Insight on Having My Child by Evaluated for Section 504 in School

Updated on September 05, 2008
D.K. asks from Pearland, TX
58 answers

Hi moms, I recently recieved a call from my son's Kinder teacher at our public school to ask if we would consider having him evaluated for special needs (Section 504). She tried to briefly explain what it does and sent paperwork home for us to read over. All this did was upset me more because it basically talks about your child being so mentally impaired he/she needs special considerations for their coursework. She is concerned because he isn't where he should be for this 6 weeks, however, his report cards haven't reflected this need for alarm. When I test him at home, he knows what he's suppose to know. He has ADHD and we have him on the Daytrana patch so he can sit and listen, this isnt the problem. I went through alot to have him tested and evaluated by the best in the field so he wouldn't be "marked" by the school district. I thought I was being helpful by letting his teacher know that he's on ADHD meds but now I feel it's come back to bite me. I love his teacher, she's been very supportive and helpful but this just blindsided me. Am I over reacting? If anyone has done this with their child I would love to hear from you! I like to hear all opinions too!

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M.D.

answers from Houston on

This may be slightly different, but the same basic concept.

My best friend for over 10 years (since college) struggled terribly when we were in school. She always had...she ultimately flunked out of the university. She has since learned of her learning disabilities (not special ed severity, but requires a little more care) and is back in school now almost ready to graduate with a Bachelor's and a 3.8 GPA! The knowledge of her learning differences and having the documentation to share with her professors has made ALL the difference!

You are doing the right thing by learning all you can about this though.

M.
www.Freedom2WorkFromHome.com/M.

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S.E.

answers from Houston on

Just a response to your comment..."I thought I was being helpful by letting his teacher know that he's on ADHD meds but now I feel it's come back to bite me."

Your revelation was probably not new knowledge for the teacher. You probably just confirmed what he/she already suspected. And teacher's don't usually work under the "gotcha" methodology. Meaning, I doubt that he/she tried to use the knowledge of your child being ADHD to their benefit (or to "bite" you because of it).

I say...listen to the modifications that your child would receive under the 504 and make your decision from there.

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E.M.

answers from San Antonio on

My daughter was founded with this problem when she was in the 2nd grade and failed. They first thought that she was needing special ed classes but she passed that. Then, thats when tested her with Dyslexia, when they see letters backwards, and have lots of problems reading and of course, that was the class that failed her. So then, I received those same papers and she was tested and is now considered A Section 504 Student, which actually isn't bad at all. They get more help in every way and every test and paperwork they get is specially read to her. Just always reassure them that they are not dumb in any way, they are special to us,,,,ALWAYS!!!!

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G.D.

answers from Houston on

Not sure what school district you are in but this usually applies to most of them. I am a Mom of a 15 yr old who went through the same thing. If I had it to do all over again, I would not have signed my daughter up for AARD. It seems to have become a crutch for everyone, including her at times I think, now that she is old enough to understand. I DEFINITELY think that Kindergarten is Way too soon to be diagnosing your child for extra help in school. It can be a benefit to those who "really" need it but if I were you, I'd seek medical, professional help and hold off on the school diagnosis. I have been told that schools are always looking out for their ratings and the easier, quicker way to get a child passed to the next level is best for those good ratings. Keep that in mind. I feel that my daughter might have benefited more in her earlier years with just a bit more help and maybe holding her back before she got too tall as she is now.

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M.H.

answers from Beaumont on

I think you need to remember that you child's teacher is a professional in her field. You should trust her judgement and recommendations. It won't hurt your child for the school to determine 504 eligibility. 504 is under the special education umbrella and includes many disabilities. I feel certain the paperwork she sent for you to read is federally mandated. Keep in mind it covers a range of disabilities from individuals with asthma to severe developmental delays. Trust your teacher and the school's diagnostician. Remember, you have the final say in your child's education. The school can make recommendations, but you have the final say.

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K.B.

answers from Houston on

Hi D.-

My son has Aspergers, a mild form of autism. He is in kindergarten this year and has done very well. We have had a 504 plan in place since the beginning of the year. I understand your concern and disappointment, but 504's are really simple and they are only there to help your son, not label him. This is an opportunity to sit down with the teacher and principal/counselor, etc and really talk about what your son needs in order to succeed in school. With the 504, things that work for your son in school will be noted and can be used by his next teacher. You don't have to worry about a new teacher having to start over with your son or rediscover the methods that work.

Honestly, I commend your son's teacher for bringing it to your attention and being proactive in getting this started for your son at such a young age.

As with anything, the 504 is only going to be as successful as you and the school make it. Before going to the meeting make your own list of your son's difficulties and think of things you would like to see the teacher's do to help in these areas. Once you've all agreed on the steps that will be taken, follow up regularly with his teachers to make sure they are still following the plan.

Good Luck!
K.

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R.

answers from San Antonio on

Being section 504 isn't a bad thing. It is not going to keep him from college or anything. All it does is get him some extra help along the way that can actually improve his chances of succeding allong the way(like extra tutoring, extra time on tests, special advantages in learning settings, etc). It doesn't mean "special ed" in the since that you probably are thinking of from when we were kids. But he can always wait until later to be evaluated if it looks necessary.

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K.C.

answers from Houston on

section 504 is not necesarilly bad, it is actually classes to deal with special needs. it's not bad, like my son's principal explained to me, it is for kids like they had last year a child was allergic to sun light, and another one who had problems taking test they had to be read to him to understand what he was reading. Both kids were honor roll students just could be in regular classes or they would fall behind. Try it for alittle bit and see how your child does, if he succeeds then good decision. If he has problems then pull him out.

