reading, writing, math deficits, difficulty learning times tables, difficulty completing assignments • Grade 5 – good attitude, trouble with math and writing, must attend summer school • Grade 6 – Exited from bilingual • Grade 8 – grades D’s and F’s, 78 absences
Expressive Language Disorders • Difficulty naming objects or "talking in circles" around subjects with lack of the appropriate vocabulary; • Misnaming items; • Difficulty acquiring the rules of grammar; • Difficulties with changes in verb tense; and, • Difficulty with word meaning.
Receptive Language Disorders • Repetitive speech; • Following non-routine directions; • Difficulty responding appropriately to: • Yes/no questions • either/or questions • who/what/where questions • when/why/how questions • Not attending to spoken language • High activity level and not attending to spoken language • Using "memorized" phrases and sentences.
Social Language (Pragmatics) • Excessive questioning; • Aggressive language; • Unable to engage in extended conversation; • Literal/concrete understanding of language; • Unable to answer open-ended questions such as “what happened?” • Difficulty with abstract language; • Unable to take the listener’s perspective; • Unable to read/interpret body language, facial expressions; and, • Unable to express feelings.
Language & Behavior • 70%-90% of children with emotional and behavior problems have underlying language disorders that are rarely diagnosed • Expressive disorders Explosions • Receptive disorders Noncompliance
Attentional Problems • Tiredness, lack of mental energy • Trouble getting started • Tuning in and out in short bursts • Trouble picking out the most important information • Gets a general idea of a situation and responds impulsively
Memory Problems • Immediately forgets directions (short-term memory) • Has problems recalling learned information from the past (long-term memory) • Has trouble with multi-step tasks (active working memory)
Social Skills Does the child • Recognize nonverbal cues? • Understand appropriate behavior for different settings? • Have friends? Positive relationships with adults? • Have trouble understanding others feelings? • Have difficulty managing feelings?
Eligibility & discrepancy models • Based on differences between intelligence and achievement • Intelligence tests are often biased (culture, language, socioeconomic) • Methods of calculating discrepancies differ • May delay services and supports
Eligibility and Response to Intervention (RTI) • Response to Intervention • Tier 1: Quality instruction and monitoring (General Education) • Screening (General Education) • Monitoring (8 weeks) • Tier 2: Intensive intervention (General & Special Education) • Small group 8-week diagnostic trial • Tier 3: Special Education Placement • Individualized comprehensive evaluation • Addresses all IDEA eligibility determination, evaluation and procedural safeguards
General principles • Assume children want to be successful in school; • Gather detailed, chronological information; • List red flags; • Act quickly before failure becomes a pattern and be persistent; and, • Monitor closely and continuously!