School not providing for my ADHD/ODD son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Loraine, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. Loraine

    Loraine New Member

    My name is Loraine and I just joined today. I am eager to put a stop to what has been happening to my son. It's a long story but to shorten it My son was diagnosed with ADHD severe combined type with ODD and anxiet y and depression issues in Kindergarten at age 6 he is now 8. we had went through a number of combination of medications for him and think we have found the combination that is working right before christmas.. He takes Adderal short acting 20 mg 7:30 am, 11:30 am and if needed after school 3:30pm; repiradol 1 mg twice a day, melatonin 300mg 1 @ bedtime and sometimes if needed 2, Celexa 20mg daily. The issue is the school decided at the new school year (2nd grade) for him to switch clsses every week. When we had all agreed that ADHD needs consistence and structured enviroment so you see how this was a surprise to me. I have been fighting this matter for a while and just yesterday sat at an ARDS meeting arguing the issue for 4 hours with the result of no resolution to the matter. The principal not giving in or compromising .. I have 2 liscenced therapist that treat him, nurse practitioner, his psychologist, and I, a mother and a registered RN, in agreement with the child needing a consistent, structured enviroment on a daily bases . Told them that the average child has that previlage of getting those rights but they expect a child who is challenged with severe combined type ADHD/ODD/Depression/anxiety to accommodate and be able to function to his best interest at the age of 8 and with ADHD comes immmaturity so at the maturity level of a 6 year old when an average child doesnt even switch classes til 3rd grade but when they do it si with their peers of the same class. Aerage child doesnt swithc enviroments and peers regularly til 6 th grade. How is this right????
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Did you get an advocate to help you out? If not, call your Dept. of Public Education and ask for a free advocate. Really, it's something most of us need to get the schools to do their jobs!
  3. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    This kind of thing just frosts me!!!! If I had known then (elementary grades) what I know now.....! My difficult child is now in 7th grade. Not until the end of the 5th did we find out there is such a thing as "social development classes". (Not every school district has them, but perhaps something IS part of the Special Education Dept.). difficult child has been in that class now since the last two months of the 5th grade. HE DOESN'T CHANGE CLASSES. The only time he changes is to go to the gym for physical education and to the band hall for band. School wise it has been the single best decision in all of his education. As you might imagine the "structure" is not interrupted during the day for him to have to transition seven times!

    First I would suggest calling the school superintendent's office. Initally they will ask if you've discussed this with the teacher, principal, school counselor, etc. at your child's campus. Assure them you have. BE PERSISTANT. If your child is like mine, the distraction of a simple piece of paper on the floor was huge for him and he could not learn in that environment. Normal teachers don't understand. difficult child is in a class with six students (he LOVES it) which has a male teacher and an aide. His lessons are virtually one-on-one, like a private tutor. His grades are excellent....all A's and B's and his self esteem is growing with all the attention.

    I would give most anything if someone had told me that this class existed before I had to be a witch to the school district. For some reason the SD loves to keep this class quiet. Sounds as if your child could benefit greatly. Check it out!
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    What arguments did the principal give for not allowing any consideration? It sounds to me like you would have made your case for difficult child needing to be given more stability. So what were the school's arguments?

    A common argument is, "We can't make exceptions for one student."

    A good response to this is, "This is a student with identified disabilities which are directly impacted by the school's new strategy. It is my undertanding that legally, you MUST make adjustments or you would be guilty of discrimination and failure to give this child equal access to the same education."

    An example I often use when faced with failure to make any allowances for a child like this, is to compare it to a child who is bline, but being punished for failing to accurately copy from the blackboard. Ofcourse a school will recognise the need to make adjustments for a blind student. So why do they persist in ignoring the needs of those with ADHD or other neurological problems? And why do they persist in NOT seeing these disabilities as neurological? Our local school insisted on seeing these problems as "mental disturbance". This of course made them more fearful and anxious about him, which meant tey increasingly got it wrong.

    Not only annoying, but damaging.

  5. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    How frustrating for you!!! I agree, contact the Superintendent. If you can't get anywhere on the phone go down to his/her office and sit there until you get the results you need. If that doesn't work call your local Student Advocacy Board, they might help you. Have you met with the school psychologist? If so what did he/she say? That is absurd. I have never heard of children that young changing classes unless it is to go to gym, art, music...etc. Even if that is the schools procedure they should definitely make exceptions for students with special needs. I had to fight with my easy child sons school principle because he has anxiety, does not like change and is very, very attached to me, so school is a huge adjustment for him. In pre-k and in Kindergarten he cried every single morning when I dropped in off. When he got into the first grade I was no longer allowed to walk him to class. I did not care what the rules were, I did it anyway. I had several arguments with the principle. I disregarded what she said and walked him to class each morning. Finally I met with the school psychologist and she began meeting me every morning and bringing my son to class. We had to do that all through the first grade. He is now in the second grade and still has trouble adjusting. I don't have to walk him to class this year, however I have to stay with him until the bell rings. In fact this morning he was a bit teary eyed, I did walk him to class and stayed with him until he calmed down. The principle was eyeing me, she made sure I knew she was watching. I didn't care. I went with him to class anyway. She now knows not to ask me to leave the building because I WON"T!!!! These "professionals" kill me. They are supposedly "for the children" yet they won't bend at all to accommodate the kids who need that little extra. Why? I swear it is just a power struggle!!! Don't give up. Keep fighting until you get what you need for your child. If you become a big enough thorn in their side they will bend.

