Case Study CD – Age 10 Years – 11 Months
September 15, 2015
Hours: 2

A referral for a Child Study Team evaluation was reviewed as a Case Study for student CD. Student CD began having significant difficulties in Grade 5. CD’s parent was concerned that CD possibly could have undiagnosed Asperger’s syndrome due to presenting behaviors that have previously existed during development. Student CD began failing in fifth grade, demonstrated avoidance wherever school work was involved, was having more significant difficulty with peers and social situations, and increasing anxiety. Family history consists of cognitive dysfunction, mental health issues and anxiety. As part of parent concern, a private Neurodevelopmental evaluation was conducted.

Teacher input indicated distractibility in the classroom, not following verbal directions, and re-direction provided, for example. CD’s teacher posited that CD appeared to be excessively worried and expressed concern about an emotional issue. CD’s parents arranged the Neurodevelopmental evaluation and presented written request for a Child Study Team evaluation. The parent’s request was denied as per NJAC: 6A:14-3.3b requiring interventions in the general education settings for students exhibiting academic difficulties. Although a CST meeting was held, CD’s situation was referred to the I&RS committee to determine the need for classroom interventions. The Neurodevelopmental was reviewed. A diagnosis of Asperger’s was not established as criteria were not met. CD qualified as having an Anxiety Disorder and Mood Disorder, NOS. Also noted in the report were symptoms of ODD on parent questionnaire. Psychotherapy was recommended. Recommendations also included environmental changes in the classroom, such as, fidgets, rubber band on chair, or Velcro under the desk. Homework modifications reducing the amount of work and online postings so CD is always prepared were included as well. An I&RS plan was developed and implemented. Interventions listed homework club in areas of need, positive attention for self-esteem, special tasks and jobs, and counseling. Parents arranged private counseling with a Child Psychologist. The plan was suspended when CD graduated from Grade 8. Grades continued to be an area of concern although it was determined that CD was bright but unmotivated. Parent intended to follow-up at CD’s high school guidance department.

Procedurally, the school district, specifically the CST, followed the appropriate protocol based on the NJAC. It is the opinion of this NCED that concerns in school with CD potentially presented much earlier than grade 5 but were not deemed significant to warrant intervention. Due to the fact that CD was not performing up to his potential, and Anxiety and Mood Disorders were diagnosed, this NCED would have encouraged a full CST evaluation to assess learning potential and achievement. Although Autism has been ruled out, emotional issues continue to plague CD whereas he may have qualified as eligible under the classification category of Emotionally Disturbed. However, this classification category is often rejected by parents.