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Parenting a Child with LD or ADHD

ADHD


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69138
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Posted Aug 22, 2002 at 3:31:27 PM
Subject: ADHD

I have a 7 year old boy. He is in second grade. We had him tested between kindergarten and 1st grade for ADHD. The doctors and the school were in agreement that he is definately ADHD. We tried Ritalyn, Adderall and finally ended up with Concerta. The Concerta seemed to work the best for school. He was very focused, but was still playful and energetic. We thought that we had found the miracle drug for our child. Then, he stopped eating. He got down to 36 lbs. When school was out, we took him off the meds. He still would not eat. We saw a specialist who gave him an anti-histamine, Cyproheptadine, which increased his appetite. He gained 6 lbs over the summer. Now, school has started. We wanted to start the year with no meds and see how things went. The first 4 days of school, he came home in the best mood. He got up in the mornings without the usual fights. We thought things were going great. Then his teacher called to let us know that he has not completed any classroom assignments. He simply refused to try, saying that it was too hard. We put him back on his meds for the second week of school. He has spent the last two days in the principals office in isolation. He still refuses to do any work.

HELP!!

What do we do now?

Rochelle
Houston, TX

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 22, 2002 4:23:21 PM
Subject:Re: ADHD

Dear Rochelle,

I am afraid there are many other ladies on this board with much more experience and better advice than I can give to you. I am in much the same boat as you with my five year old son. He is refusing to sit at the desk in 5K and do any real mental work. We are in the process of requesting testing for him.

My daughter, eight, was qualified as learning disabled from the psychoeducational evaluation done last year also. She is taking Adderal XR with success for her ADD symptoms, but has no appetite either. It has become more and more obvious to me that she has something more than just ADD. I am awaiting the appt. time/date from our local university specialty clinic, where we are going to have her evaluated by a Neuropsychologist for Dyslexia and or any other learning disabilities, like dysgraphia, dyscalcula, etc. The schools testing did qualify her for special ed. services which has been very helpful, but doesn't completely take care of her needs. She still has many problems that all seem to fall under the Dyslexia umbrella. From what the International Association for Dyslexia says, the school cannot properly remediate her Dyslexic problems if they are not using a program of instruction specifically designed for Dyslexic students, which most regular public schools do not have. Some are willing to work with families who have gone out and received professional, private, written, recommendations and some will even obtain the necessary programs, or at the very least some of the necessary information in order to better serve the student. By law they have to provide an adequate free education, so it can get hairy if you have a school district that has little money for anything considered out of the ordinary. Check out www.WrightsLaw.com for all the legal info.

I don't know if you have looked into this avenue or not but you might want to investigate the possibility of other learning disorders that may be present for your son, but are so similar to the ADHD that they haven't been addressed. I know that Dyslexia and ADHD can appear very similar, but the educational remediation needed for each is very different. Some experts believe that for ADHD the instructors need to speed up because often the ADHD students become bored with too much repetition and loose interest, some believe for Dyslexics, they need a very slow repetitious process to absorb the information. If they are receiving the wrong kind of remediation, that could very well cause behavioral problems. It can be very frustrating and confusing for the kids and for us parents. I understand your cry for help all too well. If I can give you one piece of advice I have had to learn the hard way, don't wait for the school to look into other possible causes for his behavior. It would be great if they cared as much as you do, but the reality is, they don't. If you have a local univeristy with a specialty clinic, see if they offer this neuropsychological testing also. These clinics usually have a lower fee, accept most insurance, and medicaid. It is certainly worth a try. So often negative behavior is a symptom of something deeper. The school should help you look for the root cause instead of just addressing the servfacing result, which is his behavior. It is certainly your right to ask for their help anyway, but don't wait for it.

Also, my daughter gets counseling from our local county child and adolescent mental health services center. They provide her a safe place to come and unload without fear of her parents finding out what she says. The counselors help her work through and learn to express her feelings in a non distructive way. We have found this to be extremely helpful and she only goes every other week for fifty minutes. I hope this might have helped, at least alittle.
God Bless,
Deb

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 23, 2002 10:10:16 AM
Subject:Re: ADHD

Hmm. Have you looked at the work he is refusing to try? Is it too hard for him? I'd want to be sure to rule that out before proceeding. If it's definitely not too hard, it may be too hard for him to pay attention to the work. Has anyone asked him why he doesn't even try?

