School won't test my son.

Jennie - posted on 12/01/2010 ( 58 moms have responded )

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My son is in 2nd grade and has adhd. Hes on medication and still cant finish his work. He was in danger of failing 2 subjects so I requested his 504 plan to be updated. Come to find out his 504 plan was discontinued without my knowledge last year? I also requested him to be tested for maybe a learning disability or maybe high functioning autism or aspergers. Well school only did a new 504 plan. They said they cant do testing on him because he would need to be significantly below grade level in all areas and that my son was a smart kid. I dont even think the school psychologist has even met with my son. Also to get an IEP plan and testing they would have to monitor him for 2 years? I said just like they monitored him and discontinued his 504 plan in 2009? This is his 3rd year at this school. Also in the new 504 plan it said request parent reinforcement to maintain consistency in the school/home setting? What???? Do they not know I sit with him every day after school to get his homework done? Sometimes for 2 to 3 hours because he will do one page of work then have a ten minute break.Then we do more. This is my son and I will do what I need to. I also have two other children that dont have adhd. I dont like the fact that kids with adhd are labeled as "bad" kids. THEY ARE NOT BAD!!! They are just different. Also parents are labeled as not good parents and that is just not true.The more I think about this school stuff the more upset I get!!!! Does anyone have any advice???

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Rachel - posted on 03/05/2011

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Hi I am having the same problem at my sons school. I have wrriten request evaluations and no response ....What may help you is to contact SPAN near you. you can google them and see where the closes one is to you.They are a organization that help you advocate for children with adhd and other disablities they gave you the ins and outs of how to handle the school systems when they wont do anything. They also help you understand your rights. They are actually in the middle of helping me now. I am def grateful i found them. You are not alone! we def understand what your going thru and no their def not bad children! They just need a lil help and patience. Good Luck to you.

Andrea - posted on 12/10/2010

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We knew my son had "issues" when he was 1 and a half years old. Obviously he was too young to test. He was not only kicked out of, but banned for life from 8 different child care centers. When he started kindergarten, it was not a week before the school contacted me to have him tested. The school district we were in was absolutely fabulous. They tested him for everything they could. They hired a psycologist to come in 3 times a week mainly for my son (a few other kids benefited as well). He tested genius level on his IQ test. He couldn't write legibly. The hired an occupational therapist to teach his class how to write in cursive. (they concluded that his print was hardwired into his brain the wrong way, and was not fixable) He can write beautiful cursive now. We had an IEP within weeks of him starting school. He is now 14. We moved out of that wonderful school district, and I was slapped in the face by a school district that did not give a damn. He quickly became a problem child. I had a hard time getting teachers to deal with me, or follow through on the IEP. I set up a meeting with his principal and teachers, and only ONE teacher out of 5 showed up. It was an electives class. He failed all of his classes. He became suicidal. His doctor wanted to institutionalize him. I pulled him out, we home schooled 7th and 8th grades. He decided he wanted to go to regular high school. So I enrolled him. When left to his own devices, he was failing all of his classes by mid semester. Being in the same school district, I put on my battle gear, and went to war. I talked to each of his teachers. I keep in touch on a daily/weekly basis via email with each teacher. They are to report problem behaviors, I am to address them at home. They tell me the homework assigned, I make sure it gets done. Communication is definately key. He has pulled his grades from F's to C's in 4 weeks. He knows the material, just refuses to do the work. When I know what the work is, I can make sure its done. The teachers at this point, like working with me. We will switch teachers after Christmas break, and I will have to start all over, meeting with each of them, discussing my son, and MY expectations of them. I have found that they work with me better when they see that I will do what is discussed. ie: His spanish teacher says he is not turning in all his flashcards, only 10% of them. The next week, I not only make sure that weeks flash cards are done, but all of the missing flash cards are done as well. When he refuses to do book work in class, If I am notified, I make sure that book work gets done at home, and turned in. Frustration with an adhd kid comes easily. There is no "one cure". Each kid takes a team to raise and guide. If you have an outside source diagnose your child, your school has to work with you and your family to providing an environment of learning. Sometimes, you have to fight to get that. Do stand up for your child. Do request teachers that will work well with you and your child. (we would meet before the start of school to discuss the available teachers, and which teacher's personality would best suite my child), Do set up an IEP, and Do make sure you are an active member in your child's IEP. Do hold your child responsible for what their teachers want from them. Do work with the teachers. Do realize, your child is not alone, and there is support out there!

Sandee - posted on 12/10/2010

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From my personal experience, it seems the schools just don't want to be bothered. They don't want to give accomodations because they think people are trying to get their kids special privledges or treatment. They are completey ignorant about ADHD and view it a bad kids or lazy or not a real disorder. A counselor told me last year when my son was in 8th grade that I should be happy that his grades are so high and that he's doing so well, and that they were taking away his extra time because of this. BULL! He has had professional testing since he's been 6 and also last year and he was found to have a significant impairment when it came to timed tests. The school didn't give a crap because he was doing fine and took away his accomodation anyway even with a written report from a PHD certified school psychologist was provided. It costs the districts money and they do anything they can to take away services. This has been my experience. We do our best, medicate our son and he works his tail off. He does very well in school but not due to any accomodations. Thank goodness he's always had wonderful teachers. Some this year have allowed him more time to finish tests etc even though it's not on his plan because they see he's a hard working good kid who tries his best. It clearly takes him longer to do things. The problem is that there may come a time when not everyone will be so kind and if the extra time isn't allotted he may not be able to finish work he is capable of doing if he were given this acomodation. It's complete crap. My advice is to get your own testing done and have your psychologist come with you to the 504 meeting and bring a list of accomodations. Come prepared because they will act as if your being overly concerned. You're not! You're being an educated parent who wants what is best for your child. Give it your all. Good luck.

