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Old 12-13-17, 10:15 PM
dihard dihard is offline
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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
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Old 12-14-17, 09:18 AM
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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!
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Old 12-14-17, 12:59 PM
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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.
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Old 12-14-17, 01:08 PM
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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?
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Old 12-14-17, 01:12 PM
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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.
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Old 12-15-17, 01:21 PM
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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
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Old 12-15-17, 02:21 PM
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Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old

Quote:
Originally Posted by dihard View Post
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
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.
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Old 12-15-17, 02:28 PM
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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.
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Old 12-16-17, 09:37 PM
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Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old

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Originally Posted by dihard View Post
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).
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Old 12-17-17, 10:37 PM
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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.

Last edited by peripatetic; 12-18-17 at 11:36 AM.. Reason: no links of that nature allowed
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Old 12-18-17, 10:06 AM
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Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old

Quote:
Originally Posted by dihard View Post
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.
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Old 12-20-17, 01:28 AM
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Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old

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Originally Posted by Caco3girl View Post
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.
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Old 01-03-18, 01:09 AM
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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!
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Old 01-03-18, 05:09 AM
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Re: Newly diagnosed 11 year old

Quote:
Originally Posted by dihard View Post
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.
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Old 01-03-18, 07:53 AM
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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.
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