My daughter 10yrs old is ADHD, we are having major problems at school!

LeeLee - posted on 10/12/2010 ( 29 moms have responded )

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My daughter grades are real low at school, she has been on Ritalin, then Concerta and now Adderall 20mg/2x a day! The school is testing her as we speak on Special Education! I live in VA, I asked them for a 504 plan, but they are insisting Special Education. I don't know what to do right now, I also think the medicine has a lot to do with it, because she seems to me to be hyper since the doctor up her dosage last week. Her attention span in school is not good. My daughter was not always smart, but she was making better grades before and has really dropped down to an F student. She also tells me she is getting picked on at school, so I made an appt with a therapist to talk to her. Will anyone give me some suggestions on this? I'm really about to pull my hair out!!!

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Kristy - posted on 10/26/2010

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MELISSA THEY CANT DENIE YOU A IEP TESTING CALL THE BOARD OR EDUCATION WHERE YOU LIVE...ITS ILLEAGAL TO DENIE YOU IEP TESTING

Melissa - posted on 10/25/2010

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am am going though the same thing with my 12year old son and the school system he has a diagnoses of autism specktrum disorderand adhd and i have fought for four years now to get him what they call an iep class here and even have a note from the dr saying he wants him tested and they wont do it! because he is way ahead in reading but way far behind in math

Lisa - posted on 10/25/2010

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An IEP is not a bad thing. Like others have stated, she might need to be put on a non-stimulant with some form of behavioral therapy. All of these things, seem to have negative conotations, but they really can be a life saver to a child and their parents who really need the help. You know what your daughter is truely capable of, so get the help that will help her shine! It is not a form of "bullying" as someone commented for the school to suggest medications and therapy for a child they see is struggling. It is part of their job, the welfare of the child. It's hard to watch our children struggle, so hang in there, mama, it will get easier!

Kaitlyn - posted on 10/25/2010

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I agree with most of the replies already given - don't let the schools steamroll you - you steamroll right back. My main concern though is that you not ignore the part where she says she is being picked on. Bullying is a real problem that our schools seem to wish would go away on its own. I would beleive your daughter about this and get as much detail as possible and take some action on that too. If the school denies it, ask them how they know. Don't accept them sweeping it under the carpet. If you have paid attention to the news lately, this can contribute to low esteem, continue into high school, and have deadly results. Gay kids are not the only ones who get bullied - anyone who is a little different can be a target.

Kristy - posted on 10/22/2010

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LEE LEE MY DAUGHTER HAD THE SAME PROBLEM...ASK THE DR ABOUT PUTTING HER ON CONCERTA ITS REALLY GOOD..SHE MAY STILL NEED A BOOST AFTER SCHOOL AS WHEN SHE COMES DOWN OFF THE CONCERTA SHE MAY GET VERY EMOTIONAL.......IF YOU EVER NEED TO VENT HERE IS MY E MAIL ADDRESS KRISMUM24JS@YAHOO.COM....REMEMBER YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN FEELING HOW YOU FEEL...ALSO IM SOT SURE IF YOUR STATE HAS WRAP AROUND SERVICES ITS WHERE THEY MOBILE THERAPIST COMES INTO THE HOME AND THE SCHOOL IF THEY DO YOU MAY WANT TO LOOK INTO THAT AS WELL....IT ALSO HELPS A GREAT DEAL........AND ANOTHER THINGIS ESTABLISH A ROUTINE FOR HER AT HOME AND STICK TO IT...IT MAY SOUND FUNNY AND YOUR PROBABLY WONDERING WHY AT HOME BUT IF YOU START THE ROUTINE AT HOME AND STAY CONSISTANT WITH IT IT WILL HELP WITH HER ATTETION SPAN AT SCHOOL...HOPE THESE TIPS HELP AND LIKE I SAID EMAIL ME ANY TIME

Christine - posted on 10/19/2010

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I would go with the special education and IEP as there are so many more laws and protections with the special Education classes and IEP's . If she is getting picked on in school has the school done anything about it? There are Bullying laws in effect now where schools can get into trouble if they don't adress this issue. A good site with information is www.wrightslaw.com . And since you made an appointment with a therapist explain what is happening in school, the bullying and dosage change. As I know the therapist should be able to help her with some skill to help deal with bullying and should be able to work with her on social skills etc... could be the bullying at school causing a ripple affect on her grades also.

Tricia - posted on 10/19/2010

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I feel for you. I have a 9 year old ADHD daughter myself. I finally decided to seek a therapist's advice and it was the best thing I could have done. Pediatricians aren't necessarily the right people to choose the right medicine (psych) for your child. There is a reason she is more hyper on these drugs. She should probably be on something like Straterra. Good luck and I'm glad you're seeking help from a therapist. I think you'll find help there.

