Hi, I just found this board as I was googling 504 plan. A little background on my wonderful son. A lot of this I copied and pasted from a parenting board that I'm on where I posted this for advice as well today, so if it sounds strange to you all - that is why. J was diagnosed with ADHD in Kindergarten. Since he was 2, his teachers have all said the exact same thing - he's a sweet boy, not malicious, kind and helpful - BUT he can't keep his hands to himself. He would be hugging someone and tackle them when he was younger. It was ALWAYS something but nothing malicious. We put him on medications in Kinder - focalin 5mg. It worked - no negative aspects that we noticed - it was almost like you could actually see him stop and think before doing something whereas prior he would just do and then think about it. Everything went well with the medications. We continued in 1st grade. 2nd grade we decided to see how he was without medications. After all, we would love to be able to stop the medications one day - we didn't plan on them being forever - and we only use them for school - plus we want him to learn to self-regulate. Anyway, I discussed this with his teacher at the beginning of the year. Told her that we were just seeing how he did without medications and that we had no problem putting him back on them if necessary, but would like to see how he did without them. She agreed - said he was a great kid, a "normal 8 year old boy" and that if she had a classroom of J's, she would be happy. She didn't see any reason to put him back on medications and would work on teaching him to control his impulse issues. Fast forward to today. We had a meeting with the assitant principal at J's school. Last Friday, at lunch J was in line and one of his close friends (a boy) kept hugging him and J told him to stop and the boy kept hugging him and J told him "you're gay". The boy told on J. J got a referral to the principal's office. I get a phone call that J used inappropriate language and called someone a name. He got early morning detention for a week. Fine - not sure how I feel about this. I do NOT think it's ok to call someone a name - but I also am not sure if a week's worth of detention is a fair punishment. It seems that no matter what you do - you get a week of detention. Kind of excessive to me - but whatever, J has detention and I'm fine with that. J and I discussed it at home and we've moved on. So when the assistant principal called me that day, she said that she wanted to schedule a meeting with me and husband. We set it up for today. I called this morning to confirm and she said "great, we'll see you in the Principal's conference room." I already knew his teacher would be at this meeting because they set it up during her conference period. She has never been in the meeting when we meet with the AP before - so I was curious about that. But then when she said - we'll meet you in the principals conference room I told husband - I feel like we're about to get ambushed. The last time we all met like that - it was by surprise like this and they talked to us about ADHD - that was in Kindergarten and we were very new to public schools and my eyes filled up with tears. So we walk into the meeting - it's the AP, counselor and teacher. Not too bad - I'm thinking. The start with J and his difficulty with PACE math (advanced math program he is in.) He has been in this advanced math since 1st grade. He does great in PACE except for the tests. His 1st grade teacher told us at the end of the year that he didn't "test" for PACE but that she was recommending he be put into PACE again in 2nd grade because he knows it and would be bored in regular math. For those that don't know - the kids in 2nd grade PACE math are learning 3rd grade math. So anyway, he's been in PACE all year. He's struggled but always maintained a B average. Not too bad - and it gives him some challenges. Well, it's getting harder for him now. So much so that I told husband that I don't think I want him in PACE next year. The teacher says that he just rushes through everything and doesn't take the time to read it. He is very bright, so he is used to everything coming naturally to him. Well, now that he's challenged - he doesn't know what to do. He doesn't take the time to "learn" something. I remember in preschool his teacher telling me that he was so smart and things just come naturally to him but he's going to have a problem when he gets older and school becomes a challenge. So we talk about ADHD and how I took him off of the medications this year. When we put him on medications it was more for hyperactivity/impulse issues - not attention deficit. But it appears that the ADD is coming out more as he gets older. The impulse issues are getting way better - not gone - but WAY better! That's when they bring up the 504. They explain that he may need more time for tests, smaller groups for testing so that he doesn't get distracted, etc. Especially when they get to 3rd grade and state mandated testing begins. The principal then begins talking about the referrals to her office. Once you get 7 referrals - you are sent to alternative school. I remember alternative school when I was little (not because I went there!) but I remember it was for BAD kids! My heart sank. I asked how many J had - he has had 5 referrals! 2 more and they ship him off with the bad kids! Ok - this is where I'm asking for advice and opinions - good or bad, I can take it. To me, Alternative School is for kids that set fires, cuss out the teachers, start fights, etc. It's not for kids that are sent to the office for playing in the bathroom, calling someone gay for hugging them - I can't think of others that he's been sent for right now, but it hasn't been "that" serious to me. I understand that something needs to be done. They all say that J is so polite, he always says he's "sorry" and "swears that he will NEVER EVER do it again" and says "I know, I did wrong - I have to pay more attention", etc. They say that he smiles all the time (too much even, like when he's getting into trouble he will smile.) This drives husband crazy too - I don't know what to do about it. I think it's nervous laughter - like he really doesn't want to smile but can't help it? He is a very happy kid - not ever sullen and rarely gets mad. He smiles the whole time he's running on the soccer field - it is goofy but that's what he does. And he's the ONLY kids smiling during soccer! I told husband that I would rather have a happy child than a sullen and angry child. He agreed, but it still drives him crazy. And I know that J needs to learn the appropriate time to smile and laugh - but not exactly sure how to teach that or get it through to him. Anyway - back to alternative school - what are your thoughts on this? I'm hoping that we won't have to cross that bridge at all - but trying to prepare and know what I will do if it comes to that. Ok - I know this is getting ridiculously long but I have something else I want advice on. How do you teach self-confidence? This is where a lot of J problems stem from. On the outside he appears VERY confident - everyone likes him, the WHOLE school knows him, teachers and faculty like him - but deep down on the inside he is always looking for approval and acceptance. If you didn't know him very well, you wouldn't see that. But I see it and it breaks my heart. I'm sure living in an orphanage for the first 19 months of his life created this and his need for attention but how do we help him get past that? He wants to please everyone - teachers and peers, but the peers win out when it comes to pleasing the adults or peers. It makes me very sad for him that he struggles so much on the inside. Any advice on this? Ok - I think I could type on and on but I'm going to stop here. Sorry this is so long and if you have any advice on the millions of topics I covered, please share. And ANY opinion I can take, if you're seeing something I should be doing different or anything. One more thing - I asked his teacher is she would be recommending J for PACE next year (thinking for sure she would say no, since he is struggling so much) and she said yes, she thinks he should continue with PACE. Not sure how I feel right now - any opinions on this too?? My question for you all - since I noticed a lot of you have older kids - what do you think about the 504 program for ADHD kids? Is there anything you would have or could have done differently with raising your difficult child? Any advice on dealing with the school on discipline issues? by the way, I love our school and really think they are trying to help him. I don't particularly care for the AP, but she is growing on me.