View Full Version : 504 and substitute

03-04-16, 05:33 PM
Hello, I am new to the forum and have a 9 year old son with a recent diagnosis of ADHD, although we've always known he has it. When he started third grade he started having a lot of issues (a lot more than he previously had). He started saying he wanted to die whenever he got in trouble and starred having trouble wanting to do his work aND his impulsivity has really gotten out of control. He's been seeing a psychologist and a physchitrist for both these issues.

I've been working on setting a 504 plan in place as he has found the best way for him to cope when he gets frustrated is to leave the classroom (or else he has a lot more issues, some with violence when he is at a point of escalated frustraition). The 504 meeting went well however the plan wasn't written as the person who writes the plan has been out and will return within the next week. I also didn't think there would be a substitute between then and when the plan was written.

Well...I guess that is on me for not pressuring the school to write the plan sooner because today was filled with issues. My son is a stickler for routine and can get frustrated when it's disrupted. He didn't get one on one reading group with his teacher in the morning like he usually does and instead his substitute insisted he do group reading group after lunch which started his frustration. (Reading he has a lot of issues in as he sees a long list of words and is already frustrated before it even begins). Then he wasn't allowed to read with his reading partner which he usually does. When he was reaching his max frustration point he realized he needed to go to his chill zone in the hall and calm down. The sub didn't like this and wasn't made aware that that was an accommodation for him and that began the escalation of events. The sub made him come back to class and he attempted to calm down at his desk and tried to choose a book to read but he didn't like the books available and he lost his place in the book he was reading so he went to the hall again to calm down. At this point the sub got another teacher involved who was trying to get him back to class and at that point he was extremely escalated and needed to get out of the situation and being that he was next to a door he just went out the door. The principal then got involved as well as any available teacher. I'm not super clear on what happened during this time I just know the principal tried to enter one of the doors and he ran and went into a different door so the principal thought he was gone but he went back to his chill spot and one of the teachers grabbed him and brought him to the office which is when I was called to pick him up.

I know I'm going to receive a phone call from the principal since we were unable to really talk while I was there (he was in shut down mode and it took quiet awhile at home before he stopped crying) and there was another situation with another grandparent going on, but i think shes gojng to suspend him. He didn't have a backup plan for coping beyond what we had in place and what he was told was ok. Since he was in shut down he wasn't able to tell the principal that he wasn't allowed to use his chill spot and all he was able to articulate was "I want to cool off" while they were outside. I also feel it's quiet an over site on the school to not inform the sub of this accommodation that was ok and followed before and then it suddenly wasn't ok today causing such an extreme escalation in his behavior. At the same time though being that the writer of the 504 is out and it wasn't written he doesn't have a legal document in place in case something like this happened.

Advice is certainly welcomed as I'm at my wits end with him at this point.

03-04-16, 05:39 PM
I will say my son is very smart, math and writing comes naturally to him, he even excels in these areas. All his subjects he is either on or above grade level with the exception of reading

03-05-16, 10:40 AM
What a spectacular failure amongst the teachers and principal of this school. I think you will need to be polite, unemotional and firm. This was THEIR screwup that caused your child significant distress.

Academics is not the only area of impact, he has problems controlling his emotions and his social functioning. These are important for children and adults and they are learned as a child.

That 504 needs to be written. It's difficult at best talking with teachers and principals because they are so well defended in teacher speak where somehow they're always right and your child is always wrong. Stick to the facts, let them know your son was traumatized, he had been given permission and he did what he was told to do when he's feeling out of control. They escalated it not him.

I wish you the best. I wouldn't accept a suspension, I'd certainly fight against it, AND I'd get them on that 504 like yesterday so this doesn't happen again.
Sorry you're going thru this.

03-05-16, 12:08 PM
Argh! Don't even get me started on substitute teachers. :mad:

In kindergarten a sub put my autistic barely-verbal-at-the-time on the wrong bus to come home.

In first grade a sub called me to come and get my granddaughter, I don't remember the reason now, and was sitting in the office telling her that unless she got potty-trained she wouldn't be allowed to come back to school next year, even though working on potty-training was in her IEP.

That time I came home, called the mommy, and we called for an emergency IEP meeting!

It sucks that most teachers don't let their subs know of any IEPs or 504s or necessary accomodations.

As Ginnie says, this is on the school, not on your son.