Michelle - posted on 12/09/2010

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I have gone through the same thing with my son's school. He is in 3rd grade and still way behind his peers and grade level. A 504 plan was set only because they diagnosed him with emotional behavioral disorder. Even though he has ADHD. then come to find out that when we requested an IEP, it took 2 years, even though they were monitoring him since kindergarten. When we finally got the IEP, they said it was because of his ADHD, not the emotional behavioral disorder. THEN they went and said they could give him additional services if they put on there his EBD. WHAT?!?!
We have gotten call after call day after day from the school that our son is a bully, that he is fighting and they fear for the safety of other children. Please! Our son is the MOST loveable, empathetic boy around. He has been getting bullied at school and blamed for starting it.
Anyway, if you have ever heard of PACER, it is a wonderful place to get additional *resources* for children with mental or physical disabilities.
We ended up pulling our son from his school last week. We have been 'homeschooling' him until he is approved for online school (which will start at the end of January).
Fight for what you believe in. And make sure you have a team of support and PACER behind you. Most schools will not do what they can until Pacer is involved. Sad, but true. www.pacer.com (I think this is the website).
*I also believe our son has a learning disability besides his ADHD.

Laura - posted on 03/30/2011

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The IDEIA says that they have to try several tiers of intervention before going to an IEP. They should have very clear documentation of what they have done and how it worked. If nothing is working then they should test for eligibility for Special Ed. An IEP has nothing to do with wether or not he is significantly below grade level or not, it has to do with access to the curriculum.
The 2 year thing is BS and it is astonishing that they would end a 504 plan without your consent.
Ideally, you should be a partner in your son's education and you should work with the school to develop some consistent consequences and cues for your son. However, in terms of an IEP or a 504 you are an integral part of the team making the decisions. If you are not included in the decision making (or have not at least had ample opportunity) then they are in violation of the law.
On a completely different track, have you looked into any of the nutritional aids for ADHD? My husband had some success reducing symptoms with some diet changes and his ADD is pretty debilitating.

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Kate - posted on 06/10/2014

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Go to a different school. Find a tutor for him. Find a tutor to homeschool him.

Monique - posted on 09/22/2013

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Tracy shame on you!
Hi Jennie, I am so disgusted in reading that last post from Tracy. Anyhow, I hope everything is better for you and your son now. I have a son that has ADHD and dysgraphia. He was diagnosed 4 years ago, by 1st grade and we paid out of pocket $2k for his testing, which was with a neuro pediatric psychiatrist. My son was held back in kindergarten. It was disheartening to say the least. I found myself completely alone in the testing process...I became my sons advocate just as you are to yours. It takes such dedication and strength to overcome these obstacles but we do it with great dedication. My son has been in the 504 program for 3 years now, but now only needs minimal assistance. My son is big on schedules and routines, which is a blessing in disguise. I have never changed his medication dosage, even though doctors suggest it. The Focalin RX 10 mg works beautifully for him and my son has straight A's maybe one/two B's in school. The ARD meetings are helpful at the school as well. I do wish you the best :)

Yvette - posted on 09/20/2013

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Hi Jennie: I have 2 nephews and a niece who are with us as foster kids and we will be adopting them in Nov. My bio son who is now 26 was also ADHD in elementary school. He was my first bout with this (disorder), and we did not keep him medicated for several reasons. My nephews and niece are 7, 8 and 9. The two boys' behaviors are so far out there, I really thought it had to do with them being foster kids and the trauma associated with it. (I'm sure a lot of it did at first, but they've been with us 4 years now, so I THINK they know better in some respects). The boys are ADHD. The oldest one is on 50mg of vyvanse and 2 mg of intuniv. I just began studying the side effects and a lot of the behaviors/moods he displays are side effects, so my next step is to change his med. I think I want him off stimulants completely. My husband is unemployed and I work at home. The biggest thing, which we were missing with my bio son, is being there when these kids get home from school and literally sitting with them while they do their homework, coaxing them along and checking their work. Fussing and scolding does not work because their little brains don't work as ours do.
We use a three sided poster board to put around him when he does his homework. and have healthy snacks at hand. He lets us know when he is ready for someone to check his work - giving him options and ownership at the same time. No matter how bad it looks to you, don't scold him - this only creates (more) negativity and frustration.
Lots of praise when something is done "right". I don't have all the answers, which is why I came to this site; I'm still looking myself. We ordered a DVD/workbook called "Total Focus" over a year ago...it is to help parents with children such as ours. When I do finally get around to it, which I hope to do very soon, rather than putting it off as I have been, I'll let you know how it works. Prayer, Patience and Perseverance.

Jennie - posted on 09/19/2013

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Really Tracy? If you can read properly the second sentence says my son is on medication. Your not very nice. I was asking for advice on how to help my son get tested. Nobody wants your cruel advice. I never even mentioned that he acts outs in class because he doesn't. Your the bad parent for judging other people. I can't believe how horrible your comment is!!!

Tracy - posted on 09/19/2013

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Medicate him. You apparently are so self-centered that you don't care that your son disrupts the rest of the class so others can't learn. You are a bad parent for PURPOSLY handicapping you son by not giving him the meds he needs to concentrate and learn. If he was diabetic, would you deny him insulin? ADHD meds are relatively safe. Asprine is potentially more harmful than most ADHD meds. As for sleep/appetite problems, there are several non-stimulants that address these issues. Get over your EGO and be a fiduciary for your son, not an advasary towards the school and the other children in the school who's parents ALSO pay taxes for THEIR child to be educated.

