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dihard 12-13-17 10:15 PM

Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
My son has always struggled with school but this year has been exceptionally tough. He started middle school. Currently he is missing over 50 assignments in math alone. I knew it was going to be a rough year right away and started talking to the counselor. It took this long to get a meeting for his 504. I have so many questions and concerns... I try to do homework with him or encourage him to do it but he just shuts down with the mention of homework. All the anger comes out at that time and we get no where. I have a tutor for him but that only helps one day a week. So some questions...
1. What accommodations does he need (looking at the article from this site but have bit read it yet. Meeting coming soon)
2. Math teacher told him today that he will have lunch detention for more than 5 missing assignments. ( he has 50+ so this means daily detention). This seems so wrong to me. Any thoughts?
3. He was stated on concerta but refuses to take it. Any input?

I am a single mom and I am trying so hard but damn this is draining.

Tricia

Caco3girl 12-14-17 09:18 AM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Hi Tricia,
I am also a single mom and I truly feel your pain. My son started becoming overwhelmed by his ADHD symptoms around age 11 and I felt like I was on a hill trying to hold up a rock and it was a daily struggle and had me in tears several times because it just seemed hopeless.

I got out of that funk by doing several things:
1. I requested an IEP rather than a 504, teachers take an IEP more seriously and it allows for more specialized accommodations.
2. One of the accommodations the IEP allowed was co-taught (team-taught) classes. Two teachers, one teaches, the other keeps students focused on the teacher. Also the second teacher bugs the kids about missing assignments.
3. Part of the IEP, and this will work on the 504 as well, was the ability to hand in ALL missing assignments late. For grades K-8 they usually will let you have as long as you want, even all semester. Grades 9 and 10 it's capped at a week. Grades 11 and 12 they try to do away with it all together but my son still has 1 day late allowances and still gets full credit.
4. My kids take their meds, they have no choice. I understand the argument of a kid should have a say but I don't agree with that. Until they are 18 it's up to us to decide what is best for them, or at least have veto power over their plans. If he won't swallow the pill you can sprinkle it in applesauce or yogurt. The school situation will only get worse, it's time for you to demand he take his meds.
5. All those penalties, like missing assignments equals detention or ISS went away when my son got his IEP.

My son's accommodations in high school are:
1. Extra set of books for the house. I hated hearing "I can't study for that I left the book at school."
2. He gets the study guide at least a week prior to the test.
3. Gets 1.5 times to take a test, and that includes quizzes.
4. He takes his tests in a small group room in the guidance counselors office so he can talk to himself out loud.
5. Any assignment longer than a paragraph he has on audio book
6. Any test that has reading comprehension he has a person that will read it out loud to him as many times as he wants. (This does not count for state tests like CRCT's or IOWA's)
7. Extra time to turn in assignments.
8. If the test/quiz is on the computer he is allowed to take it on paper first and then input the answers into the computer. (Does not count for state tests)
9. Co-taught classes for all core subjects. So he doesn't have a co-taught class for his elective this year, but math, science, social studies and lit he has two teachers in every class.
10. Allowed to take pictures of the board with his phone and text them to me or himself.
11. He has a study hall. For one period a day, this year it is 7th period, last year it was second period, he goes into a room with a teacher than can help him with ANY subject and he is required to work on school work from bell to bell. He is graded on if he is working, or just goofing off and doodling. This is a real class grade, it counts as an elective. This has been the second best thing aside from co-taught classes because this gives him time in the school environment to DO his school work which is fresh in his mind, because lord knows he isn't doing anything much at home!

My son went from almost flunking 8th grade to being in 10th grade with really good grades. His grades are so good now, and he is understanding so much more, we are actually talking about colleges, which isn't something I thought would EVER happen!

Best of luck to you, take it one day at a time, one issue at a time. I had to let completely go and watch him fail horribly for the school to understand that I was the only thing keeping him passing. It was heart breaking and rough on us all, but I now have a 10th grader who has only asked for help twice this year with school work, and he STILL has good grades. It's been awesome!

sarahsweets 12-14-17 12:59 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
If your son is 11 he doesnt get to refuse to take meds. If the concerta is hard to work with switch to something that is in a capsule that you can sprinkle onto something. When our kids are undiagnosed or newly diagnosed they still hold us hostage. Weve been beside ourselves with fear, grief, sadness and feeling alone that the familiarity of all the fights and struggles feel normal. Well they are not normal and you will have to relearn how to parent your adhd son just as much as he has to learn how to work within his own new boundaries.

dihard 12-14-17 01:08 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Thank you for the reply and all of the suggestions. I was told by the counselor that we should just do the 504 plan since he is not failing all of his classes. I thought that sounded silly but figured he knew what he was talking about.

