What are we supposed to do about school?

Kerry - posted on 10/04/2012 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I sent my son to Kindergarten at a very small private school because I thought it would be good for him, considering he is diagnosed with adhd and odd. He was put on ritalin which didn't work, now we are trying adderall, which works sometimes. Today he came home from school with a big rugburn on his back and a note stating that he was out of control and the teacher had to drag him across the floor to pick him up. He yells, kicks, hits, and is destructive. He's also a very bright child when he is able to do the work, which is not very often. I have had to hear about how misbehaved he is since he was about a year old in daycare, so that's 4 years of this. Today a TSS was suggested by his teacher. I was hoping we wouldn't have to do that, but here it is. My question is this. What are we supposed to do about school? What if there is never anyone who knows what to do? What if he never graduates because of this?

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Sandy - posted on 10/05/2012

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Start researching the laws for special education so that you can go into your school and demand what you want for your son. You have to be the advocate for him.



Just like with any other "disease", you will have to go through trial and error to find the right medication that helps and then it will have to be tweeked every now and then.



When is the worst time for him at school? Maybe you could check into having a "booster" available for your son. Our son is on a long acting med for the day (generic ritalin) and then we have a booster for the late afternoon to help get over the homework slump or cover any activity that he may need to be calm for.



If he has odd, then he definitely should have an aid with him.

Ninaquick - posted on 10/17/2012

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Hey,

Just hang on! I know it is tough because I have been dealing with my child with adh since he was little and we just decided to put him on meds four weeks ago. First, from personal experience private schools do not know how to deal with adh children and second private or public should never put their hands on your child for his behavior. I am a teacher in public school and I deal with adh children daily and there is other ways to help accomplish or to help correct bad behavior. All children are a gift from God and some like my child and yours are just special and need a little extra boost to accomplish things in life. Please do a lot of research on the school he is currently at and explore your options. Their are good teachers that can help in situations like your son is in but most private school teachers are either not educated or certified in dealing with children with adh or add. I hope this helps some. You have to be your sons advocate because he can't right now.

Laren - posted on 10/11/2012

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Hi Kerry, we had really bad (violent) side effects with Adderall. Keep trying other approaches. Have you also tried diet changes? I am a holistic health and nutrition counselor (with an ADHD son) specializing in supporting parents with ADHD kids and I know that getting off processed foods, dyes, chemical additives, pesticides, and sugar can make a big difference. Also many ADHD kids are allergic to casein and/or gluten and can see huge results eliminating those foods. Adding in more protein and fish oil can also help big time. Feel free to contact me if you need support laren@eatingwell-livingwell.com

Inga - posted on 10/09/2012

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Hi Kerry, I have my kids in a private school as well and my sisters' have their kids in public schools. My son has ADHD, for a year they would not even believe me that he has it. So from experience, I know that private schools are not staffed nor trained to assist kids with any type of disability. It's a money making business for them. I think a public school would be a lot better for your son in this case. They have trained personnel to help kids with ADHD, ADD or ODD and they have programs that are sponsored by the government to assist him with learning. In a public school, in case if something goes wrong, like dragging a kid across the floor, that situation would be handled with a lot more importance than just a note sent home. That's unacceptable.

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Karen - posted on 11/25/2012

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I had my son in private school before he was diagnosed/medicated and they were extremely ill equipped to deal with his behavior problems. They thought nothing of giving us their armchair psychiatric diagnoses of him which included Bi-polar, Schizophrenic and ADHD (they were right on the ADHD). That school's response to my son's behaviors was to generally shun him and encourage the other kids to treat him as an outcast. We took him out of there as soon as we could. I also had my son in a private after school program where he was kicked out after a few weeks due to behavior problems. That's another thing about private schools....they can kick your child out whenever they feel like it. On the flip-side, my son has found enormous support and structure within the public school system. He has been at 4 different schools (we move a lot) and has always had a teacher who is well-versed in dealing with ADHD children (usually there are several others in the class). Whenever problems have come up, the chain of command takes over and my son gets access to counselors, and the highest level administrators who have always been kind, understanding, compassionate and great at keeping me involved all along the way. I believer it's because he has had such great experiences in public school, that the problems continue to decline every year.

Sophia - posted on 11/20/2012

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private schools are not always best for children with special needs. and he needs to be in a school where the staff are train .... this poor teacher might not even be train to deal with your son. well you dont want him to graduate with a paper that has no meaning do you ? well thats what will happen if he is not place where he will learn.

Kerry - posted on 10/22/2012

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Thank you so much for your detailed reply. I appreciate it so much. I am working on getting him a TSS this week to help him out. Too bad we don't live in a more patient, less selfish world. His teacher did tell me he was the brightest child in her class, so that made me feel good. His handwriting is very good for his age. He enjoys the work at school as well. I catch him practicing by himself with numbers and sight words at home sometimes. If I can just help him to get out from behind the bars of this disorder, he will have a great life. I will help him as much as I can. Thank you so much!

