View Full Version : What do I need to get help from the school????


twicker1
10-02-12, 03:40 PM
I know this is going to be long, and I SO appreciate anyone that reads it, and can offer any advice!

My son is 11 years old, in 6th grade, and in all pre-AP classes. He has Type 1 diabetes with a 504 in place since he started kindergarten. Up until this year, we have never had accommodations in place for ADHD, but with such little help from the school, I felt it was time. He is on 54mg Concerta, 2mg Intuniv for impulsiveness, and Zoloft for anxiety.

Obviously, we are concerned about his diabetes, but honestly, the ADHD is WAY worse to deal with. We've finally gotten things pretty much hammered out when it comes to diabetes care, but I am finding that they seem just as inept when dealing with children with ADHD.

He is a smart child, but his organizational skills are nonexistent, his ability/willingness to do homework is a joke; it seems the only response I am getting is that he needs to learn to be responsible, and I was even told that I might just need to let him fail (grades/in general) in order for him to "get it". I'm kind of torn on the failure thing because 1) I'm a mom and I don't WANT him to fail, and 2) HE DOESN'T CARE!

Since he does have diabetes, one of the most important times of the day for him to check his blood sugar is before lunch. Well, on top of having ADHD, it is generally known that starting about this age and up through the teen years, this is the hardest time for children with diabetes. They are going through puberty, burn out, and just plain ignoring their care. It is even more important that we parents stay on top of things because this is something they have to deal with for the rest of their lives.

Well, he is not the best about checking his blood sugar before lunch, and I've TOLD the nurse he needs to either come to her or check in class and have the teacher email her his blood sugar. Today, she told me that "it is very time consuming because he is so inconsistent. That when he comes in she has to prompt him to sign in. Write down his blood sugar. Go to class." All I could say was, "Yep, I know." She THEN tells me that he needs to be responsible and consistent since she has 1000 other students to worry about. WTH???

So, from my standpoint what I am hearing is total disregard of the fact that HE. HAS. ADHD. He is currently taking 36mg of Concerta in the morning, with a 18 mg dose after lunch. I flat out told her that I can tell him 100 times that he HAS to go to her before lunch, but I'm not there to enforce it.

This all extends to his classes also. It's like they are accepting (and scared) that he has diabetes, but it's like they've never seen a child with ADHD before! I've asked his math teacher to check his "loose paper" agenda to make sure he has written down the assignment, and her response is she doesn't have time. So I've resorted to emailing her EVERY day to get it. And homework is a freaking nightmare. What SHOULD take him about 20 minutes to do ends up with us staying up until 11pm.

WHAT DO I DO???? What should I expect the school to help with? Since we already have a 504, do I need to push for an IEP, and what exactly IS an IEP? I've read over what it is, but for some reason I'm just not grasping it. Is it only for learning disabilities, as in delayed learning? Since he is in advanced classes, would that make him UN-qualified for one?

I don't want to ask the school these questions, because frankly, I don't trust them. It was the principal, teacher, and nurse that all suggested the "let him fail" course of action. I'm afraid they will just leave things as they are to their benefit.

I need help!!!! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

LynneC
10-03-12, 10:44 AM
Does his 504 plan only cover issues related to diabetes? What exactly is in his 504? You may need to revisit the 504 and get some things added and make sure that each person responsible for that part of the plan is up to date on what their responsibilities are...

I can't believe the nurse told you that it was too time consuming to check your son's blood sugar. :eek: Have you had a face-to-face meeting with the nurse?

Do you have in writing or an email that any school employee (teacher, nurse, whomever) has suggested that you should just let your son fail? This is an unacceptable statement from anyone on school staff, IMO.

Have you given any thought to having a child advocate accompany you to school to update his 504/discuss your concerns?

Lastly, given that he is entering puberty, is there a possibility that his meds are not as effective as they once were?

twicker1
10-03-12, 06:52 PM
I am positive that his meds aren't working, but the doctor insists that she will not up them. Today was an early dismissal, lunch with grandpa, and a consultation for braces. If he is as unfocused at school as he was after I picked him up, then I can completely understand why he is having such a hard time!