With the 504 plan, can the teacher still do everyday lunch detention? I am waiting for the school counselor to call me back regarding this. My son needs a break during the day, it will only make his behavior worse if she keeps him in lunch detention. If there is no way around it then I will leave work and pick him up for lunch everyday ;). This teacher is so frustrating. She has him sit in the back of the class and is just a real b. Sorry, I am really annoyed with her.

Is there really much of a difference between the 504 and IEP? Does just the ADD diagnosis make him eligible for an IEP?

dihard 12-14-17 01:12 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Thanks Sarah! I bought a cd called "calming the chaos" from Parenting with love and logic. I know that I need to change how I parent but it is tough. He actually took his medication this morning so hopefully he will see some improvement and want to continue taking it. If that does not happen then I will talk to his doctor about a different medication.

dihard 12-15-17 01:21 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
I spoke with the counselor yesterday and he told me that my son does not qualify at this time for an IEP. I asked why and he said that ADD is not a disability that affects how someone learns. I say BS. i think that they do not want to do the work of an IEP if they do not have to and it is just easier to try the 504. I am going to give the 504 plan a month and if nothing is changed I will demand an IEP.

On another note, my son took his meds yesterday and today because he said he wanted to :yes:

Caco3girl 12-15-17 02:21 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dihard (Post 1978785)
I spoke with the counselor yesterday and he told me that my son does not qualify at this time for an IEP. I asked why and he said that ADD is not a disability that affects how someone learns. I say BS. i think that they do not want to do the work of an IEP if they do not have to and it is just easier to try the 504. I am going to give the 504 plan a month and if nothing is changed I will demand an IEP.

On another note, my son took his meds yesterday and today because he said he wanted to :yes:

That is great about the meds, I really hope that helps.

Regarding the 504 vs. the IEP. Yeah, I was also told ADHD isn't an IEP thing, so I demanded they do the testing for a learning disability. NOTHING matched up. What he could explain verbally vs what he could explain non-verbally, well there was a huge difference. I had to go round robin with them for over a year and in the end he was classified as OHI (Otherwise Health Impaired). So yeah, the counselor is correct ADHD is not a coded reason for an IEP, but OHI sure as heck is!

Both of my children are on an IEP for ADHD. My son spaces out for 20 minutes each class period, THAT affect how he learns. My daughter appears to be UNABLE to stay in her seat during class. She needs her water bottle, a band aid, to get something from her book bag, to tell the teacher something urgently...which has NEVER actually been urgent...etc. Constantly up and down and focused on your next excuse to get up can also affect how she learns.

The extended time to hand in the assignments...that COULD be put on a 504 as could what they call preferential seating. That is seating that is more likely to allow the kid to focus on a teacher, such as front and center, or next to her desk. The two things I felt were vital to my kids educational success was a study hall for my son and co-taught classes for both of my kids. Those are only allowed under an IEP because they cost money. It doesn't really cost the school anything to get the kid extra time for a test or extended time to turn in your work, so those can be on the 504.

If I were you I would email the guidance counselor and copy the vice principle in charge of student affairs and say something like "I've thought about our conversation today and I can't see how a medical condition like ADHD would NOT interfere with how ADHD a kid learns or why my child would not qualify for an Individualized Education Plan since he has a documented medeical condition that appears to me to affect how he learns. Can you please go into that further, there has to be another catagory for an IEP, perhaps we need to hold a meeting to discuss this in person?"

THAT right there has red flags all over it that that counselor just opened up the school for a lawsuit, you will get your meeting and I'm betting it will have WAY more than the counselor there.

dihard 12-15-17 02:28 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
There has been talk about him also having dysgraphia so I have asked to have him evaluated for that. Dysgraphia is definitely a learning disability so hopefully that will not take too long (yeah right).
I am about to call the principle in a bit about the math teacher trying to keep him in for lunch detention everyday. I have tried talking to her but she stands her ground so I am moving up the chain. If the principle will not do anything then I will be leaving work everyday to have lunch with my son in my car.

maple17 12-16-17 09:37 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dihard (Post 1978790)
There has been talk about him also having dysgraphia so I have asked to have him evaluated for that. Dysgraphia is definitely a learning disability so hopefully that will not take too long (yeah right).