Julie - posted on 10/19/2010

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I have read some of Dr. Amen's books and he is an excellent resource and has incredibly helpful information. In addition to Dr. Amen, I would also recommend Dr. Frank Lawlis's books on ADHD. Like Dr. Amen, he has written extensively about ADD, ADHD and ASD. I consider his books valuable resources, as well.

Carrie - posted on 10/19/2010

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If you request a 504 in writing the school legally has 5 days to respond! She does not need special education,if they don't feel a 504 will work try getting her an IEP(individual education plan) that I have found works a little better for my daughter. It allows her to have a recording device in class instead of writing her notes and it give her a little extra time on her difficult assignments and projects.As far as the meds go you just need to speak with the doctor and tell him whats going on. Document her behavior every day so you can go in his/her office and show them that this medicine is not working correctly. You know your child better than anyone else and you need to speak up for her!

Julie - posted on 10/19/2010

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You need to make some noise at that school and talk to your pediatrician right away. My daughter is 10 yo and has ADHD as well. In 2nd grade, her teacher began to have some concerns. The school psychologist observed her on several occasions. We discussed her observations. What really got to me was when the teacher said that she could see other kids avoiding my daughter socially because of her behavior. After med trials and finding one that offered some help, we went with that. In 3rd grade, she was a different student. My daughter's school has NO tolerance for any sort of unkind behavior toward fellow students. Your daughter does not need a therapist for this, someone at the school needs to put a foot down. If your daughter sees a therapist, I suggest you go with her together and act as a team. She is not in this alone, and I guarantee the support of you being there with her will be a huge help. Your daughter has been on some different meds. I'm sorry that you have not seen more benefit. I strongly encourage to go back to your pediatrician or to whomever is prescribing for your daughter. I would be very concerned if her grades were suffering now more than before. I would not allow the school to label her as special ed unless you also obtain outside testing. I would reserve judgment regarding her intellectual abilities because ADHD can make it extremely difficult for kids to access all their intellect and they often appear lacking in some area. Also, if you have not had formal Neuro Psych testing, I strongly encourage that. My son (7, 2nd grade) also has ADHD-ODD. Often a learning disability will present like ADHD, and formal testing helps rule that out. Just hoping he didn't have a LD, I was shocked at how high he tested on the intellectual/academic part of the test. I would fight for 504 for your daughter. I would not allow them to test her for special ed unless you really think it is appropriate for her. At most I would negotiate an IEP I know plenty of Moms whose kids have ADHD, and IEPs and are NOT in special ed. It sounds like the school does not want to deal with your daughter in a regular classroom, so she is being shoved into special ed. If she doesn't need to be there, it will hurt her more than help her. I highly recommend outside testing, bringing your pediatrician into the loop so he/she can go to bat for your daughter and finding a therapist who specializes in working with kids with ADHD if you have not already done so. A therapist will know all the ins and outs of the 504 plans, IEPs, special ed. My heart goes out to you and your daughter. This is tough and if you don't have a school willing to work with both of you, it is very difficult. I am extremely fortunate. My kids attend an awesome school. I also know that the climate of public education is different in every state. Best of Luck to you and your daughter...don't give up :-)

Michelle - posted on 10/13/2010

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It could be that having to take a second dose of meds during the day is causing issues my son has been on Adderall xr for almost 5 years now and is doing really well, it is a slow release med so he does not have to take a second dose at school which can be embarrassing to some children as they don't want to be singled out as being different. Definitely get her the IEP my son had one for the first 3 years of school and because of the extra help he received he is now an A sometimes B student. This from a child who was not going to pass kindergarten. Be dilligent make sure they are doing what you feel is best for your daughter good luck.

Joan - posted on 10/13/2010

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Research the No CHild Left Behind policy as well as the individuals with disabilies education Act, these lawas were put in place to help our children. You need to do what is best for your child and if the teacher is not cooperative then maybe switching her class to one with a teacher that has more compassion and understanding is what she needs. I would also talk to her Dr about her meds as our Dr put it "the reason they keep coming up with different ones is because there is not one that works on everyone" My son is in 1st grade and is on Intuniv 2mg and concerta 27mg. He has been taken out of special ed as he was put in there last year just for him to get more one on one as he was not doing any work in his class (kindergarten). He is doing his work and is in the talented and gifted program here. It takes time as well as work and through all of this I have learned that NO ONE will advocate for your child like you will. I would also recommend that you have a full phsychological evaluation to ensure that ADHD is the only issue you are facing.
For all those interested. Intuniv is the only ADHD med that also helps with ODD. It is amazing for my little dude!