Nonie - posted on 10/19/2012

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My son did the same types of behavior. I told them from the start he needed to have extra help to stay focused and to stay on task and manage his anger. They never believed me. In kindergarten he was suspended several times ,even up to 3 days once. I was called multiples times to come pick him up. Finally he was diagnosed with adhd/odd. Some people say Ritalin works good others don't. For my child it did. His writing went from all over the place and getting a 2 out of 8 for spelling tests to 8 of out 8 with clearly readable printing. Find a med program for him and you will see a huge difference in his schooling. It does help keep him at his desk as well. My son described it as making him feel tired because he was so used to feeling such a high amount of energy that it took feeling tired for him to sit still. For the angry fits and destruction of property though the Riseridone worked really well until he was able to learn to start to get a handle on it himself. My son is in a level 3 IEP school program because he did need the extra help. A regular classroom, even with a trained assistant, wasn't able to handle it as well as he couldn't handle all the distractions around him. In level 3 IEP schools they have a room with staff trained on how to handle his angry fits in a safe way for your child and for the people around him. They also teach behavior expectations and responsibilities at the same time they teach education. The classrooms are smaller and they have extra staff in each room in addition to the teacher to help your child focus. The day he was put in level 3 was the day and made it through a full school day, even if he did have to leave the room for an angry fit for 20 minutes, I finally had hope that he would be able to succeed. We've since stopped Risperidone as he's gotten better with the amount of angry fits. He's still a stubborn kid and as parents we've learned to work with him. There will always be those that don't understand what it takes and the style of more understanding parenting it takes to raise someone with adhd/odd. The adhd is still there but he is learning to work with it as he gets older and we have stopped taking ritilan on a trial basis this year for school. When they are little like that though they just can't do it by themselves. Take all the school help you can get and make sure to get him on an IEP because if I had done it in kindergarten they wouldn't have been able to suspend him from school for 3 days where he lost 3 days worth of education because they couldn't handle him. Meet with the teachers before every class season and get their room phone number so you have a direct connection and they understand his trip wire signals. I email with my son's teacher several times a week. If there's an incident I want to hear it right from her mouth what happened and from my son's because what others see isn't always what he might feel that he's done. Also, as he gets older an IEP will help to make sure that someone is on the bus ride with him back and forth to school because otherwise he may have write up issues for not being able to sit quietly in his seat and be suspended from using the bus. My son is a very bright, very stubborn, very loving, very short tempered, healthy almost 10 year old now with some empathy issues we are working on as we go. My lawyers son has adhd and made it through college, although he did take less classes than a full load because of the amount of time it took him extra to focus on the college homework. It got to the point in school that when I went to check out schools I was looking for how many exits there were out of the school and how easy it would be for him to hide in the hallways when he was little because he would run just to have someone catch him for attention and wearing out his energy and then he would fight and kick whoever did once they caught him. You and your child will make it. It's all about love, patience, and taking it day by day.

Amy - posted on 10/17/2012

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Kerry J,

How have things been going? Is your son doing ok? Did you change his med?



Speaking from experience, ADHD meds made my son very irritable and aggressive. He was constantly talking back to teachers and picking on other kids. Maybe your ds would benefit from behavioral therapy.



Also, how is home life? Do you and your hubby fight in front of him? Is it a stressful environment? I know my ds does MUCH better when home life is calm, and we don't raise our voices at him. Kids can sense the tension, and especially ADHD kids do not do well under stress. Although I COMPLETELY understand that it is not always possible to remain calm. I know people can only take so much before they lose it! LOL I try very hard to remain calm, and it is hard to do! My hubby and I used to fight in front of the kids and it always made things worse for my ds (who is 7, will be 8 next month). Things are getting better now that home life is calmer, and he is in behavioral therapy. I also watch his diet very closely. No dyes, MSG, preservatives, etc. I also make sure I give him lots of protein and very little sugar. Studies have proven that ADHD children have a tendency toward hypoglycemia, so they benefit from a low sugar, high protein diet.



Good luck!

Amy

Alyria - posted on 10/15/2012

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Also, my son had very good luck with the drug Concerta. He took it from age 10 to 14 and then no longer required it. Pay attention to his diet as well, gmo's and of course sugar are no good for kids like ours.

Alyria - posted on 10/15/2012

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I am so sorry for what you are going through! I've been there and still am, we only have two years left and it's still difficult. When my boy was little I tried a Charter school first, no go. Then I tried private school, turns out they were just not equipped to handle a son like mine. I finally put him in regular public school only to discover that they had the most resources and experience with children like mine. My son was put on an IEP plan (individual education plan) so that he could get the extra help and attention he required to learn. You must have faith in your son and be his number one advocate, no one knows him better than you and you will have to fight for him. I have always had to go into the schools, meet with teachers and get on a personal level with them to make sure my son is being well taken care of. Your son will graduate, don't worry! As for us, we can now finally see a light at the end of the tunnel but we take one day at a time!

Kerry - posted on 10/06/2012

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Thank you for your kind replies. We are looking at getting a TSS for him. I will also mention about tweaking the medicine. Poor kid, it's not his fault.

Michelle - posted on 10/04/2012

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Kerry does your son have teachers aide or a special individualized plan to help him with school if not get him one. As for the drugs not working look at his diet see if he is reacting to dyes and such in the food many different things can affect a child with adhd. My son has both adhd and odd and from the age of 5 to the age of 11 was on Adderall xr and risperidone. The single med didn't work but with the two he did amazingly well was a straight A student for 4 years. We did end up switching him to Vyvanse at the end of last school year as his body chemistry has changed.

Amy - posted on 10/04/2012

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I have heard a lot of kids react badly to Adderall. My Dr. says it's a nasty drug.



Have you tried Intuniv, or anything besides Adderall?

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