February 10, 2007,
T.P. asks from Nashua, NH on February 08, 2007
The School Wants to Code My Son but His Doctor and I Do Not See the Problem They
I have a soon to be 9 yr old boy . He is in the 3rd grade .. his school keeps pushing to have him "looked at" and I should thing about putting him on meds and in special classes ... his doctor has seen him many time and we have both decussed it ... his recent repot card went form c+ and C to some D's .. but i dont see where they r getting these grade he comes home with all 80, 90, and 100 in all his test quizzes and homework assignments .. i know he can some times be hyper and loose concentration. but over the last yr he has been doing a 150% turnaround at home tryin his hardest .. he has chores does dishes cleans his room and .. i have to say i am a lucky mom everyone always say what a good child he is how polite and well behaved ... he tries his hardest but the teacher still prosist on giving him a hard time ...i feel the are grading him hard because i wont give them what they want a drugged out lil boy to sit there and not say a word do his work and never talk .. i know some kids do need help with medicine ... and its a great thing .. but my son in my eyes his fathers and his doctor see him as a normal 9 yrs old child full of life and energy .. we even had his doctor call the school and speak with them .. i just dont know what do do anymore !help
So What Happened?™
so in responce to some of you cmments thank you ... yes i do watch what my son eats i do give him candy on weekends non school days and times he deserves a treat ! he is not allowed soda or anything with much caffine ..he is a hyper child but not to the point that i can not tell him to relax and he wont ... hes a chatter box just like me comes out with things i cant believe come out of his lil mouth !! on his reading skills we use the computer to help alot .. working on web site the uses alot of reading to play games and so on .. i can say it has helped ALOT .. he used to ask em 1000 time what it saysand what it mean i just made it a point i am not doing the work for him he must figure it out on his own it pushed him to try hrader cause he wanted so bad to play the game lol .. we emails eachother back and forth everyday .. I ask him to tell me how his school day went what happened when he was at his friends house .. it does take him awhile to type it out and i dont let him use spell check .. yea he tried that once lol ...this way it gets him to think about his spelling and writing .... he has seen 2 other docs. including a doc who decides wether or not his is adhd or add just to prove the school that he is not .... and they continue to give me a hard time ...i know my son can sya things without thinking what 9 yr old doesnt .. for instance in the first grade his teacher left her sissors on his desk he took them to her and told her "it was very irrisposible for her to leave them on his desk hes just a lil boy and he could trip fall and stab himself in the eye and his mom would sue you " and yes i was called in to dicusses this .. what could I do he was right he was little he could fall and hurt himself and she should have not left sharp sissor on his desk .. i came home went i my room and not in front of him laughed about it .... let him know its not poilte to correct and adult in that manner .. but i do have a meeting with his teacher and the school coucilor next week i will let you all know what happened !!!! thank you !
C.G. answers from Boston on February 08, 2007
My son just turned 8 when his little sister was born. they are now respectively, 11 and 3. Johnny is an exceptionally bright and rambunctious child, scoring in the 97-99th percentile on the standardized tests but always mediocre grades when behavior was factored into the equation. Grades 1-3 were the toughest, and he actually improved dramatically over the last 2.5 years. He's in 6th grade now, and while not perfect, he has outgrown a lot of his issues in the classroom.
If the doctor and you do not believe he has a medical reason for his extra energy, I am inclined to believe YOU, not the teachers. They are often overworked and have a heavy load of children with real academic difficulties, and many of them do not have the resources to deal with a child who is most liekly smarter than the rest. He is probably siginificantly bored in the classroom AND craving attention. I would definitely NOT medicate my son!
Johnny improved significantly with a combination of things. One was getting him into a classroom, which happened in 4th grade, where he had a good teacher. She helped steer him towards more productive activities and helped him find outlets for his drive. His little sister actually helped in a lot of ways too-we increased his levels of responsibility at home. We signed him up for scouting.
We were still feeling frustrated though because the school wasn't meeting his needs. We looked at private schools (ouch) and also considered montessori--which becomes much harder to apply at 6th grade, so if you go that direction do it now! But you have to get your son out of that negative environment--it is really detrimental for your son to be heariong that kind of response over and over from his teachers.
We moved out here in August and spent a LOT of time looking and comparing public schools in the different towns before we decided where to live. Real estate is expensive, but private school is more so! We are realllllly happy with Johnny's new school and he is improving dramatically. He still has to be called upon to stay on task once in a while, but he is doing a lot better with teachers who give him outlets for his academic growth while still helping him to focus upon his weaknesses--organization and focus. Not an adhd case, just a very bright child with an active imagination, which I am guessing is your son as well.