Michelle - posted on 10/13/2010

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To Angela, my daughter does not have any learning disabilities...her IQ is 129, yet she is in a "special ed" class. She has ADHD & ASD. She is in a Spec Ed class AND a mainstream class with and IEP to help the teachers help her learn the way she needs to learn. It is a program that teaches her things like self-control, social skills among others, to help her "fit in" with her "normal" friends. The special ed class of today is not the same as it was "back in the day".

To LeeLee...DEMAND that the school district test your daughter. It is your right and their responsibility to have in place the programs that she needs to excel in school.
Talk to your daughter's doctor and see if there is a different medication that might work better for her. You don't say when your daughter was diagnosed or how long she has been on her meds. My daughter was diagnosed ADHD at 4 yrs and is 7 now. She wasn't put on meds until middle of Kindergarten. We have had to adjust the dosage for her and are now looking at adding a booster for the afternoon and for bedtime to help her. Our doctor told us it could take up to 3 years to get the right dosage or medication that works for her.

Are the kids at school physically picking on her? Are they teasing her because she is "different"? Doesn't matter....talk to the school social worker/student liaison/principal about what is going on. I know that kids are cruel, but this could also be a reason that she is not making better grades like she was. She may be not making an attempt because her self-esteem is low due to being picked on.
It is a good idea to have her talk with someone. She is at an age where what other kids say or do matter the most. She is crying out for help. She may not be able to process the information that the teachers are giving to the class as fast as the others and she doesn't want to feel like she is the only one, so she doesn't speak up and ask them to explain it better. Hopefully, if she is able to talk it out and you are able to get the school to do their job by having an IEP in place for her, she will start to feel better about herself. She needs the help from the school to help her be able to learn and function there.

Hang in there and stay strong!

Gina - posted on 10/13/2010

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There is a great Dr in CA that has books you can buy on the 6 different types of ADD & ADHD. There are many things you need to do. Not all meds work for every child. It is a live style change. My son is 12 he has never been on traditional meds we have done everything with herbal meds, removed all perservitives & dyes from our food. What we are doing is not for everyone but Dr Daniel Amen has great sugestions for everyone. There is a web site that Nasa uses that we were given that helps with consintration. It is something they do at home on the computer and they have teachers that help them and you. My sons Dr Graduated High School with Honors without any percription meds and no IEP or 504. It can be done it is alot of work from you as parents. I have spent the past few years home schooling my son to get him back up to grade level because even privet schools are not willing to work with parents.

Cari - posted on 10/13/2010

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I agree with not letting the school bully you into doing anyting you are not comfortable with. I have been fighting and fighting with my son's school about putting him on medication. It seems to me like the teachers just want to sedate him to make their jobs easier. He is getting great grades, I don't see the point in medicating him at this point. We went to a behavioral therapist which was helpful, but only to a point.

Christie - posted on 10/13/2010

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My son is 13 years old and in 8th grade, he has been on Concerta and I think maybe even Adderall at on point in time neither worked for him. My family doctor specializes in pediatrics and when he found out that my son was on Concerta he was not a happy doctor does not usually recommend it for a first time medicine or for young kids my son was also having complications with the Concerta he was on he was seeing spots and getting bad headaches and had stomach aches so we took him off that and put him on the Daytrana patch which he wears on his hip each day and takes it off after school it helps him to focus with no visable side affects and his grades are good at school he gets A's and B's and when he is on it he is still pretty upbeat and calm as well as able to focus in school. I think that it is a pretty good medicine for him and he is in regular classes not that there is anything wrong with special education because it is very good for the kids that do need to be in it. Also the therapist is a good start to help talk with your child and another thing you can do that may help is to limit any amount of caffeine or sugar if any that the child may get I do with my son. Hope this helps!!

Angela - posted on 10/13/2010

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Have they tried vyvanse? She needs to be tested by a pediatric psychiatrist for ADHD/ADD. They are more knowledgable about this than the school and your PCP. The testing can detect any deficiencies she may or may not have and can pick. It will also test for focusing issues and you can get some guidance with the being picked on issues.

Melanie - posted on 10/13/2010

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Have you tried a non-stimulant? If you have and that didn't work I would try to schedule an appointment with a developmental pediatrician and sign her up with a social skills group in the area and have a meeting with everyone at school to discuss your situation. Good Luck and hang in there!

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To Angela, I would just say that not necessarily do you have to have a learning disability to get an IEP - my son was tested for all disabilities - learning, reading, etc.. and he has none - his is JUST the ADHD which is hampering his ability to learn so they call it "Other Health Impaired" or OHI.

