ADHD And School

Updated on January 21, 2007
K.B. asks from Topeka, KS
11 answers

I am having a terrible time with my 9 year old son's 'educational experience'. It is evident that his needs aren't being met at school.I have researched the Individulas with Disaabilities Education Act and see where his rights are even being neglected. I am writing letters and making phone calls until I get more than,'it's a process' because the process ahould have been implemented long ago. I was wondrering if there are any moms out there who might know more about special education than I do and know who I can talk to or have any ideas about what I can do.

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M.P.

answers from Peoria on

Hey there K., send me a email lets chat. Ive been going through with schools, the law ect now for bout 10 years. My 15yr old son has adhd on top of other problems and put it this way he is in the 8th grade but should be in high school and is only on a 1st grade reading level. but ive been gettin some help so hit me up at [email protected]____.com

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T.K.

answers from Kansas City on

Well, I think my take on this will be pretty different from everyone else's. But-- please know that I have a child in special ed, with severe disabilities, she's 14 so I've been through the IEP process many, many times, trying to make sure she's getting all the help and accomodations she needs.
You weren't specific about what the actual problem is -
just that you didn't think his needs were being met and felt that his rights were being neglected. Some examples might be helpful- then the specific problems could be addressed.
In the system's defense -- it IS a process. And the process IS already implemented. So when they tell you "it's a process" they don't mean that the 'system' isn't in process or isn't being implented- they're talking about the process and how it will work best for your son. There are a million kids out there with one kind of disability or another, and half them (if not more) are ADHD-- but they each have their own strengths/weaknesses-- methods they respond to, and methods that just don't work for them. And the "process" is trying to figure out what works for your son- and 9 times out of 10, that's going to change.
An example you can probably relate to, is meds. They have to put your son on a med, wait awhile, observe his reaction to the med over a period of time, evaluate whether or not that dose works for him-- then make adjustments, and try a new dose or even a different med. They can't know ahead of time what will work for him and what won't.
It's the same thing with his education. And that's part of what the whole IEP process is for. You meet with the teachers,
evaluate how he's responded to the goals and procedures set for him-- make adjustments, add new goals, eliminate some, etc, and make a new IEP.
In addition, you have to remember that each year he has a NEW teacher, and everything has to start all over again, and she has to tailor her methods to HIS IEP.
That's a "process", one that's almost continually evolving. And it takes quite a while to figure out what will really work for him.
Plus-- behaviorally-- there's only so much the teachers can do. If a big part of the problem (and I don't know if it is or not-- but generally, that's a part of it, so I'm just guessing...) is his behavior then really, they have very little control. Laws, policy (and common sense) prohibit them from doing very much.
If he's not getting work done in class, again, there's very little they can do. You can't FORCE a child to write his spelling words, grab his hand and MAKE him write. Do you see what I mean? They can encourage him, try to help him stay focused, offer rewards, positive reinforcement, stratigecally sit him in a particular place, away from certain kids, close to the front of the class, remind him again to stay focused, stop talking, etc... but again, there's not much else they can do, unless they put him in a resource class, where he's practically one on one, or three to one, with his own private teacher. That can actually be of great benefit-- but alot of parents don't want THAT either. They don't want their kids "segregated" from the rest of the class.
Personally, I feel like parents are sometimes a little too impatient and critical, and expect the teachers to perform somekind of miracle and forget that THE most important part of treating ADHD is behavior modification-- and there's only so much a teacher can do about that. (And I'm not saying that about you specifically-- you may very well have proof of flagrant neglect to show how the school or teachers are being just downright irresponsible-- so you might be absolutely right about your son's case, I'm just speaking in general terms.) The teachers have 20-25 kids in their classes, and now a days, they all have 4 or 5 kids, if not more who are ADHD, and each kid has their own IEP. So the teacher can't just plan a lesson and teach, the way they used to. They're having to tailor activities, worksheets, lessons, etc, to accomodate all the kids, and all their individual IEPS.

Best of luck-- I know it's frustrating!
T.

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J.D.

answers from Tulsa on

Familiarizing yourself with IDEA is a step in the right direction. I work with young adults across Oklahoma, many of which are in special eduction. It is amazing how many youth are neglected when it comes to their education. One thing I have learned is that each education system is different. I have a list of websites on special education resources and an attorney's name in Oklahoma City. If you live in OK, I highly recommend contacting her. She can give you LOTS of information! I am hesitant to put her name out on this board, so if you would like it, let me know.

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C.O.

answers from Oklahoma City on

K. I could write a book on this one. My son has A.D.H.D and his rights were violated so many times I can't even count them. We moved from our home in Kansas because of this. I would love to help and talk with you regarding this. You may contact me at [email protected]____.com me know if you would like me to I can compile you a list of resourses that really help.

1 mom found this helpful
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J.

answers from St. Louis on

Hello K.. I'm so sorry about the trouble you are having with the school system. My brother had a similar experience. However, if you want to see some real changes with your son, I would recommend chiropractic! I know it may sound strange, but there are fantastic research studies that show that children under chiropractic care recover from ADHD. Check out these websites
www.familyfirsthealthcenter.com
www.icpa4kids.org - under research.