Does he have other motor skills issues or just problems with his writing? We had Mstr 9 evaulated for dysgraphia but it came back negative and it's most likely dyspraxia the OT thinks (he meets all of the diagnostic criteria for it; the writing was just the most obvious issue in a primary school setting).

meigemann 12-17-17 10:37 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Hello,

It really sounds like your son is having a hard time in school and that you are doing everything you can to help him. I can relate to your post because my son struggled all throughout school but what I have found is that positive reinforcements worked much more than negative consequences did, such as losing recess for something that clearly goes beyond a child that is being defiant or forgetful. I would encourage you to find the ways in which your son learns and then share your discoveries with the school. Keep trying and don't give up. I recently read this article that you may find to be helpful. it is called encouraging auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning.

Caco3girl 12-18-17 10:06 AM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dihard (Post 1978790)
There has been talk about him also having dysgraphia so I have asked to have him evaluated for that. Dysgraphia is definitely a learning disability so hopefully that will not take too long (yeah right).
I am about to call the principle in a bit about the math teacher trying to keep him in for lunch detention everyday. I have tried talking to her but she stands her ground so I am moving up the chain. If the principle will not do anything then I will be leaving work everyday to have lunch with my son in my car.

This could be interesting. My son had his greatest problems in middle school. The teachers were so darn bound and determined to fit him in this tiny acceptable box, which there was NOOOO way he would fit it. He had 2 particular special people. On the one hand I do understand and agree that these kids need to be able to follow basic directions. That is how life is, you have to be able to follow directions. However, if there is a documented issue that prohibits kids from following the directions, like ADHD, I do think allowances should be made. Then again, how does this teacher justify to students why your kid is not in lunch detention when he missed the same assignments?

This is where those IEP and co-taught classes come in handy. I will also say that while the middle school teachers kept saying "I'm preparing you for high school, you MUST behave this way because high school teachers will not accept this"....it was all a lie. High School has been SOOOO much easier than middle school. The teachers start to treat the kids like little adults rather than mindless drones, so it works out better for all.

I'm also not so sure having lunch with him every day is a good plan either. While you and I both disagree with the punishment you can't get him out of trouble with the school on these big things. He will loose all respect for his teachers and their authority over him. If he doesn't respect them and thinks you can over rule them on all things you are in for a long few years.

Get him into a study hall, have him make up the assignments there. My son won't do them at home because he needs to be in a school environment to really be able to focus and do them right. Please let us know how it worked out.

ginniebean 12-20-17 01:28 AM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Caco3girl (Post 1978788)
That is great about the meds, I really hope that helps.

Regarding the 504 vs. the IEP. Yeah, I was also told ADHD isn't an IEP thing, so I demanded they do the testing for a learning disability. NOTHING matched up. What he could explain verbally vs what he could explain non-verbally, well there was a huge difference. I had to go round robin with them for over a year and in the end he was classified as OHI (Otherwise Health Impaired). So yeah, the counselor is correct ADHD is not a coded reason for an IEP, but OHI sure as heck is!

Both of my children are on an IEP for ADHD. My son spaces out for 20 minutes each class period, THAT affect how he learns. My daughter appears to be UNABLE to stay in her seat during class. She needs her water bottle, a band aid, to get something from her book bag, to tell the teacher something urgently...which has NEVER actually been urgent...etc. Constantly up and down and focused on your next excuse to get up can also affect how she learns.

The extended time to hand in the assignments...that COULD be put on a 504 as could what they call preferential seating. That is seating that is more likely to allow the kid to focus on a teacher, such as front and center, or next to her desk. The two things I felt were vital to my kids educational success was a study hall for my son and co-taught classes for both of my kids. Those are only allowed under an IEP because they cost money. It doesn't really cost the school anything to get the kid extra time for a test or extended time to turn in your work, so those can be on the 504.

If I were you I would email the guidance counselor and copy the vice principle in charge of student affairs and say something like "I've thought about our conversation today and I can't see how a medical condition like ADHD would NOT interfere with how ADHD a kid learns or why my child would not qualify for an Individualized Education Plan since he has a documented medeical condition that appears to me to affect how he learns. Can you please go into that further, there has to be another catagory for an IEP, perhaps we need to hold a meeting to discuss this in person?"

THAT right there has red flags all over it that that counselor just opened up the school for a lawsuit, you will get your meeting and I'm betting it will have WAY more than the counselor there.


