View Full Version : Help! Misbehavior due to ADHD at School


edenhong
02-17-16, 11:08 AM
My 1st grader has been diagnosed with ADHD last year. Lately he has been more disruptive and impulsive to a point that he has accidentally and at times purposely got physical with other students (eg. spitting, shirt pulling, hitting). When asked why he's doing so, he states that he can't control himself. He has been warned and stops when asked but then goes back to doing the same thing minutes later... Most of the time, he can behave but on occasions he does get impulsive to a point of being annoying, physical and disruptive ...

The school has responded by excluding him from class activities and isolated him during recess and lunch time for days at a time. Basically, they are worried he might act up and do something inappropriate or harmful to others.

How would you deal with the situation? And what rights does my son have? I really don't think isolating and excluding him is going to help the behavior and will make it worse. FWIW, we are seeking medication for him but I need to know what's our recourse in the meantime and what should we expect of the school if/once the medication wears off....

TIA!

Lunacie
02-17-16, 02:35 PM
It sounds like they are punishing him for something they think he might do.

A better plan is rewarding him for what he actually does ... keeping his hands off other kids ... taking turns ... at first every 10 minutes being told something like "Good job sitting still" or "Good job waiting for your turn."

I know it can't be easy being the teacher of a kiddo who is impulsive and hyperactive, but making the situation better in small increments beats the heck out of a punishment that doesn't make sense to the kid.

ginniebean
02-17-16, 05:17 PM
I'd be checking into my son's civil rights, he does have them and I know this is against them. His meds clearly aren't working, perhaps it's time for an adjustment. This kind of punishment for having a brain condition has long term ill effects on self esteem and ability to manage self socially.

http://www.insideadhd.org/article.aspx?id=286

qanda
02-17-16, 06:20 PM
I understand that parents of children with ADHD do not want their children isolated. But I also have been on the other side.

My daughter dealt with a girl in 3rd grade that was diagnosed ADHD, and unmedicated because her parents refused. My daughter came home crying on several occasions because this girl would get physical with her. And for some reason this girl loved my daughter, so it was hard for my daughter to avoid her, as she would seek her out and did not get the subtle & not so subtle signs that my daughter did not want to be friends with her.

I was torn, as I knew the parents of the girl with ADHD. I seen other kids avoiding this girl, not wanting to be her friend because of her behavior. But my daughter has always been emotionally fragile, so as her parent I also wanted to protect her.

I don't have a solution, but just throwing out some ideas. It seems your son, unmedicated or without some effective treatment, may not be making friends, and may even be giving himself a "bad" name right now with his peers. But since he can't control this behavior, perhaps the teachers can find some fun, single or small group activities for him when teachers think large group unstructured play will lead to his behavior offending the other students. So avoiding situations that will be challenging for your son, but replacing them with activities that your son will not see as a punishment.

Linkiloo
02-18-16, 04:11 AM
My son was behaving like that in the first grade. He was constantly getting warnings and we were getting angry notes from teachers. We insisted that in each case he wrote a letter of apology and gave a small gift to each of those kids from his pocket money. He is now in the second grade and that has stopped, although he is still talkative in class and is not able to work quiety for short periods of time or to follow instructions all the time. We are proud though of these improvements and compliment him all the time. Our approach was to tell him that he is getting so big and strong and will be a man like daddy and men can't lift their hands to anyone because they are too strong and it will get dangerous. He absorbed that message slowly and is proud that he isn't doing that anymore.

I'd keep building your son up if I were you. I don't find the schools able to do that very well.

sarahsweets
02-18-16, 06:02 AM
My 1st grader has been diagnosed with ADHD last year. Lately he has been more disruptive and impulsive to a point that he has accidentally and at times purposely got physical with other students (eg. spitting, shirt pulling, hitting). When asked why he's doing so, he states that he can't control himself. He has been warned and stops when asked but then goes back to doing the same thing minutes later... Most of the time, he can behave but on occasions he does get impulsive to a point of being annoying, physical and disruptive ...
I can see how that would be hard for other kids and teachers to deal with. At least the physical part.

The school has responded by excluding him from class activities and isolated him during recess and lunch time for days at a time.
RED FLAG. Not ok. Taking away any child's recess and lunchtime is cruel, ineffective and doesnt work. If it did anyone my age or older would have been perfect kids.
Basically, they are worried he might act up and do something inappropriate or harmful to others.

