MGH - posted on 05/20/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )
My son, 13, has recently been diagnosed with ADHD/ Inattentive and academic underachievement disorder. The physician first started him on concerta at the lowest dose. My son stated that thing seem "clear" for the first time and they were and not as "fuzzy" as they were before the meds. After a month or so , things seemed to be "fuzzy" again. The physician increased meds to next dose. My son only takes meds during the week for times requiring attention, such as school work. He does not take meds on weekends and the physician would like for us to take him off during the summer months, while not in school. A teacher shared with me that my son seems "flat". I do have to say that my son was somewhat "flat" before the meds and weight has been an issue also. He is very thin to begin with. However, his weight is maintained at this point due to the increased appetite on the weekends. I am concerned about the medication issue in general. My son has been tested with a Neuropsychologist and has found that he is extremely gifted. Yet, my son in unorganized, has no follow through, cannot keep on task, among other things. He scores 99.9% on state testing and scored the highest in the school in writing and math. He is in 7th grade and has taken both the ACT and SAT and received excellent scores. In his psychological testing, he tested as an individual with 6-8 years of college, depending on the subject. He makes high grades on test, yet he cannot complete his homework and if he does he cannot get it to school to turn in to the teacher, therefore he is failing many classes. I am concerned on many levels. Recently,I was told by someone outside the school system about an IEP and 504 plan. This is something that I know very little about and the school does not openly educate parents about these plans, even though my son has continued to have "issues" at school. Teachers seem "put out" with him. They know he is gifted, yet do not take in to consideration other issues, such as the ADHD/AUD. Due to the lack of follow through with school work, I have made teachers/staff/vice principal aware of what is going on with him (no one ever advised me of any assistance), so that they better understand. He had a teacher that kept referring to him in class, in front of students as having a split personality, which he does not have. I had an employee of the school tell me that I should remove my son from her class asap due to a "personality conflict" , that the teacher is not fair with him and speaks to him inappropriately and degrading in front of students and faculty. I spoke with my son and he did not want to be removed from the class because it was the only advanced class for this subject and she seemed to be getting better. I now find out that she has not. My son asked that with only a few weeks left in school, to please not say anything that would affect how she will treat him the remainder of the year. He has another teacher that said he had not completed a single assignment in his class and has a F. My son kept stating that the teacher would not grade his folder. It is hard to know when my son is telling the truth about schoolwork. It was brought to my attention by an educator, at the school whom has been working with my son to get caught up, that in fact his assignments had not been graded and she would take care of it internally and he would pass the class. I feel like the teachers know that my son has so much potential and they will not work with him, disregarding the fact that he has ADHS/AUD. As far as the 504, after much outside testing (that the school would not do), the psychologist made several recommendations, first to start with a 504. I spoke with the counselor at school and she did fill out the forms. She had an educator from the school start checking his assignment book at the end of the day. That is the extent of "our" 504 plan, to date. The educator involved has taken it upon herself to pull my son from certain classes and have him work with her to get caught up on all missing assignments. She has been a lifesaver. I have emailed all involved stating that I want a meeting by the end of the year to discuss my son, in regards to my expectations for the upcoming school year. Does anyone know what I should expect from a 504? I want to go into this meeting prepared. I have read many articles, which apply to the state in which we live. But, I would like some first hand experience. If anyone has any suggestions in regards to teens, Inattentive ADHD, Academic Underachievement Disorder, Gifted children, medications, 504/IEP, etc.... please let me know. As overwhelmed as I am with the "very few" of many, issues I have mentioned, I cannot imagine how my son feels. In addition to the above, my son repeatedly says he is bored in school and is not challenged. The psychologist said that IF he had all A's along with his test scores, that he should have skipped at least one grade, if not two. That being said, his father is at his wits end and a sister that is starting to resent all the attention her brother is receiving. It has and is affecting our entire home. I am frightened to what will happen to my son, in the future, if we do not get a handle on this now! Thank you in advance for any and all responses.