View Full Version : Severe ADHD (mostly managed with meds) and in pre-AP class. School refused IEP and of

03-20-13, 02:36 PM
My daughter was recently diagnosed with severe ADHD and we immediately started her on meds (we did a lot of research while waiting for results). She has shown immense improvement! She is still having trouble focusing and completing her assignments in school. I recently had a meeting the the school to assess an IEP for her (I initiated) however, the school said she did not qualify for one because she is doing so much better. Instead, they offered a 504. Their argument for the IEP is that she is in advanced classes. She is a very intelligent young girl (currently in second grade). I don't understand why her intelligence means she shouldn't have the help she needs...

We will be meeting in 2 weeks (because Spring Break is next week) to discuss the 504. We want to switch schools and put her into a school the specializes in kids with ADHD because they are better educated, more experience, and all around a better choice for our daughter. We do not feel that her current public school is a good place for her. Most of the schools i've come across though, say she has to have an IEP in order to get in. We also do not have the money to pay for these schools, so we were trying to get the school district to pay for it. WE are located in FCPS (Fairfax County). I have read on a lot of webites and forums that the schools can pay for a child to switch schools and go somewhere better suited.

Does anyone have any suggestions???

03-20-13, 07:15 PM
You need an advocate to help you fight for the IEP. It would likely take a year to get moved to another school - the team has to set goals and then you have to show that she cannot meet those goals in the gen ed setting (or that the school didnt follow proper procedures in the process.) Also they would want to try the on site special ed class before another school. Unfortunately, they can argue that the goal should just be lower track classes rather than pre-AP. An advocate would be money well spent.

03-21-13, 05:01 AM
I learned through trial and error to be my kids' advocate but lemme tell you, its a full time job being a pain in the as*! The whole process started (17 years ago for son) with a written request...and the fun began, I had to call over and over to check test results, check in with the case worker, schedule review meetings etc. I had to read about wrights law and PRISE...boring but helpful. Once the school realizes you know what youre talking about and arent f**king around they tend to kick it into high gear.

03-21-13, 06:00 AM

If you were her, where would you feel happier? Would you wan't to aim for the best from a normal education...... or the streamlined tailored approach?

Each has it's pro's and con's.......... steady, informed, supportive choices :)

( I guess what i'm eluding to is that there is always another side on the coin.....i.e. If you don't get the "classification" you are fighting for, perhaps she will learn better coping mechanisms and develop more independently.

I'm not arguing either way, and I commend you efforts.

03-21-13, 08:32 AM
The problem is we just don't have $$ right now to pay for an advocate. let alone a school that would better help her.
Their argument in the initial meeting is that she is in that class and reading at a high level. Her problem is focusing, time management, and completion of work.

03-21-13, 08:39 AM
If I were her, I would want to be in a setting where people understand me better, are supportive, and their views of aren't tainted by their own prejudices. I know she will be sad to leave her friends, but she makes friends easily and she would be making friends with more kids like herself.

As for her education - I want her to have the best education I can get for her. I don't believe this school can give her that. School isn't just academics. School is about learning all kinds of things. I want her in the best environment.

She has severe ADHD. If she doesn't get the 'classification' (as you put it) that we are fighting for, it will be a much harder road for her and there is no guarantee that she will successfully learn those coping and life skills. We are simply trying to put her in the best position with the best opportunities to succeed, in school and in life.

03-21-13, 09:19 AM
wrightslaw(dot)com is an excellent source.

Somewhere on there is something about accommodations not being tied to grades. Plus everything else you need to know about special education and being an advocate if you have time to read through it.

My daughter's school tried this - said she didn't need an IEP because her grades were ok. I told them flat out that they were not entitled to refuse accommodations on that basis, although truth be told I really don't know if that is true here in Ontario, Canada, or not. It worked though.

I don't think they are allowed to refuse an IEP just because a child performs better while taking medication either.

03-21-13, 09:23 AM
When we say "advocate for your child", we don't mean to hire one. At least I know that's what sarahsweets was thinking, and that's what I think. . .you'll see a lot of talk of "advocating," and it means learning what your child needs, what you need, what a family member needs, and knowing what your rights are regarding treatment, financial coverage, special accommodations, and general respect.

03-21-13, 04:31 PM
I was suggesting hiring someone. In my area, an educational advocate (not a lawyer) costs $50-$60/hr, and you could probably get by with 4 hours to start (2 hours of prep and 2 hours of meeting time.)

03-21-13, 07:04 PM
You can find advocates by State on the Wrightslaw website. There are many non-profit organizations that provide advocates for free. They are well-trained and know how to work the system.

03-21-13, 07:48 PM
Ah, sorry folks, I looked back before sarahsweets' post and realized that some of you actually were talking about a professional advocate. I apologize; I forget sometimes what's going on on each individual thread I read!

We can't link directly to wrightslaw, but it is a good source of information, and if, as ccom5100 suggests, you can find a professional who'll work pro bono or on a sliding scale, you should definitely look into it.

But learning how to "advocate for your child" yourself is still a good idea!