Always put your requests for any testing in writing. if it's not in writing it never happened. E-mails to the school following up on anything. You want that paper trail. You could need it. Don't let your kids civil rights be violated because someone doesn't like paperwork.

dihard 01-03-18 01:09 AM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
We have our meeting this Friday for the 504 plan. I was told that the school cannot diagnose learning disabilities such as dysgraphia. Today my son told his math teacher (the one I am having so much trouble with) that he did not understand what they were doing and she said "ugh, of course you don't". She needs to just go away.
I will follow up on here after the meeting. Thank you!

sarahsweets 01-03-18 05:09 AM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dihard (Post 1980803)
We have our meeting this Friday for the 504 plan. I was told that the school cannot diagnose learning disabilities such as dysgraphia. Today my son told his math teacher (the one I am having so much trouble with) that he did not understand what they were doing and she said "ugh, of course you don't". She needs to just go away.
I will follow up on here after the meeting. Thank you!

You should bring this up at the meeting not afterwards. Its unacceptable.

TygerSan 01-03-18 07:53 AM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
The school may not be able to test for dysgraphia, but they should be able to assess for writing and reading fluency, both of which have the ability to impact learning in the school environment. It is difficult but not impossible to get an IEP for ADHD.

Caco3girl 01-03-18 08:37 AM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TygerSan (Post 1980824)
The school may not be able to test for dysgraphia, but they should be able to assess for writing and reading fluency, both of which have the ability to impact learning in the school environment. It is difficult but not impossible to get an IEP for ADHD.

I've received an IEP for ADHD for both my kids under the OHI (Otherwise Health impaired) clause of the IEP rules.

I wish Dihard would give us an update :(

dihard 01-05-18 08:43 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
I have been updating :). I just got home from the meeting for his 504 accommodations. I am so angry right now. It was me, the counselor, my son, the math teacher (the one who is so awful), and 2 other teachers.

Quick catch up... This week, my son said to his math teacher "I don't understand", she said "of course you don't". I sent an email to her asking why and if there was a misunderstanding. No reply... I asked again. She replied with "I started an email but did not finish". That is not an answer so I involved the principal... On to the meeting...

The first thing out of her mouth was "there is no point to this, this is asinine". The counselor started mentioning accommodations like sitting in the front. The others already had him in the front. I asked where he was sitting in math and of course it was the back corner and she found every excuse not to move him. She found an excuse to avoid all of the accommodations and would not agree to anything.

I am ******

Caco3girl 01-12-18 04:00 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dihard (Post 1981146)
I have been updating :). I just got home from the meeting for his 504 accommodations. I am so angry right now. It was me, the counselor, my son, the math teacher (the one who is so awful), and 2 other teachers.

Quick catch up... This week, my son said to his math teacher "I don't understand", she said "of course you don't". I sent an email to her asking why and if there was a misunderstanding. No reply... I asked again. She replied with "I started an email but did not finish". That is not an answer so I involved the principal... On to the meeting...

The first thing out of her mouth was "there is no point to this, this is asinine". The counselor started mentioning accommodations like sitting in the front. The others already had him in the front. I asked where he was sitting in math and of course it was the back corner and she found every excuse not to move him. She found an excuse to avoid all of the accommodations and would not agree to anything.

I am ******

A friend of mine says "IEP's are an actual law, 504's are requests."...she's a teacher.

504 only covers ADHD kids under the Americans with disabilities act. It's not prosecutable like they are denying a special education kid his right to learn with his accommodations, that's an IEP.

It sounds like the best thing you can do is ask for him to be moved out of that womans math class.

namazu 01-12-18 05:57 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Caco3girl (Post 1981254)
A friend of mine says "IEP's are an actual law, 504's are requests."...she's a teacher.

504 only covers ADHD kids under the Americans with disabilities act. It's not prosecutable like they are denying a special education kid his right to learn with his accommodations, that's an IEP.

I am not a lawyer, but I believe that your friend is incorrect. Hers may be an unfortunately common misconception -- especially worrisome if it's widespread among teachers.

Section 504 (of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974) is a civil rights statute separate from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 (IDEA -- where IEPs come in) is also separate from the ADA.

IEPs often cover special educational services and modifications to curriculum beyond the accommodations covered under Section 504. More info on Section 504 can be found here: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/504faq.html

But denying reasonable accommodations to a student under Section 504 is also a violation of U.S. civil rights law, and one that can (in theory) be legally actionable. You shouldn't need an IEP to enforce agreed-upon accommodations. (That said, it may be easier with an IEP.)

As ginniebean said above, put everything in writing.

I would follow up with the school in writing (by e-mail and/or registered letter). State what you (and apparently the counselor) feel are the reasonable accommodations your son needs to succeed in school (including sitting in the front of the room).