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O.C.

answers from Austin on

D.,
My grandson was "labeled" ADHD and teachers were constantly harrasing us to give him drugs and enter him in speacial needs, we refused , instead took him to an acupuncturist whom was very very knowledgeable and great with kids,
we also gave him the Xango-Mangosteen juice and he is a new kid, he is now in the 6th grade and is doing well, teachers do not bother him anymore and his listening skills and grades improved tremendously.
The XanGO-Mangosteen juice helps in the area of nutrition, it has a wide array of vital nutrients. Scientists believe mangosteen receives most of its health promoting properties from compounds called xanthones. These possess numerous bioactive properties including antioxidant, antiinflammatory and antibiotic capabilities.
What if you could give your child an ounce or two of this delicous fruit juice that would provide a boost of vitamins and minerals and disease-fighting phynutrients, that has NO side effects, instead of drugs and would help heal their body? I suggest you look into it.
for the science go to www.pubmed.gov enter xanthones or mangosteen in the search box.

God bless you,
Oly

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C.G.

answers from San Antonio on

A 504 can be used for anything that affects a child's education-cancer, ADHD, behavioral issues, etc.

If you can ignore the terminology (they are just covering all the bases) and see it as an opportunity to help your son have a great school experience. A 504 may be a simple answer to what will help your DS really excel in school.

HTH and feel free to email (my DH is a school counselor and I taught for 10 years :)

Hugs~C.

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E.S.

answers from Houston on

I would take the evaluation. The 504 will allow him to get more services, this is great especially in third grade with TAKS. (I assume you are in Texas). It allows for modifcations and accomidations.

I always recommend that you make drop in or as I call them drivebys. Volunteer in the school and walk by the classroom and it will give you a better picture of what's happening.

My son has special accomidations and some of them are followed however I have to monitor and occasionaly remind them when one is not being used. Like sitting in the front row in group, and 100's chart on desk and access to an ABC Chart.

It also opens up the discussion about developing an individualized behavior plan to adress the issues the teacher is seeing. My sons is work accomplishment so now he earns a sticker for each task he completes. All positive. What do we want him to be doing that he is not doing now. How can we reinfoce that behavior when he does do it. In my house at the end of the day he shows me stickers and we discuss them and celebrate with cookies or Mc Donald's, extra video game time.

Don't panic yet! You sound wonderfully involved.

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J.S.

answers from Houston on

I just wanted to say that children can act differently at home and at school. As a teacher I often had parents telling me that the behavior I saw in the classroom was not what the child was like at home. I would have a conference with the teacher. Remember people do not go into education for the money or prestige they do it because they love children. If possible I would suggest spending some time in the class observing. It would give you a better idea of what the teacher is seeing everyday

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C.M.

answers from Houston on

You should not worry about labels. The 504 plan will be a benefit to your son. It will allow him to have modifications that will help he succeed, especially when it comes time for testing which public schools place so much emphasis on. You have to think about what is best for your son. Labels are not important.

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L.W.

answers from Austin on

The section 504 won't "mark" your child. I have a daughter who is also ADHD. I had her in private schools with eight or nine in a class until high school. When she started in the public schools without as much one on one attention it became more difficult. The section 504 allowed her to get printed notes (the note taking was at first very difficult) and reduce the amount of homework. For instance she might do every other problem of the math assignment. This helped by allowing her to do her work and learn while not overwhelming her since her focus time was limited. The section 504 is an aide for anyone with ANY sort of learning disability. It doesn't mean your child is not intelligent or has some terrible mental impairment. My daughter is now 21 and a student at Texas State. She has an overall 3.4 GPA and last semester made a 4.0 She has the opportunity to use the section 504 in college, but never has. She is very intelligent. Your son is just beginning his journey through school. It doesn't get easier. Easing frustration and making it easier to learn and make progress will keep your son's self esteem elevated which is crucial for children with ADHD. ADHD kids, undiagnosed and untreated have a very high drop out rate along with other problems. Your son's teacher sounds great! Don't take offense to it. It's no different then getting glasses for someone with vision problems. It's only an aide. Good luck.

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C.C.

answers from Austin on

504 will be very important for your child, especially as he progresses through school. Each year will get harder, and if he qualifies for 504, he has access to accomodations that can make life easier. Right now you may not see that he needs it, but by 4th and 5th grade the work load gets very overwhelming for a lot of ADHD kids. Having access to shortened or reduced assignments makes life much easier. Without this, many kids spend 3 to 4 hours completing homework each night. Many kids also struggle with the TAKS test. 504 allows for accomodations there as well. He can even have the math test read to him if needed. You are always included on the process. With any program, we want to create the least restrictive environment, so we don't want any child to have any more mods than they really need. We want them to have a level playing field with every other kid.
As a school counselor I can promise you that the school REALLY doesn't want to just stick kids in 504. I takes time and resources to manage every kid in the program. Good Luck!

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S.G.

answers from San Antonio on

hi! i was a speech therapist in the school district for years. do you know the purpose of a 504? it's gives your child special accomadationss...such as more test taking time, preferential seating, etc. but it need to be in place with an existing cause, such as ADHD...do they know he has that? i wouldn't be offended by it, but his teacher is trying to get him extra help so he can succeed. that paperwork is awful in terms of the terminology they use! i would have to use the same paperwork using words like, disablity, for a child who came to see me for not artivulating an "R" correctly! don't lose sight of the benefits the 504 has to offer your child b/c of the harsh lingo....good luck!

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P.B.

answers from Houston on

Having a 504 doesn't mean they're mentaly challenged and you should be HAPPY that the school's intiating it, usually it's like pulling teeth to get them to do it!! My son has an IQ of 140, but he needed a 504 because he also has dyslexia and dysgraphia. If the teacher has requested it, I'm kind of suprised she hasn't mentioned to you the reason why. Go to the meeting, find out why and don't go with negative thoughts or you'll be defensive. Listen and evaluate what they're saying - it might be the best thing for your child.

