PatriciaCha... asks:

Does my daughter have a learning disability with retaining information?

My 15 yrs old is a 9th grader and has had IEP's since Kinder.  Schools keep passing her and she still reads at a 2nd grade level.  She can't retain the info that she learns.  I am going to take her out of public school and looking for a special school to help her with her special needs. Any idea what kind of school she needs?
In Topics: Learning disabilities, Special education, Special needs
> 60 days ago



Jun 29, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk!

I am sorry that your daughter has not met with educational success and is well behind her age peers. does not recommend specific schools, however, I would suggest that you request from your public school district another full evaluation of her psycho-educational skills (if this has not been conducted within the past three years).  This would include an evaluation of her cognitive, academic and social-emotional abilities. In addition, specifics such as visual discrimination, memory and eye-hand coordination can be evaluated.

Then when (if) you have this evaluation completed an entire team, including yourself,  should be able to generate a program and IEP that would fit your child's needs based on the most recent results.  

I wish you the best of luck.  Perhaps other readers may be able to give you more information.


Louise Sattler
Nationally Certified School Psychologist

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Additional Answers (1)

hlevitan , Teacher writes:
Hello Patricia,

Thank you for writing to What specifically did your daughter qualify under for her IEP? Does she have a specific learning disability concerning auditory, visual, or short-term memory? Does she have a reading disability? There are many reasons why she can have difficult retaining information. If she has an auditory learning disability she may have trouble taking in information she hears. If she has a visual learning disability she may have trouble taking in information she sees.  If your daughter has difficulty taking in information, then she certainly will not be able to remember it.  
If you feel your daughter is not making progress in school, perhaps you should have the IEP team meet again to look over her goals. They can reevaluate her looking for why she has difficulty retaining information.  You may also want to seek out an independent evaluation from a private psychologist to look into the neurological reasons why she has difficulty remembering, if you have not done so already. Knowing your daughter’s neurological strengths and weaknesses can better help you and the IEP team plan to help her.

Oftentimes when students progress to the later grades, there are more academic demands as the classes become harder. Learning difficulties that weren’t previously noticeable in early grades become more obvious.

Oftentimes special education services are provided in the public school and not in private schools.  If you take your daughter out of the public school you may have to make special trips to the public school if you still want her to receive special services and extra help.
If you haven’t already, you may want to seek out a tutor for your child. If you are looking for another school, it is important to find a curriculum where there are a lot of teachers and teacher assistants so your daughter can get more attention and help.

During the summer you may want to enroll her in an intensive reading program, like Lindamood Bell, to help her build reading skills. Encourage your daughter to read everything from magazines to fun, popular books like Twilight. Take her to the library and help her choose a book of interest.

Here are some resources you may find helpful:
Types of Private Schools:

Memory and Children with Learning Disabilities
Best wishes in helping your daughter.
> 60 days ago

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