View Full Version : son and school HELP
02-17-04, 08:51 PM
My son was just diagnosed with ADD. I have been telling the teachers and the superintendant that I believed there was a problem with this since he was about 7 years old, he is 11 now. I am currently homeschooling him right now, but would like him to go back to school. I had a meeting with his regular classroom teacher, the principal, and the superintendant. They informed me that if he was to go back to school, nothing would change. He would not receive extra help or any special ed. He is a grade behind in his reading and possibly his math also. I have requested to have him tested for any learning disabilities, but they do not want to right now, not until the medication is working for him. He is falling farther behind everyday and they will not help me at all. What are some things that the school could do for him, to help him learn or concentrate better in the classroom?
My aunt is a special ed teacher and she says it is the schools responsibility to teach him if I send him back. I refuse to send him back until I know they are going to do something to help him. She is also testing him for learning disabilities but the school has informed me they will not even consider the results of these tests. Should I contact Department of education or continue arguing with the school? Which I feel is a hopeless battle.
02-17-04, 11:13 PM
Where are you Addparent? In many places in Canada and USA, it is illegal for your school to not provide certain accommodations for your child... but they have the right to insist that you have an assessment of him done by a qualified professional first. Does your aunt qualify is a question I can't answer... it will depend where you are, and what your local laws are.
There are many people who go and fight their schools to force accommodations out of them... several here at this very forum. I admire them for their spunk and principle, but am worried sometimes that alienating teachers will cause short term difficulty for the child in return for the long term benefit of forcing change.
Another practical if bad-tasting solution is to move the child to another school. But from the tone of your post it sounds as if you may not have that choice available.
Either way... feel free to hang out here at the forums, and bounce further questions off of us. There are a lot of people who have gone through and are going through similar experiences to yours. (Sadly.)
02-17-04, 11:40 PM
I live in Maine. Yes, I believe my aunt does qualify. She is qualified to give the test at the school she teaches at. Which is also in Maine.
What kind of accomodations does the school have to provide? I am not sure on that.
I live in a very small community. The school has 29 kids in grades K-8. They have 3 grades per classroom and they are small classrooms. The class my son was in had 6 kids in grades 3-5. It should not be a problem to get the extra help he needs.
No, I do not have the option of sending him to another school. I already tried that. Our school is in a school union. There are 3 schools in this unit. I asked that my son be sent to another school, but the superintendant told me I would have to pay tuition for him to go to another school and she would not approve it anyways.
The teacher he had is an older woman. She would tell me my son was lazy and call him names.
I pulled him out of school during christmas break and started homeschooling him. It is very tough to teach him, I know. I would not like the teachers job. But, I am not a teacher and the school should have qualified teachers to teach children with ADD and other learning disabilities.
He still goes to the school for his Health, PE, and Music classes. The kids pick on him at school and say he is not a part of their school. The school requires the kids have cross country skis for PE, the PTA rents the skis for the kids. When I pulled him out, the PTA took his skis away from him even though he is still participating in PE. The school union got him a set a skis but the boots are too small for his feet. I tell the school this and they tell me, he will have to deal with it or receive a failing grade in PE.
Alot of things going on that are not right. I just don't know where to turn to.
The reason I pulled my son out was he was getting discouraged with school. He was suspended 2 times in a month for things that were not his fault. He had 5 days of detention that same month for calling another boy a girl. And he could not participate in the christmas party. My son was ready to give up. He was failing his classes and getting in trouble. I voiced my concerns to the principal and she encouraged me to pull him out of the school. Claimed she was concerned too. I thought her punishments were too harsh.
I just don't know what to do. I suffer with major depression. I don't know how much more I can take.
Addparent, here is a link they may help you...
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2080 I am also pm'ing you with more information they may be of help to you as well.
02-17-04, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by addparent
...but the superintendant told me I would have to pay tuition for him to go to another school and she would not approve it anyways.
...The teacher he had is an older woman. She would tell me my son was lazy and call him names...
...I tell the school this and they tell me, he will have to deal with it or receive a failing grade in PE...