Could you ask that some of the work be sent home and see what he and you can do with that work at home? Around bringing the work home with the expectation that some of it be done, you can have a conversation with your son around what he's thinking and feeling. Is he thinking he'll happily spend the rest of the year in the principal's office? Is he happy with what's happened here? How does he see the school year playing out for him?

But first I'd get some of that work from the teacher and try to have him attempt it at home - after you checking out the difficulty of it yourself - and then see what happens from that.

Good luck.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 23, 2002 11:05:54 AM
Subject:Re: ADHD

We have been getting his class work every day. It is all review from 1st grade. He definitely knows the material. As for how he feels about the situation. We have asked him repeatedly, he doesn't seem to care one way or the other. He says that he will try harder the next day but he doesn't.

I went to open house last night at spoke with his teacher some. She said that he is not disruptive at all. He is very polite, yes maame, no maame. He just sits in his desk very figetty, but won't even attempt any class work. Yesterday, he spent another day in the isolation room and still did no class work. Whats worse is that I do make him do the work at home, however, school policy states that he gets no credit for classroom assignments that are completed at home. 99% of all his assignments have been done at home, therefore, he is failing.

We will meet with the teacher and counselor and principal this afternoon. I keep you all posted.

Thanks,
Rochelle

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 23, 2002 2:10:22 PM
Subject:Re: ADHD

Dear Rochelle,

If you give the school permission and they have qualified him as learning disabled with the ADHD, then by law, they must remediate the areas he is having difficulty with special education services. The law says that it is the job of the school to give your child an adequate, appropriate education. Putting him in isolation is NOT doing that. I would definitely not allow that to continue another day. Go to the school district office and ask to begin the remediation process if the school won't give him special ed. Speak to the director of special education for your district, if the school will not cooperate with your son's obvious needs.

Isolation is punishment, and if he has a learning disorder in addition to his ADHD, punishment is the LAST thing he needs. He sounds as if he is at a crossroad about education, whether to view it positively or negatively. It is this complete lack of understanding on the educators part about learning disabilities, disorders, that causes very bright, enthusiastic children to be turned off from the learning experience. If I won the lottery I would give money to better teacher training programs like School's Attune, so that these misunderstood children won't have to be tortured by impatience, misinformed, or uninformed educators.

I will pray that you can stay strong and demand that he get the help he needs. I know it is alot of pressure on you, but since you are the adult, he needs you to stand up for him. There is something going on with him that is NOT being identified or addressed, otherwise, you wouldn't be searching for answers and having to have meetings with the Principal.

Punishment is NOT the answer, the proper HELP is the answer. Hang in there, you are doing the right things, take it one day at a time, and remember, home is the one place he has left to feel unconditionally loved and accepted. I will pray for you both and do let us know how it goes.
Deb

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 23, 2002 4:04:09 PM
Subject:Re: ADHD

Deb,

Thanks for your support. I just got back from the school. They will be evaluating Josh as soon as possible to determine if he qualifies for special ed. We are all in agreement that he most definitely qualifies but there are procedures to follow. It may take a couple of weeks to get things going however. In the meantime, he will no longer be taken out of class for failure to do classwork. He has not been disrupting class at all. I told them that removal from class was completely unacceptable. Josh has zero chance of learning if he is removed. Josh is like a sponge. He soaks in everything around him. Even if he is not writing on paper, he is still learning. Unfortunately, he will continue to receive zeros for classwork assignments completed at home. At least until he is recognized as needing special concessions by the "committee".

Thank you especially for reminding me that this is a disorder and not just bad behavior and that punishment is not the answer. We have been trying to make Josh want to do better by threats and punishment. We, my husband and I, both know very well that this is the wrong approach, but we have been so exasperated with the daily battles, that we have forgotten that he can not help it.

We will continue to talk with him and try to get to the root of this problem. We will also continue to make him complete all class and home work assignments so that he does not get behind in class. But we will try very hard not to lose our tempers, but instead try to be more incouraging. And above all, make sure that he knows that he is very much loved by both of us!!!

Thank you,
Rochelle

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 23, 2002 9:26:33 PM

Deb gave you EXCELLENT advice all around. I'm glad you agree that isolation is not the answer. Just the idea of them doing that to any child makes me sick to my stomach.