Mom with an ADHD son, an Autistic son, and a typically developing son

Michelle - posted on 03/30/2011

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i knw how you feel i need some adive to on this issue no homework ever done

Jennie - posted on 03/30/2011

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Thanks for everyones advice. School is testing him now. My son has had testing done by the school psycologist, speech theripist, resourse teacher and occupational therepist. They say my son shows a lot of autistic characteristics. They're thinking aspergers. But they are still doing testing. I have a meeting at school mid April. My son has been sooo lucky because he has a great teacher that accomodates him. She has a lot of patients. I love my son just they way he is. He is wonderful!!!

Maureen - posted on 03/09/2011

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Jennie, your son will most definitely qualify for an IEP. If his ADHD is impacting his ability to access a FAPE (free appropriate public education), it is incumbant upon the school to identify exactly how and what they plan to do to address it. If you do not agree with the testing results, you are entitled to have an outside evaluator do the testing at the school's expense. In some districts, the examiners they chose are in their pocket, so to speak, and they will deliberately minimize symptoms/diagnoses/impact on education. Getting an independent evaluator is sometimes needed. I have two kids with ADHD and other special needs, and I've been around the block many times.

I want to mention...where you saw the sentence where parent reinforcement was requested. I don't believe it was a statement that had anything to do with what you have or have not done. What it means is that there are parent educators available, to be paid by the school, to come out and "educate" you on any plan they propose, so that you are all on the same page. I am going through this right now with my almost 7 year old daughter. Her functional behavioral analysis was quite complex, and I will be trained on how to implement/complement what is being done at school while Liv's at home. Again, the school pays for this. There is so much the school won't tell you about your rights, as it costs them. Read up on it yourself and they'll know not to mess with you.

Danita - posted on 03/04/2011

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I am so glad you found the actual problem that can be worked on. It is terrible the way our children go through life being labeled by the academic profession. I wish I had been able to find out about my son's Irlen's Syndrome when he was in fifth grade the first time, maybe school would have been a much better experience for him and he wouldn't be struggling so hard to support his family now.

Jennie - posted on 03/04/2011

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UPDATE....I have taken my son to a new psychiatrist and that dr. gave my son a computer test. He also recommended I take him to a psychologist for a second computer test called IVA plus which is a audio/visual test. For this test he had to be on NO medication, so that meant I had to send him to school without his pill. I already told his teacher he wouldnt be on his medicine for one day and luckily school got out early that day. The teacher said that no academics got done that day and he was under his desk drawling for most of the day. I wonder what the other kids in class thought? Well I probably already know the answer because everyone knows hes "different". The tests showed my son definitely has ADHD and has the more inattentive type. Also from that test it showed that he has some auditory and visual problems. The psychiatrist also told me my son has a type of disorder of written expression. I think he called it dysgraphia. That makes since because on all his homework and classwork there is so many doodles and marks all over it. I showed the DR. some of my sons classwork and he said its a disorder of written expression. He gave me a paper with some codes to give to the school and he also wrote "please IEP him". Finally school will test him. This week they started testing him and I have an IEP meeting on April 13. I dont know for sure if he would qualify for it or not.But finally school is testing him. Right now he only has a diagnoses of adhd. We go back to the psychiatrist next week. I know this is a long road hes already 8 years old and sometimes it gets really frustrating but I tell myself GOD wont give me anything I cant handle.