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J.W.

answers from Austin on

It is awesome that you have taken the initiative to get your child tested and treated outside the schools. (I was an OT in school districts for 15 years). He is very fortunate to have parent(s) who are objective enough to see that he has issues and to not be in denial about them for whatever reason. Now take this same spirit and carry it forward in the schools. If you observe issues with him at home, then these may be magnified in the school setting with the changes in routine, people, excess noise, etc. (as in life away from home). His teacher is doing her job and trying to help your child. Remember that what your child can do at home on a 1:1 may not be possible for him in a group setting with all the distractions. He's lucky to have a supportive teacher. Schedule a conference with her and listen to her. Remember, you and the school staff have the same goal: to maximize and enhance your child's learning. Work with the teacher, testers, counselors, etc. and keep communication open. Let him get tested and receive whatever services (FREE) the school district has to offer. And yes, he will need to be "labeled" to get the services, and this will be OK. If I were in your shoes, I would network with other parents of special needs children in the same school and in your community--for emotional support AND to apprise yourself of state and federal guidelines re. education/special ed. Staying alone with your feelings is not helping you or your child. I can tell you this from my experience: the parents who worked WITH the school staff, therapists, etc. in regard to their child had the most well-adjusted kids then AND 15 years later (last summer I went to a "reunion" of students, teachers and parents, and it was the supportive and open-minded parents whose kids accomplished things beyond my imagination). So, let your ego go, talk proudly to others about your unique and wonderful child, have fun meeting other parents, working with other teachers, therapists, meeting other students with similar needs, etc. And IF your child has delays in academics, gross and fine motor skills, visual-motor skills, and speech (not just articulation, but comprehension/expression), MAKE SURE he gets tested by an occupational therapist and a speech pathologist so he can receive these FREE services in the school district. If he does NOT qualify for these services in the schools (they must be RELATED to his academic issues), then please consider getting these services privately in the community (or in ADDITION to them, because therapists in schools have limits with time and resources), and it sound like you have just the right skills to work with the therapists to get your insurance company to pay for them. Good luck! jenifer

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D.R.

answers from San Antonio on

I'm getting certified to teach and I'm taking a special education class. If we are told a child has ADHD, they are not covered under special education but they are covered under section 504 which is for kids with disabilities. I've had ADHD for most of my life and while I've learned ways to sit still and listen in lecture, I've also had lots of times where I had to ask a friend what I missed as far as the directions were concerned or I was so fidgety that I'd make art projects like knit a scarf during class, etc. So I think your son's teacher is trying to help y'all out and may want to be able to make special accommodations for him such as having someone repeat directions to him, letting him take a walk, or to let him do his work standing up, etc. He has ADHD and at some point in time, he may not want meds or they may not be enough or he may just feel like for five minutes of class he wants to get up and walk around and so the teacher would help him out but giving him worksheets to pass out or something like that. As well, I think all of that stuff like special education services or disabilities has to do with funding for the school so it's possible they would get more funds into his classroom for say a teacher assistant if he's labeled as having a disability. She is trying to help you out and no one is saying your kid isn't smart enough to do anything in life he wants to do. My boyfriend has ADD and he's finishing up med school this year.

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M.B.

answers from El Paso on

Whatever you do, DON"T allow your child to be "evaluated". I have been a teacher for over 30 years and within the past ten or so, I have found that the "evaluation" is the same as the "label". Help your kid at home. Encourage him to take pride in his work. Love him a ton! Tell the teacher that if he cannot do the work this year that you would like for him to repeat the grade next year! Don't mess with this "evaluation" Schools get more money for each kid they can label. Good Luck.

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D.N.

answers from Victoria on

First let me say I have five children with the youngest being 13 years old. I am also curently raising a 2 year old that we may be adopting soon. If I had to do it all over again with my kids there are several things that I would do differently, one of the things on top of that list is I would have my son in special services tested much earlier then I did.

My middle child (now 16yrs old) has high functioning autism. He also has an IQ of 144, so he is by no means what many would place into the category as "Special Education." However the vision of special education that many of us can recall from our school days is very different than what it is there for. It is to provide services specially for your childs education needs. Once a child is under the specal education umbrella they are PROTECTED. But also keep in mind that 504 does not give them that protection.

Let me give you an example of that protection...My son has panic attacks when furniture is moved around, when he is singled out in class (called on, asked to read aloud, etc) and a couple of other situations. The panic attack is a manifestation of his 'disability.' The disability being Autism. Under the special education protection that means that he can't be punished for his disability.

So when he had a panic attack in school because the teacher tried to force him to the front of the room, completely unaware of his disability, then the school called the police to issue a citation, YEP! you got it they broke several state and federal laws that are there to protect children with disabilities. When he has a panic attack he runs out of the room goes to the bathroom and cries until he settles down and then returns to class. (No violence, just panic)

With your child it would mean he will get services that will help him deal with his ADHD in a school setting but at the same time protect him from being punished for that disability. That means they can not suspend him from school because he runs in the hallway, or taps his pencil in every class......or when he gets older, runs his drum sticks down the lockers in the hallway during a class. Ok...that last one may just need dicipline, my 14 year old with ADHD sure needed it!

Talk to other parents, look at the resources the school has to help him with ADHD, look at examples of an IEP (Individual Education Plan) and also a BIP. (Behavior Intervention Plan) Think about what you would like from the school to help your son. And don't forget what he may need this year will change almost every year. As he grows it may even change several times a school. But that's Ok just call another ARD and discuss the issues at hand. If you don't think you are getting accross to the school very well look for a Professional Advocate, that's what they are there for!

Never stop researching...you will find what will best suit his needs!

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K.T.

answers from Houston on

We have our son in section 504. He is severly ADHD. If the school already knows he is ADHD, then the 504 only allows certain protocols to be put in place for your child. Longer times to take tests, oral instead of written, etc. Have you had an ARD yet? If not, I would request one immediately. An ARD is a meeting with his teacher, principal, and you. I know it's all very scary. I have a nephew that is PDD, so a lot of this was familiar to me when we started. Our son was also in speech from age 3 to present, so he was already under the "special education" umbrella.
We also went through the same thing with Matthew in kinder. His teacher was saying the same thing. At the end of the year, although he was passing, she recommended holding him back. She and I both prayed about what was best. In the end, we sent him to 1st. He struggled with maturity. I didn't see it as much as his teacher did. Although he was passing in 1st, we did decide to hold him back. This was very difficult for him and us. Apparently, ADHD children are very immature. This year, he is in 1st for the 2nd time. He is doing awesome!!! He is making 96,98,99's on his report cards and actually fits in!! He finally matured. I knew his teachers always had his best interest at heart, that made it easier to follow their advice.
You need to specifically pray. Only you know what is best for your son, but you can work WITH his teacher. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, the school cannot force you to do anything.