Stay calm and ask for someone to make sure any substitutes are informed of accomodations for your son.

03-07-16, 11:57 AM
It was a giant fail. I really feel if he was allowed to go and calm down or if his usual routine wasn't affected so much he would have had an ok day. He was really trying, he even complied that first time he was told to go back and sit at his desk! He recognized he was starting to feel out of control and needed a break by himself and that wasn't allowed. When more teachers started to close in on him, he panicked and escaped the only way he saw was available to him.

I'm starting to think we're having more issues than usual lately because he's 9 now and he wants to be mature. He no longer wants to call me mommy or have our 10 mins together be called special time because those are baby terms. In school he doesn't want to ask for help and he doesn't want to seem different from the other kids. It was a huge success when he could point out that he needed breaks from his work.

He sees his psychiatrist today which I can go over the incident and his severe lack of impulse control (yest he wound up stealing some m&ms) and his inability to entertain himself. *sigh*

03-07-16, 03:30 PM
I sincerely hope the paychiatrists appointment goes well and something new is tried.

Grade 3 is a milestone for adhd kids. The expectations for self control raise considerably. He is having trouble emotionally and socially. Consider looking into getting him evaluated for a iep it has more weight. He needs to meet the requirements of two areas of life affected. It is not just for academics. Tho schools will often balk at giving one if the childs grades are fine.

03-08-16, 10:00 AM
His physchitrist appointment went ok. We're trying him on a different stimulant from ridilyn (he failed ridilyn, it made him very irritable). If he is aggressive or irritable on this one than he'll go on to intuit (I think thats what she called it). She was reluctant to start him on meds last appointment because he was focasing well on coloring and the failed trial on ridilyn.

I got word from his teacher yest that the class aide basically said his routine was greatly messed up and he did go to the hall. According to the aide the whole class was acting up so maybe the sub felt like he was trying to be difficult or a trouble maker. His teacher asked if there was coping techniques for him to help him be more flexible (if there is I'd love ideas!) But even if there was I doubt this sub would have done anything to help (the ways I know of is by warning him before something changes/not springing it on him).

I've requested a couple of iep assessments but the principal is very reluctant to do one. He is doing very well in school aside from reading and testing(he rushes through tests) so she's been very difficult with that. She does however recognize he is defiant and does have breakdowns during class which makes him a "difficult child." Honestly his issues are really defiance, lack of motivation and impulsivity.

03-08-16, 10:45 AM
I agree that it was the school's failure and not your sons. Age 9 is tough, you have the words in your head but it's hard to get them out, especially when you feel trapped and cornered as was this case. I'd be really surprised if the school wasn't kissing up to you at this point because that has lawsuit written ALL over it!

The child was diagnosed, the school was made aware of the issue, the 504 included accommodations THAT ARE REQUIRED BY LAW! And a 504 can be hand written, copies made, and typed up properly later. There was zero reason for your son to have gone through that. Obviously having a 9 year old shut down and crying is NOT a normal response, someone should have thought to look at his file.

Did the principle attempt to suspend him? If he received ANY disciplinary action at all I would file a lawsuit and I am NOT a sue happy person. Frankly, it is the schools responsibility BY LAW to ensure the well being of the students and it was the school faculty that caused this problem. Totally unacceptable, and how many other kids have had this problem? What is their protocol for informing substitutes because they either didn't follow it or they don't have one, and neither choice is acceptable. Why don't they just take away the legally blind kids glasses and then berate him/her and send them to the office for bumping into desks and disrupting the other students?

I am sooooo blessed to have my kids in schools that are responsive to these issues and not lackadaisical.

03-10-16, 10:16 PM
I am a teacher and when absent a sub refused to let my student leave for the nurse to check his insulin (I know, who would say no to that). So now I add short notes on the roster about some of my students.

03-11-16, 01:57 AM
First of all once their is an agreement that a 504 plan or IEP is needed, you dont need to wait for a particular person to write it down. If everyone agreed then it should have been decided and teachers provided a copy to make adjustments. There is no excuse that they can offer to cover their own as* in this case. Why a 504 and not an IEP? You said the principal was reluctant but its not up to the principal per se. If everyone is in agreement and you have requested it, then the evaluation process should have begun asap. Look up wrights law on google. It helps you weed through the garbage and get to the meant of what you need to do. For now, if it were me I would write a formal request to the principal, child study team/ special services and whoever else needs to know that you are requesting and IEP eval. You should send this via certified mail so you know for sure they get it and I would also at the same time send out emails and cc whomever needs to know. By law, they have 60 days to at least respond, but i also think there is a way to speed things up, wrights law should have that info.

