7 yr old is wasting 90% of his time in school

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Loony Smurf, Oct 5, 2006.

  1. Loony Smurf

    Loony Smurf Member

    my 7 yr old his teacher last year thought was ADD. So did I. his pediatrician gave us some forms to fill out and put him on adderall just a couple weeks before school let out. his preformance in school improved drastically, but evenings were horrid, and he was having nightmares...when school was over i took him off them. So far this school year he hasn't been on them. Now he's not doing hardly anything in schoool, the teacher can't even get him to do anything if she's sitting Right there with him if there's Any kind of distraction, even anyone else in the room. he messes with stuff and breaks it, she says he has an attention span the size of a gnat...yes her words. he passed a screening for the gifted and talented program, and they tested his IQ but he only tested average even though anybody talking to him Knows he's Very bright. they suspect his IQ test even was affected by his inability to pay attention. he forgets everything , in one ear and out the other. he's reading on a first grade level and he's in second grade. she didn't say on his math. I know he's really bright, just like the rest of my kids are....but i don't want to have to medicate him for him to be able to function in school. the teacher says that unless he's 2 years behind in a subject they won't qualify him for an IEP or anything.

    So i guess i need ideas, how do i get them to be able to teach him without medicating him? he's not really learning a thing right now...he even ends up in trouble in gym cause he doesn't pay attention to what the teacher says...and i gave up on homework after a week of fighting for 4 hours to get 1 sentence written 3 nights in a row.

    i'm no stranger to sped, my 11 yr old has an IEP, but his problems wouldn't have been helped by medications. seems the school just wants that with this one. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/919Mad.gif
  2. Martie

    Martie Moderator

    Dear LS,

    Your difficult child is going to continue to have these problems in my opinion, and yes, The WISC is VERY sensitive to attention (there is an attention-concentration factor but really, all of it is sensitive to the effects of attention or lack thereof.)

    You said that the medications were effective but evenings were horrid. This is fairly common with psychostimulants. The dosage could be adjusted OR perhaps given earlier in the day. I would never say that ADHD children cannot be taught without medications, BUT with the attention span of a gnat, a prior positive response to medications in terms of attention, and the problems you decribe, I would certainly give medications another try-- either a different medication or different dosage could make him available to learn in school. This is a tremendous benefit to any child.

    Bottom line of 30 years of research is about 2/3 of kids with ADHD are positive responders to stimulant medications. The chief concerns are that they should not be prescribed for children with a history of tics and if a child happens to be an undiagnosed bipolar child, the stimulants usually make the situation much, much worse.

    I once tested a kid whose father was really opposed to medications. The boy was very bright. The factor score I remember best is off medications he received a mean SS of 3 on attention-concentration. On a low dose of methylphenidate, he got a mean SS of 18 (10 is average.) All other scores went up also, but not to this degree of course bec. psychostimulants have a selective effect on attention-concentration. It doesn't always work this way, but in a bright child, it can.

    Best to you,

  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    My son's first medication was Ritalin. The rebound was horrible. He was switched to a different stimulant that proved to be more effective and without the rebound. As Marti indicated, you might want to talk to your difficult child's doctor about trialing a different stimulant.

    [ QUOTE ]
    the teacher says that unless he's 2 years behind in a subject they won't qualify him for an IEP or anything.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I don't doubt that the teacher has either been told this or it's an event she's seen occur repeatedly in her District. I was told this by difficult child's sd, I've read it on this board, and other parents in my area but different school districts have been told the same thing.

    This is apparently an unwritten rule that many sds operate with. It is non-compliant with-IDEA.

    Hint: If you were to ask for the written law or policy that states a student has to be 2 years behind before the student can qualify for an IEP, you won't get it because it doesn't exit.

    [ QUOTE ]
    So i guess i need ideas, how do i get them to be able to teach him without medicating him?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Obviously, the sd can't change the fact that he has a disorder. By law, they can't provide special education or related services until he's been evaluated by the sd and qualfied for an IEP.

    In that it doesn't appear that the sd is going to take the initiative to get the IEP process underway, you may want to consider a parent referral. The report should include recommendations section.

    There are some children that for a variety of reasons just can't take medications for their disorder. There are some parents, also for a variety of reasons, who refuse to medicate their child. In these cases, teachers and parents have to adjust their expectations regarding the child's ability to perform.
  4. Loony Smurf

    Loony Smurf Member

    OK he's been on Straterra for just over a week now, but only a couple days in school. since it isn't a stimulant i figured it took weeks to make a difference, but i see little things already. like he finished 1 whole sheet of math. lol first paper ive seen all year. His teacher mentioned they were trying to get some stuff done on testing, tho i'm not sure if they're actually doing the IEP evaluation or not, but i do think i'm going to ask for a FBA if they haven't yet. I have parent teacher conferences thisevening, andshe wants some ideas on what to do with him. anybody have suggestions for me, on what i need to prepare, or ask for, or hints for the teacher?
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    There's a thread in the Sp Ed Archives regarding preparing for IEP meetings. Although this is a parent/teacher conference, you might find something there to help.