...He was suspended 2 times in a month for things that were not his fault. He had 5 days of detention that same month for calling another boy a girl...
...I voiced my concerns to the principal and she encouraged me to pull him out of the school...
If you can afford it or find some way to get legal aid, the person I would be talking to is a LAWYER.
These are things that under your local law you should be able to challenge... and the second item, if you could prove it, you could get the teacher charged with harassment, slander, and/or child abuse.
You could sue the school for a LOT of money if you had documentation of all this.
I would start writing down EVERYTHING that is going on here, every detail, name, time, place, keep copies of all correspondence and forms. If the school makes a decision you don't like you have the right to demand it in writing... if they refuse to give it to you in writing, that is highly suspicious...
I would make friends with a local politician right now. Make friends with a whole bunch of them, in fact. Tell them all of your concerns. I dunno what things are like down there, but up here, our school boards are elected... and the school boards are the ones that your principal answers to.
I agree with waywardclam.... make copies and record everything going on. I sent you some information also via private message. I hope you receive it.
It is also wise to take a tape recorder to personal meetings with school, just be open about it...and place recorder where they can see it.
02-18-04, 01:35 AM
Yes, I received it Mary. Thank you very much, both of you.
02-18-04, 02:38 AM
First of all welcome to the forum's and I look forward to seeing your posts as I am a genuinly nosy person lol.
I will reply to your post here but first I need to calm down. My son is currently going thru alot of the same episodes as your son. And I am fighting a battle not unlike your's; but, I feel replying now while so angry will not be helpful in anyway so I will see you in the morning after I have had time to sleep on what I want to say.
Hugs, much respect and good wishes for a restful night
02-18-04, 08:17 PM
What have you done Nucking_Futs? How are you getting the school to help you and your son? My husband wants to send him back to school but, I don't want to unless they are willing and able to help him there. My husband also has said the only thing wrong with our son is he is lazy. I don't believe that though. We have had many arguements about this. When his doctor diagnosed him with ADD my husband was against putting him on medication. I finally talked him into it, just a trial period. My son is currently on Concerta 18 mg. I have seen some changes but no drastic ones. Not sure what I should be looking for. Since he has been on the medication, he does better in the mornings with his school work but afternoon he is the same as he always has been. He has appointment with dr March 9, can't wait to discuss this with his dr.
School is not willing to do anything until we have medication working for him. From what I understand, medication will not take care of everything. Our superintendant is also our special ed director. She argued with me for 4 years that there was nothing wrong with my son. He just did not want to do the work is what she says.
My husband and I thought about getting a lawyer. Hubby says the school neglected our son. I don't want money out of this. I want my son to get education he deserves.
If anyone else is going through anything similar to this or has gone through something like this, please tell me what you are doing or have done.
02-19-04, 12:46 AM
Please, remember that everything I am about to post may have worked for my son and with the school board; but, it may not work well with your son and board. So, take what you need, leave the rest and NEVER SURRENDER!!!!!!
I know the pain and frustration you are going thru right now and I know you probably have the urge at times to give up but THAT is WHEN you should give more. When you give up your son loses the battle. So my first piece of advice to you is hold tight to your son, children are endless sources of energy, courage, strength and forgiveness. Watch and learn.
Obviously, your son has been diagnose with ADD or he would not have a prescription med. That was your first step and a wise one. Your husband and you now need to proceed with behaviour modification which will give your son the skill's to succeed in life with or without meds. Meds are only a band aid; but, do help in calming a child and making them more receptive to behaviour modification's.
OK that out of the way, here is our story:
Dakota's first grade teacher decided to hold a meeting with both my husband and I and the principal. Informing us that Dakota was not keeping up and she had decided to hold him back for another year. This completely shocked and outraged me; my son has alway's been extremely intelligent so I could not understand how she could in fact consider him slow. I happened to mention this to his pediatrician who decided it would be in Dakota's best interest to have him thoroughly tested before we made a decision.
