School Counselor just called ...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by shellyd67, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    Hi everyone ! It has been quite awhile since I posted but I check the site frequently and I have certainly been following our good friend Step and her journey to Mommyhood.

    I don't even know where to begin ... In June I took difficult child off his medications. He was ticking horribly and it just didn't seem to ever help him academically. I thought we would give him a break over the summer and when September came we decided to see "how it goes" without medications.

    We met with difficult child's school counselor who acts as a liason with difficult child's team of teachers a week or so ago.

    We called the meeting and made clear all of the issues difficult child has and what his needs are. She was kind, sympathtic and agreed to revise his 504 and work with us anyway she could. At that time she said all his teachers were in unison that difficult child was nice, well behaved, asked for help when needed but off focus and has to be redirected occasionally.

    Today his counselor called to follow up and is meeting with school pysch to do 504 revisions. She said she met with difficult child's team of teachers after our meeting and told them how hard husband and I work as parents and that difficult child's prior school told them what great, supportive parents we are blah, blah, blah.

    She then went on the say now that difficult child's teachers are really noticing how unfocused and off task he is and that constant redirection is necessary.

    She is aware difficult child was not on medication due to prior meeting and tactfully began to discuss considering us putting difficult child back on his medications.

    I have to tell you that for years now I have lost so much sleep over wondering if medications were the right thing to do for him. If they were in anyway harming him, etc. He has done the "medication go round" since he was 8 years old and NOTHING has made any significant difference.

    He has had numerous tests, therapies, etc ...

    I just feel so lost and sad and worried...

    I was at work when she called and after we hung up, I went into the bathroom and cried for 10 minutes straight.

    I just hate all this and feel so bad for difficult child ...

    Any advice ?
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Is difficult child no longer taking Vyvanse? Which of the stims have you tried? Some of our kids had tics with Ritalin and another medication (can't remember the name right this minute) and the addition of a low dose of Tenex ended the tics. I know how frustrating it is trying to find the right combo and you have my sympathy. It is awesome that you have supportive school staff. DDD
  3. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    This steams me to no end! Schools should not be telling parents to medicate their children!

    For me - medications are always a "quality of life" issue. Does the benefit outweigh the risk? How does the child feel about himself? Do the medications help him? Does he feel better off them?
  4. gingersgrl

    gingersgrl New Member

    I hate dealing with the school system. I feel inadequate enough on my own but even worse when dealing with teachers etc. Have you asked your son if he thinks the medications help him? I know my granddaughter is able to tell me if they are helping or not helping her. If he feels more focused with them maybe it's the way to go and if not would you just be appeasing teachers that really may be more concerned with keeping the whole classroom in order more than in one childs issues. Not trying to knock teachers here but seems like the goals of parents and teachers aren't always in sync.
  5. soapbox

    soapbox Member


    If the medications merry-go-round hasn't produced positive results, then maybe the problem isn't the classical ADHD "focus" issue.

    Has he ever been intensively tested for APDs? as in, the full spectrum of APDs?
    Not just verbal language processing - the original version of Auditory Processing Disorders (APD), which is serious but is harder to miss.
    But things like auditory discrimination (how well we distingush similar sounds), and auditory figure ground (how well we filter out background noise).

    The reason I ask is... these APDs sometimes show up in class as very much a "focus" issue... and it is, but it isn't the usual... it's about trying to focus the "listening" rather than the "attention".

    There are absolutely NO medications that help APDs... but there are interventions and accommodations that can have a huge impact.

    And... a person can be ADHD or Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) or both... (not uncommon to be both).

    Can the school Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) screen for the full spectrum of APDs? (if they are testing for auditory figure ground, they are probably testing all flavors)
  6. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    Schools cannot suggest that a student should be on medications. It is not there place to do so. If the medications were causing tics that can become permanent. medications are up to you and his doctor. If your child feels they help, then perhaps it is worth looking into other medications.
  7. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I second the suggestion of looking for other causes instead of or in addition to ADD. Auditory Processing Disorders (APD)'s seem like a good place to start. If that's the problem, he could use a headset to block out distracting sounds. Another problem could be that he is bored or, conversely, that the work is just too far above his level. Either one of those can cause a child to tune out.

    Medications have their place and I have never taken it badly when a school person suggested I look into them. If it illegal to condition a child's attendance on their being medicated so as long as the school accepts your decision, it's fine, in my humble opinion, for them to suggest exploring that as one option among others - NOT as the only solution. In your case, you could remind them that difficult child was on medications for a long time with side effects that concerned you for his long term health. If the medications did work with him academically, you should look into other medications without the side effects. If they didn't, remind them of that.

    Good luck.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I hear you. I'm sorry.

    I agree, the school system is not supposed to suggest medications. They are not doctors. Maybe they can get away with-something like, "It may interest you to know that ABC used to be just like your son and his parents put him on medications, and he's so much more focused." But they can't come out and say it ... Know what I mean?? Didn't you remind her that difficult child got tics on the medications and that he wasn't that much better and it wasn't worth the tradeoff? What was her response?

    I agree with-the others, this is a good time to upgrade the diagnosis.
  9. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    When was he diagnosis'd with ADHD and by whom? Maybe he needs a more comprehensive evaluation. If he was on medications for a while and you saw no improvement in his attention span and focus, then I agree with the others that maybe ADHD is not the real problem. Either that, or the diagnosis is correct, but the medication that he is on is not the right one for him.

    DO NOT let the school bully you into medicating your son if you feel that is not the correct course of action for him. They can not force you to do that. They want him medicated because it's easier and cheaper for them. You pay for the medications and they don't have to do anything additional for him and it's one of my biggest peeves about schools. They want kids under control, but they jump to medications as the first course of action. My personal feeling is that medications are a good choice for some kids, but I think that other kids could be helped with other interventions, but the schools don't want to do that because it costs them money.

    Sorry. That was my rant for the morning.
  10. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    husband and I made it clear to the Counselor that "we" decide what treatment plan is best for difficult child. I would never let a teacher or any school district employee bully me into anything.

    I am quite a domineering woman and I usually try and set the tone for every meeting we have with school district. I make it VERY clear that I have extensive paperwork, notes, dr's evaluations, report cards, private testing, progress reports etc. I make them aware that I am on top of things to the fullest extent. I make them aware that I am holding them accountable and responsible as well.

    Where this may get difficult child, I sure as heck don't know but he has husband and I as advocates and always we are in his corner.

    We spoke with difficult child last night and really had a heart to heart with him and asked him what his feeling were about medications and did he think they helped him focus better than he his now. He said that his medications did help and he is quite aware of his lack of focus and concentration.

    husband and I are still mulling things over and just are as usual second guessing things.

    difficult child was scheduled for a Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) test over the summer but our Insurance won't cover it and the cost is high. We still owe the Children's Hospital thousands of dollars from when easy child had her surgery and treatment.

    The school district has agreed to do an IQ test on him and some other testing to try and pinpoint his weakest areas.

    I must admit the school district has been very accomodating and kind.

    I will keep you posted.

    As always, thanks for the advice and support.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If the school district has been accommodating ... here, the school Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) can do basic screening for all of the APDs. If the screening does show abnormalties, does that affect insurance paying for a full test? (here, can't get referral for full test without a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) screen first).

    Or... does the school have SoundField or Personal FM systems available? Could they let difficult child try it and see if it helps? (these are common accommodations for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD))

    Ask difficult child if he "hears better" or "learns better" working one-on-one in a quiet environment... if so, it's another flag for Auditory Processing Disorders (APD).