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M.H.

answers from Houston on

I totally understand where you are coming from. Being in 504 doesn't necessarily mean that your child is mentally impaired. However, having your child "labeled" as 504 is not a bad thing. I have a 13 yr old ADHD child and a 10 yr old dyslexic, ADD child. Both of my children are very bright, but they have needed some help. 504 has been a God send. In Texas, unlike having an ARD meeting (which is set up with annual meetings,the school calls the shots and it remains that way for a year), you call the shots. You get to decide when you want the meetings, what modifications you want for your child and the duration, and you can change it at any time. You are not tied to yearly meetings. I am able to get my children modifications to help them feel more successful. I had my older son 504'd in 5th and 6th grades and now he no longer needs it. My younger son has been 504'd since 2nd grade (he's now in 4th grade). My younger son is able to have more time to take tests, more time to complete assignments and have general school work and homework shortened so he doesn't feel frustrated by the amount of work. He can also take oral tests which helps as well. He is able to get tests read to him which really helps with his dyslexia. But he also has some control. He can do complete assignments or read everything for himself. He is much happier. It even shortened the number of words he has to do for spelling tests. They just make sure that he knows the concept of the lesson and if he is able to do that successfully there is no need to make him complete so many more problems. Both of my children are A-B students and I couldn't be prouder. If you do this, make sure that it DOES stay on his school record all the way through school. That way, it carries over to college and he can continue the modifications with him. This has also helped with my dyslexic sister-in-law who is in college and gets modifications to her college testing. Best of luck to you and your family.

S.P.

answers from Houston on

Just to let you know, I have been a special education teacher for 10 years. Last year I made the jump to general education and now have an inclusion class.

Section 504 and special education are very DIFFERENT things. Section 504 is available to anyone. It is so that any individual identified witha disability has equal opportunity by having accomodation and modifications made available for them. This is most commonly done for dyslexia and children with ADD or ADHD. It is not for children that are having academic concerns and "falling behind".

Special Education services are offered once a child has been evaluated by a school psychologist or diagnostician. There has to be a noted educational need. MANY children are having academic concerns; however, DO NOT qualify for special services. Especially at such a young age as Kindergarten...He is so young and needs educational opportunity. That would be alot more than the little he has received up to this point. Furthermore, a teacher CANNOT tell you your child has a disability...she is not qualified. She can suggest further testing to rule out concerns though!

My suggestion is leave him alone and give him a chance. If his grades do not reflect her concerns, give him a chance. Furthermore, it is one 6 weeks period! He is ADHD so therefore, he may need some accomodations...this does not make him special education.

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A.H.

answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't be offended or hurt by it. It isn't generally saying anything is wrong it is just a way for them to grade him on a curve so that he isn't kept behind the other students for some reason. This offers more resources for your child. I understand not wanting your child "marked" but school is so different now that most all kids are mainstreamed and no one but the staff has any idea which kids are what unless it is a very very severe case that has to have constant one on one attention.

It could help his classroom receive an aide which is a wonderful thing because it gives the children more one on one help. My 7 yr old son is being graded on a curve for his handwriting and I am very thankful. I surely wouldn't want him held back or impose self esteem issues because he can't write like the other children. We as parents, help our children at home and our children get used to our ways. We even give hints and don't realize it. At school it is a different atmosphere and the teachers can't spend a long time on one question like we might. It is also can make a child more nervous.

My older son had speech problems and I signed him up for speech before he even went to kindergarten because I was so worried about him being labeled special ed. I was so worried about other kids making fun of him and teacher's not working with him and then I learned how the system works and I learned how foolish I would be to not give him every aspect of what was offered. I calmed down about it and decided I wanted him to get every resource available. The one on one time he received was incredible towards his success in school. He is 13 now. My 7 yr old has the writing issue and speech as well and he is also getting one on one attention that "normal" kids don't get. You will be surprised at how much that extra one on one attention will help your child on every level of learning.

I would go to the ARD meeting and express your concerns. I am sure once she began talking to you your emotions took hold and you really didn't hear what she said. I know you want the best for him and you don't want him to be labeled, but I have seen how other kids were jealous of my older son for getting pulled out of class for speech so it actually had the adverse effect that the kids wished they could go.

Good luck...

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S.C.

answers from San Antonio on

I taught kindergarten for 5 years before becoming a stay at home mom. The help that your child can get from this testing will make a big difference in his education. If you really like his teacher and she has been caring and supportive then she only has your son's best intrests at heart.

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D.M.

answers from Houston on

Hi D.,

well, here is my take for what it's worth. I have a 5 yr-old in kinder in dpisd and i also work at his school with 504 children. The exact same thing recently happen with my child. It is the best thing that can take place. It does not mean that your child is mr or special ed. The 504 act was created so that children that might need extra help can get it. For example if the class work is to lenthly for him or her it may be modified so that they only do 7 problems when 10 are assigned. It also means that if they need extra help with reading or whatever they will receive one on one help from an aide. It is an awesome program and i am soooo glad my son is in it. The district is now forced to give him extra attention as long as he needs it. Another example, starting in 3rd grade he will have to start taking the taks test. If he needs to take it one on one because he can not test in the classroom due to distraction they will do that. If he will do better with the taks read to him they will do that. Believe it or not it is a blessing. If the child ever has a disipline problem it is treated much more gentle than a non 504 child. It does not mean there is anything wrong with your child it is a good thing.