The school system balked at testing my son complaining of the cost's (k-12 in the same school) but, that year they could afford new football uniform's which really torked me off. So, I contacted the ESU who informed me that the state of Neb. only has so many day's to set up a testing after request or it becomes an abuse issue. I informed the school board of my learning's and two weeks later my son had been tested. What we found out shocked us, My "lazy" son (as the teacher referred to him) actually tested far above normal range, another word's they were boring him to death therefore he would let his mind wander.
We refused to hold our son back and forced the school to uphold their requirement's for providing our son with the best education possible suited to his special needs. Unfortunatly, we had to do this with the aide of a lawyer who sent paper's with threat's of lawsuit's. Luckily, he is a generous man and did this for us pro-bono.
We then enrolled our son in behavioural modification program's ran by his therapist. These have been an absolute blessing!!!! As, the lesson's learned are life long and will give your child the tool's needed to overcome ADD and succeed in life. the motto is ADD IS MY ADVANTAGE NOT MY DISADVANTAGE. It has also taught my son self esteem. He was also able to Dc his med after six month's.
During his second and third grade year's we noticed a vast improvement in our son's behaviour's and schoolwork. He looked forward to getting up every morning for school and really enjoyed the fact that he had homework while the other kid's did not *laughs and rolls eyes*.
The trouble started back up again this year (fourth grade)wondering mind, difficulty completing the easiest of task's and his grades went from A's in advanced course's to D's. His teacher decided to drop him back to the fourth grade level work, it was not her decision to make without the consent of the parent's and is not normally done without further testing. I approached the school board about her decision and that she had not informed us of her decision before hand.
It is also during this time that we found out our son was being harrassed by another student in his class, not only bullied mentally but physically. Unfortunatly, this is were we dropped the ball, we taught our son that it was never ok to fight.
We were losing our son and had no idea. He painted his room with little saying's "my dad hates me" "my dad is mean to me" "i'm fat and ugly" "stupid" you can imagine the horror I felt when I walked into that room. We rushed him to his doc who TX's deep depression and prescribed a med. This has helped; but, his teacher has found new way's to humiliate him during class i.e. standing up in front of the classroom and apologizing for not being able to see the board. I'm ashamed to say that I was so angry I went and bought every book I could afford on ADD and threw them on her desk and told her not to thank me I was just doing my part to conquere the world one ignorant @ss at a time. Which accomplishes nothing.
We have just had another meeting with the school board. What I did was place a tape recorder in plain view of the board member's and proceeded to voice every single greivance I had this time I remembered to control my anger. I accomplished a new testing date for my son and his teacher will be watched more closely for abuse and the bully will no longer be allowed near my boy.
You have national and state legislation that say's the school HAS to provide your son with an education suited to his specific needs. Print these laws out for the school perhaps they are ignorant to them. Speak to lawyer's about your dilemma your case sound's like cut and dry abuse I'm thinking you'll have no trouble getting one to take a pro bono case. You don't want money just an education for your son that is good; but, perhap's you will get a judge to see there is trouble at the school and you will be allowed to remove your son without paying tuition. PROOF of all and every conversation held with these people, it forces them to follow thru with agreed upon terms. Be willing to negotiate, there are no winner's in this game.
Behavioural modification's differ. What has worked for my son is first we cut out all caffeine which also mean's anything chocolate; caffeine is a stimulant something your son does not need right now. Dakota carries with him at all times a journal it help's to be able to look back and see what kind of thing's draw your attention away from a task and it also help's you to notice trend's. Yoga is wonderful in teaching concentration but it also a life long lesson on how to step back and calm yourself.
I'm gonna stop for now as I think my post is probably huge. But, keep me posted and ask any question's you like and I will either have an idea or someone else will. Please, remember the most important rule to raising a secure ADD child. There are NO bad children only bad behaviour's. Another word's when disciplining do not yell AT him. Tell him that behaviour is totally unacceptable and will NOT be tolerated in this house. I only tell you this because I do not want to see another child go thru what mine has, learn from our mistake's.
Hugs and many prayer's and well wishes being sent your way
02-19-04, 01:35 AM
Thank you for replying Nucking_Futs. I am going to request another meeting with the superintendant and teachers on Monday after Feb. break.