Danita - posted on 01/20/2011

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Jennie, I see a lot of similarities in our boys too. My son started having issues in Pre-K, they were bad enough that the school suggested I remove him until he was a little older and more mature. He started Kindergarten at 5, and was suspended the first week for kicking another boy in the face while playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Although the other child was also playing and had done the same thing to my son, it was my son who was caught. I started asking them to test him that same week, mostly because I already knew the signs having an older son who had just been diagnosed with ADHD. My older boy was lucky, even though they didn't diagnose him until third grade, there was a school in the area that specialized in the treatment of ADHD and ODD (opposition defiant disorder). They were great, my older son also could draw really well and still can but won't. But for some reason I really can't explain my younger son wasn't as lucky. Even though I went in every year it took me nearly three to get someone to listen and to get him on a 504 plan. We were a military family and moved quite a bit for about 4 years after he started school so this was something I went through every time he started at a new school. Then we moved to South Florida and the situation went from bad to worse. I couldn't get the teachers there to listen at all. In fifth grade he would wait until we dropped him off at school and then leave and go home or fishing. If he stayed at the school he would disrupt the class, have complete melt downs, throw desks and chairs across the room, or sit at his desk with his arms inside his shirt because he was cold, and this was on medication. His fifth grade teacher and the Vice Principle wanted to promote him to sixth grade anyway, I couldn't believe they were going to send him on to middle school even though he did nothing for an entire year, so I refused to allow him to move on. I had them hold him back in fifth grade, and the following year he did every assignment and turned them in, he participated in class, and passed on his own, even though he still could not read well. When I asked him why he was having problems with reading he explained to me that the words and letters got up and moved on the page. I of course thought, okay so I need to have him tested for dyslexia. I couldn't get anyone to test him for that either, so I finally wrote the school board, he was tested with in a week, the report was that he did not have dyslexia, but that he did have a much lower than average reading score and they felt there was something they just didn't know what. For the next 3 years I read everything I could find on learning disabilities trying to find something that fit his problem. But I just couldn't identify it. After we moved the last time in 2001 to Texas, I went through the same issues I had gone through with him for the past 7 years, finally when he was in 9th grade the school started testing him again to find out why a child who could answer every question right if it was posed verbally could not answer the same question in writing. After almost a full year of 9th grade I attended what was something like my hundredth conference with his 504 staff, (yes, staff) it consisted of his special education instructor, the Principle and every one of his teachers. During this meeting I happened to mention that I had been searching on line looking for what he had told me about the moving words and letters but that I hadn't had any luck finding this particular symptom. One of his teachers looked at me with a shocked expression and said "I can't believe I didn't see it". There is a rare learning disability called Irlen's or Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome which is sometimes categorized as a form of dyslexia. However, some people with this problem have had good experiences of tinted lenses (Irlen filters) after being diagnosed with Scotopic Sensitivity, they also use colored transparencies with very good results, the problem a lot of children have is the effects of fluorescent lighting in the schools, this was my sons problem, his Irlen Syndrome was aggravated by the lighting in the classrooms which was all fluorescent. Although using a colored transparency seemed to help him with the reading problem and it was a relativity easy solution to this reading disorder, he had been in the school system for 9 years. When he started using the transparency the other kids in the class started making fun of him again. This is something that hadn't happened since fifth grade. It got to the point where I couldn't get him to use the transparencies any longer and the doctor wouldn't give him colored lenses because he had 20/20 vision. In the end he couldn't stand feeling like a failure any longer and dropped out of school. He is 22 now, still trying to get his GED, but since he can't read it is almost impossible for him. I have started teaching him my self using the colored transparencies and I think he will actually be able to test for his GED later this year. My son is and has always been very bright, even in school when they tested him, verbally he came up with a 169 IQ, but having a high IQ doesn't do him any good in passing a written test if he just can't read what is on the page. I suggest that you keep fighting, find someone who can test your child for every learning disability there is. The name of the school our older son attended when he was diagnosed with ADHD was "Kids First" it was operated through a mental health clinic, and I gotta say I wish I had been able to get my younger son in the program too. I think the individual attention of the counselors and teachers would have done him a world of good, not to mention he may have been diagnosed years before he was. I would also write the school board in your area about the problems you are having at the school and insist they test him. I read during my on line research I learned a lot about the rules for testing in my area, I don't know if they are the same in CA but if you just go into Google and search for Learning disability testing in your school district in CA you will get a list of places that do the testing, as well as the rules to follow, and the guideline of what your son's rights are and your rights to request testing of your son. Basically what my advice is FIGHT with everything you have and if the worse comes to worse enroll him in Sylvan Learning Center, or find him a tutor that specializes in children with learning difficulties. I would hate to see you go through the fight that I have for the past 18 years, since my son first started in Pre-K. I wish you the best of luck and if you need any advice from someone who has had to fight this fight already don't hesitate to send me an email. I will be here if you need me.

Amy - posted on 01/06/2011

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If you go to a child Psychiatrist (not psychologist), or child neurologist, you should be able to get the testing you need. Hopefully your insurance will pay, but you might have to pay for this testing out of pocket.

As for the 504 plan... hopefully someone else will have some insight, but it seems to me that they've broken the law there. You are supposed to be part of the team, and I think you're supposed to approve the plan. The school system is SO frustrating. It feels like they don't want to help our children, that they just want the easy kids and summers off. :(

Good luck to you!!

Brande - posted on 01/06/2011

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find out who the school psychologist is... call the superintendent and ask the name and # of the psychologist. call and talk to them yourself. im sure every school is different but this is exactly what our school tried with me and i wouldnt put up with it. some reason they dont want us to use our tax dollars that we pay the school psychologist!!! once I got her personally, it was easy from there! but yes, that is the schools job to help your child and help them NOW! teachers have varied too. we had a super one then not such a good one (with adhd) and now i seeked out the best teacher for adhd from asking parents with kids with similar behavior challenges and we are soooooo blessed this year! amazing! could be the 2nd grade maturity kickin in but definitely the best teacher for him! and the principal tried to tell me at first there is no placements but I pushed the issue! KEEP AT IT! YOUR CHILD IS WORTH IT!

Jennie - posted on 01/05/2011

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Thank you Mary. Since school won't test him until next year I have taken my son to a new dr for evaluation. We have had only one appt with the new dr and they gave my son a computer test that he was so excited to take but then was very bored while taking it. He kept asking when will this be done? The dr asked if I heard of odd. I said yes I have done some reading on it because when he was first diagnosed with ADHD the dr said that that he scored high but wasn't diagnosed with it. But when we first took him to dr regarding his behavior he was diagnosed with odd not otherwise specified but he was only 4 at that time and it was recommended that he start meds. I was scared to put my little boy on meds but a year later I decided to give meds a try. It seems to be better but there is just some odd behavior that I'm concerned about. He is such a loving little boy but watch out because if something goes wrong he gets aggresive and very mean. I also have a 12 yr old and a 5 year old and he is 8. Some days are tough but I'm his mom and I'm here for him.

Mary - posted on 01/05/2011

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Jennie, I went through the same problems with my school system and my son. I took him to local mental health clinic when he was 5 that was when he was diagnosed AD/HD then in 3rd grade he was reevaluated by the dr and diagnosed high functioning autism. The problems kept getting worse as the yrs progressed. He was suspended 2 times in 8 days in his 5th grade yr. I allowed him to finish the 5th grade with his friends, then immediately pulled him out and began homeschooling. It is the best thing I have ever done for him. He wakes up each morning ready to face the day and his school work. He finishes early and he is AB honor roll. Try tking ur child to ur local mental health clinic and have them reevaluate his work, symptoms and behavior. U just might be surprised what u find out!!

