Parents of Jr. High kidz

Tomorrow is our
IEP - 3 year evaluation. etc etc.
I want to write in ideas for transition to Jr High and would like to know what worked for your child. Or what you had wished you had done when your child WAS transitioning.

Rusty is 11, ADHD,ODD, Tourettes - tics and RAGE seizures, Gastro issues, Bi-Polar, Intermittant Explosive Disorder, Migranes, possible Schizophrenia &/or Psychosis, currently on Risperdal , Neorontin and Lithium. Released from local Mental Health Facility to Day treatment and now going to "afterschool" program for a few months. Little brother Michael is 5, easy child *but* copies EVERYTHING Rusty does (VERY trying!). Baby sister turned ONE YEAR OLD 3/22 - easy child so far!!!!

comming in the new Millinium...
Special Needs And Innovative Learning Center of Las Vegas.

I can't really help you because we didn't have IEP in place when our difficult child went to jr. high. But I will tell you, from experience, that the teachers don't "get back to you" about the difficult children schoolwork. And my difficult child did absolutely NOTHING for an entire 9 week classwork no homework - she didn't have any!!! is what I heard and NOT ONE teacher let me know. I found out right before Christmas break (like 2 days) so we spent the entire break getting her work caught up. SHe did the work...I made certain she did it.

So, you might want to consider putting in there that they have to let you know...weekly reports or whatever. I have a friend makes her difficult child take a "report" to every class every day and the teacher signs off on it that he did or didn't do his work. If he comes home without it, or a teacher hasn't signed, then it is assumed he didn't do the work and he then has his consequences. I think Dr. Riley, in The Defiant Child had an example of one. You might consider something like that.

If you don't have the book and would like info on it, give me your email address and I'll send info to you.

Sure wish we had done this!!

The hardest part of the transition is organization. Suddenly going from one room with one teacher to six rooms with six teachers. Trying to get to locker in between and remember what to get back and forth to class. Homework will start to be a real problem because it is so hard for difficult children to get books and papers back and forth and write assignments down.

1. Get a duplicate set of books to keep at home. Write it into the IEP. This solves the problem of forgotten textbooks for homework.

2. Buy a ZIPPERED portfolio to hold everything in. Inside this portfolio stash six thin 2 pocket folders in different colors, one for each subject. In each of these folders, put some writing paper or a thin spiral notebook. Label them for each class. Put his name clearly all over it and offer a reward for its return if found by another. Teach the kid that this is his brain and it is not to leave his hands at any time.

3. The school will probably give you an assignment book, or you can get one yourself. Get this written into the IEP. If your difficult child is like mine, writing down those daily assignments will simply not happen. You will have to get the teachers to either do it or check to make sure he does it. I had a tremendous amount of trouble getting teachers to do this simple thing. Get it written into the IEP that assignments must be recorded before your child leaves the room and signed by the teacher. This is a MUST. It may be the single hardest thing you have to deal with because a lot of teachers think that when our kids get to be this age they should be organized enough to not need extra supervision. Our kids do.

3. Some kids are very riled up by transition. Ask for an allowance that your child be allowed to sit in the hallway for a few minutes at the start of class to calm down. Have it written in.

4. Request seating. Best place is in the front, away from the window and out of eyesight of others. Request it in the IEP.

5. Have it written in also that your child has a quiet place to work if having a very overstimulated day. This can either be in an isolated spot in the room or with another teacher in another room.

6. My son had a terrible time in the large classrooms, we tried to keep him in them. In seventh grade we gradually worked his classes out of the regular room and into the Special Education room. He is now in that room for all classes except science which has two teachers. He needs one on one. He is thriving in this situation because the same cirriculum is taught but transition is kept at a minimum. This is very structured and kids like ours need this type of structure. A lot of the fears that he had about getting to class with everything and on time have been eliminated and now he is free to make a good student. Discuss this with your IEP team and make sure this is an option for your child that you can utilize right away if he is having problems.

7. Make sure you stress to the staff that he receive as much one on one assistance as they can provide. You can request an in room aide, lower student/teacher ratio, you can even hand pick his teachers. With an IEP, this is your right.

8.homework help (during school hours) helps to keep him up to speed on all homework assignments. You can have this time written into the IEP. He is smart and gets it all done in a quiet atmosphere. We no longer have homework struggles at home.

9. Social problems begin to become severe in middle school. A lot of kids today have grown up in tough environments and are violent and out of hand. Do what you have to do to protect your son. Find one teacher on your IEP team who will watch your son in the hallways during transition time (its usually a small area with lots of rooms leading off) or ask the teachers to rotate and keep an eye on him. Kids like ours are very vulnerable. Have ONE teacher assigned to him where he can come with complaints of aggression or teasing and teach him to go to this teacher all the time. Of course this wont be in the IEP but the IEP meeting is the best time for you to arrange it.

As a sped student you can request a modified schedule (for example, in tech ed class my son would have been required to work with very delicate instruments and technology, and because of his hyperactivity the teacher was always on edge and so was he. I took him out of this class.), request a rotation of non academic subjects or ask that a non academic subject be a permanent part of his curriculum.
Basically, you sit down and decided what your son needs and then you approach them team with those requests and dont leave until they are all addressed.