On one day my son wants to go back to school and then the next he would rather be homeschooled. I am getting frustrated with trying to teach him, so I know what the teacher was goign through. I do not deal with stress very well. I am severly depressed. I feel like I know longer have a life. I get up in the morning and start teaching him, at night I am getting next days plan together. I go one day at a time. This is very hard on the whole family.
When I get upset with him, I try to walk away and cool off but he holds me so I won't leave. I do yell, I don't want to hit him and I won't. But there are times when I need to get away. Try to explain that to him and he don't seem to listen. Or he plugs his ears and tells me he is not listening.
My aunt is going to test him tomorrow for learning disabilities. I am anxios to know the results of that. I am not really close with my aunt, only see her a couple of times a year even though she lives 20 miles away, but I trust her judgement when it comes to teaching my son. She has been a special ed teacher for 25 years. She deals with kids like my son everyday.
Next question is what are some things that the teacher could be doing to help him, or should be doing? Reading is an issue with him and so is writing. At home, I try to do as much as I can orally but that will not work at school. They refuse to modify his curriculam at the school. It is easier on both of us if he does it orally. He don't fight so much to do it. Math, he does ok as long as it is not word problems. That tells me he is having a hard time reading. The school says no. My aunt says the same thing as me. She also tells me it won't matter if he is on meds or not as far as testing for learning disabilities.
Our school board is not much help. I wrote in previous post about skis the PTA took away. Well the woman in the PTA that took his skis is aslo 1 of 3 members of our school board. The school board just voted Tuesday to close our school. That means having to bus our kids 15 miles or more to another school. I am not too kean on closing the school.
Everything is so overwhelming. I don't really know what to do. I am sorry I am rambling. Just trying to explain the situation here.
02-19-04, 07:03 AM
My son too used to hold me when I tried to walk away,,,talk with him about this explain you do not want to say something you cannot take back or that will make him feel bad, we found that my son is comforted with setting our watches for say 15 minute intervals giving us both time to calm down and he know's I will come back.
First off I would wait until the test's result's came back my brother had the same troubles and was later found to be dyslexic; also, it could be something as small as his eye sight.
Being on meds did not matter for my son your aunt I believe is right either they can handle the curriculum or not.
Perhaps, it will be better in the long run for your son to be shipped to another school. This will mean a new school board of course but perhaps a more receptive one to your son's personal needs.
And don't apologize to me I hate that,,,be yourself,,,your frustrated and sad that is all understandable and you have no reason to apologize for the way you feel. And I'm the queen of rambling *wink, wink*
Hugs, keep the faith
02-19-04, 11:01 PM
I can not send him to another school. I can not afford the tuition. As far as the school closing, I would still be dealing with our school board and same superintendant. We are consilidating with another school in the school union.
My aunt did some of the test today. It showed that his spelling is grade 2 and he is in 5th grade. Math was 6th grade, she got part of the reading done, that showed a grade level of 3.9, but that is not completed yet. She said his writing was not good either but have to wait until she can have it analized at school. So will know more on Monday hopefully.
I was also informed that when I started homeschooling him, I gave up alot of rights. So I think I am going to send him back to school and try to get further testing done and the special ed he needs.
Does the teachers modify curriculum for your kids with ADD? My aunt says that is something he would probably need. Shorter assignments and more one on one for him. I don't want him to feel different than the other kids, but I want him to learn. Any ideas in what I should be asking for?
02-19-04, 11:55 PM
Modification in the classroom is based on his specific need's. I would get him back into the school system and finish the testing to find out exactly were he is hurting and focus on that. My daughter's teacher gives her time during recess to finish her test's and any paperwork that has to be done during school time. My son's teacher allow's him on bad day's to get up and move his desk to a corner so he does not get distracted which works out wonderfully.
One thing to remember is your child is special, unique and beautiful and no one has the right to tell either of you different and you as his mother know what is best and people will get tired of hearing your voice; but, it is the only voice he has so please don't lose hope.
And remember proof of all conversation's,,,take a tape recorder make sure you tape yourself telling them that you are recording all future conversation's to protect your child's right's. And the tuition may not be a problem once your son is enrolled in school and they continue to abuse his right's.