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H.W. answers from Providence on February 08, 2007
Maybe, instead of the pediatrician making a phone call to the school, the pediatrician can type up a dated letter (on office letterhead) specifying that there is no medical need at this time for your child to be on medication therapy. This letter will be part of your son's permanent school record - and if the teacher wants to continue the issue, no one's going to argue with a medical professional.
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R.U. answers from Boston on February 09, 2007
T., I am so sorry these teachers are doing this to you!!! Okay, first of all, if his DOCTOR is saying he does not need meds, than I would personally be getting into it big time w/ his teacher. This again comes up, I feel like every other parent w/ a child of this age is dealing with these issues of someone wanting to medicate thier child. MY GOD!!!!! It makes me furious!!! What is happening here??? Children are NOT perfect, they all have disipline problems from time to time, they all struggle in school at some point. What grade is he in? He is only 9 right? I think you are right about the grades, b/c at that age 50% of their grade is based on their attendance and performance in class. No one failes the 4th grade. So this teacher sounds like she has some issues, and I would immediately ask for my child to be out of her class! I would also tell her that maybe she should consider another profession, cause she seems to suck at this one. Listen to your gut, and your doc. Your son sounds like a normal 9 yr old to me. This whole px meds to kids has gotten way out of control, and I just pray that someone does something about it soon, or we are going to have a lot of drug addicts on our hands later on.
D.R. answers from Springfield on February 10, 2007
DO NOT let them force you to put your child on meds. Ask for a meeting with the principal and the teacher if you think that they are grading him unfairly. If that dosen't help, call the superintendents office. They are hoping that you will give up, fight for your childs rights, he's worth it.
S.W. answers from Lewiston on February 09, 2007
If your Dr. has called the school and told them thet your son has no problems..I would get the Dr. to wite it down for you then I would request a meeting with his teacher,the Super, and the office I would bring that lettter the Dr. wrote and have them all read it..I would have the Teacher on the hot seat and let her know that you are not going to put up with this from her..If you live in Maine then let them know that you are willing to take this to Augusta,You do not have to put up with this and you will go to the school board with all your facts.(The letter from the Dr.,his grades,and what ever else you have) Trust me this will work for you..I have had to do this for 2 different schools the first one is when my daughter was in the 1st grade and the other last year when her math teacher was a work of art.. You could also request that he get a different teacher..How ever I would make it clear that you want this teacher to know her place as to field she is in she is not a DR. and just who does she think she is trying to get a child put on drugs!!!!! At this meeting you want to have her bosses to go over the rules as a teacher with her!!! I hope this helps you out..Oh to let you know that with my daughter the first time they gave the teacher time off..Last year with her math teacher..Either she left the shool or was fired..She is not there this year..Good Luck to you..
C.C. answers from Boston on February 09, 2007
Sorry that you're dealing with this, it isn't easy to try to get someone see what you see in your own child. Sounds like this teacher has a personal problem with your son, which is so unfortunate. But being on the other side of this situation, former Preschool teacher for over 15 years, not all teachers have had the training on how to deal with a child who may need special attention. Especially older teachers, sorry people not being prejudiced it's true. Nowadays, college courses are more geared towards all kinds of "special needs", and I use that term loosely, especially in the case of your son who needs help with his concentration. You could go one of three ways, stick it out, there's only 4-5 months left of this school year, go above this teachers head, or seek a second opinion from another Doctor. Not being on the teacher's side but it might help your son out in the long run. Every Doctor has their own opinion, it took my Mom and Dad 3-4 Doctors to get my Brother diagnosed with ADHD, which he does have. I wish there was a way to calm this teacher down, because it sounds like he/she is stressing you out which will stress out your son. HOpefully, the teacher isn't treating him differently in front of his classmates, that would be tragic. Hope this gets resolved soon, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you guys.
P.D. answers from Boston on February 09, 2007
This is such on controversial subject.
I believe there is a place for medicatin treatment, in some very rare cases. HOWEVER. I strongly believe it is way over used.
I recenty have read a little on this matter - but im not expert. However I have heard that some schools get $$ per child that has drugs admistered during school time - still not sure if this is true.
Also one of the best things you can do is evaluate your sons food intake and his reaction to certan foods. Let me tell you what I have recently found out.....
For example: High frutose corn syrup (its in everything) and aspertame (in diet sodas) do terrible things to the body and brain, and could cause a spike in hyper activity. Try sending you son to school with a good lunch with no chips, cookies or sweets, try a sandwich on Organic Bread and some Organic fruit for 1 week - just one week, and you may see a difference.
Try to keep a log of what he eats on how his reaction, and engerly level is.
Also listen to yourself - you know best!
If you would like more inormation on some of the the Articles I read please let me know.
Good luck and I hope everything works out - Keep us posted!