Lika - posted on 12/17/2010

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It might be called the Department of Public Instruction, also. You'll be able to find a local office that can direct you in the right direction also.

Lika - posted on 12/17/2010

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I'm assuming that a 504 plan is like an IEP, and those are supposed to be reviewed and updated each year. if they failed to update it or renew it w/o your permission to discontinue, you do have the right to appeal that, and they HAVE to honor it. Try to find a parent advocate who can help go to bat with you. If the school won't do anything, go to the district. If they don't do anything, go to the school board. Usually they'll start to work with you by this point, but just in case, let the State Department of Education know what's going on.

Atira - posted on 12/15/2010

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Jennie-
Keep fighting and following through for your son. There are so many hoops that need to be jumped though, but you just have to keep going.

My son is 4 and also has been diagnosed with ADHD and has had Asbergers & Autism ruled out. His pshychiatrist is positive he has Sensory Integration Disorder but is having us go to a specialist for a more in depth evaluation. Everything takes time. I have been following all the steps and requesting appointments and evaluations for a year and a half now.

I noticed when he was about 5 months old things were different but his pediatrician in Alabama blew me off. When my son was 3, I moved back to Portland, Oregon and was finally able to have his new doctor listen to me. She had all family members fill out evaluations regarding my son's behavior and diagnosed him with ADHD (I had known that since he was 1.5 yrs old). She helped give us referrals to our school district for educational placement since he was ready for Head Start/preschool. She also referred us to an ADHD specialist at the University's Children's hospital. Everything has taken so much time since these people seem to be overloaded with cases/patients but I kept working on it. Our Head start was full last year so we started having someone come to work with my son at our house once a week, they introduced me to a parenting class offered (free through a grant) by a large children's mental heath center here.

Through that class, doors started opening. The center has given us our son's psychiatrist, his therapist and his skills trainer. They have been his advocates with me to help him transition into the new school year this fall and were also there to help me when he was asked to leave (aka: kicked out) his preschool.

We had IEPs and monthly "team meetings" involving his teachers, psychiatrist, therapist, skills trainer, the school district Early Childhood Development liaison, the Head Start director, my son's grandmother (his childcare) and myself. We all worked together, talking about his behavior, so his meds could be adjusted accordingly and certain aspects could be worked on.

Even through all that my son was still kicked out of his preschool. (he was extremely aggressive, was frustrated easily, physically violent, would hurt people for no apparent reason, he needs extra space around himself, gets overwhelmed by excessive noise and surrounding activity); the school had had 3/4 of the parents call and complain about injuries to their children caused by my son. So in the end they had to choose the safety of many over my 1 son.

Luckily the Mental Heath Center was able to help get my son into a special in-patient treatment center (aka: Therapy School) He started 2 weeks ago and loves it. Instead of 18 kids and 2 teachers, there are 9 kids and 4-5 adults (1 teacher, 3 therapists and either the psychiatrist or a family therapist most of the rest of the time). They have really been helping him address his feelings and impulsivity so he understands he doesn't need to lash out at others when he has unmet needs of any kind (ie: tired, hungry, frustrated, needs space, wants something).

We are going again today to his psychiatrist (like we do every 2 weeks) to talk about his behavior and the possibility of adjusting his meds again. Currently he is on Intunive in the morning and Abilify at bedtime. We have made dozens of adjustments both with types of meds and with doses to find the combination that seems to be working the best right now.

Before all of this, he had been refused by multiple daycares, no babysitters would come back after the first time (if they stayed the full intended time period), no family members other than my mom would watch him even for an hour or two and no family members would spend time with him unless I was there to accompany him. My son knows he's different. He often says he doesn't like his head because it hurts him. He sometimes cries after a huge blowup and says he doesn't know why he hurts people he loves. It breaks my heart that he can see what he's doing, but can't control it. When he is calm, he is so sweet and loving. He is in preschool, but educationally, is ready for first grade.

It's so hard as a parent to go through all this. My life revolves around him. I chose to only have 1 child with my ex, because of how violent my son can get, I would fear for the safety of the other child (I am open to the possibility when he's older). I barely have a social life, have a hard time dating, I can only work part time because of all his appointments, and family visits are few since they know how hard my son is to deal with. What keeps me going is my love for my son and knowing that what I'm doing now is what is going to help him be a successful person later in life. Things are hard now, but they have to get better.

Karen - posted on 12/13/2010

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I am so sorry that this has happend to you and your son. My son is in 4th grade and also has ADHD (since 2007-1st grade). My son was on a 504 plan now since last year (2009), he has an IEP. With his doctor and his case manager they helped him get on the 504 then the IEP. In my state, it is ilegial to discontinue (504/IEP) or change anything with the plan without a face-to-face meeting with the parent, school psychologist, principal, school nurse, special education director, child's case worker (if one is provided) and the child's teacher. If I this happend to my son, I would be contacting the Superintendent or the School Board. I hope everything comes out in your favor.

Robin - posted on 12/12/2010

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My son's father and I had to go to the school principal, then the school board and actually contacted the Dept of Education for our state before anything was done. Also our family Dr. was able to send questionaire's to the school to have the teachers fill out so he could do the diagnosis and such. We found going through the family doc and going through the Dept of Education was actually the best move for us. Good luck!

Darlene - posted on 12/10/2010

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Ask the principal point blank what he intends to do for your child, insist on meeting with the school psychiatrist if you feel it is necessary. I was told that the only way a child with adhd received services was if they are actually failing, not in danger of failing. Otherwise there is not funding most likely. Check out other schools in the area. The schools that have the worst "grade" are the ones with the most resources and may have more funding to help with your child.

