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Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

Resource program versus retention


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted Nov 19, 2001 at 5:57:25 PM
Subject: Resource program versus retention

My son is a young 7th grader, just turned 12 in August. 6th grade is middle school here, so he has had a year of changing teachers/classes, etc. He did fairly well in 6th, but is really struggling in 7th, particularly in pre-algebra and homework.

We are doing all we can to help via a math tutor, helping to keep track of his assignments, etc. He has a 504 but it is ignored by all but one or two of his teachers. We are all becoming more and more frustrated and I worry about my son's self-esteem. He has always enjoyed school and been mostly cooperative about homework, but things seem to be deteriorating.

The way I see it, we have a couple of options:

1) We can move him to another school where he will be eligible for help in the resource room. The problem is, he would be devastated by this move as he has been with nearly all the children in his school since kindergarten. He may not have ressource help at this school because he is there on an district transfer and they will do minor accomodations grudgingly but nothing more. Also, we tried once before switching him between elementary and middle school (5th and 6th grade) to a private school. He was very unhappy and depressed and completely stopped trying. I worry that this would happen again if we move him.

2) Another other option would be holding him back. He is on the young side for 7th grade and rather immature. He would probably do much better if he was in 6th grade, but I am afraid the social stigma would outweigh the scholastic benefit. He is very sensitive and I know the teasing would be brutal. In years past, we have talked to the school about holding him back, but they never wanted to consider it because he was performing adequately.

3) Homeschooling is something we have considered, but I strongly believe that it would not work well for him or me, judging by the war around here at homework time. He knows every button I have and uses them regularly. I don't think this an option.

4) The last option is to do nothing and stop worrying about grades. We have told him that we only expect him to try his hardest (he is very bright) to improve. He feels badly when he gets in trouble for not turning in homework (when something slips by me), getting a bad grade on a test becasue he didn't bring a book home to study, etc. But, it isn't enough to get him to actually bring that book home or cooperate (usually) when it comes to homework. When we tell him that he is going to have to put more effort out or we may have to move him to another school, he swears he will "handle it", but then goes right back to the same old avoidance thing.

Does anyone have any views on this?

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 30, 2014
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Posted:Nov 20, 2001 12:23:09 AM

Does your son have a problem with attention and now that middle school has hit it is overwhelming? From what you have shared he doesn't see to do well with change and seeing his friends go on without him because he was retained can be just as devastating as changing schools was before

It is tough keeping on top of kids in middle school. My own kiddo has just came back into public middle school, 7th grade after an intensive last year. She is not pulling A's but with a range from B+ to C+'s on all her mainstreamed subjects we are estatic and she feels good about everything that she is doing. I would rather have her getting lower grades in mainstreamed classes than A's in RSP. She needs the vocabulary development that the regular education curriculum provides and she also wants to be with her friends. My kiddo and I talked about homeschooling but she wants to be with the regular ed kids and not homeschooled by me. I more or less homeschool her before and afterschool.

What is he struggling with in regards to math? Is it fractions, multiplication memorization, or the language of math? If you can narrow down some of his problems in regards to math I may be able to give you some more suggestions. In regards to homework I have to go through my daughter's binder every night to keep on top of all her assignments and keep her organized. I would suggest a contract with the teachers that he has to have signed everyday stating if he has written his assignments down in his binder, turned in his assignments on time and completed. Sometimes kiddo's with attention issues have good intentions and kick themselves because they have fallen short when they know they can do better but for the life of them they can't pull it together somedays...and that is where an ADD coach or parent can help them by providing the scaffolding necessary for their success.

There are lots of options, as you have pointed out, but some of his problems may stem from physical and emotional maturity and also adjusting to middle school. Sometimes I think patience has evaded me as I work with mostly middle school students.... it is never a dull moment and that can be an understatement any which way you look at it... Good luck!

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 30, 2014
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Posted:Nov 20, 2001 9:03:55 AM

Another option could be resource support in the classroom. My son has an iep instead of a 504, he was pulled out for lang. arts and supplemental math in 5th grade but has been in regular classes with sp.ed support for 6th and 7th grade and is doing well. He has the option of retaking tests that he bombs in the resource room (or in class) as well as finishing assignments there if he needs to, he hasn't needed to this year so far, also his reg. teachers are good about letting him retake his tests.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 30, 2014
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Posted:Nov 20, 2001 2:39:43 PM

Hi, thanks for your note. My son tests quite high in math reasoning skills and has done fairly well in the past with math. However, this year, he is doing algebra, and it seems pretty advanced. He does okay on homework and class work where he gets help, but testing is dismal.

He is sensitive like your child sounds. I know holding him back would be conterproductive. Also, I worry about having him pulled for resource because of the apparent stigma attached to that, now that he is in middle school. I don't think he would be happy with homeschooling either, because he is a very social kid.

I think we probably just need to keep on with the tutoring for math, which helped him raise a 23% to a 67%, still a D, but, as he puts it, "a STRONG D".

Thanks again for your feedback.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Nov 20, 2001 2:41:34 PM

AmyF, I wish we had this option, but, since he is at this school on an intradistrict transfer, he is not elegible for resource help. He has a 504 but it is largely ignored by most of his teachers. The ones who do help, do so grudgingly.

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Anonymous
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Posted:Nov 20, 2001 4:25:55 PM

When he takes his tests does he do them in a distraction free environment? My daughter's testing has been the low part for her as well. When we placed her in a quiet room without distractions she did much better. Also the instructions are read to her. The one thing I have noticed is that she tends to get sloppy in her calculations which cost her dearly. It sounds like you have a good tutor. Perhaps he can work on the test taking strategies to help him do better on tests.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 30, 2014
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Posted:Nov 20, 2001 8:10:06 PM

It is against federal law for them to ignore the 504. They can't do that. Do you have access to anything that tells you your rights? I think even this site has it somewhere. Also, is this child gifted as well? Gifted children can be LD and they can make bad grades. My son technically flunked the 8th grade - the very worst thing we ever did was hold him back...it might be for your son, but it was for ours. The 504 sounds like it should say test anxiety and there should be a place made for him. Take the school apart if you have to. They get extra money for serving your kid - so make them serve him.I have a great book Negotiating the special Education Maze by Winifred Anderson. On page 195 it talks about your legal rights under a 504 plan. You may want to look it up.

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