this is a difficult situation that many children are in--they need help but do not qualify for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (the law that delineates how special education services are provided). The school is correct that an IQ score obtained after age 6 is not likely to change, so it would seem that you know generally where she is functioning at this time. Not having seen the testing report, I would wonder if it was thorough enough to rule out any learning disabilities. Not all children with learning disabilities present with a significant discrepancy between IQ and achievement test scores. The old model of diagnosing learning disabilities (which is still in use across the country) consisted of getting an IQ score and achievement test scores and seeing if the achievement test scores were lower by a pre-determined number of points (usually at least 12 points, though some school systems look for larger discrepancies). Sometimes it is worth getting private testing, since private clinics can generally offer more comprehensive assessments.
But lets assume that your daughter is not disabled as defined by your school system, just that she needs some more time and help in order to succeed. While it may be the right choice for her to repeat a grade, the research on this topic has not shown that retention is likely to help. Children who are retained usually get a 'boost' in the beginning of the year, yet lose those gains as the year progresses. 'More of the same' is usually not the answer. As a parent, you are entitled to ask how the school plans to help make sure that the next year is going to be different. You may need to needle guidance counselors, administrators and other personnel to find someone interested in helping.
It seems that the school is telling you that your daughter's behavior is the issue, specifically that she does not 'want' to do the work. Based on my experience as a special education teacher, I doubt that is the only explanation. Children with below average IQs struggle to master higher level curricular objectives, such as tasks that require abstract reasoning. These kids do need more time and direct support. That said, your daughter may be refusing work because she is feeling lost and overwhelmed. It is human nature to avoid what is difficult and unpleasant to us. If the school is not 'stepping up to the plate' with new ideas as to how to help a child who is struggling, you may have to look elsewhere.You may want to search your local community for a tutor.
how long ago was the most recent IQ test? Has she been formally assessed (given an IQ test like the WISC-IV or Stanford Binet) since she was over 6 years old, and if so, where was the testing done?
She was tested two years ago and a year before that. I was told they did not want to test her again due to the scores and her IQ would not have changed much. It is what it is and she's a slow learner. The school wanted to pass her into the 6th grade but I'm holding her in 5th for another year. The school and school board says she can do the work and she just doesn't want to . Now what ? If they do not want to help her. Michelle
Thank you for the helpful info.Michelle