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Primary & Secondary Education This forum is for parents to discuss issues related to their children's education and AD/HD.

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  #1  
Old 05-03-04, 02:37 PM
amandas_mom amandas_mom is offline
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Basic Info - 504, IEP,

Hi,

I have a 13 year old daughter. She is getting ready to enter public high school in the fall.

We knew something was up in 3rd grade when she was doing homework until 10-11 p.m. We started then asking teachers for help. She even went to see the guidance counselor at her school. We got nowhere.

In fourth grade, we transferred her to another school. Unfortunately, there was no improvement. Finally, 15 months ago, we decided to have her meet with psychologist and try to find out what was going on.

She was diagnosed with ADD Inattentive type. She is taking Adderal XR. The improvement in her grades is one that cheesy commercials are made of.

Upon notification of the diagnosis, the school said they didn't see it was necessary for her to have an IEP or 504 plan. At this point, we gave up on the school system. We thought that we would meet with the high school guidance counselor and principal and let them know the situation.

We have, after begging, a meeting scheduled for tomorrow. We should be happy, right? No. We have already been told that she is to bright to have an IEP or fall under a 504 plan. Her grades have gone from d's - f's to a's - b's. Her IQ is in the 130s.

Is this possible? The ADD does still affect her schoolwork. If she forgets her paper in her locker or at home, she gets a zero which pulls the grade down. All we are asking is that she be allowed to go to her locker to get an assignment if she forgets it before class, or to call home if she has forgotten it at home.

At this point we have given up on the school system being there for our daughter. If they had done what we begged of them to begin with she would have the IEP or 504 in place. Because we gave up and went outside the system, she is now too smart?

Any recommendations you could give for me to bring up in the meeting would be most appreciated. This is a first for us and we want to be prepared. We only want something in place before there is a problem.

Sheila
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Old 05-03-04, 02:49 PM
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Sheila,

Have you contacted your State Advocate? You can find the one for your State at: http://www.bigsplace.com/advocate

S/He will be able to explain your child's rights to you. Also, an excellent source of information on your child's rights under IEPs and 504 can be found at www.wrightslaw.com
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Old 05-03-04, 03:04 PM
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As a general rule, you donĺt have to be failing to get accommodations.
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Old 05-03-04, 03:47 PM
amandas_mom amandas_mom is offline
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Thank you so much! I look forward to reading the different threads and learning more. I only wish it hadn't taken so long to find you all.

If anyone else has anything to add, please do so.

Sheila
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Old 05-03-04, 03:49 PM
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As a teacher, I have seen my share of people who qualified for a 504, but the school refused to give one. I'm not sure why, but I'm almost certain that it has to do with funding and the enforcement of the accomodations. It took a parent with a lawyer to get our school to accept a 504 from another district.

I know that it speaks sadly of public education. Follow Big's advice and get an advocate. Things suddenly go much smoother.

David
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Old 05-03-04, 03:53 PM
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The school does not have the choice legally if she has AD/HD they must allow for accomodations under section 504. They may be correct about her not qualifying for an IEP assuming they actually have current testing to refer to.
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Old 05-03-04, 04:07 PM
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I worked as a special ed assistant in a public middle school. I was able to attend some of the IEP and 504 meetings. There was one meeting I was at that a school admin suggested that a student be taken off of an 504 because she WAS doing well.

I think the admin actually thought that it was good thing for the student. It made no sense to me because the student still had the same disability.

504's require the school system to do a bit of paperwork. It can also come back to bite them if a student does not receive the accomdation that are written into the 504.
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Old 05-03-04, 04:32 PM
amandas_mom amandas_mom is offline
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Thank you. I have sent an email to my state advocate. I hope she responds soon. I am still reeling from the school psychologist asking "What's the big deal?"

I suppose it is because I have ADD. I don't have an official diagnosis but after talking to the psych that did my daughter's testing and reading as much as I can about it, I am sure that is what has been 'wrong' with me all these years.

I just don't want her to suffer the same as I did through high school.

Sheila
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Old 05-06-04, 01:04 PM
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Touche!

