December 23, 2008,
E.K. asks from Glen Burnie, MD on December 22, 2008
12Yo Having Problems in English and Latley Math
Ladies (and Gentlemen),
Since he began the 7th grade my DS is having some major problems. He is aperfectionist and when it comes to his writinig he is extremely ssssllloooowwww. He uses the excuse of mild autism and ADD to not complete his homework. He is very intelligent and just gets frustrated soooo easily when something doesn't go his way, and then he shuts down and doing homework from that point on is usesless because he justs sits there and whines. Then there's the age problem, TEENAGE, LOL. "You are not fair..., no one else has this problem, etc"
I am just as frustrated as he is, I know that he has the ability to do the work assigned. Waht he lack's is the time management skills, and the self esteem. He is used to not having to crack a book and getting his work done. I know that 7th grade is going to be his hardest year, because he is finally being challenged in school. So now when he can't get something right away, or is just plain being lazy and wants me to do the work for him(I do help him when he legitimly needs it), he gets frustrated and fidgity and shuts down where homework is concerned.
I am "just the Mom", he is at that stage where it makes no difference what I say, I am wrong, unless it involves homework, then I am only wrong when he thinks that I am not helping correctly. Does anyone know of tutors for time management for teens, and whats the going rate for a college student to tutor in math. Also, since he does write so very slow, the suggestion of a scribe has been brought up. I cannot follow him around in his classes to wirte down things, and at this time he does not qualify for one through the special education system of Anne Arundel County Public Schools. His teachers are aware of his disabilities and have already made some changes to help him out, but they can only make so many changes and still be able to teach effectively.
I love him very much, even as a teen, and I don't know what to do to help him-either to understand about timemanagement, or that he cannot use his disability as an excuse when he doesn't want to do the work.
M.W. answers from Washington DC on December 23, 2008
E., who told you that your son is not qualified for special education services? The school, who doesn't want to be bothered with the effort? If your son has a recognized disability that is interfering with his education AT ALL, he is qualified. The schools tell you what ever they want to keep from giving services. And if he somehow does not qualify under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), then he probably qualifies through the ADA (American with Disabilities Act.) Either way, if he is not succeeding at school because of his disability, then he is due some help from the school. It's a federal law, it's his right. Please check out this web site,
Best source of information about this topic.
If you want more help, do not hesitate to email me. I advocated for my son through his years in the school system, and I won many battles. I learned that except for a very few in the schools (AA county also), your child will not get help from anyone without you advocating firmly for him.
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T.C. answers from Washington DC on December 23, 2008
Martha's right: the school's likely not to tell you if your son qualifies for special services. From their point of view, it's volunteering for more work. You have to walk a fine line here, between being a forceful advocate for your son while not aggravating the school system so much that they regard you as a "problem parent." My solution, which has worked fairly well, is to just never stop asking. I have e-mails for all my kids' teachers (they both have ADD) and when things get really bad (they do about once a year) I will cc the principal. (Don't do that too often--save it for when you really need it; if the principal isn't responsive, don't be afraid to take it up the line.) Assume, though, that the teachers are your partners until you get proof to the contrary (and some teachers still believe ADD does not exist).
Check to see if your son's school has an AVID program; it's not designed for ADD kids, but it can really help them.
I've never had to fight to get my kids tested through the school system, because our insurance covered testing. But if your son needs testing, this is something they are required to offer you by federal law. The problem parents sometimes run into if their kids are really bright (and it sounds like your son is) is that the schools will say, "Hey, he's got a C average, he's not failing, what's the problem?" Doesn't matter. The law doesn't say "Kids must be flunking to qualify." It says "Kids with disabilities are entitled." Obviously there is some gray area there--there's no bright line between "normal" and "ADD"--but keep that in mind.
As for tutors: $30 to $40 an hour, and finding tutors who know how to teach ADD kids is a challenge. You can find tutors who know their subject but have no idea of how to deal with ADD kids. I am looking into a group in Severna Park called Learning Rx. If anybody out there knows about them, I'd be interested in hearing what they have to say.
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K.P. answers from Washington DC on December 23, 2008
My son's best friend is also mildly autistic with ADD. He has PDD nos or asperger's. This all sounds like part of the disability. As part of his 504 plan, the teachers are to provide a copy of the notes for the class on a daily basis. He also doesn't write very fast, gets distracted easily, etc. Time management skills are challenging at any age, but teachers should be working with him on this. If there are projects due, perhaps a group of kids with some of the same procrastination issues could work together and do some of it---with the teacher being involved.
As far as tutors, check out craigslist. But I think most are about $40 per hour or more.
A.L. answers from Washington DC on December 23, 2008
Maybe this is a little off the subject, but, where is his father? He is at that age where he needs a man's influence in his life to teach him how to accomplish some of these things that he is struggling with, whether he has a disability or not. I think some of his aforementioned 'self esteem' problems could have something to do with this as well.
Don't want to condemn or criticize, just thought it should be something to be considered.
R.S. answers from Washington DC on December 23, 2008
This only addresses one of the issues, but for note taking, will his teachers let him use a recorder? That's what I used for college in addition to taking notes. Some professors just talk to fast. It was just considered the norm, and they're not very expensive. Then he can take notes at his leisure.