Katie - posted on 10/13/2010

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I went through the same thing with my 12 yr. old son we have tryed every med we could think of but now we have switched to a new drug called Vyvanse it works wonders since my son has been on it his grades have improved and so has his attitude as well as he is now out of all of his special education classes..You should ask your doctor about it, it has worked for me as well as a few others that I have spoken to

Kerri - posted on 10/13/2010

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My daughter is 11 yo's and ADHD non med, we also live in VA. Let special education do their work, and get an IEP in place. It will provide her with accomidations and additional helps, plus it carries for 3 years and you also then have what amounts to an enforcable plan for her education, that the teacher HAS to follow. It will entitle her to additional help for her class work, projects to be broken down into more manageable peices if need be and so on. My daughter is in her 3rd year with an IEP and has gone from nearly failing 4th grade to A/B honor roll just this interm.

Susan - posted on 10/13/2010

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hi my name is Susan I live in NC, I have a son that is 8 now and is also ADHD. We have had him on the new medicine Vyvanse, it has worked very well for him..he has great grades and of course we have to up the dosage has he ages, but I would like for you to try this out, ask your Doctor about this medicine, it is made by the company called Shine, which also has a website for you to join...which I have! I am thankful for Vyvanse it has helped him a great deal, just a suggestion, I know how you feel with the meds and the learning! I hope things get better for you & your daughter, please let me know how this goes, it may help or it may not....I sure hope that it does!!

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If they are suggesting special education, your child probably has a learning disability. Specail Ed is not a bad thing, it can be very helpful and she might not need it for very long, I would jump at it, because then they could assess what she really needs as well. My son has a non-verbal learning disability, which is his secondary one. Ask them to do the WISk test, I believe that is how it is spelt. Talk to the Social worker at the school or psychiatrist, or psychologist and find out what other testing can be done. Ask them if Focalin and Risperdal would not help better than the Adderall.

Karen - posted on 10/13/2010

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My son will be 8 next week and has been on meds for almost 3 years. We've tried Aderall, Vyvanse and now Concerta 54 mg. He's in 2nd grade and school has been a breeze ... up to this point. He's doing good in math and reading, but has failed both SOL tests this year in Social Studies and Science. After the first failure, the guidance counselor suggested we were making too much out of it. After this last failure last week, we contacted the counselor and suggested it was time for a 504 plan. She immediately suggested a meeting with the principal and teacher and we have that meeting this Thursday. I have a friend that is an elementary school principal in another district and she suggested the 504. She said the IEP takes up to 90 days and this is immediate. We've talked to the teacher this year and she acted as if we were the ones with a problem. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the teachers aren't equipped to handle kids that don't fit the mold. My son is a bright, lovable, remarkable 7 year old that has a problem concentrating on what's in front of him with so much going on around him. I've been downloading information about meeting with the school and I hope I'm prepared. I do know if we're turned down that we can appeal. Keep posting to let me know if you can work this out with your school - I'm in Virginia also. I'll post to report on our meeting. Good luck and God bless.

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The 504 is usually what you do first but I would recommend skipping it and going to an IEP with Special Ed. It is more enforceable and you will need that to get the help your daughter needs. this will give you a "go-to" person - her caseload teacher - with whom you can discuss your concerns and ask for any accommodations she may need such as having tests read to her - extra time for tests - extra time for homework - cutting back on amount of homework problems - audio books for reading, audio textbooks, etc.. without the IEP, you will not get these things for sure with a 504 and if they don't do it, there is not a whole lot of leverage you have (I have done both). The IEP is better but it is definitely not a "be all and end all" either - there are still problems even at that. My son has ADHD, diagnosed since 3rd grade. He is on Concerta 54 mg. It really does help with the focusing, I know because of how long it used to take to get homework done, and how long it NOW takes - still not perfect but much better. Best wishes to you

Kristen - posted on 10/13/2010

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Hi. My daughter is on Metadate 30MG 1xday.And she is doing average work. Also, if the school will not give you a 504 plan, then your doctor can write a letter for you for the school. There should be no reason why you as the parent cannot get this for your daughter. I hope this info helps. Good luck!

Phyllis - posted on 10/12/2010

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Well, I'm in Canada, but from what I have heard on here, I think they have to do the 504 plan if she has a diagnosis. Bottom line with the school is not to let them steamroll over you. You are the only one in your childs corner, so don't back down, even if it means a fight. I wonder if a non stimulant medication would be best for her. I have heard good things about Strattera. The therapist is a good idea, but also consider behavioral therapy to help her cope with distractions etc.

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