I am currently working with my son's high school (where I working as a purchasing ***'t) to get his 504 in place. It sometimes is long and involved - but stay firm and know your rights. We have a wonderful dr who will come in and fight for what is right if the school is dragging their feet.

good luck
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Old 05-11-04, 09:52 PM
CJsMOM28 CJsMOM28 is offline
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I have not been around for a while, glad I stopped by, Interesting thread!

Sheila,


I am going through the same thing with my son, except he is in the third grade. I have mentioned a 504 plan to my sons teacher and his school counselor (they do not have a psychologist) and they say it is very rare that a child can and will recieve one, unless they are very affected by their disability.


My son does not qualitfy for an IEP, his doctor even said not to even try. He makes good grades, he is on a sixth, and fifth grade level on most subjects. Even before meds he made all A's and B's, but focusing, staying on task and all in all just paying attention was hard, he is just a very smart kid.


My Sons problem is he STILL has a hard time focusing, even with his medication, and trust me we have been through a lot of the meds!. The teacher has to tap him on the shoulder occasionally to get him back on track, and his time management skills are awful! That is the main reason why I wanted a "504" was to help him with the time management part.


I was looking for accomadations such as more time on tests or less questions/problems.I'm sure they are looking at his grades and grade level and saying, "yeah right! This kid does'n't need any accomodations". It's so so unfair that a child has to be failing or nearly failing to get these plans!

His EOG tests are starting next week and I don't want him to be anxious next year wondering if he is going to have enough time by having a "504" in place for next year. Bless his heart , today after school he was telling me how worried he was over these tests!

His worrying is making me worry, but I 'm trying to be strong, and NOT less him see! I just told him to do the best he can and that is all the matters, it's not the end of the World,! It stinks what ever questions that he doesn't get to, they are counted wrong.


I talking to this lady the other day, and her Grandson is in Middle school, she said that even on these big end of the year tests, he is allowed extra time because of his plan (can't remember if she said he had an IEP or a 504)

I talked with my sons Developmental Doctor's Nurse the other day and she said that the county we live in was like pulling teeth to get either a "504" or an IEP. It really surprised me because our county has such a good reputation as far as education goes.

I am going to do the same thing and get ahold of my States Advocate, through e-mail or by phone, and get some information. Thank goodness for this forum, I have learned soo much, and I'm sure I will continue to do so!
Sorry for the novel

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!! keep us posted!


Tracy
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Old 05-11-04, 10:05 PM
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Tracy,

Keep on plugging for what you know is right - 504 plans in our district are hard to come by as well - but hopefully with my working there and pushing and knowing my rights it will happen. It will be in place for next year - no help for this year though - we may have lost this one - either summer school or repeat grade.
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Old 05-11-04, 11:59 PM
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Thanks Hockey Mom!


You are lucky to have a Doctor who will fight for you, I like my Sons Doctor pretty well, but I don't think he would go that far for us,(I sure wish!) he is soo busy. He also works alot with autistic children, not to mention being a professor. I hope your Sons Doctor makes a difference for him, I really do. High school is hard enough without the ADHD!


That really really stinks for your Son, having to either repeat a grade or Summer school!Poor guy! Like I mentioned earlier please keep us posted, and keep your head up high!


Tracy
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Old 05-28-04, 09:40 PM
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HI
I just have to put in my two cents...

first of all, it's ridiculous that in order to get help, you have to be failing or getting low grades. That's basically saying that if you're getting help, you can't be succesful.

second, HAVING A HIGH IQ doesn't mean that you DON'T require help.
***THE DEFINITION OF A LEARNING DISABILITY:
MORE THAN 3 standard deviations difference between IQ and ACHEIVEMENT RATINGS.
this is my case... my IQ was measured at 132 or something like that, my acheivement score was average. BUT because my IQ is higher, there is more than 3 SDs diff...

it means that I'm not achieving my potential.

check into it.

A lot of people are surprised that I have an LD, ADD, and anxiety disorder (social)... I then tell them that I am getting a lot of accomodations and help to enable me to survive life at the level I'm at...
which ranges from being able to go to class, take tests easier, and be able to have the time to think things through for projects.

I have to work hard at things people take for granted... being able to organize things into small steps, being able to decide what needs to be done next etc etc.

So, educate yourself, figure out their argument against it and present them with the supporting documentation.