Please, please, please, make sure that you send a WRITTEN request for this evalation to the school Monday (do not wait). If it is not in writing, it has not been said. (Please trust me, I learned the hard way on this one.)

When you put it in writing, the clock begins ticking. They have 60 school days from the time they receive your written request to do the evaluation. If it is not in writing, they can claim that you never requested it.

Good luck to you. I think you will be relieved when the evaluation comes back and explains some of the avoidance behaviors you are seeing. My guess too would be that there is more than ADHD going on.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 23, 2002 9:38:24 PM
Subject:Re: ADHD

Wow, does that sound scarey!!! My 7 year old son has ADHD. The first 2 years of school was a total nightmare. My husband and I spent many days going to school to talk to Jeremy to try to get him to settle down.

Jeremy would crawl under his desk and curl up in a ball at times. His Kindergarden teacher used the 1-2-3 count on him, and it seems by the time she got to 2 he would get up. About the middle of the school year he did settle down in class, and he passed to 1st grade.

First grade was worst than Kindergarden, he started thrown temper tantrums, talking out loud in class, instead of doing his work quitely, he would start singing. They had on occasion where the teacher was taking the class up to the artroom, Jeremy dropped out of line, slipped into the bathroom, and was playing in the water when he was found.

Went school was about to end for the summer, we recieved a letter from the school saying they wanted to hold him back in the first grade again, but it was up to us. They felt Jeremy wouldn't be able to handle the stress of second grade.

We decided to seek help for him, I had heard allot about ADHD. My son was found to have it, so they put him on Adderall XR 10mg. It has only been 10 days now, but I have to say it's been the light at the end of the tunnel we were looking for. Daycare is so amazed of the change in Jeremy, no more fights, no more temper tantrums, no more running around in the room. The only side effect we saw in him was he slowed on eating, but only after 8 days he is back eating like a little horse.

I am now seeing a side of my son I have never seen before, he comes home helps me in the kitchen, he play with his cars and trucks quitely, he picks up after himself. And most of all when you tell him NO, he doesn't argue with me.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 23, 2002 9:43:56 PM
Subject:little lulu

My son was to be tested last year, I signed the papers for the test, but it was never done. I talked to the Principle a few weeks ago and told her I was having the test done myself. She told me Jeremy was to be tested the first week of school for ADHD. Now she wants me to send a letter the first day of school to let them know what the results were, and what meds he is on...this school has done nothing to help my son at all, his father and I are paying through the nose to seek help for him. But all in all I would do it all over again for him, he is the love of my life!!

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 23, 2002 9:57:02 PM

Merlene,

Testing for ADHD and testing for learning disabilities are two different issues. The schools are not able to diagnosis ADHD, it is a medical condition which can only be diagnosed by a physician.

The full case study that the school would do to determine if the child has a learning disability and eligible for special education is what I was referring to.

A parent must request this in writing and they then obligated to the 60 (school days) day timetable.

Outside evaluations are very important and valuable to you (and only you). By law the school must "consider" the findings of the outside evaluation, but they are not required to follow any recommendations made by the indendent evaluator nor are they required to agree with findings. That's why I say they are only valuable to you.

When the school does their own evaluation, they must recognize their findings.

If you want the testing to be done (I'm assuming its testing for LDs not ADHD) I would follow up on what happened to those papers. They could be in violation of the law if they are sitting on someones desk from last year.

You are right, these kids are the light of our lives and thats what fires us up when they aren't getting what they need.

I too have invested thousands of dollars for testing and programs of all sorts that the school did not see as necessary. Yet the results have painted a picture that they never intended to find, cuz if they found it, they'd have to recognize it. They aren't willing to do that, unfortunately.

Good luck!!

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 24, 2002 9:19:52 AM

Put it in writing, mail it Certified and fax it and keep the fax transmission report. I out in a request at the same time as another parent 2 years ago but mine was completed 10 days before hers because I could PROVE when the clock started ticking!!!!

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Anonymous
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Posted:Aug 24, 2002 12:19:21 PM

The testing they had plan to do was for LD, but it was never done last year, after we signed to have it done. That's what I meant Lulu

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 25, 2002 5:20:53 AM

I have only one suggestion. Send the school a letter letting them know that you know that by law the school has the obligation to identify and provide help to children with a learning diability (be it ADD or any other). You'll see how quickly they'll have him tested. If they don't, go ahead and sue'em.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 25, 2002 10:48:40 AM

Merlene,

I agree with Mary. If you still want him tested, you are in a very favorable postion because they have sat on this far too long.