D.F. answers from Providence on February 08, 2007
I am sorry to hear that news about the school treating your son that way. However you and I are in the opposite situation. My son has been hospitalized, is on meds after trying every other kind of method that did not work, he brings home mostly feeling papers, struggles in reading, math, and now feeling spelling, I have had him evaluated outside the school because the school refuses, he has had 3 special ed recomendations from doctors and the school still refuses to give him a IEP or 504 plan instead they give him a behavorial assesment plan, he meets with the school phys, he hates his teacher wants me to have him arrested because he won't help him. I refuse to sign his progress report saying his grades are all satisfactory but needs to improve in reading at home. He is 9 and my daughter is 4. I have been battleing with the school since he was in first grade the teacher and I showed the same concerns, it jumped over to 2nd grade and has been worse every year since. he physically harms himself so he does not have to go to school. If you don't mind me asking what school does your son go to? If you feel he is doing fine and it is not a concern to you then I would keep fighting them and refuse.
S.P. answers from Providence on February 10, 2007
When I read your blog I could not help by sigh in relief. The school my son is going to is doing the same thing to me. I just about had it and I'm trying so hard to keep my cool. When you mentioned that you think they are being hard on him because you won't medicate him i think the same thing is happen to my son. I had he tested and they came up with a diagnose of his is above the curriculum that is being taught in the class so he is trying to stimulate him self and is coming off as ADHD but he is not. I finially lost my cool and told the teacher, principal and behavior specialist that if they continue to suggest that my son is ADHD and should go on meds than I would bring a lawsuit upon they for crossing there professional boundries. I know meet with the group once a week and go in the classroom for 3 hours a week to observe that the goals we put in place to deal with his distruptive behavior according to the teacher is being implented. Sometimes I believe teachers don't go deep enough in their creativing bags to help those children who don't fit the ideal sudent instead they suggests meds. Well best of luck at your meeting and I hope you all make out well.
M.M. answers from Lewiston on February 09, 2007
Well, first of all, teachers should NOT be telling you that you should medicate your son. Teachers are trained professionals for many things, but they are NOT psychiatrists. Next time one of his teachers mentions medication, as where she/he got his/her Ph.d. I am a teacher, and the only part I play in the whole process of diagnosis of a disability is referring a child to special ed. services. Sp. ed. takes it from there and does some in school evals and some psych evals.
Talk with his teacher(s) to come up with a list of strategies that might work at home and at school. If he is responsible for chores at home, maybe he would function well to have some class jobs. Also, ask what extra work or activities your son is given when he appears to be off-task and ask what language she uses to get him back on taask. Hi sgrades might appear to be lower if effort and behavior are factored in. Also, if the teacher is trying to make a referral for him to be seen by a psychologist, they'll err on the low side on the report card. It might not hurt to see what they a psych. eval says, but don't let the school tell you he needs meds! They have no authority to do so. Be in contact as much as you can with his teachers, and set up a behavior plan at home with rewards/consequences for his school performance.
J.M. answers from Boston on February 09, 2007
As an elementary school teacher, I am quite puzzled as to why they are telling you they want to put your son in special classes or why they are suggesting meds for him. If they have ADHD concerns for him, then I can understand why they are suggesting you talk to his Dr about meds. If there are ADHD concerns, a Conner's scale can be done to decide your next course of action. But if the concerns are not attentional, I really think you should consider the school's concerns. It isn't a bad thing to respectfully ask the teacher why he's getting such awful grades on his report card, if those are not what you are seeing come home. ASk them to be specific about their concerns for him and try to work together to help your son. Your son should be having a positive school experience in third grade. So if learning is hard for him, take advantage of what his school has to offer to make school a better place for him. Good luck
A.S. answers from Providence on February 10, 2007
these are some websites i recommended to another mother looking for a natural approach for adhd. the fight for kids will lead you to your states laws regarding medications and schools. i know that in massachusetts it is illegal for the school to recomend medicating your child and when i told the school meds. were no longer an option for my son they were not happy and they pressured me quite a bit. long story short the school cannot require you to medicate your child in order for your child to attend school. unfortunately there are teachers who push to medicate to make their job "easier". i am happy to say that we have since moved to a new school system and i have yet to get a phone call from the new teacher regarding my son where at the old school i was getting weekly calls, even while on the meds.
www.ritalindeath.com --website was created by parents whose son died while taking ritalin. very informative message bored and links.
www.nfgcc.org --for gifted/creative children who are easily bored
www.blockcenter.com --info on what MAY appear to be adhd
www.rense.com "Miracle in a Wisconsin High School" thru diet.
www.christianpatriot.com/hatch.htm -this is a copy of the Hatch Amendment info of students rights at public schools
www.fightforkids.com/bills_resolutions.htm -info. on state and federal bills against child labeling and drugging.