Am I right now to trust the school sponsored....

Laura - posted on 06/19/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Am I right not to trust the school sponsored psych tests?

My ten year old has ADHD and has been in a tiny tiny tiny school since kindergarten. He has shown that he absolutly can't function in a normal classroom setting. I've been asking for a para for him for the last couple years and they finally got around to doing the tests. The school says he doesn't need a para but his almost straight F's on his report card tell me otherwise. I've talked to his therapist and we're looking to see what psych tests my son's insurance will cover. Am I doing the right thing?

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Sonja - posted on 06/28/2009

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The school is supposed to help, but they can say he does not meet their criteria, even if he meets the criteria for medical help. Many states have associations that help parents of children who need assistance to give you advocacy advice (PACER center does that here). They usually help you understand the rules and what "buzz words" to use to get the help he needs. You could look at the PACER center website (they are in Minneapolis) as I think it has info on IEPs and the laws governing assistance. They may list other state's resources as well, I have not looked. Good luck and keep fighting.

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Laura - posted on 06/29/2009

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A para is a para-educator. Someone trained in dealing with learning disabilities that stays with one student throughout the school day helping where help is needed. The meds help but even on them, he has good days where he is able to function and bad days where nothing seems to help. The more bad days he has though, the more frustrated his teachers get and that causes more bad days and it becomes a nasty circle that's very hard to break. He ad been in a tiny school but the district shut down our school this year. I'm terrified of how David is going to handle being in a much bigger class situation. The only thing that worked last year was being in a room all by himself, next to the 1st grader classroom with that teacher (and all of her 1st grader level of patience) checking on him every few minutes. David would get three assignments done and get to come help the little kids for twenty minutes. There were days he would get 9 pages of work done that way. In a standard classroom, he was LUCKY to get one thing done and his teacher would get mad and things went nasty.... He just absolutely cannot function in a regular classroom. He has an IEP and a group called Project Stay is working with him. That's how he got put in that room by himself where he could function. Our tiny school had a total of 35 students k-5... The school he has to go to this next year is a k-12 school with 25-30 students in each grade. Without a para, he's not going to stand a chance.

Cheryl - posted on 06/29/2009

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What is a para? Does your son need learning support classes perhaps? Is he medication that enables him to sufficiently pay attention in school? I would think that being in a tiny school would be a good thing. Are they perhaps not qualified to meet his needs? Does he have an IEP? Sorry to have so many questions.

Laura - posted on 06/29/2009

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I'll look into that. I have a couple people in the faculty that are on my side but it just seems we're fighting a losing battle and it's driving me nuts.

Laura - posted on 06/28/2009

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But if the private tests say he should have help, will the school HAVE to listen and provide the extra help? 'Cause getting what my son needs seems to be like pulling teeth....

Sonja - posted on 06/28/2009

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This would be one area that I would definitely not trust the schools. The cut-off for getting school services for OT requires higher level of disability than for privately insured OT (the same is true for PT and speech therapy). Even with private insurance, they sometimes will not pay. Our insurance did not cover for sensory integration issues and required a global fine motor score

Laura - posted on 06/28/2009

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That's one of the things that my son's normal therapist wants to test for that the school said he was ok on.

Sonja - posted on 06/28/2009

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Have you looked into fine motor skills and sensory integration issues? Pediatric OT can be very helpful for some kids and may improve school performance (if you have one available to you).

Laura - posted on 06/22/2009

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Thanks for the help. I have very little trouble with my son at home given i know all the right things to say and we are very flexible here. But in a school setting, where everything is on a tight schedule, my son just can't function. He despises writing and it takes him forever. He can't follow multi-stage directions without losing at least one step. If he's struggling too much with something, he'll just give up. It would take a para to implement the learning strategies I've got at home. He gets too frustrated, we change to something else and come back to it in an hour. We record on audio what he wants to write and let him listen to it over and over in order to write it down. Frequent breaks to run off excess energy.... A standard classroom setting won't do it for him. Even with the meds.

Aprille - posted on 06/22/2009

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You are doing the right thing!! My mom paid for my daughter to undergo tests with an outside psychologist. Has your son been diagnosed with ADHD? Your child is allowed BY LAW to have what the Federal Government calls a section 504 plan. If he is diagnosed with ADHD, then he is entitled to an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). ADHD falls under "other health impairments" on an IEP. This is a LEGAL document. Don't let the school tell you that you are not entitled to either of these plans! I dont know where you live, but there has to be an organization to help you. Here in Pennsylvania we have the Parent Education Network (PEN) I have gotten so much information from them that I knocked over the school psychologist and couselors with all of it. A section 504 plan is a Federal plan and an IEP is the same. The difference in which one you get depends on if your child has been diagnosed with a disability and yes, ADHD is considered a disability. My daughter gets help in a learning support class for reading and math. Next year (4th grade) she will be in a regular math class as they've found out that she doesn't need the learning support for math. She is in regular classes for everything except for reading.



Is your child taking medication? I didn't want it for my daughter, she is very creative and I was afraid it would squash who she was as a person. I also knew that she needed something to help her in school. My daughter's doctor put her on Ritalin LA which is a 12-hour pill. She takes the medicine in the morning before school and it's worn off after dinner. She doesn't take it on weekends or in the summer as I know how to handle her being hyper. It may sound crazy, but my daughter has gone from being a D/F student for the first 2 quarters of 2nd grade to an A/B student the last 2 quarters. This year, she finished 3rd grade with an average of a 93 A.



If you have any questions about the plans I explained above, please feel free to contact me. I have all of this information in black and white on paper. I'll be happy to share it. Good luck with whatever you choose to do, but know that you ARE doing the right thing.

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