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Discovering Answers for Grace Through the AERC

As I sit here thinking about Grace’s educational journey, I realize that Grace has always had issues with procrastination, concentration, and attention span. She never really enjoyed reading, which I believe affected both her vocabulary and spelling. She also found it difficult to read aloud. In math, she tended to skip steps or not finish problems. However, she always made good grades in a challenging college prep private school. I assumed all of these problems were simply related to her pediatrician’s diagnosis of attention deficit disorder (ADD).

I chose ACCESS for testing because when I called and explained that I needed testing in a short timeframe, they listened and really made an effort to work Grace in, in time for her to get the results for the ACT. When we came to ACCESS, I was just hoping to get her tested for ADD so that I could get documentation which ACT would accept in order for her to qualify for accommodations. Grace had taken the ACT two times and had not scored particularly well. I felt that she needed accommodations in order to succeed. Ms. Newton really took a lot of time with us and asked a lot of questions. Grace and I tried to provide as much information as we could, and when our intake was over, Ms. Newton suggested that we do more in-depth testing in addition to testing for ADD. When we received the results, I was surprised to find that Grace had more learning disabilities than I had ever realized. I immediately felt a sense of failing as a parent because she had been working extra hard throughout high school and struggling to make good grades in private school, and I had never dreamed that there was more going on than just ADD.

With the documentation provided by ACCESS, Grace qualified for accommodations with ACT, and when she took the test, she improved her ACT score by eight points. It is my understanding that this is very unusual. It was certainly a confidence booster for Grace!

If I had a bit of advice to impart, it would be to get your child tested early, and push for accommodations. We always need to be advocates for our kids. I wish we had had the benefit of the knowledge provided by this testing much earlier in Grace’s academic career.

– Susan Pomtree, AERC Parent