I don't have great ideas for handling the nasty math teacher, but I agree that if he can switch to a different section with a different teacher, that might be better than trying to drag her into compliance while your son's learning (and attitude) suffers in her class. It sounds like the guidance counselor was on your son's side and recommended the seating accommodation. Can you speak with her privately and see if she has any ideas (or could facilitate a section change, if nothing else)?

I'm not sure I'd raise the specter of legal action yet, but hinting at the possibility does have a way of getting school districts to change their tune in some cases...

aeon 01-13-18 12:39 AM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
I absolutely second namazu's recommendation of registered/(certified) mail.

It's not just a paper trail...it's a legal trail with 3rd-party validation under the process of discovery, should it come to that.

Take notes, and names and dates. Be vigilant.

They will wait for, and look for, you to slip. Don't give them that pleasure, but by all means, give them your best.

You taking notes and them having to sign for mail will certainly get their attention.

They may get thoughts about the cost of a fight, and those will be second thoughts.


Cheers,
Ian

sarahsweets 01-14-18 07:01 AM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Call and and request a formal eval from the school for special education services. That part is the courtesy. Then write formally that you want(are demanding) one and use some quotes from PRISE and wrightslaw dot com and send it certified return receipt to the office of special services (or child study team, disabilities, whatever your school calls it) also send one to the principal. By law they have 60 days I believe to either get it down or maybe its just respond, I cant remember. You have the right to request a different counsleor or no counselor be present when you go over the results because you should at that point be meeting with the school psychologist, educational consultant, special ed monitor and maybe some teachers. In the mean time request a one on one with the principal about his math teacher or maybe just you, the principal and the math teacher and square the attitude away. I hired a child advocate once until I learned the ropes and she knew the laws inside and out and never had a problem after that.

dihard 01-15-18 01:59 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
I was able to get my son out of the math class and with a new teacher. She was just awful. His newest grades are posted and he is missing 95 assignments and failing all classes except for one where he has a D.
I asked the counselor about the dysgraphia and was told that this would need to be handled outside of school. I was told the same thing when I asked about ADD. I just don't understand why the counselor would flat out lie. I spoke with someone at the Learning Disabilities Association of WA and she told me to send a letter also.
His counselor is convinced that my son is only struggling because of the changes into middle school.
I am going to send the letter this week. Even if he is behind only because of the changes I need to be proactive and not let him fall further behind.

Caco3girl 01-16-18 12:30 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dihard (Post 1981587)
I was able to get my son out of the math class and with a new teacher. She was just awful. His newest grades are posted and he is missing 95 assignments and failing all classes except for one where he has a D.
I asked the counselor about the dysgraphia and was told that this would need to be handled outside of school. I was told the same thing when I asked about ADD. I just don't understand why the counselor would flat out lie. I spoke with someone at the Learning Disabilities Association of WA and she told me to send a letter also.
His counselor is convinced that my son is only struggling because of the changes into middle school.
I am going to send the letter this week. Even if he is behind only because of the changes I need to be proactive and not let him fall further behind.

I really don't miss these days of the school only doing the bare minimum while my kid failed.

Didn't they say he was being denied an IEP because he wasn't failing? Well...might want to update them.

dihard 01-16-18 08:48 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Caco3girl (Post 1981724)
Didn't they say he was being denied an IEP because he wasn't failing? Well...might want to update them.

Yes!!!! That is exactly what they said. I sent the letter today to the principal, psychologist, counselor, and director of special education. Hopefully this will not take too long ;).

I have been looking more into dysgraphia and it fits my son perfectly. He has lateral dominance, he cannot tie his shoes or use buttons or zippers, he has always had very poor handwriting and refused to write stories. I wish a teacher would have noticed this earlier.

dihard 01-21-18 12:47 PM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Update: the counselor has reached out and will contact me on Monday to discuss the evaluation process. I am so happy that I decided to go ahead with this and so happy that they did not deny me.

Caco3girl 01-22-18 08:48 AM

Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by dihard (Post 1982306)
Update: the counselor has reached out and will contact me on Monday to discuss the evaluation process. I am so happy that I decided to go ahead with this and so happy that they did not deny me.

They can still deny you. They can still try to get you to do 100 other things than an IEP. My son's school asked us to "try" a variety of things. He had a behavior log that had to be signed daily...that didn't work. He had a "check in person" to try and help him stay focused and organized. I think there were 3 other things as well. Bottom line, as long as I kept agreeing to try them they didn't have to agree to an IEP. My mistake, and one I hope you won't make. Stay FIRM on what you want.


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