I couldn't get my difficult child qualified for an IEP. If I had, some of things I would have requested would have been a complete set of books for home. A weekly email from each teacher giving me the homework assignments for the coming week and a list of what was incomplete from the previous week. Someone to work with her after school on her homework (tutoring where necessary, otherwise just helping her get organized and making sure she understands the assignments). If at all possible, a "buddy" to help remind her when she is irritating the rest of the class and to be her friend. (My difficult child has a heart of gold but has no clue about another's personal space or that her behavior is disrupting.) A place to dress for P.E. away from the locker room. (She gets a lot of grief there.)

Single mom to 12 year old girl (adopted at 4-1/2). Severe ODD, moderate CD, mild Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), faulty reasoning. Quit the medications -- they weren't working.


New Member
Rusty's Mom,

I hope you don't mind that I shared this with my husband, as he is a middle school teacher.
Realize, however, that he is a male and has a different perspective.

I am not much involved, as I passed school issues to husband when he retired from the military.

husband's Response: "In elementary school, a teacher spent 6 hrs. with 25 students and got to know them very well. In secondary schools, teachers spend only 50 min. with a total of 120-150 students; the result is a much more detached relationship, and perception of much less individual involvement or control.

If your child is not mature enough for this (few are), then regular direct parent-teacher contact needs to be in the IEP.

Daily progress repports work if there are consequences at home when the child does not bring it home. In secondary school, the normal way to pass messages home is via the student. If the student won't, the parent must pick up the slack."

It's too bad our son doesn't have the type of IEP that requires this, as I am unable to pick up the slack, and my husband dribbles or drops the ball more often than not.

J-hyper/child; never feel like I fit in
husband-ret. military, 7yr teacher (5yr in 'expulsion' school; doesn't believe in psychiatrists or social workers
chaos- f25, gifted/underachiever; married, lives in same city
disaster- m22, military (currently Japan); recently checked himself into alcohol rehab!
little B_little mother- f14, ADHD-Adderall 10mg BID; not difficult child, not easy child--definitely teenager!
difficult child- Mes- m12, no diagnosis- argumentative, loves to pick fights (physically with husband, older sibs and brother in law); failing in school; refuses to listen to adults.__no tv, phone and computer use require permission for each use

We have made an amazingly successful middle school transition. Things are better than elementary school here. Reasons:

NO RECESS!!! (no more fighting over who's safe and who's out)

Different teachers--no "Mom" figure to try to manipulate.

Different attitude of school--a real "take no prisoners" attitude, which my difficult child does much better with.

MORE MALE TEACHERS!!--Principal, PE, Shop, Math, etc.

So, now for the advice:

This was mentioned, but it's the most important: The zipper binder. EVERYTHING goes into it. Our school wants them to put papers into dividers in the notebook, but we have a rule that it is done at home, so stuff goes in the right section. Pens, pencils, paper, loose papers, etc. just get zipped into it. Think of it as a small briefcase.

And, our most important rule: NOTHING stays in the locker. All papers, every day, come home.

Our school requires an agenda which gets homework assignments and teacher notes written into it. Get a homework buddy that you exchange calls with every night to verify assignments if difficult child is not good about writing them down.

Be especially watchful for homework papers that seem to re-appear the next evening. He may not be turning in work. I then write "turn in" in marker on the top, and he'd better have a coherent explanation if it comes home again!

Am I micro-managing? Absolutely. But I had to teach this system to difficult child's non-difficult child friend who was just messing up, so it's not just our kids who need this kind of help. I see it as giving difficult child a model so that he can take it over some day. Good luck!

Thank you all SOOOOOOO much for the wonderful suggestions. I will deffinately bring up each one at todays IEP.
Guess we are one step ahead as difficult child takes the zippered organizer with him EVERY day. Of course, teach NEVER gives homework. The binder is FULL of drawings. SEC class is just a way to put our kidz out of everyones hair. I know this will change next year.
THanx again for your ideas!!!
Rusty' s Mom

Rusty is 11, ADHD,ODD, Tourettes - tics and RAGE seizures, Gastro issues, Bi-Polar, Intermittant Explosive Disorder, Migranes, possible Schizophrenia &/or Psychosis, currently on Risperdal , Neorontin and Lithium. Released from local Mental Health Facility to Day treatment and now going to "afterschool" program for a few months. Little brother Michael is 5, easy child *but* copies EVERYTHING Rusty does (VERY trying!). Baby sister turned ONE YEAR OLD 3/22 - easy child so far!!!!

comming in the new Millinium...
Special Needs And Innovative Learning Center of Las Vegas.


MrNo did not have an IEP at transition to middle school but the school was very much aware of him: he'd received "modifications" for years and saw the school s.w.

I wish I had done all of the things suggested above but most of all, I wish I had had an IEP in place at transition. This might surprise you because I certainly knew how to get one---LOL---lets hope so--but since LESS SCHOOL is not a usual plan, I had a hard time thinking "outside the box" to figure out what he needed, even if you consider sp.ed. a very big box, as I do.

MrNo would have been helped by many of the suggestions above and I heartily endorse them, but most important, he is now regarded as an "individual" to a far greater degree than he was in elementary school--HOWEVER, the 6th grade transition almost put him in an in-pt. situation because I was slow to act--and the communication with teachers was very poor in 6th grade.

My motto--forewarned is forarmed--so get the IEP in place for kids who are having difficulty in elementary school--things are NOT likely to get better in middle school.

P.S. I would like to see this thread archived also but at the moment, the archive function cannot be used. That is part of my motivation for responding: I wanted to move the thread up until it can be archived in Jerri's Forum or mine.