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G.P.

answers from Beaumont on

A 504 allows your child to have access to additional resources. I requested a evaluation on my child. Through this he was able to get OT and some extra tlc in the speech area. He responds great to one on one, but not in a group situation, so this helped so much.

I did finally have him evaluated outside of the educational arena with a psychologist, and their tests also indicated some lack of progress in some areas. Eventually got on some ADD medicine to help with concentration, and got him some one on one Slyvan help too. He was on the 504 system until his testing indicated he was on level or above.

Hope this helps.

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S.T.

answers from Houston on

I would do it- I really don't see how it could hurt as it gives him some 'disability' allowance.

I wish I had something like that- I have autism and school and college was so extremely difficult. I really needed extra time for tests, ect. I have a high IQ and my science professor never understood why I seemed 'brilliant' in my papers but I failed every test as though I didn't understand the questions. Well, the fact was that I really DIDN'T understand the tests, but I understood the books we were reading. I would have failed the class if it weren't for the fact that I made 100% on all the research papers, book reports, essays ect, which evened out my grade to a C.

I know you say that he's doing well right now but she obviously seems concerned so I would go ahead and see about getting the 504.

Also, I highly recommend you get the ADHD Autism Kid Friendly cook book and eliminate all artificial anything such as colors and sweeteners and limit sugar. You've probably heard all this before, but it took me at the verge of getting my oldest on medication before I put her on this diet (she is 100% gluten free.)

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S.P.

answers from Houston on

Just wanted to say that I am surprised that the school is suggesting this as alot of time they do not like it as it is to your child's benefit. You will find as he goes thru school that some teachers do not deal with adhd very well and they do not want to comprimise but with the 504 program they do not have an option. You can make request and they have to abide by it as he is on the program. So it is a great advantage for your child and you as a parent. Hope all goes well!

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S.A.

answers from Killeen on

Apparently there must be something the teacher sees that suggest that your son should be evaluated for special services. ADHD can be that something, HOWEVER, it needs to be affecting his school work. This does not mean he has a menta disorder. If his report card is not showing deficiencies then I would certainly follow that up. Now, that said, I hear you say that your child is answering you correctly when you quiz him at home. I have worked with many kindergarten student who's parents say, well they know it at home. Is it possible that he won't tell the teacher?

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K.F.

answers from Austin on

Hi! I work in the education field...I taught special education for 6 years and I am now a diagnostician who tests students to determine if they are eligible for special education.

In order for a student to be admitted into 504, he would have to have a disability that substantially impacts one or more daily life activities. Learning is considered one such activity, so your son would have to demonstrate a disability that significantly impacts his learning. I don't know all of the data needed to make this determination based on what you shared here, but if his grades or behavior at school is NOT being impacted severely, then it doesn't sound like he would even qualify for this program. Schools look at grades, TAKS testing, formal testing, district test scores, behavior records, etc. etc. etc. before making this determination. Also, if he does qualify for services, you can refuse them...you are his parent and YOU make the choice. If the school is adamant, there is a legal procedure that is followed.

I hope this helps...if you have any questions, ASK someone in the field you can trust!

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C.P.

answers from Houston on

My son was tested and diagnosed as LLD (late language development). He attended a private Christian pre-school with the director/teacher having a special ed. degree, with the thought she would help him...found out years later, she did not. He next attended an expensive Montessori school, in which I saw very little progress, so I put him in public school. He was placed in a regular classroom with resource time as needed. Each school year I spoke with the principals/counselors concerning his classroom teachers placement...being a teacher and in the school system, I was aware of the teachers he would do well with or who would not understand his mannerism and how to cope with them.
With his different schooling in his beginning schooling, he was a year behind his age group. It did not make a difference until high school and sports...he ran cross country. Because he would be 19 before he graduated, he would not be able to participate in spring sports...unless classified as 504.
Being classified as 504, because he was easily distracted, he was allowed to take tests in a different locations, given extra time, if needed, and oral tests if desired. He was okay with this.
He went on to a small private church junior college and has his associate degree. At this school, they had many students with learning disabilities, but not the inability to learn. The teachers and counselors worked together and with the students.
You can have your child evaluate and placed as 504 as long as needed. You can always request your child to be taken out of the 504 classification. I have found that the 504 has been helpful for the student, especially when a teacher may not be willing/or understand the classification, which is in the best interest of the child.

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J.L.

answers from San Antonio on

I am a Grandmother with 2 grandchildren with special needs. My daughter had her son tested very young. He is autistic. The states they have lived in have to take care of kids with special needs, no matter what their problem. I know Texas has very good help for most children with needs. Don't hesitate to stand up for your child and what the state is supposed to do for them. hat is what we pay taxes for. Also, the Scottish Rite has testing for children, don't know the route to take but call your local Scottish Rite and ask them what they offer.

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T.H.

answers from Austin on

My son is also ADHD and is now taking Concerta. In 2nd grade he was having great difficulties the first 9 wks. After months of working with the teacher and with my son at home, his grades were just not up to par. Barely passing as a matter of fact. And he is a very bright boy from what the teachers, counselors, etc told me. Of course I already knew that. I finally broke down and made the appt with his Pedi and started him on Focalin. Of course his grades improved by leaps and bounds. The school even tested him for learning disabilites prior to us going to the Pedi. They could not see any LD's at all. However, working one on one with my son, he did much better (this is prior to meds). I say that because you mentioned at home he did great with you. So even after meds, he did much better in class, he still had a difficult time finishing work etc. So the 504 program for my son is simply called "Content Mastery". When he is having a hard time getting work done and needs some one on one time at school, he is allowed to go to the 'special ed' department for that help! There is nothing to be ashamed of and please take any help the school offers you.

I completely understand how you feel!!!! Trust me! I kept thinking 'NOT MY CHILD!' 'He's so smart!' etc etc. The thought of giving him 'drugs' scared me. I tried all natural EVERYTHING. I finally realized the long term affects of him not being on meds and not having 504 would be much worse than not giving him that opportunity. I am thankful for the opportunity his school gives him. (and its free:)

Best of luck!