Good luck much love and respect
p.s. we are going to yahoo ADD chat so if you would like to interact on a more personable basis just join us.
02-23-04, 10:07 AM
Nucking Futs and Addparent: I registered just so I can tell the two of you, don't give up! Our school did their best to destroy my son's self esteem. He had minor behavioral problems in his early elementary years. He was not tested until the summer after 8th grade. I never learned to advocate for him. I supported the school. When we found he had ADHD and was reading at a 5th grade level going into 9th grade it was pretty much too late for him. As much as I tried, the damage was done. He dropped out of school in the 11th grade. Don't let up on his teachers or the administration. Good luck and God bless.
02-23-04, 11:22 AM
The same thing happened to my little brother and trust me I will NOT give up. And I find it incredibly thoughtful of you to join just to give us courage and advice. It speaks highly of you.
Thank you so much, WELCOME and I'm looking forward to seeing you around more often as I'm sure you have lot's of advice to share.
02-23-04, 11:24 AM
addparent I also found some rewards and charts and all kinds of really neat stuff on the net that has helped encourage my children not only to try harder to stay on task but to get work done at home if your interested let me know.
02-23-04, 10:35 PM
Nucking_Futs, yes, I would be interested in anything that might help. This is all still very new to me.
An update on what is going on. I received a phone call from a local clinic today. They are going to do a further evaluation on him for me. I was told by the woman that called me, that school would have to consider and comply with any test results that they come up with. They will conduct many screenings to find out what the problem exactly is. They will aslo go to the P.E.T. meetings with me and tell the school exactly what my son will need and they will need to comply. GREAT news to me.
I also sent a letter to school requesting the testing from them and I wrote that I want a written response. Can't wait to see their response. I enrolled him back in school today. Teacher will not modify his curriculam at all. Guess I will just have to wait and see what the clinic has to say. I figure it won't hurt to have the tests done in two different places. I can compare them that way.
Can anyone tell me some of the things their school does to help ADD/ADHD kids in school?
02-23-04, 11:44 PM
Welcome to the ADD Forums New Purpose
02-26-04, 01:03 PM
omg Tawny I am so happy...This is a huge and I mean huge step forward. And it takes the pressure off of you somewhat just make sure everyone is following thru with the plan. And I am not sure how to go about putting the charts on here as they take up so much room. But, you will find them at DLTK's Printable Crafts for Kids' site....It is a really nice site with links to other's. If this does not work you know how and were to find me.
03-26-04, 02:52 PM
The school has tested him finally. The did academic, intellectual and learning development testing on him March 9. The woman that did the testing, my aunt knows her, she also tests at the school my aunt teaches at.
The day that she tested my son, my aunt called me and told me she had talked to the woman and the woman was going to put a rush to get his tests done. That was almost 3 weeks ago. She also told my aunt that I should be having a pet meeting within 2 weeks. I have heard nothing yet on these results. How long do they have before they have to reveal the results of these tests? I am so anxious to find out.
My son is doing much better in school since starting him on concerta. The teacher is still not willing to do anything different. He does get some one on one but he got that before. His progress report says he is doing great now but I know he is still below grade level. What should I do?
04-01-04, 07:50 PM
I finally got the results of the testing they did on my son. He has no learning disabilities, there where no severe discrepancies. So I have determined that his acedemic levels are low because of all the years of being undiagnosed with ADD. His grade level in word reading was 3.6, math reasoning 4.8, spelling 3.4, reading comprehension 3.9, numerical operations 4.8, listening comprehension 2.5, and written expression 2.0. He is in grade 5. Now I need to find out what the school is going to do to get him up to grade level. I have a P.E.T. meeting on April 13. Wish me luck. So far they have been unwilling to do anything to help him get caught up, so I know I have a battle on my hands. No IEP or 504 plan has been done. They say he does not qualify for special education. I am so frustrated with the school right now that I don't even want to go to this PET meeting. I feel like it is a losing battle. But I will go and continue to fight for what my son needs, will I get it, I highly doubt it.