Jen - posted on 12/10/2010

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You can go to outside sources and have him tested, and then present. The school tested, but had our own testing done too. Just didn't trust it. We used our local Rehabiliation Center by Easter Seals.

Jennie - posted on 12/09/2010

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michelle,
Ive asked school 2 times to test my son. They say since he isnt significantly below grade level they wont. I also requested an IEP and school says just because he has adhd doesnt qualify him for an IEP, I also dont understand that during parent teacher conference i was told my son was in danger of failing two subjects then about 3 weeks later the teacher tells me hes right there academically. Im thinking to myself hmmm i guess hes in danger of failing because he has a hard time finishing his work. But now that he has a new 504 plan he gets less classwork. so right now for him so far so good. but he just got his new 504 this week.

Erin - posted on 12/09/2010

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My son has ADHD and on medication since he was 6,now 11! I don't know what a 501 plan is but my son was in the same boat at school and they knew about his ADHD and he had the same teacher for 1 and 2 and wanted him to stay back instead of going to grade 3; his Pediatriian suggested he not, it would make things worse for him. He did get tested by the school and they have a LearningCenter class in his school and he was put on th list to get in(grade 4) but by the end of the second month of school he got in the class in Grade 3. He was put on an IPP and this class is very small and he learns at his own pase and is put in the regular class for 2 subjects every day. He is now in grade 6 and is making A's and B's and loves going to school!! Hope things work out and you can get him tested for an IPP or EIP or a different school that may have a class like my son is in!

Dawn - posted on 12/09/2010

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I was reading this and it is exactly what i am going through. First off i do have everyone labeling my son as the bad kid. My son is in 2nd grade as well with adhd and odd. I had the school do the iep testing on him. His grade are all above grade level, but he also has the problem of completing his work. The testing took a few months and the result came back as he has an emotional disablility????? Have never heard of those results. The testing only took a few months, but i guess from what i am told that with him being in this program it will protect him if he has any problems at school. I have him in private counseling and
they are going to do a psychiatry evaluation on him to rule out other things such as asbergers and austism and to adjust his meds. I truely understand what you are going through with all of this. As far as the homework goes we also will sit for hours doing 1 page and reading for 20 min. I have a 3 1/2 year little girl that doesn't act anything like this also. From what i am learing in the counseling it is very important to keep schedules and do lots of charts. I have a behavior chart with my son at school and it comes home daily when he earns wii time by having good behavior at school and getting his work completed and gets a marble in a cup - 30 marbles and we go get a new video game. This has really helped alot!
Mornings are hard for us as well so i do a chart in the morning with our morning routine and each area earns an x -5x's and he can earn an extra marble in the cup. I am reading the book 123 magic also. I know it won't happen overnight, but it is getting better for me. Good Luck! Dawn,Ohio

Denise - posted on 12/09/2010

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Very common with ADD is OCD. It sounds like your son has this by his constant collecting of things. It can exhibit though different ways. My son has constant hand washing and shutting off of lights. Also there is not only anger issues but also depression that may need to be addressed. 1. you may consider a change in ADD meds to one that may also help with anger like Focalin XR and 2. you may consider adding a drug like Risperidal. This is if his testing is negative.

Michelle - posted on 12/09/2010

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Hi, I feel your frustration!! My daughter was diagnosed last year with combined type ADHD. At first we didnt have a 504 plan but I wanted one and it seemed that as long as I had a letter from my doctor, anything that I want added is added. She is currently on Adderall XR 10 mg and we have played around with her meds but this is the one that helps her the most. I would talk to your doctor and tell him the situation with your son's school. Did the school give you a "rights" book when you had your inital meeting to find out his test results? Mine has been very useful for me but I would certainly talk with his doctor. Oh and I feel the pain of 2-3 hours to do homework..its tough for sure!

Jennie - posted on 12/08/2010

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My son just got a new 504 plan last Friday and the school didn't ask for anything!! They already have the diagnoses from the dr from when he was in kindergarten. I also had to add things to the 504 plan and ask to speak to the school psychologist because I didn't have a meeting. What I got was a call from school psychologist saying his plan was in the office and ready for me to sign. I went to the office didn't sign it and brought it home. I then called her and asked about things in it. The next day I had her add things to it. I know it's only been 3 school days since his 504 and he's already went to a different class to take a test and found out a 4th grader also has ADHD and was taking a test too.

Lisa - posted on 12/08/2010

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My best advice would be to keep insisting with the school for updates and further recommendations. Also stay informed with the school counselor may also be of some help. If this still doesn't work go to the higher ups. Many schools offer special programs to assist children with learning disabilities. It is also best to do some research in your community with this issue. There are alot of resources out there. Good Luck, Keep pushing the issue. Your child deserves a fair chance in the same education as everyone else they just learn differently.

Shamey - posted on 12/08/2010

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My son (8 yrs old) has an IEP that they are so post to do every year and most the time I have to stay on the school for them to do so. In some cases it's due to the school being under staff and so on but for many it's just over looked. If you are still having problems then you can use your doctor to help you or if you have a case manager they can help you as well. If you do not have a case manager then you can look into finding one. My son has a case manager who come to his school once a week to talk with everyone that works with him and he can help a lot in making sure he has what he needs. There are also Advocates that help those who have ADHD, ADD, and so on to make sure they are getting the help they need. As a doctor once told me "you are the one that knows your child the best." If you feel he needs more help and if he is falling behind and they have proof that your son has ADHD then they have to see to it that he gets the time and help he needs. I just went through this at the first of the year with my son. Many do not stop and think that as the child grows so does their needs, even ADHD. There are those who seem to do better as they grow older but their are also those who seem to have a few more issues as they grow older and this was true with my son. I agree kids with ADHD are not bad kids they just need someone that is willing to take the time to work with them and if the schools and teachers are not willing to do so then maybe they should be labeled as "bad" and see how they like it. I hope this helps in any way. I am not sure what state you live in so I am not sure what your resources are but if I can help in any way please let me know.