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M.C.

answers from McAllen on

I am a teacher now retired, however. I urge you to seek help from an herbologist and change your childs diet and TV viewing (a more mild approach is very helpful) before the meds have an adverse affect in the long run. I have seen many people Parents, Teachers Doctors and family members rely too much and blindly on meds. Your child is composed and influenced by many things. Life style, enviroment, diet, excercise, and structure. All these play a very important part in a child's life. My son is now 13 and we were once told he may be ADHD. Well I refused to put him on meds and changesd his diet, paid more attention to him and redirected his energy towards positive things. More reading together and acting, singing, drawing, playing with clay, playing outside, painting, removed negative cartoons and introduced the Veggie Tales Cartoons AND brought structure into his life. Because I was in college at the time I did not make time for him. When we were faced with the fact that his speech was delayed and he was such a wire to top it off... I wept!!! We put him on a schedule and structured his life and ours too. His things were always kept in the same place and we now had him on a routine. Something none of us lived by in our house. The only thing that was routine was college and work. Everything else was chaos. Well we now had a scheduled time for meals, bath time, reading, play, sleep. All these and more in all our lives became planned and structured for his sake and our sanity. Well he is now 13, was never on meds and scored one of the highest scores in GT, yet we refused to put him in the Gifted and Talented program. We have had so many ordeals with people wanting him on meds and all that we just pulled away from everything and prayed and cried. He is now in a fine Christian school, involved in drama and volunteers doing standup puppet shows for a store in our area. Don't you give up on you child. Its up to you if you want him tested with 504 its nothing more than a chance for your child to probably get easier courses that won't be very demanding for his teacher and your child. Its like a blanket that will make school smoother for your child. Please make an effort to seek out a more natural approach. Your little one is so young to already be on meds. It pains me to hear such things because our sone was almost swept away by the system. The Lord prevailed. We now have a bright and very talented boy in our hands and we are proud to say its without meds.

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M.K.

answers from Austin on

I am a teacher so this is where my knowledge is coming from...
504 does not necessarily mean "mentally impaired." Students fall under 504 through the American Disabilities Act and 504 is different from Special Education. Students qualify for 504 for things like ADHD, dyslexia, a physical impairment...etc.
In the middle school level some of our 504 kiddos may have accommodations such as testing in a small group. This can help a student that is easily distracted not to be in a room with 30 other kids.

I would give the school a chance to explain further. If he does qualify - parents are on the committee to discuss accommodations. If you feel they are giving him to many, you have the right to say NO.

Example - Dyslexia student may not be counted off for spelling. As a parent you can deny this. Perhaps you want your child to be held accountable for spelling.

I hope this helps.

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C.B.

answers from Houston on

My 14 yr old son has ADD/ADHD and we applied for this help. The student gets more help in the classroom and is not singled out. Wish we would have dont his sooner---we waited until Jr. high.
Hope that helps.
cb

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R.K.

answers from Austin on

I am a retired teacher of 36 years experience in Louisiana; but have dealt with 504 students as well as a 504 son. In Louisiana 504 simply means that your child will receive extra time on projects, tests and other areas where he is having difficulties. Since 504 is a national law; I'm assuming it is similiar in Texas. If the school knows he is on medication I believe they have to give him accomodations for his disabilities (ADHD). It isn't like Special Education, it is just accomodations (extra time/someone helping him take notes/someone helping to remind him to stay on tasks). It is especially helpful during tests like the state ones he'll have to take starting with 3rd grade. He would be tested in a smaller group and given more time. I'd talk to the guidance counselor at the school and get her explanation of how it works at your school. Hope this helps.

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G.K.

answers from Austin on

My 15 year old was considered "special needs" through last year (9th grade). When he was very young, ear infections caused him to be unable to hear certain sounds and caused a speech problem. The special needs program enabled him to get extra instruction in certain areas, allowed him to have more time (if necessary) for testing and let him get help from a professional speech therapist at no charge to us. Before a child is entered into the program, they are required to meet with you (called an ARD). At that time, they must document anything that they feel needs to be addressed and outline a "plan of action". They can do nothing without your permission and as long as they keep your son mainstreamed, there will be little difference in the classroom situations because course helps are coordinated with the same time the rest of the class is doing the same.
The only reason we let my son stay for so long was because of the transitions from elementary to middle school and then on to high school. As a sophomore, he is an honors student (making mostly A's with a couple of B's), taking all Pre-AP (honors) courses and has enough credits to be considered a junior. Most schools now do not label students as they did years ago and I was very satified with the help my son received.

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D.B.

answers from Killeen on

While it may be hard to hear that his teacher feels this way, it would give you a yes or no answer to an important issue in your sons education. My sister is a teacher as well and she looks at issues with her students very carefully before giving the parent her opinion. Your son may be perfectly healthy and on track with school. However, if he is not, this would get him the help he needs to succeed. I would have a sit down with his teacher and maybe others at the school as well and ask them why they feel it is neccessary and what the possible outcomes could be first. Then you will be better equipped to make the best decission for your child. Good luck!

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A.B.

answers from Beaumont on

D. - 504 is not actually special eduation, it's like telling the school and the state that your son will need a few special privledges that the other kids won't have access too. As a teacher myself and a son who is actually is in special education, it would probably be in your son's best interest to have access to 504 modifications. There really is little to fear nowadays with 504 or special education "labels." 30 years ago it enabled the school to place a kid in a seperate biulding and provide basically life skills, but today parents and their kids have so many rights. You ultimately have the final say in whether your son is 504, the school/teacher can not do anything without your consent. Many of my 504 kids just have a tough time reading and need a little help or more time to test. Consider 504 as the kids who need a little extra time to learn or a little more support, but ARE NOT SPECIAL EDUCATION. Finally, they will evaluate him every couple of years and retract any modifications he not longer needs as he grows. Don't panic, just get more information.

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G.B.

answers from Houston on

It wouldn't hurt to have him evaluated. How can teachers help your child unless they know the full extent of his learning ability? Since he's on medication (great!) they already know he may have some issues. Without testing they're flying blind.