People with LD are not the people who end up working in low paying, dead-end jobs. We deserve to get the accomodations that will help us learn (meaning understand, process it so we can apply it to other situations in our lives, NOT memorize).

Seek out support in your community and don't give up.
I have had to do this, and I feel great. Backing down and trying to get by is worse
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Old 05-29-04, 01:07 AM
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In s ome ways a very similar story. Our 2nd grader was having alot of homework, but teachers claimed it was only 30 minutes worth. Then they told us that Abby could not get her work done in class like the other kids. We hired an outside PhD School Psychologist to come to school and observe our daughter in class, in 2nd grade. She reported a well behaved girl who was trying hard all the time to do what she needed to do, but who could not catch the instructions, relied on other kids for details of instructions, etc, and who did her assignments exceedingly slowly. On her recommendatin, we had her fully tested by the same psychologist, to ascertain what the learning differences were. We also had a CAT, a kind of auditory test, and we found she was gifted, high IQ, and specific learning disabled. We took her to a development pediatrician, and further discovered that she had an inherited trait of sleep apnea. We had the surgery done for that, and her grades and attention improved much. Then we went the next step of having Adderal added for ADD diagnosis, and she improved much like you stated, like a commercial. From 3rd - 6th she was in private school, where no 504 plan was necessary. In 7th grade, we had to face the public school system. We wanted her tested for gifted, and the school said there was no point, because she was already placed in all the honors classes. I revisisted the topic with the school psychologist, and he said there was absolutely no reason to do it. So I revisisted the topic with the Head of the Gifted program for the county school system, who has a doctorate in school psychology. She believed that there was merit in my request. My argument was that someday she may need a dual classification of gifted and learning disabled, and I didn't want her to just have the learning disabled classification. She agreed with me. So we went through a process, of giving the school all the testing that was done on her before, getting teacher reports, etc, and finally having a meeting with about 12 teachers or faculty of the public school system, and what do you think came from that? She A) got her status as "gifted" granted and was placed in the gifted program. B) She had a 504 plan created, which gives her 1 extra day on any of her homework assignments and additional time on classroom tests and quizzes. She worked hard to turn her assignments in on time like the other students were expected and therefore only used it modestly, about 3x per gradiing period per class. This saved her grades and her sanity, as she takes longer than other kids, even with medicine, to get her homework done. Due to the 504 plan meeting, her teachers understood Abby's dilemma, and all felt that it was important Abby have a normal after school life, get some sleep, and be given a little extra time on assignments. They really marvelled over the fact that Abby did not abuse the policy and was very courteous about using it minimally. Abby also recieved about 10-20 minutes extra on tests if she needed it, because she writes very slowly.

Abby just finished the year of 7th grade in public school, having completed 9th grade Honors Algebra I which she received HS credit for, all honors classes in her other courses, and acheived a 3.9 GPA for the year. She was also inducted in the National Jr Honor Society, and into the Duke University Summer Program at Apalachian State University. She recieved numerous awards at the award ceremony, getting gold medallions, ribbons, certificates, etc. She took her college SAT tests and did well enough to get accepted into college as well, to take foreign languages. Furthermore, her good performance in school has made her highly competitive for scholarships and in scholar programs who seek gifted youth with high GPAs. A lower GPA would have somewhat hurt her competitiveness for these highly prized scholar programs.

We think, and more importantly, she thinks, the 504 plan enabled her to show herself and the school how intelligent and academically capable she really is. This is why an academically gifted child needs the protection of a 504 plan. An academically gifted child does not seek or dream about so-so performance in school, they dream to soar to the heavens with their skills and talents.

I really support what you are doing for your child, admire that you are fighting for her, the way we have had to fight for our daughter. It is worth going against the grain, against the school, finding an advocate who really believes in your cause, backing it up with testing, etc.

Good luck

Jonathan
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Old 08-16-04, 06:51 PM
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I spoke with my daughters psychologist a couple of days ago and mentioned this thread. She said that it's the law that they must follow a 504 plan if requested by you. She said that you can't be denied.

Private schools are not required to follow this though, only public schools.

Keep pushing this, ask to speak to the school board if they still give you trouble . If they still don't comply, contact a lawyer.

Denise
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