I, too, would move on this by first letting them know that you know the law and that they are possibly in violation.

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 25, 2002 1:05:04 PM

Hey Again,

Just had to agree with the others. It sounds like the school has been stalling. Imagine that, ...but that, is what it sounds like. A friend of mine is now one of our local NAMI representatives(National Assoc. for the Mentally Ill, sounds awful but they advocate for everyone) . She gives free 12 week classes on how to advocate for your child. She schooled me on how exactly to write a request for testing. She told me to include that I know by law they have a limited amount of time, in our case 45 days, in which to complete the testing. If you don't put in in writing, send it return receipt requested, then you can't prove they received the request.
The best advice is to always cover your bases. Like Pete Wright says at www.wrightslaw.com, the best way to avoid litigation, is to prepare for litigation. Get all communications and agreements between you and the teachers or administrators in writing.
Two days after sending our request we received a letter from the school letting us know our daughter was scheduled for testing to begin just two weeks later. It doesn't hurt to cc copies of your request to the school district office either. It helps them understand that you aren't going away, you know your rights, you mean business, and they better take you seriously.
None of us mean to sound militant here, but after you have deal with the lackadaisial or negilgent attitude, sometimes repeatedly, of the school's personnel, you can become very incensed when you hear that someone else is being subjected to the same kind of behavior.
Just remember, they won't and can't care about your child's well being and future the way you do. In the end, they must adhere to the restraints of a waining budget, and that knowledge sometimes effects the manner in which they conduct themselves and the business at hand. While they may really have sincere concern for your child, what they feel and what they are willing to do, may be entirely different.
Always give yourself time to consider any proposals they make, IEP recommendations, small suggestions, you name it, just tell them you will be glad to take their recommendations into consideration and you will be getting back to them shortly. Especially in IEP's, they don't like it, but they can't legally pressure you into signing anything until you agree with the recommendations. I didn't know this until reading on wrightslaw, but they are NOT supposed to come to IEP meetings with the entire proposal of objectives and recommendations sections completely filled out. Ideally, the parents are suppose to bring in a list of their own recommendations, hopefully with your own privately hired professionals recommendations included, and then the entire team, parents included, are to draw up the objectives, recommendations together.
Unfortunately, parents don't usually know they have the right to that much involvement and the school certain won't tell you that. The IEP meetings are usually held at the end of their school day and the personnel are all tired and ready to go home. They want to bring you in the advice and recommendations THEY have prepared in advance for your child, and have you just quickly sign off on them and get the meeting over with so they can go home for the day. Once they even started to threaten to take services away for our daughter if we didn't sign at that moment, said that she might miss placement etc. When my husband questioned them directly asking were they trying to threaten to take her servics away if he didn't give his immediate signature, they quickly backed off with apologies and quickly recanted the whole loss of services stuff. Now my husband rolls up his sleeves and lets them know right from the get go, that they should get a drink, a snack, and make themselves comfortable, because he has alot of ground to cover.
In our meeting last year after our testing had been completed for our daughter, the meeting had gone over two hours and the Principal actually got up and left! We didn't care though because we intended to take all the paperwork home, check it over, ask our Educational Specialist/Counselor friend's opinions about the proposed actions etc., so we couldn't have cared less if she was that impatient. It only made her look unprofessional by walking out.
I know it causes a concerned parent sensory overload to try to absorb so much information so quickly, but I highly recommend you buy the Wright's Law book, or visit that website and arm yourself with the valuable information they give. Pete Wright was severely Dyslexic as a child so he knows of what he speaks and he genuinely cares about these kids. God Speed and Good Luck! Keep us posted.
Debra

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Anonymous
Joined Sep 21, 2014
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Posted:Aug 27, 2002 4:06:45 PM

Beverly is right. Put everything to the school in writing and mail it Certified, Return Receipt Requested. Then they can't tell you that they did not receive it. I also would send the request directly to the Director of Special Services and copy the school. When I had problems with the school regarding my request to have my younger son tested for a learning disability, a quick follow-up call to the director got everyone at the school to take action.

The squeaky wheel gets oiled. When the school officials realize that you know your rights, you are more likely to get what you need.

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