My child was put on medication at the beginning of third grade and it was a lifesaver. We, too, had her evaluated so that we (and her teachers) would know exactly what she needed.

Once the test results come back you will have the choice as to whether you agree with the education plan.

Cathy

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M.E.

answers from San Angelo on

Without being rude, yes, you are overreacting. Your child is not being "marked" by the school district. As the mother of an ADHD child with a learning disability who has now graduated and will be 22 next week, I know it is not the end of the world to be labled ADHD, LD, or 504. Thank GOD we have come to a place in society, and especially in the education system, where children's needs can be addressed and they can be successful and go on to lead happy fulfilled lives with many options. There was a time when students who could not sit still and pay attention during class were considered mentally retarded and stuck in a self contained classroom somewhere learning life skills. There was a time when students with learning disabilities were also considered "retarded" and put into those same classes. Now, however, schools have highly trained personell on staff that have Master's degrees and Doctorates who can evaluate our children and find out that they have good IQ's but for some reason are not performing to their ability. THey can 504 them or Special Ed them and provide support, modifications, or accomodations that can help them past these little bumps and insure that they are successful. My suggestion would be to let the school evaluate him. See what they find/say and go from there. Just because they evaulate does not mean they will find a need...but if they do...find it early. Figure out how to help him overcome it and get past it or live with it. It is a good thing. Information and knowledge is the key.

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A.H.

answers from Odessa on

Please don't be alarmed by the 504 suggestion. This will simply take into consideration your child's needs and make modifications in the classroom and testing environment to ensure your child's succuss in school. I would definitely set up a meeting with your child's principal and the diagnostician to be further educated on this. Please remember that our schools' intentions are not to label children, but to make sure they are successful in the classroom and in life and a 504 could do that for your child.

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C.S.

answers from Houston on

Hi D.,

I understand your pain. We went through a much similar situation earlier this year. My 6yr old was doing great when the school year started, then come November(ish), he started to stop working all together. I was getting almost daily emails from his teacher saying he's not working, he refuses to do anything she asks, and he was missing p.e. and recess b/c he wouldn't work. She felt he was doing so poorly b/c he wasn't able to do the work. That his skill level wasn't up to where the rest of his class was. After a bit of a fight, and crying all the time, we had him moved to another class. That teacher saw immediately (within 2 weeks), that not only could he do the work, but that he could do 2nd and 3rd grade work. Since January, he has been moved to the gifted and talented class. He is in 1st grade, but he is in all above grade/level classes and doing fabulous.

I would seriously recommend that you sit down with his counselor at school, and demand that something else be done. He only has you to stand up for him. If you know he's capable, then prove it to them. Good luck and please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

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T.L.

answers from Austin on

Hi D.,
My son has ADHD.When his first grade teacher called me and wanted to know if i would consider him for testing was alittle tough for me too.I also let them know he had ADHD so that they could understand why he couldn'nt sit still or pay attention like they wanted him too.He just couldn't.I had him tested and it was the best thing for him because it allowed him to get the proper teaching hes need to be able to be succesful in school.hes now in the 11th grade.Through out his middle and high schooling meetings called ARDS have been held twice a year including him, so that we can do what best suits him to learn.I'm sure you may not like the idea of your son having a learning disability but if thats the case you HAVE to do whats best for him to learn and stay in school.

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J.K.

answers from Austin on

Please do not get so upset about the school trying to help your child. Did you read ,or talk to the teacher, or therapists about what kind of extra help they want to provide for him? The 504 section usually includes testing and extra help for children with learning disabilities, dyslexia and other mild, reversable learning problems. I am a special ed. inclusion pre-k teacher and it seems to me that you are over reacting to the school. Extra help for your child early on can only benefit him. I would suggest that you ask what types of things you can do at home to support the school program. Work together with the teacher for the benefit of your child. If they find that he does not need extra help, then that is fine too. Do not feel that your child will be "marked". J. K.

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L.C.

answers from Austin on

As a high school teacher, I know that there is no stigma associated with being identified as a 504 student. Your child has ADHD which is one of the covered conditions of 504. The assistance provided by 504 is only meant to help your child by putting him on the same "playing field" as the other students without conditions like ADHD. At the school where I teach in North Austin, many students identified as needing 504 assistance are in the top 10%, class leaders, popular, and have viable university aspirations. Other students don't know about the diagnosis if you are worried that your child will be mocked. Only the teacher will know and it gives them the ability to give your child every bit of help they can to ensure their success. The only caveat I will give you is that some students use the identification to "just get by" and not excell. Most of these students were identified in middle school and don't want to work. I would encourage your son to work as hard as he can all through his schooling and use the assistance provided by his teachers to be the bright and successful student that you know he can be.

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C.K.

answers from Houston on

I am an Educational Diagnostician. I understand your concern for your son and applaud your efforts to obtain help for him privately so that he can learn and be the best he can be. Often, medication is all that is needed to help a student. Sometimes, problems remain despite medication and educational testing is designed to identify the source of the difficulty. New laws are in place this school year that require the school to provide additional help to students before requesting permission for this testing. No doubt, that has happened. Please bear in mind that report cards do not tell the whole story. If you have the written test results from the private testing, I urge you to share this information with the Educational Diagnostician at your son's school.

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J.N.

answers from Corpus Christi on

Please stay calm... I worked in the school setting for many years.

Section 504 will allow your son to have Modifications for his classwork and home work without being in a "special Education classroom"... it will allow the teacher to modify his assignments and testing situations that will help him out.

I suggest you request a meeting with the school representative to get a better explanation of the benefits of 504... it's not a LABEL but a way to keep him successful and allow him to receive services that will benefit you and him in the long run.

I would have my daughter tested. I believe in the system that was set up for children with ADD and ADHD who may have difficulty doing assignments and taking tests in a "classic" classroom set up.

J.

