A request for an assessment can't be turned down because of the age of the child.
Here are the two links you should look at to get a school-based assessment:
You don't know what you don't know Part 1: The Special Education Referral
You don't know what you don't know Part 2: The Special Education Assessment
I'd also get him a language evaluation right away since he's not remembering the sounds that go with letters (sound-symbol association). A language evaluation may be covered by your insurance since it's considered to be a medical necessity (necessary for life!).
I sure would like to see him get a complete (diagnostic) learning assessment from a private practicing clinician because school districts perform only "eligibility" evaluations to determine if he qualifies for special education. You can also ask for a language evaluation through the school, but once again, they're not diagnostic assessments.
There's a whole lot that's missed in school-based assessments.
You can also benefit from the information below about executive functioning and finding a pediatric speech and language therapist from ASHA to do your son's language assessment and possibly, therapy.
I explained that about 85% of kids with Mild Intellectual Disabilities don't look differently from their peers until the age of 8. They should start seeing both academic and social challenges this year mostly related to delayed language development.
It's always been my philosophy that I adopted from a revered colleague who was a speech and language pathologist that, no matter the diagnosis, language therapy benefits kids. I agree with her.
So, get a pediatric (works with kids) speech and language therapist to conduct and assessment and keep him engaged in language therapy, taking "therapeutic breaks" when necessary to maintain interest, motivation and progress.
If you can't find one in your community, go to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and look for a referral. Interview them first before engaging your child in their services.
Also, work on those executive functioning skills, especially since he's also been diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, which is typical of those with deficits in thinking skills. That highlighted executive functioning skills link above will take you to CHADD, Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. There are a number of apps and teaching tools for you to help your child develop executive functioning skills.
Executive functioning is required in every single task of life. Even if you make pudding with your kid, you're following directions and that's exactly what EF skills are...the "recipes" of life. Everything has a sequence, needs a plan, requires you to remember the steps, etc.
Finally, reach out to ARC. Historically, this organization was called the Association of Retarded Citizens and I agree with their philosophy that the only "R" word that should be used with our citizens with intellectual and developmental disabilities is "Respect". If you do an online search using the key words..."ARC of _______ (your town or county), listings should start coming up.
Keep him involved in as many "typically-developing peer" groups as you can until it's obvious they don't benefit him and then, shift over to the ARC programs.
Sending angels your way, Moms and Dads.
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