    Good luck. Let us know how it goes. :)
  6. Lost_in_BC

    Lost_in_BC New Member

    My Son has almost the exact same diagnosis. School was a constant struggle for us until he had an evaluation at a childrens hospital. The report we got from Childrens hospital came equipped with lots of recommendations to help my son succeed in school. Your son has a right to propper schooling. My Son gets 2.5 hours aid time in class and has a modified program for him to follow. He is grade 5 working at about a grade 2 lvl but he is still gettting instruction in class. They have a room in the school that he can go to to calm down, take a break ect. I strongly urge you to seek someone to go to the school with you. Pleed your case and if they still are not willing to accomadate for your son then takke it above them. Is there a SD councelling office? If not go straight to the SD superintendandt.

    Your not alone in this and you will get help. It just takes time.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sometimes the Superintendent can be a pain in the neck too. I still believe an Advocate is the best answer (and the fastest). Schools can be very confrontational and drive you nuts (been there/done that). Every state has free advocates that are listed at the State Dept. of Education. But school districts don't tell you about them for obvious reasons (as in they don't want the State Board of Education in their face). If you get an advocate, he or she knows the state laws and won't allow the school to try to skimp on services. We have stopped all the fighting with the school board by hiring advocates. School districts don't like to mess with them as they control the pursestrings to the SD. They do what the Advocate tells them to do. We found that even the toughest adversary backed down quickly when we brought an Advocate with us to the IEP meetings. Now we always do.
  8. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Go with Marg's idea!!! I love that response. I say you go in there and repeat that verbatim to the principle!!! "This is a student with identified disabilities......." Go Marg!!!
  9. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    I can't believe that elem schools would change classrooms for a Special Education child. My difficult child has been "confined" to one room since pre school (until this year in 6th grade, but it's only 2 rooms this year) And as to WHY they would suddenly start this in the middle of the school year is beyond me.

    #1 has fantastic resources

    #2 I paid big bucks for an advocate and he's worth every penny!! It's great when they know the district and the sp ed people cuz then he knows how they work. He got them to agree to send my difficult child to a neuropsychologist for a full evaluation....

    #3 threaten with- having legal counsel at the meeting - SDs HATE lawyers. sometimes just the threat of one can work wonders. If you have to follow thru, I've found they do free "consults" on the phone. You just have to be sure the lawyer specializes in Special Education. - which can be a little difficult to find.

    #4 get the therapists, pediatrician, and any other professionals have their diagnosis's and recommendations in writing as to the best environment for him. (if they haven't already) Then there's a paper trail to follow if there's any trouble later.

    #5 if you haven't already, ask in writing for the school to provide an evaluation and observe his behavior and acedemics during the day with all the classroom shuffling. They have 10 days to either comply or give reasons why they don't think it's appropriate.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I couldn't have afforded an Advocate. They are available for free.
  11. 30 and searching

    30 and searching New Member

    We got an advocate for one of my oldest son's IEP meetings. We paid on a sliding fee pay scale. It was worth it! When the schools are stubborn, and not listening to you, an advocate will help out immensly.
  12. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Many communities are so small there aren't any advocates. In the small town we lived in when difficult child was in kindergarten and first grade, there wasn't such a thing. We had to resort to good old fashioned blackmail in that if you do not TEACH my child so that he can learn, that is against the law and we will file a law suit. Period. Hate to get nasty, but sometimes the school thinks they are gods and it really ticks me off. These children DO have disabilities and shouldn't be put into this kind of a predicament. We learned SO much along the way. The school doesn't want anyone to make any waves and they are often terrified of the school board itself. We started with the department head of the special education department. They took notice then.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Devil's Advocate here - the elementary school (ours are called pemary schools) here that my older three went to, brought in what tey called "rotating classes" which meant that the kids went to the teacher, rather than the teacher to the class. They all would change as a group, so the risk of a student gonig astray was nil. In some ways it made the transition easier because in picking up your pencil case and changing rooms, it made the transition from, say, Maths to Music, much more obvious. It also meant that the Music class happened in a room dedicated to it, with all the musicla instruments, charts etc there.

    It was an experiement, they DID bring it in at the BEGINNING of the school year, but it worked. Not all the classes did this - there were two classes that stayed with the same teacher (and room) throughout the day. One was the straight K, the other was a class for Aboriginal kids only, pre-primary, because of ANOTHER experiment they were doing, a theory that the Aboriginal kids needed a different teaching method in their earlier years, based on more traditionally cultural lines.

    I transferred difficult child 1 into this system. They had brought it in at the beginning of the school year that I enrolled easy child 2/difficult child 2 (she went into K/1 so she got a timetable! so ecxited) and easy child, transferring/enrolling late due to paperwork problems with the department. difficult child 1 didn't transfer for another year. So hewent into this after it was well established.

    I was surprised - it worked. It worked well. difficult child 1's really severe ADHD (Asperger's was not known then) could have been a big problem, but I think it helped him transition. With everyone changing rooms together, he managed well.

    The biggest, most huge advantage - when he had to change from primary to high school, he was already well accustomed to this system. THAT is where it really bore fruit.

    However, I do strongly agree that if you KNOW your child won't cope, then the school must take this into consideration and not force thischange onto him.

    But do you already know this? Is it already causing big problems? In which case, it is a school-caused problem which the school needs to address. They may not need to address it by providing a special non-transitioning class, there could be another solution (such as an aide to help him transition) but they DO need to take your concerns on board.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd share my experience of something similar. IF it IS similar...

  14. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome!
  15. Jena

    Jena New Member

    i just wanted to jump in and welcome you here as well. You have found a great place.