J.B. asks from Cayce, SC on January 03, 2008
Was Needing Advice, Everything Is Fine Now.
Thank you all, everything turned out well
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
OK, so here is what happened at the meeting. We all sat in a room and discussed my son. They are now going to implement my system I use at home for his behavior. My son is one of those who reprimands do not work on. When he gets in trouble and is punished, it has an opposite effect, and in fact causes MORE bad and unwanted behavior. So for the last year, I have had him on a reward system. 5 days without a bad note from the teacher, and he gets a prize. So, now, at the school, if he has 5 good days in a row, he will get to go and read a book to the kindergarten class, and tell them how great it is to read (which is something he has always wanted to do). On good days, he will be allowed to eat lunch with his best friend. And after a month of being good, the teacher has agreed to move his and his best friends desks together. This is wonderful news for my son and for myself as well, since this is the only system that ever got results at home. We discussed the medication issue, and I assured them that he will never take medicine like that again, as it made my son into a zombie that would not eat and cried in the afternoon. And that was on the lowest dose they make. He is already a skinny boy, so not having an appetite is not acceptable.
We also discussed the results of his academic testing, which he always scores real high on, so they are awaiting the results for two more tests, and next year, he will go straight to the gifted/advanced program, and hopefully that will give him more to keep his brain occupied and entertained.
I was delightfully suprised that this was not another bullying meeting like I have experienced in the past concerning my sons behavior. They all seem to genuinely love him, and he loves them also. We talked about the school choice program, but my son would never leave this school. He loves it there, and I do as well. I do volunteer work there as often as I can.
I know that legally, this is the first step they have to take in order to try for a transfer, but I feel like they really want him to do good and be able to stay in the school, where as in the past, I felt as if they just wanted him to leave. They did not push the issue of medication, and in fact the district psychologist agreed with my position. And for any of ya'll (I am deep south!) who didnt know, I was sent to the doctor when he was 5 at the reccomendation of the school, and they did diognose him with ADHD, he has been on medication in the past (but never again). A diagnosis I may argue against in the future and have removed, because the doctor who saw him had him in a small room (4 ft by 5 ft) for 45 minutes before she saw him. I truely beleive any child under those circumstances would appear hyper and ADHDish. I know he is hyper, but also very intelligent, and that should be nurtured, not labeled.
And I stand by the idea that if they still had those scary paddles in the principles desk, children would ALL behave better, that was the only thing that kept me in line when I was little. I only had to be paddled once. That was all it took. Remember when the first day of school involved all the kids in a room and the principle on a stage with that paddle? Scary wasn't it? I believe that when they stopped that, kids got out of control, and the ADD/ADHD label was born. I have heard kids at the school say things like "what are you gonna do? you cant do nothing to me" and that is sad. I am in no way saying they should beat the children, but the knowledge of that paddle in the office always worked for us.
OK, I am open to comments from those I have offended with my support of shcool punishments. (which most likely would'nt work on my son, but would work an many others)
But mostly, I want to thank all of ya'll who sent me messages of support, and all of ya'll who had great advice, and also those who let me know the legalities if the situation. I appreciate having this outlet to communicate with all the moms out there.
B.L. answers from Columbia on January 05, 2008
My child has been on medication for 5 years and believe me you want to get him off and keep hjim off even if you have to home school him!!! My child was bright but hyper active, now he is 12 and in the 4th grade! All this was done when he went into foster care because I left his abusive father! I had planned to take him off of it last summer but a man I was living with slapped them while I was away and they were taken from me again! But he is so sweet and all he needs is love! If you redirect a child that is hyper and giv ethen frequent rewards the behavoir stops!
Listen email me at ____@____.com if you want to.
A.H. answers from Atlanta on January 04, 2008
A.D. answers from Atlanta on January 04, 2008
I doubt that they can and that it's another glorified bullying technique like with vaccinations. I did want to say however, have you tried controlling it with diet? I know that a lot of people are skeptical of those things but I have a son that changed a TON once I changed his diet. I didn't realize that some of his behaviors were sensitivities to certain foods and here I had been told that once upon a time, he was ADHD too.
T.S. answers from Spartanburg on January 04, 2008
Public school is not allowed to tell you your child needs medication. This is illegal. They have to be very careful what they say. Only a doctor can diagnose ADHD. There are herbal remedies out there and safe things that you can use if your child is diagnosed with ADHD. I would check into that before I put him on that medicine. Before I was a stay at home mom, I was a teacher and before that a Pharmacist assistant. These drugs are controlled substances that only the pharmacist is allowed to count and bottle. They stayed in a locked drawer and could not be touched by anyone but a pharmacist. So I would definitely think about it long and hard before I put my child on one of these drugs. Check out the alternatives.
C.K. answers from Columbia on January 07, 2008
I don't know about this but I do know I would look into changing schools. If you are in the Columbia SC area school choice selections begin today. www.richland2.org to look it up. Contact the School Board, your Congressman, someone who should be able to help. If all else, homeschool. There are some wonderful resources available as well as homeschool network available no matter what state you are in. If you believe in prayer, then have your son pray with you every morning and night-you will see change. I have my 2 yr old pray about his behavior when he's throwing a tantrum. I will look for your solution.