You have to that need special services or special ed cost more money than the average student. This means that schools are not motivated to get everyone the proper help. Fiscally they arent looking forward to this because it means more time and money. Some schools would rather punish the disability away as if the child is bad rather than realize the child needs help. Its a cynical view but after having one child complete school with an IEP and 2 more working towards that, its been my experience.

03-11-16, 01:59 AM
One more should make a formal complaint to the superintendent of your school district about that substitute. Just because they are filling in, doesnt mean they dont need to be familiar with how the teacher handles things and the students with disabilities and what they need.

03-14-16, 04:06 PM
If a 504 is in place can you request an iep eval? We have an appointment on Friday to get the 504 written and everything. My sister went to a seminar for iep plans and brought me back a folder full of information. I would have gone but it conflicted with something I needed to do.

Several people have had issues with this principal. She's certainly one to make you feel like you are a terrible parent and your child is unruly, which my child isn't exactly unruly, he just has impulse control issues and gets frustrated very easily.

He was supposed to start vyvanse today but of coarse I ran into issues with insurance so it'll be a few days before he can actually start. As his physchologist keeps saying, he's having a hard time right now (he failed Ritalin and then was unmedicated for several weeks.)


03-14-16, 04:15 PM
Sarahsweets- I don't think it was the subs fault (or I guess it wasn't fully the subs fault) I don't think the sub was made aware and unfortunately the other teachers involved didn't stop and think what he may have needed in that moment. Part of me wants to file a complaint against the whole school, the other part is thinking he just needs moved to a different school which is more apt to handle him.

I also feel like he may be dyslexic since he's writing numbers and letters backwards but his physchologist said his adhd needs treated before we look at dyslexia (could be his age, could be his adhd and wanting to rush through his work so letters are written backwards) it also depends on how often he does it (usually his 5 and he confuses b and d)

03-14-16, 06:23 PM
Yes you can ask for an iep eval even with a 504 in place. It does sound like you won't get a lot of cooperation
I understand all too well the making you feel like a bad parent with a bad child. Unfortunately this kind of ignorance and prejudice remains.

Get to know as much as you can about an iep and the process involved. You might want to take the time to document incidents, date, time, who etc.. and be sure to email teachers with that so it is documented.

You and the little fellow are going thru a lot, you'll get there and when you need support you'll find it here.

Thanks for the update.

03-15-16, 08:44 AM
Sarahsweets- I don't think it was the subs fault (or I guess it wasn't fully the subs fault) I don't think the sub was made aware and unfortunately the other teachers involved didn't stop and think what he may have needed in that moment. Part of me wants to file a complaint against the whole school, the other part is thinking he just needs moved to a different school which is more apt to handle him.

I totally get it that the teachers could have stepped in however the substitute was the person hired and she was responsible for her students. Even though it would have been good to have notations or information about your son, common sense dictates that if there are issues, its not okay for the sub to 'wing it' without asking for support or help from other staff. And the fact that the solution was to get the principal involved ( the person who suspends and punishes kids) rather than looking for why he may have had trouble or asking if there were any modifications in place for him.

I get it, the school is the overall entity that deserves a complaint but you know as well as I that it will flow down the chain of command until the school can find someone else to blame and and not take responsibility for their part in the entire situation.
I am not an expert but I can say that my oldest is 20, then a 16 and 12 year old all with adhd and other comorbids, made me into one tough cookie to deal with. It never involved yelling, rudeness or demands but it did involve me being extremely proactive, involved and basically staying up the as*es of anyone who was supposed to be looking into things.

Last story and then I'll shush is:
My son was in third grade and his adhd was very, very severe even with meds. The substitute was one he had for 4 weeks due to his teacher's illness.
Sure, she gleaned over each child's basic issues and personalities but she zeroed in on the meds issue when, in actuality I am not required to disclose his health records to anyone but the Nurse. Of course I am willing to share his info if it helped him.
He was "acting up" regularly and she asked him "did you take your meds today? Does mom give them to you every day? It sure seems like you didnt take your meds today."
When I heard this from him I was livid. He has a disorder, a disability and there is no cure; hell- sometimes it seems hopeless, and he can only do what he can do and, like everyone, has 'off' days.