Right now, his 504 just covers diabetes, but we are going to have a meeting in the next week or two to go over everything. Some educational stuff is included because of missed class time, or having high/low blood sugar, but not much. The nurse really didn't say she didn't have time to check his blood sugar, just having to take time to find him if he doesn't show up, or having to constantly keep him on task. I HAVE met the nurse, and I'm not her biggest fan.

Of course I don't have the "failing" suggestion in writing! This is just how they think he will learn to be responsible!

I talked with the 504 coordinator at the school today (7th/8th grade counselor), and told her that I felt we were not getting any help in regards to ADHD. I told her his doctor had given me a packet of accommodations for me to go over, so I can see what I think might help, and she said she wants to meet with me, alone, first, before we have a formal 504 meeting. She said it was to let me know what they can and can't do for him. She said she hates when the doctors tell parents that the schools MUST do certain things, and they can't. That she would like to go meet all of these doctors and tell them they are wrong; they are a school, and don't have a hospital on site. Kinda ticked me off when she said he can't go around using the 504 as a crutch, or throwing it out there to get around things.

Let. Me. Be. Clear. My son DOES know he has a 504, but he doesn't KNOW what is in it. The only thing I make PERFECTLY clear to him is that if he feels he NEEDS to go to the nurse, and he is not allowed by a teacher, he has my permission to leave the class, go to the nurse, and we will figure everything out later. THAT is exactly what his last nurse told him, too. He also has unlimited access to water and the bathroom. Those are the ONLY 3 items I make sure he knows.

She basically feels that most students learn how to cope with their difficulties, and some are better at it than others. She didn't really have an answer as to how to help the ones that haven't "learned" to cope.

I did ask about what an IEP is, and what it could provide, and from the way she was talking, it sounds like because he is in advanced classes, he wouldn't show an educational need, or whatever. She did mention some sort of behavioral plan, but again made it sound like it's really a clear cut sequence on how a student would be held accountable when they do certain things.

Lunacie
10-03-12, 07:24 PM
This sounds so much like the story one mother was telling us at parent
support group last night.

She was directed to go to wrightslaw.com - it can be difficult
wading through it all, but she learned what her rights are concerning her
son, what she can insist (not demand) that the school do to accomodate
his ADHD, and she got the confidence to stand up for those rights.

She has a parent support advocate who attended the meetings with her,
that can make a world of difference so the parent doesn't feel emotionally
overwhelmed.

Know your facts, stay as calm as possible, and stand your ground.

LynneC
10-04-12, 10:01 AM
Do you have a copy of his current 504 plan?

twicker1
10-04-12, 11:54 AM
I will definitely look into the website. Thank you!

I do have a copy of the 504 somewhere, but it's pretty basic. Just includes things such as extended homework and test times, reteaching missed material, access to the nurse. And these all pertain to diabetes.

I was just speaking with a parent whose child is in a PASS program, but he is classified special ed. There is a mentor in the school that helps keep him on task, checks to make sure he is doing what he needs, etc. I think this is what I am looking for.

I am not there to keep reminding him what he needs to be doing. He is inconsistent. One of them pointed out to me that it takes somewhere around 12 weeks to develop a habit, but if he isn't doing "it" on a continued basis, then it might never become a habit, or the one we want.

I am looking for someone or something to help him develop good habits. Since he is so inconsistent he isn't repeating the "good stuff" over and over. I feel that if someone with different ideas than I have can show him a good way to organize his stuff, or teach him tricks to remember these things, that may be all he needs. He just needs to have some direction.

OneTwinwithJD
10-16-12, 12:54 PM
As a mother of a diabetic I feel for you with the school system. My son was diagnosed 5 years ago at 2 1/2 with Type 1 diabetes. He is in 2nd grade and was just diagnosed with ADHD today. I am looking into what I should as of the school for the ADHD. You should definately check out what the law requires of the school and do what you have to do to protect your son. Our 504 for diabetes includes access to restroom, nurse and water any time he feels the need. It also covers missed work and retesting or postponing testing if his blood sugar is too high or low. Thankfully we have only had to do the retest thing once last year but its always good to cover all the basics.
My prayers go out to you and your son and hope you get the school on board with your needs.
Crystal