Amanda - posted on 12/08/2010

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In my experience you just have to stay on the school, if the teacher doesn't give you a satisfactory answer or solution, move to the principal, then to the school board, then onto the state ed. board, my son had to change meds because concerta did not work for him, he is now on adderall and doing much better, he also sees a therapist every two weeks for cognitive therapy.

[deleted account]

my sons school wouldnt test him like I wanted last year in K when they were supossed to do all the testing for the elementary stage of life...now he's in grade one and still needs to be tested but they cant because he is not in K anymore....finally talked to his Psychiatrist and they will refer him to be tested outside of the school system....

Jennie - posted on 12/08/2010

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I think the signs have always been there. I just always thought hes more active because hes a boy. Even when he was 1-2 years old and was at the church nursery he wasnt always so nice to the the little kids. Oh and then preschool he was always in trouble. Then kindergarten in trouble all the time and disrespectful and couldnt keep his hands to himself. Then he was diagnosed adhd and started meds 3 months before kindergarten ended. Hes been on meds ever since.

Jennie - posted on 12/08/2010

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Wow Kelly, our boys do sound so similar. I didnt want to give my son medication and I finally decided I need to give it a try. His self esteem was so low and he tried SO hard not to get in trouble. Once he started meds things got so much better. But now I see things that I use to think as possibly typical boy behavior may not be so typical after all? I just try to stay patient and understanding.

Rachel - posted on 12/08/2010

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Hi there-
My name is Rachel and my daughter Ava was diagnosed with ADHD when she was 6, she is now 8. We have always had trouble with schools accepting the fact that she is a special gifted child. Teachers do not like to deal with behavioral children and as you said, label them as the "Bad" kids. It was upsetting fir me to read about the issues you are having with your son. My advice is to go above peoples heads, school district managers and anyone that will listen. This disease is real and teachers need to educate themselves about ADHD as well as the other children in the class!!!!!! You just have to find the right people who know what the hell is going on!
Good Luck to you and your son.
Rachel Bonewitz

Kelly - posted on 12/08/2010

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My son is 8 also. My son used to tell me that he's brain didn't work right and he "wanted a new one". I find our stories to be similar. When my son was finally diagnosed with AD/HD combined with impuse disorder...I believed the dr. was 100% correct, however, I've ALWAYS thought there was more than JUST AD/HD as well. I've grown up with children with AD/HD and my son is hyperactive but also "different" as well. He has obsessions (ie garbage trucks and tornados and can draw them probably better than most adults). My son is also a "charmer" with adults, infact, would rather be in the company of adults than with children his own age (he has a lot of space/boundary issues). He's very loving, giving, and intelligent but also very sensitive (melt downs, etc). My son had his first evaluation at 15 mos. old (by the recommendation of his daycare provider), finally diagnosed with adhd @ 6 yrs. old. After a mental battle with myself...I finally gave in and got him the medication and it really has done wonders for him in school and with his self esteem. It seems like such a long road... Good luck with the appt. on Dec. 14th, i'm really interested to hear how things go. Please keep us posted. :)

Jennie - posted on 12/08/2010

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I live in California. School says my son is smart and they cant do testing because he isnt significantly below grade level. He just got a new 504 plan last week. He has a hard time finishing his classwork so one of the accommodations is less work. Instead of doing both sides of the worksheet he will only have to do one side.He will also go to another class to take a test so he can concentrate better. So Im willing to see if this will work.

Jennie - posted on 12/08/2010

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kelly,
Im also thinking he may have aspergers or something other then just adhd. He is so different than the kids in his class. I asked his teacher if kids think hes wierd. The teacher said "not yet". My son doesnt have good social skills and doesnt understand peoples personally space. He has even smacked peoples behinds while at the grocery store. He knows hes not suppose to do that but his impulsiveness gets the better of him. He has always been a handful. When he was in preschool when he was 4 he was always in trouble and sent to the principals office 3 times in 1 month. I decided to take him out of that school and wait one more year to try it again. I thought he was just to young and not ready. That preschool said we should take him to the drs. So I did. He had about 5 appointments with a child psychologist and that dr recommended a medication evaluation. I thought hes only 4. That dr gave him a diagnoses of disruptive behavioral disorder.I thought hes a 4 year old boy that has a lot of energy and defiance. Well like I said before hes 8 now and was diagnosed with adhd combined type when he was 6 and in kindergarten. I started medication and it has worked well. last year when he was in 1st grade his grades were good. Reading was low but science and history were high. His teacher last year said he was inflexible and she wanted him to go play at recess. He has friends but it seems like he cant approach them and they dont come to look for him. Adults think my son is a charmer and kids think hes different. I have done some reading on aspergers and there are a few similarities in my son. Some of the things that I thought could be normal boy behavior may not be all that normal after all. It seems like he has anxiety and anger but has never been diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder or anything else other than adhd. Thats why im taking him for an assessment.When he gets frustrated he will yell at me and tell me Im the worst mom ever. I dont argue back because I know he doesnt mean it. And if I argue back it will just make things worst. After he calms down he always says sorry and hes sad because he was so mean to me. My son also has to pick up everything off the ground and puts it into his pocket. {sticks, paperclips,old pencils, bottle caps...anything. He also collects boxes. If he or his sisters get a new toy he gets to keep the box. He puts them in his closet and then after a while I put them in the garage because if I throw them away its not a battle worth fighting over. He really thinks different and he just fascinates me. He really is such a wonderful and loving little boy and I know its hard to parent a child like this but they dont want to be like this either. Im really looking forward to this appointment on dec 14.

