View Full Version : Please help/Advice

09-29-15, 11:59 AM
My 9-year old son goes to a French Immersion School since age 2.
My son speaks fluently French, English and German (our language at home).
Starting in Kindergarten/First Grade my son started to experience extensive day dreaming.
In third grade he was diagnosed with ADD, but we decided to not give him medication. He passed third grade, but barely. He is now in 4th grade, and is struggling. The Curriculum is very traditional old school French, with lots of copying/writing things down. Even in science the students have to copy sentences down. Last week my son brought the science workbook home, where I saw that my son wrote about 2 uncompleted sentences while the other students wrote about 2 paragraphs. (my son just daydreams while the other students write).
Every day, the students have English, and HW has been a struggle.
It is only suppose to take 30 minutes but my son takes up to 3 hours. The assignment for
each day were writting the spelling words 5times, writting the definitions for the 21 spelling words, a reading comprehension worksheet and on one day 20 minute reading.
Since the writing is such a struggle for my son these assignments take so long.
The principal of the school told me that they can not make any accomodations for my son - I had asked for
less focus on copying sentemces but instead of more worksheets/problem solving approaches.
Also, each day the teacher has the students write their assignments in a book. As my son never finishes the teacher asks another student in the class to do this for him. I think this must be pretty bad for my son's self esteem, no?
Here are my questions:
Should we start meds, and if yes, what is best for ADD.
(My son is already very skinny).
Should we switch him to a public school. At the current school
there are only 10 students in the class.
Any other advice/input is greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

09-29-15, 05:17 PM
If you have any input/insight, thank you very much for your reply. I very much appreciate it.

09-29-15, 07:11 PM
I don't think private schools have to follow IDEA or give accomodations.
Smaller class size can be good, but if it's not enough you may have to look
at switching schools, getting a tutor, or doing online or home school.

Everyone responds to the meds differently, so it's a matter of trial and error
unfortunately. But it's absolutely worth trying in my opinion.

Your doctor is likely to suggest the newest meds first, like Vyvanse, which is
fine if you have insurance to pay for them. But the older meds work very well and have a long and very good track record ... adderall and ritalin. And they're

But many report that the generics don't work as well as the name brands, so
just be aware of that before you give up on a med. If it's generic, try the
name brand, or vice-versa.

Welcome to the forum, and good luck.

09-29-15, 07:18 PM
Just wondering, when you say diagnosed with ADD, is that an official diagnosis? If so I'm surprised that the school will not make any accommodations. Is it a private school? If so, I'm not sure what is legally required by them in California, but I know it can be tough here in Canada, which is one of the reasons we did not consider it for our 7 yr old.

Also, have you looked into getting a psychoeducational assessment? We had a private one done (admitedly a little expensive) but it has been worth its weight in gold with the school. It basically states what the childs strengths and weaknesses are, and what intervention or support is needed for them. If you were to get that in writing and a school still then refuse to do anything, then I'd recommend going to the school board, or if private, leave the school all together.

As for meds, I hope I speak for most around here in saying, find yourself a REPUTABLE child psychologist/psychiatrist and trust their recommendation after they've properly evaluated your child.

Not sure if that helps any.

09-29-15, 07:40 PM
I may have mis-spoke. Although private schools do not have to provide an IEP,
they still might be responsible for providing modifications, accommodations, and
access to educational opportunities through Section 504.

Check wrightslaw dot com -- for example, here's a post on IDEA 2004 and Private Schools ( 3D2198)

09-29-15, 10:38 PM
Thank you for your replies.
Is a Psychoeducational Evaluation ever done by the school district in California?
I hear that the cost of such evaluation can be up to $2000.
Is this psychoeducational evaluation recommended before starting medications? My son was basically diagnosed by his pediatrician via the parent/teacher-filled Vanderbuilt-form.
The school is private, and the principal not very supportive, and I also think not very informed about ADD and some of the necessary educational modifications. The school has no psychologist or SpecialEd counselor.

09-29-15, 11:15 PM
A psychoeducational evaluation (the kind involving hours of intelligence testing, etc.) is not strictly required to make a medical diagnosis of ADHD or to prescribe medication. The diagnosis can be made based on observation of the child, a thorough medical, developmental, educational, and family history, and ideally feedback from people who know your child in different settings (home, school, play).

However, psychoeducational testing is often helpful if there are questions about

learning disabilities (specific problems with reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling, memory, etc.), processing disorders (where the brain has difficulty interpreting sights or sounds despite normal vision and hearing),
speech and language problems,
motor skills disorders (fine motor - manipulating objects like pens or shoelaces or gross motor -- large body movements and coordination).

It can also be helpful for getting a better sense of your son's cognitive strengths and weaknesses. Is your son bored with the material? Is he much better at spatial skills than language skills (or vice-versa)? Does have great ideas but difficulty expressing them? Does he appear "slow" in school because he has trouble reading the board or keeping directions in mind? Copying things down? Remembering? Daydreaming? That kind of thing.

Your local school district (or possibly the district where your child's private school is located, if they're different) is obligated to provide an evaluation to your son free of charge under what's called the "Child Find" mandate of the IDEA (Individuals w/Disabilities Education Act).

Be aware that these evaluations vary in quality, so some families who have the means and the need to do so also seek private testing.

I second Lunacie's recommendation of Wrightslaw -- it has a wealth of resources that can help explain the process for contacting the school district, getting your son tested, understanding the results, and using them to help him in school.

Private schools don't have the same obligations as public schools as far as special educational services are concerned. However, if your son is found to have certain types of disabilities, he may be eligible to receive certain support services from the local district (such as speech therapy) even though he doesn't attend the public school.

10-10-15, 10:50 AM
I know that for my adhd kid, that type of school environment was disastrous. All that copying and writing is just too stressful. In 6th grade, I had him in a charter school (middle/high school) with an international baccalaureate curriculum. He stayed there until 8th grade but then I switched him to a STEM Charter for high school. He is much better at math and science and hands-on learning than he was at copying and writing extensive papers. He is a a visual, hands-on learner; not a traditional academic.

I would search for a different school environment that would cater more to your son's learning style rather than try to get him to conform to that one because it will only frustrate him and make him hate school. My ds was at that point, now he really likes his new school. He is still a "C" student in English, but is rocking the math and science.

10-13-15, 06:07 PM
All schools public and private that are part of the U.S. Department of education provide accommodations. Go to the website and read about disability rights.