What business is it of hers? She wasnt the school nurse, he didnt have to go to the hospital!
He was so embarrassed. Partly because he was 8 years old and couldnt understand his adhd and how the meds worked.

At that point the message was without meds he is a 'bad boy'. He was only a good boy with meds and God help him if he made mistakes. It was teaching him that he couldnt succeed on his own, it was all due to meds.

Sure, you would think that its no big deal, but to him it was like learning there was no such thing as Santa Claus.
Anyway, rant over. I have gone to bat for my kids-and always succeeded. It was like I had the keys to the kingdom. So I may not know you or your family but I promise you: if you ever need a plan, advice, support or info PM me.
I am passionate about this, I want all adhd kids to get appropriate treatment and useful tools- not destroy their self esteem because the people in authority were too lazy, busy or unmotivated to bother doing anything other than passing the buck.

whew, guess I still have resentments!
File a complaint against every single person involved. They cant have the philosophy of "it takes a villiage" then drop the ball and blame the child.

03-15-16, 08:45 AM
Sarahsweets- I don't think it was the subs fault (or I guess it wasn't fully the subs fault) I don't think the sub was made aware and unfortunately the other teachers involved didn't stop and think what he may have needed in that moment. Part of me wants to file a complaint against the whole school, the other part is thinking he just needs moved to a different school which is more apt to handle him.

I also feel like he may be dyslexic since he's writing numbers and letters backwards but his physchologist said his adhd needs treated before we look at dyslexia (could be his age, could be his adhd and wanting to rush through his work so letters are written backwards) it also depends on how often he does it (usually his 5 and he confuses b and d)

Lizmom, you sound like a very big hearted person who doesn't want to cause problems....BUT....what the school failed to do for your son was illegal and bordering on criminal. The school chose to hire THAT sub, the school did not have/or follow a procedure to tell the sub of special needs in the classroom. Your child is required to attend school and they are required to provide him a safe place to learn. The school failed your child, violated the Americans with disabilities act and caused emotional and possible physical harm to a child they were in charge of protecting.

You can try and be as reasonable as you would like but the school should be reported...not for YOUR son, but for the next persons son/daughter who is harmed by their stupidity on how to properly handle a special needs kid. I wonder if someone else has had a similar thing happen before at that school...I wonder how many times something like this has to happen before someone is held accountable and things change.

03-18-16, 09:36 AM
Hey there. So I went in today and signed the 504 plan. While in the meeting I brought up about the sub and how the accommodations weren't met that day and asked that each sub be made aware of his accomadations. His teacher is going to write it at the top of her sub notes. From what I understand that sub isn't great and I do want to file a complaint against her but I haven't been given her name. How do I go about filing a complaint?

03-19-16, 06:52 AM
You dont need her name to do it because the school will have records.What I would recommend is writing a letter (a paper one)and sending a copy to the principal and the superintendant. Make sure that you mail it certified return receipt so you have proof they got it. Explain everything and refer to the her as "the substitute that subbed for MS so and so on whatever date it was. Trust me they will figure out who it is.

04-18-16, 10:25 PM
I have something to say as a parent of an ADHD 504 student and a substitute teacher! I would be furious if my son's 504 was ignored by the school in either the regular teacher's or sub's classroom. Luckily, his is more for homework and seating issues. Students with additional emotional or medical needs need their 504 even more when a sub is in the room. I have been a substitute teacher for several years now - and I'm a really good one. I always look for the medical emergency plans and go over the lessons very carefully. I have NEVER been given information on a student's 504 plan. NEVER. Most subs have very little training and the only true requirement is that you pass high school and are clear on a background check for criminal activity and child maltreatment. Subs are paid very little and are very difficult to find. The schools are always desperate to fill the positions. My suggestion is to add to your son's 504 that a copy of the 504 be put in the sub folder that is given with the attendance list and lesson plans to every sub. I would suggest going a step further to say that your son should be put in a regular teacher's room when there is a sub for the day. Most subs are not trained to handle much less look for or understand a 504 plan. It isn't because they do not care - they just are not told. I look for them and have never found one. I sub so much now that I do know who the 504 students are a lot of the time, but I am not the norm.