ADHD/Tourette's/Mood Disorder and SCHOOLING

Updated on September 22, 2008
S.C. asks from Saint Charles, MO
4 answers

I have a son who is not quite 10 and who has ADHD, Tourette's, and a mood disorder. The ADHD and Tourette's is of course making school very difficult. I am trying to find an advocate to help us but am having trouble doing so without having to pay hundreds of dollars. The assistant principal at our school is making everything extremely difficult. She is rude to say the least. When I told her my son comes to me and tells me he thinks he is dumb because he can't do certain things in school, she said "well are you sure he's not just doing that to get some attention?". I almost fell out of my chair. She also says that all of his issues are a "responsibility issue" and that I'm doing too much for him and he needs more consequences. However on his report card his responsibility was marked as being just fine! Please HELP!!! I appreciate every response!

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So What Happened?

I want to thank you all for your responses! I thought I was completely alone! I have contacted mpact already and am awaiting a callback. I am going to try a few of the other suggestions as well! Just to clarify some things...we do not have an IEP but that is what we are pushing for. We have found someone to advocate but she is so expensive I can't pay her right now-not that you can put a price on education and helping your child. And on a lighter note-my son met for the first time...another person who has TS. One of his friend's has an uncle and my son actually called him out on having TS. The uncle has a tic that is the same as one of my son's tics. My son's eyes lit up when he found out the uncle had TS. It was just a really good thing for him to meet another person with the same thing he is going through.

More Answers



answers from St. Louis on

S. -

I am so sorry you are having difficulties at your school.

I would imagine that you have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) in place for your kiddo - of which includes that he should be taught in a least restrictive environment. Your assistant principal's attitude is not being 'least restrictive'. When children are placed in environments where they are automatically expected to fail (as with your assis. principal's), they often perform worse than when they are placed in environments where they are expected to succeed. The next time your assis. principal decides to make a comment like this, I would remind her of this fact.

You can give her pamphlets/handouts of your son's disorders to educate her on the facts as it seems she does not understand that it is 'real' but something he is using as a tool to manipulate you/the school system. Invite her to the next IEP meeting you have so that she can hear positive information from the teacher.

And if all else fails, go above her and talk to the principal. Her attitude is not constructive to the situation and could be making things worse.

As for your little one - if he thinks he is dumb, he can start falling into a 'self-fulfilling prophecy' in a way... not trying as hard because he doesn't think he'll succeed. Try to get him involved in activities (school-related or non-school-related) where he can see himself succeed. Something as simple as a playdate with a friend he gels with, swimming, kickball, rollerskating... whatever it is, he needs to feel he has self-worth. And remind him that intelligence doesn't always mean book-smart. There are a lot of people in the world with tons of 'book knowledge', but that doesn't make them 'smart'.

Good luck with your situation at school and with your little guy. Mine's only 3 months old and I'm already not looking forward to the pre-teen years. :)




answers from St. Louis on

Hi S.. I saw in your profile that you live in St. Charles, so hopefully I have a resource that will work for you. Check out They have "Parent Partners" who are can work with you and help you advocate for your child. You can also ask them about Crider Health Center where you can get a Care Coordinator to help with issues in the home/community. Crider has a wait list, but FACT does not. Pretty sure there is no cost!! I really hope this works for you!



answers from St. Louis on

Hi S.,
Are you involved with St. Louis Regional Center? If not, you should call the intake department ###-###-####. Regional Center Case Managers can accompany you to IEP meetings and help you advocate for your child. Some schools are worse than others when it comes to kids with developmental disabilities. Having a Case Manager from Regional Center (Department of Mental Health) sometimes helps in situations like this one. I also agree with the previous post about FACT. They are great advocates. I would also check out a few websites:

These might help you with different resources and they might also help you with the advocacy process. Good luck! If you have any other questions about Regional Center, you can PM me!



answers from St. Louis on

All of the advice that you have from the other moms is great! You need to find a way to advocate for this child and if it means getting help from a trained source, well so be it. When my oldest was in school and we were going through some issues, I found that the more you pushed for communication and action the more the school was forced to listen. If they try to push you aside, go back the next morning and ask to speak to a conselor. If that does not work ask for a meeting with the teacher and the principle. Keep going, keep pushing, keep talking until someone starts listening. There are so many children with needs and sometimes there are parents who ask for special consideration for a child that may not have special needs. I think at times the school personal can become over whelmed with everything. When it comes to a child that really needs it they can seem burned out, or as if they dont care. The point is, it is their job to care. If they dont, you do have recourse. You go up the ladder, one person at a time. Vice Principal, then Principal, then go to the Super Intendant. Keep talking until someone listens. The last resort is the media but at times it is something that needs to be done. How many times have we read an article about a business that does not provide assistance to those who are in wheel chairs or need other types of help. After the articla appears, all of a sudden, everyone is trying to solve the problem. Persistance and dertermination for your child, it will get him the help he needs.

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