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T.D.

answers from Houston on

Hi D.,
I have a 2 1/2 yr old that was diagnosed last year with autism. I don't think I would worry about him being marked at school. I think that it is great that his teacher is that concerned about it and wants to have him tested.
In my experience and what I have read, most schools are over whelmed with special need children and are under funded in this area and don't usually actively seek children to test unless they really feel it would benefit the child.

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M.G.

answers from Waco on

D.,

I've been involved in special education in the public school system for 9 years now - as a parent - and my philosophy is to TAKE ANYTHING THAT IS OFFERED TO YOU! So many parents are begging for help with their kids. If the school is offering it, let them do the testing, let them give him special help. Too many parents are worried about their kids being "labeled". Guess what - if there's something wrong with your child, they are going to get "labeled" anyway. you may get throught the testing and find out he's perfectly normal. Then your mind would be put at ease. If there is something wrong, ignoring it is not going to make it go away. Early intervention is the KEY. Take all the help you can get!

Just my humble opinion.

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M.M.

answers from Corpus Christi on

Don't look at this as a curse. It is a blessing in disguise. My son has ADHD and he has had severe problems since age 4 (he's now 14). We went through several years of problems in school and it was in the 4th grade when someone final suggested 504 in his ARD meeting. I was upset but when I learned more about it, it was a chance for him to proceed with this classmates or he would have been held back. It goes all the way thru 12th grade. It is there to help. He doesn't use it very much anymore, but the teachers can adjust or make his assignments shorter if necessary. He had trouble with cursive writing and would get points off for printing an assignment, this program allowed the teachers to accept it the way he could do it. What's better, having your child do it the way he can or not at all. It is just a way for him to get more individualized help. Sometimes in the classroom the teacher does not have time to invest in one child. This does. This is what it was designed for. Also, proudly I can say my son is in excelled classes and has chosen excelled classes for next year. Maybe he has to have a little extra guidance at times, but he never would have attempted the advanced if this program wasn't there for him. He would have stuck with the basic classes and it has given him the choice to succeed. He can get additional tutoring if he needs it. Case in point, next year his classes will include geometry and chemistry.

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J.L.

answers from Austin on

My son is 11 yrs old and is a SEction 504 kid at his charter school. It is wonderful! He is NOT on meds because I shop with Melaleuca and use their superior vitamins. And, with that he gets the extra modifications he needs at school, such as longer to get tests done and altered homework assignments, such as not as many problems. Section 504 is not full-blown special education and does not "mark" your child. It is meant to help them by getting them help so they won't stand out as different. When my son was in public schools he was not getting Section 504 help and he felt really stupid because he was being held to the same standard as the other kids and expected to memorize things he just can't in the time allowed. I would encourage you to consider Section 504 and be specific as to what modifications your child needs. They have to be specific and no other students in the class need to know.

Good luck. I am not a fan of ADHD meds. There are other safer alternatives that work great.

J.
www.livetotalwellness.com

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T.S.

answers from Killeen on

A few months ago we had one of these for our son. We sat down with one of the APs and his two teachers. They voiced their concerns and we went over the items on the checklist. Most of them were not applicable for our son, so we picked the ones we thought would benefit him the most. He has a behavior modification plan which allows the teacher and parents along with help from the counselors to come up with a way to help him through the times he's having difficulty in class and begins to be a disturbance. Also, he gets pulled from the class to test with a small group when their is a big test (such as CBAs and TAKS). This helps him concentrate better. During this meeting, they also go over a form that your child's doctor filled out with their suggestions on how to help your child succeed through school. I would suggest to attend the meeting and listen to what you have to say. To my understanding, unless your child has become a behavioral issue (i.e. they're about to expel him from school), they will not implement any part of the 504 without your permission. Good luck!

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T.S.

answers from San Antonio on

I don't think the school "marks" them...I am a teacher in NEISD and when we 504 kids, it allows us to give that child access to MORE resources, or basically the help that they need. The teacher absolutely needs to know your child is ADHD and the school wants nothing but the best for your child. We see them working in a educational environment and can help recognize if the meds are working or the child is being given the correct dose. It is so important to work with the teacher. We cannot help kids if we don't know the whole child. I recommend writing a letter to the principal and requesting a teacher who works well with ADHD kids too. They have special needs and in a classroom environment having a teacher who takes the time to stop and work with your child when he is off task, is having trouble completing an assignment, or having trouble with a classmate is so important. They have to learn how to control their behavior, take deep breaths when needed, or to know when to just walk away from a frustrting situation.

Trust the school and don't see 504 as a "mark" against him. It is a tool to allow your child access to MORE resources and to the help that he needs. Eventually they will exit out...that is the goal. I cannot express to you enough how important it is to work with the teacher. The kids who are 504ed or in special ed are children with average IQ's and are not functioning at that level (which is a HUGE misconception, so many people think they are the dumb kids and they aren't). Kids who are mentally challenged don't usually qualify for services in the schools because their IQ's are below average. If your son qualifies for 504, then he could get services like Content Mastery or an instructional aide (one on one instruction) in the classroom, etc. Just find out why he qualifies and what sevices he would be offered. Don't get mad or defensive, we are wanting to help your child and this is one of the ways.

In NEISD it is pretty hard to get a kid in 504, there are very strict guidelines. But if you guys qualify, see it as a resource, an EXTRA resource for your child, not a mark. We want was is best for your child. We want your child to be successful, it is our job, our passion.

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J.L.

answers from Davenport on

Well, i would say no matter how wrong you think they are, have the testing done to rule it out, at least and for peace of mine. Getting all the information is half the battle. Also, a good friend of mine's daughter, though not diagnosed ADHD, had been having trouble sitting still and focusing in school. She started her on BodyBalance, a juice made from Aloe and sea vegetables, and the teachers have not been having problems since. You would figure 1 oz/50 lbs (calculate accordingly) if you're interested in trying it. It tastes great mixed with OJ. If you want to check out the product, go to www.lifeforce.net/20718417. Any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com I don't know the answer, I'll find it out for you. Take Care,
J.

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