L.S. answers from Athens on January 04, 2008
J., I have a step-daughter who has been on adhd meds since she was 6. At 6 yrs. old, she weighed 50 lbs. She wore 6x and 7 in pants. Now at 11 yrs old she only weighs 67 lbs and she only wears a 7-8 in pants. She has hardly grown the last several years. I honestly believe the meds have stunt her growth. She hates the way the meds make her feel and she is so thin you can see her ribs poke thru her shirts. She wants off the meds but her mom won't take her off of them. Over the years she has grown out of hyperactivity. No one just doesn't want to take the time of day to enforce good behavior these days. I hope this helps you in making your decision. As smart as your son sounds the school should give him more advance work, not hold him back saying that he can't take advance classes until next year.
C.H. answers from Atlanta on January 04, 2008
I had the same problem when my son was only 5. He attended two different schools at that age because we moved and both schools wanted the medication. When we moved a third time that school also insisted we have him tested and medicated. All of these schools were private schools so they COULD insist. We were told that if we did not take care of the problem he would have to leave, they had plenty of "normal" children on the waiting list. Needless to say we removed him from that school anyway but we did put him on medication. Initially he too was depressed, etc so the doctors tested different strengths, etc. until we found the right dose. It did not affect his "attitude" he acted like my beautiful little boy but he was able to sit and learn in school. Each year we continued the medications. If a teacher didn't believe in the medication (Christian school) we would take him off, his grades would plummit and the teacher would agree we needed to put him back on. I believe that WITHOUT the medication he would have been a troubled child in school struggling with grades, etc. Instead he was honor roll each year, and graduated with honors and a full scholarship. I pray that later in life there are no health affects because of the childhood medication but I know that without medicating through school his adult life would have been much different. ADHD children are VERY smart. I believe they need a little help to allow there brains to function at the high level they are capable of. His life is/will be much better because we medicated. Of course, there are many who do not agree but I just know this was our experience. I hope this helps.
M.F. answers from Atlanta on January 03, 2008
J., my son has adhd and no one can make you give him medication. If he is disrupting the class well he has special needs and they need to work with him and give him more breaks then other children it's in the reading materials most dr's give you about adhd and school. Sometimes medications works great for some kids others not it's the same with any medication. Home schooling may or may not be what you are able to do it is an option, I don't home school my son because I think he needs interaction with others and I dont' think my son would learn as well with me as his teacher. Here's some websites that have helped me in the past adhd.kids.tipod.com and healthyplace.com ...I don't think your son will learn very well in a special ed class they usually have 6 to 8 children of different ages in the class sometimes more and they all have very different special needs and sadly many times (not all) it's more like a child care babysitting day then a learning day for a child. I can say this because I have been there and done that. A child that has problems with sitting still will not get the level of education he should be at if all he has is adhd I also have a dr you may want to call and get an appointment with at least look at her website and consider it Dr. Christine Gustafson ###-###-#### www.gustafsonm-d.com and call Families of children under stress website focus-ga.org they are very supportive and helpful as well and can give advise (they have helped me and my family I consider them angels). I hope you get some info that helps you for someone any of us or a group and are armed with info to help you and your child/family. My best wishes to you, you are their advocate!
T.P. answers from Atlanta on January 04, 2008
No, a school system cannot force you to medicate your son, but they also will not be able to educate him if his behavior is interfering. His teachers have the best intentions, as do you, you should all work together to find a solution that will benefit your son (classroom modifications/interventions and possible other meds. you haven't tried). Otherwise, he will only continue to struggle, and believe me - his struggles will get worse as he gets older. Third grade is a transition year where more responsibility is placed on the student, and more and more will be added each year. Hope you and the school can work together and be open-minded for your child's sake - good luck!
Also, no need to pay out of pocket for a psychologist, every school system has their own who do the SAME tests - they are doctors, not teachers, and they report their findings fairly to the parents and teachers and then offer suggestions to help.
D.W. answers from Atlanta on January 03, 2008
I have not had experience with ADHD, but ou might want to look into natural remedies, holistic medications and even doctors. You might find foods that may help your child and his attention span at school. I am not familiar with the school systems' policies, but they should not be able to force you to medicate your child. They will recommend that you seek treatment for his behavior and give you altermatums, but no demands. That is strictly up to you. That may mean that you will need to find another school, but dealing with his ADHD is priority, not the school. You have to take all of that into consideration, even in your meeting next week. Pray about what you should do and spend some time in research and talk to your son about how he feels and how they make him feel at school. If the teachers and staff are isolating him, then they are in the wrong. But if he is not able to be controlled, then something else needs to happen if he is going to interact with society on a daily basis in a public school environment. I hope that helps.
Good luck on your meeting.
W.S. answers from Atlanta on January 06, 2008
Hi, J.. I am a special education teacher in Georgia. No, they cannot make you put your son on meds. I don't know if they have already tried to have him evaluated for special education due to his attention difficulties; if not, they may suggest it at your meeting. Whether or not you approve of this or whether or not he would qualify for the special ed. program, it is against the law for public schools to require your son to be on meds. In fact, I have been told not to request this of parents because, if the parents were smart enough, they would know that if the school says a child needs meds, then the school is responsible for paying for the medication and doctor bills associated with it.
Being a special education teacher who works with children with ADHD, I have seen some students become more successful in school as a result of their meds, but I have also seen those whose meds don't really make a difference. I would have to say that most of my students who achieve success in school, whether they are on meds or not, come from a home environment that is involved, supportive, warm, and caring. It seems like you are this type of parent. There ARE ways for him to be successful without meds.
I don't know many details of your sitatuion. I would suggest that before your meeting you get a copy of your parental rights (that are available from your school's special education department) and be familiar with them. Hope this helps. Let me know if you need any more advice!