FCAT is a tricky, high stakes test. Schools in Florida spend 7 months
preparing for the FCAT, and even a typical student feels the stress.
Now let's take Michael and Allie. Two children who have Dyslexia -- a problem with words.
We asked their parents three questions:
- Does your child remember places visited, even from years ago?
- Does your child learn best when seeing and experiencing information?
- Does your have difficulty paying attention during the FCAT?
mom answered yes to all three -- and Allie's dad had to check. He
called back and said yes to all three -- and he asked "How did you know
to ask those questions?"
My name is Mira Halpert, M.Ed. Two of
my four kids have Dyslexia and ADHD. I now realize that most children with Dyslexia
have an uncanny ability to learn best when they see and experience
information -- and we label them right-brained learners.
of the right-brained learners we have tested have ADHD (Attention
Deficit Disorder) and another 1/3 have ADHD like challenge
mom was frustrated though. She knew her son had Dyslexia and ADHD issue, but the school gave him no accommodations. They
told her that neither Dyslexia nor ADHD issues qualified her son
for Special Education, an IEP (an Individualized Education Plan) or
extra time on any test - and certainly not on the FCAT.
had been luckier. She had learned the magic words -- that ADHD does
qualify a student for Special Education under OHI or Other Health
Impaired, if the ADHD significantly impacts the student's academic
performance and she would benefit from Special Education Services - but
Allie still failed the FCAT.
We asked three more questions:
- Does your child have trouble with the little words on the FCAT -- why,
what, which is the best answer? Both parents answered yes.
- Does your child have trouble remembering words they have previously
learned? Matt's mom said no, and Allie's dad said yes. Not every
child has every challenge.
- Does your child get anxious the
week of the FCAT? Michael's moms said yes, and Allie's dad said she
got sick for weeks, if not months before the FCAT.
The five biggest challenges for the child with Dyslexia and ADHD issues include:
- The FCAT is hard -- and both these problems together make the test very difficult.
- The sight word vocabulary and pattern recognition problems are rarely
understood and almost never addressed - by either schools, tutors or
- The FCAT is a long, boring and frustrating test -- and it is difficult for ADHD children to sustain their attention.
- The anxiety challenge is understood, but rarely overcome.
- Very few people test
for the learning differences, only a few realize ADHD can qualify for
extended time and a quiet setting, and very, very few professionals
address the sight word
vocabulary, pattern recognition, ADHD, anxiety and getting the
right accommodations at school, with an integrated effort.
Mira Halpert M.Ed. developed and directs the 3D Learner
Program (R) in Boca Raton.
Mira prides herself on addressing the whole child and transforming
Stress into Outrageous Success. 3D Learner offers Right-Brained
Assessments, Right-Brained Programs and addresses Dyslexia, ADHD and
all the issues raised above. For more information visit Parents Make The Difference or call 3D Learner at 561-361-7495.