Diane - posted on 12/08/2010

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What state are you in? A friend of mine had to contact the state of Michigan who had her write a letter to the Superintendent, School board and Principal explaining that they were in violation of (insert law) and that they had 30 days to comply or the state would recieve a formal complaint. The school responded in less than a week.

Liesha - posted on 12/08/2010

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We had the same experience with my son. "He's bad, but not bad enough." We actually had him tested from an outside source, then the school decided to test him and again we were told, "Bad, but not bad enough." After having him tested again at the age of 8, we finally got some results. I disagree with what was said earlier, that if it was a learning disability it would have shown up earlier. My son was diagnosed with a processing delay, which combined with ADHD makes school nearly impossible. Because of the ADHD, the effects of his disability were masked until we had a professional complete hours of testing. I am so glad we did. Now I understand how to help him and what to tell the teachers. And by the way, I love teachers, but most of them haven't had a clue how to deal with his problems. The worst one so far is the teacher with 30 years of experience! Definitely get the testing completed and stay on the school! You are his only true defender!

Kelly - posted on 12/08/2010

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Jennie, I also wanted to mention that we had our son evaulated for Aspergers, come to find out, he actually has Ssensory Intergration Disorder coupled with AD/HD combo/impulse and anxiety... We had outside testing done as well and if your insurance pays for it, or if you can afford it, in my opinion, it's money very well spent. :)

Tricia - posted on 12/08/2010

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You need to request in writing that the school test the child for learning disabilities. I would go for an IEP if he is failing and you are spending over 2 hours on homework. If need be, go above the Director of your special education department. You have to educate yourself and then fight for your child. If you do a search on IDEA 2004 you will get ALOT of helpful information.

Kelly - posted on 12/08/2010

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I'm in your boat..right down to having two other children without AD/HD..I feel like I am reading my own story with your words. You're not alone. I transferred my son to a private school this past September with only 9 other children in his class, and the individual attention has helped. We had him RE-tested for Title I and it was rejected again because he is at grade level. The system can be so frustrating..there are nights that my son doesn't go to bed until 10pm because the homework takes so long to do....when he gets up for school the next morning we finish what wasn't completed the night before. Teachers who do not have any, or very little, experience with students' with ADHD sometimes have a hard time understanding how hard we as parents actually work at home. I hope this e-mail brings you some comfort.

Jennie - posted on 12/07/2010

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Yes we are paying for an outside diagnoses. My son has an appt dec14. I really do feel there is something else going on besides ADHD.

Sandy - posted on 12/07/2010

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Pay for an outside diagnosis. We did and it was the best thing. Our school bends over backwards to help my daughter.

Jennie - posted on 12/07/2010

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Yes my son is on medication. With the advice of his psychologist I requested testing to be done. School said no. I also requested an IEP. They also said no. I was never informed of his 504 plan being discontinued. I found out when I asked them to update it. I gave them the drs diagnoses when he was in kindergarten so they do have iron record. Regarding the new 504 plan the school psychologist printed up his old one. I then asked her if we can put some other things in it and she did add what I wanted. But I can't believe that I had to ask to speak to her. She just put the new 504 plan in the office for me to sign no meeting or anything. The next day is when I tracked her down to talk to her and add things to it. I don't think it was handled the right way. I made my son an appointment for an assement so hopefully we can see if anything else is going on. He's actually pretty quite in class and doesn't get into trouble either and that's because he's on medication. Now I need to figure out how to help him get his classwork done. The teacher let's him bring what he doesn't finish home but then I have his homework plus his classwork to help him with and it's just a lot of work.

Theresa - posted on 12/07/2010

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The school does not have to test him just because he fails to complete his work. They know he has adhd and that is why he isn't completing it. A learning disability is when someone doesn't have the ability to complete the work, not the inability to focus long enough to do it. Is your son medicated, or are you working on behavioral therapy to get the ADHD under control? My daughter has ADHD, and I am a Special ed. teacher. It took a lot of work for me to get her on track and keep her on track. She went to school in the district that I work in, and they would not do anything about Special Ed for her, because the ADHD was not impacting the actual learning of the information, just her work completion. In second grade, how can he be failing several subjects if he is smart enough but just having trouble getting the work done? Sounds more like an issue of how they are "grading", versus what the problem actually is. For ADHD, the only accomodations that truly need to be made, whether it be through a 504 plan or IEP, is the right to have extended time to turn in assignments, and preferential seating in the classroom to lessen distractions. ADHD can be severe, and if it were something else, the signs would have been there well before he started school. Good luck with the appointment. Also, they cannot just stop a 504 plan. They are required to review it once a year, and if you failed to provide the paperwork (ie. doctors diagnosis to them again), then they cannot keep a 504 plan active. As the parent, if you don't provide them with the diagnosis annually, then the 504 plan becomes null and void. They are not required to make sure that you provide it. They should have informed you of that when you had the first 504 plan drawn up. It also explains it in the parental rights papers, about the 504. A lot of schools hate 504 plans because they are not sure how they should truly best be implemented and leave it up to the parent to do their part to keep it active and ongoing.

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