If the world treated people based on what they feared they might do, then I would have been in jail. Pre-emptive punishing never works, An adhd kid or any kid wont know why they are being excluded if they havent done anything wrong. All they will do is internalize that into " Im bad so I cant be around other people". It will ruin his self esteem and shame on that school district!

{quote] FWIW, we are seeking medication for him but I need to know what's our recourse in the meantime and what should we expect of the school if/once the medication wears off....
[/quote]
Get moving on the medication thing, quickly. Its much easier to battle a school when you can say you are doing everything you can as parents to work on the problem and kids have much better success rates when treated with medication.

you may not like this suggestion and there is a sticky in childrens diagnosis if you want to read more about it, but my kids all have adhd, and my son was what you would call a difficult case. It was determined that he needed to be classified in a special education environment until 6th grade. The teachers were used to dealing with these types of things, the teacher to student ration was lower there was always a second teacher or aide in the classroom, They rewarded instead of punshing. They focused on what he could do and worked on making the rest better. Its not like the old days where kids in special ed dont have the same curiculum as the regular ed classes, its just at a slower pace. Believe it or not, a school district wants kids to be in inclusion classrooms so the goal is not to keep kids classified as special ed, its to work towards de-classification.

Kids arent quite mean enough yet to notice the difference in classes and all of his specials were with the other kids. He was off the chart smart anyway so transitioning him to a regular ed classroom was easy. Middle school seems to be when the cruelty starts. at least with my kids it was.

I tell this- the damage they are doing is not worth the 'good' that they think is happening. It will destroy his ego, self confidence, etc.
Kids are in school 6-7 hours a day. Imagine if you were at work the same amount of time but your boss treated you this way?
You may have to battle the school for this and if you have any questions feel free to pm me. Also google wrights law for info.

Caco3girl
02-18-16, 09:04 AM
Your child does have rights in school, and I'll get to that in a minute. HOWEVER, the school also has to take into account the physical and emotional damage your child can do to the other students due to his behavior. Put yourself in the parents place of one of those other kids "You are telling me that the school KNOWS this kid is physical and violent and they have done nothing to protect the other 20 kids in the class from him?"...neither scenario sounds good to me.

You need to request a 504 meeting at your son's school. Your son has a medical condition that makes him act this way, and the school needs to accommodate not punish him for it. Sometimes the school goes with the option of special education classes or for extreme cases they can assign someone to specifically watch your child and head off any instances of violent behavior before they happen, or before real damage is done. That way the child isn't excluded but the other children are protected from anything extreme.

It's not reasonable for the one teacher and her/his assistant teacher to watch all 20 kids when they know there is one child with special needs. I just had a 504 meeting for my 13 year old and it was great, the school wants to help my son succeed but they needed to hold a meeting to see how that could be accomplished. For him it meant the ability to turn in homework early, get study guides ahead of time for tests, have an extra set of books at home, be put in co-taught classes where there is one teacher there just to keep the kids focused on the teacher in the front of the class...etc.

CanadianDad
02-18-16, 11:13 AM
Last year, when my son was in Grade1, there was another child in his class that seemed ADHD, with a heavy emphasis on the "H" part. We got stories back from our guy that he was very disruptive and sometimes physical with other students.
My heart went out to the parents, even though I did not know them. Our guy is also ADHD, but not "H" at all at school, more inattentive.
We do not know the circumstances of the other kid, but Grade1 can often be the time when these diagnoses comes up, and the parents have to make decisions on where to go next. We don't see the other kid any more, so are not sure what happened. We do know that we're happy so far with the school and how it treats our guy, but as the Vice Principle said to us once, their first job is to ensure the safety of all children, so any hurtful or dangerous behaviour has to be dealt with.
I'm glad to hear you're looking into medication, don't think about doing it just to get the school off your back, do it because it might be the right thing to do for your son.
Best of luck.

sarahsweets
02-19-16, 04:51 AM
Your child does have rights in school, and I'll get to that in a minute. HOWEVER, the school also has to take into account the physical and emotional damage your child can do to the other students due to his behavior. Put yourself in the parents place of one of those other kids "You are telling me that the school KNOWS this kid is physical and violent and they have done nothing to protect the other 20 kids in the class from him?"...neither scenario sounds good to me.

I do think there is a big difference between protection and punishment though.

Caco3girl
02-19-16, 11:48 AM
I do think there is a big difference between protection and punishment though.

I would agree that in a logical world there is a huge difference between protection and punishment....but when you are talking about 20+ first graders on the play ground and one has aggressive outbursts that has and could again harm other students what would your solution be?