Let me know if I can help you with anything else!
J.

1 mom found this helpful
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P.B.

answers from Peoria on

I have a girlfriend going through the same thing and she's very frustrated that she can't find anyone to help her or him. Let me know where you are sending letters and I will do the same for you. What about Sylvan Learning Center? They are all over and Peoria does have one. If they can't help you, maybe they can refer you to someone.

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W.Q.

answers from Tulsa on

Hi K.,

I have a 14 year old son who has ADHD, Bipolar and Asperger's Syndrome. He has had an IEP (Individual Education Plan) since kindergarden (he was diagnosed as ADHD at the age of 5...Bipolar at 10 and Asperger's Syndrome at 13). At all three diagnoses the IEP was updated to reflect his changing needs.

Do you have an IEP in place? All children with special needs are qualified for one. You have the right to call for a meeting to discuss the special needs of your child. These needs include physical, emotional and academic. The first thing you will need is a written diagnosis from a doctor.

I'd be happy to share tips on ensuring your son is getting all the services for which he is qualifed. You can contact me at [email protected]____.com with any questions. I'm in the middle of moving so most of my books on how to get assistance and an IEP are packed, but I can share our experiences, the school officials who need to be involved and how you can present a good case to get the services to help your son.

W. Q

1 mom found this helpful
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J.T.

answers from Springfield on

K.,
Hi! I am sorry to hear you are having difficulties with your school district. I am currently a special education teacher and have worked as a speech therapist. What has been tried? Has your son been tested? The school cannot diagnose ADHD it has to come from a doctor or psychologist. If he has been tested what tests were given? Who are you writing? Have you talked to the Special Education Director in your district or the Process Coordinator?
I would like to share with you that as an educator we also become frustrated with "the process". I have many students who need additional services, but cannot have them. I have seen students tested who are failing every class, but do not qualify for special education services. I feel for you. I feel more for the student. Our district has an amazing at risk program that begins in the 6th grade for those who need extra help but do not qualify for special education services. I have a friend who has her own business teaching reading because she too became frustrated that some students do not receive adequate services. Do not necessarily blame the school. Their hands may be tied with legal red tape. If you could answer the questions I have posed I may be able to arm you with the proper vocabulary or some ideas from the inside.
Good luck!!!
[email protected]____.com

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T.P.

answers from Tulsa on

I'm raising a grandson that has ADHD and the first thing is to go to the school and request a 504 plan to meet the needs of your child. There is no way that they can say no the child comes first and the law now states no child left behind. With a 504 plan the school will have a meeting and they will have to put a plan together that you are most happy with and if they refuse you have the right to get a child avacadate to help speek for the rights of the child. You should also have a school counsler that should be helping with anything that makes it easier for the child. If you don't get any where with this tell the school that you will contact a lawyer and they will see that you do mean business. Your child has everyright to the best education. Good luck and god bless you it is not easy doing this.

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P.G.

answers from Oklahoma City on

HI K. MY NAME IS P. AND I WORKED AT A SCHOOL AS A HELPER WITH KIDS THAT HAVE ADHD AND ALSO IT RUNS IN MY FAMILY 2 OF MY SISTERS HAS BOYS WITH ADHD AND THEY HAD IT VERY HARD IN SCHOOL WITH THEM THEY WOULD MOVE ALL THE TIME AND TAKE THEIR KIDS TO ANOTHER SCHOOL BECAUSE THE TEACHERS WOULD GET MAD AT THEM AND BLAME MY SISTERS FOR THEIR KIDS REACTIONS AND IT TOOK ALONG TIME TO GET THEIR KIDS ON THE RIGHT TRACK BUT THEY FINALLY DID IT THEY HAD TO TAKE THEM TO COUNCILING AND THEY MEDICATED THEM SEVERAL TIMES TIL THEY GOT ON THE RIGHT MEDICINE NOW THEY ARE DOING GOOD IN SCHOOL AND CAN THINK BEFORE THEY ACT AND THEIR GRADES ARE ALOT BETTER TOO AND THE TEACHERS LOVE THEM THEY CAN NOT CONTROL THERE SELF THEY HAVE TO BE MEDICATED....I HOPE THIS HELPS GOOD LUCK IF YOU NEED TO TALK MORE ABOUT THIS PLEASE EMAIL ME AT [email protected]____.com

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C.G.

answers from Kansas City on

K.,

My name is C. and I am an Occupational Therapist and owner of Therapuetic Living Solutions. We provide home based therapy services to children with developmental delays and concerns, and serve many children with ADHD, throughout the Kansas City Metropolitan area. I am not sure where you live but one group that we have referred many families to is MPACT. Georgia Mueller is the Director there and they are an advocay group that helps parents with IEP planning and advocacy with schools. She is a great resource. I am sorry I don't have her phone number on me but will look it up for you. They are in Kansas City, Missouri and serve mainly Missouri residents, but also work with Kansas residents as well. It may be a great place to connect to and if they can't help, will have someone who can.

Please let me know if you have any questions and I will try to locate her number for you.

Chris Glover

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