ADHD Parents Together
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Am I right for being angry at the school?

I am a mother of a 9 year old girl who was diagnosed with adhd officially 2 years ago. Although it's been brought up to me by her teachers since the age of 3 when she started preschool. I fought for 2 years to get her an IEP (independent educational program) now that she finally has a teacher who should be giving her extra help is being mean to her and told my daughter and I at p/t conferences that she'll probably drop out of high school if she doesn't start improving. I'm against medicating my child. What do I do?

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I remember when the school looked at us and told us they needed more tools to help our daughter. She was 5 almost 6 at the time. This was after a year intentionally of trying EVERYTHING but medication. She had an individual learning plan that included all kinds of external support (swinging at non-recess times when needing a break, specialized ways of organizing her work, etc.). We tried Brain Balance, therapy, occupational therapy, all kinds of supplements, no gluten, etc. The small amounts of progress made quickly became inadequate with the next growth spurt. All the while her self-concept and belief in her ability to function and socially interact with other kids was being crushed. Kids were calling her names and she was showing her anger at home and sometimes at school. SO, we tried something internal - medication and from day 1 it has made a huge difference. I did some soul searching and my desire for my daughter was for her to experience balance through experiencing herself at her best. There was no way she was experiencing her best without the support of medication nor was she able to gain the independence she needed to gain for healthy development because we had to be right beside her reminding, guiding . . . and so on. I realized that if she was unable to walk we would honor her need for a wheel chair, if she could not breathe we would honor her need for a breathing treatment, so why was I treating her ADHD/sensory needs differently? She deserved to experience life through balance like everyone else. She deserved the support to control her impulses so she can socialize, she deserved the support so she could start and finish tasks, she deserved the support so she could sit still long enough to be part of circle time (not being at a table alone and many more examples). Now, I still do not like the medication but I am grateful for its support of my daughter. We also give her a combination of supplements and medication, limit her screen time (maybe 100 mins a week?), we exercise with her everyday (swimming and running is AWESOME for these beautiful kids), and we work plans made with our therapist. Being her mother has taught me about giving her what I did not have from my parents . . . individualized support, constant forgiveness and learning from mistakes. I wish you and your family the best on your journey. If you decide to try medication ask about genetic testing - it is where they swab the child's mouth and the tests gives you information about the kinds of medication that would be best for your child. This can help you avoid the trial and error path that can be VERY frustrating for your child. If I could be of help to you, please call me. My number is (336) 793-7987 and my name is Krista.

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Krista thank you for your post. My son is 9 and he has ADHD. we have also struggled with the idea of medicating him. His father is completely against it and says he will grow out of it. And he may. I just want him to get what he needs, whatever that may be. I just don't always know what that is. I especially appreciated your point of if he needed a wheelchair or oxygen we would provide those things for him without hesitation. Why then is this so difficult?

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What a powerful question - asking why this is so difficult. There are many perspectives to answer this and for me I think that it is because ADHD and Sensory (my daughter has both) is "unseen", therefore, it triggers judgments instead of compassion. When a child cannot walk, we can see it. When a child cannot breathe we can see it and we want to help. The ways we realize ADHD and sensory exist (the behaviors mostly) are generally judged as "poor parenting" and not seen for what they are - unique differences in the way the brain and body processes information. The seen behaviors are what most people have labeled as bratty, overly sensitive and undisciplined kids - all which are judgments and not understanding. I know I personally thought in the beginning of this process I had been too easy on her, I had not been consistent, I had bla bla bla bla - then over a period of almost 2 years I have finally let myself off the hook of shame and blame so I can step up with compassion for myself first - which enables me to step up in compassion for my beautiful, genius and giving daughter. If you also think back that most of us when we displayed a temper tantrum, a meltdown, discomfort of some sort we were to just "suck it up and deal with it or someone would give us something to complain about", well, my daughter wishes that she could navigate life easier - but because she can't her special abilities continue to shape and mold me into not just being a loving parent, but a more loving person all around. I think my spouse would agree that because of ADHD I am learning to be a better loved of people. If we as children had been given understanding and compassion, then responding with understanding and compassion would come easier for us. I hope this helps :-) I wish you and yours all the best . . .

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Hi momofamermaid! Yeah, I hate to admit it, but even I have been judgmental towards parents of "unruly" , kids who in hind site my have had a learning disability or ADHD, or any number of things going on that are un-seen. And I was expected to "buck up" and keep on giing no matter how tough it was, and sometimes it was really tough! So it is a challenge for me to be compassionate, and I work on it everyday.

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Thank you for this information. I did break down and tried two different medications last year. The first one, she lost 15 pounds and even the doctor agreed to pull her off because of the weight loss. The second did the same and she didn't sleep. A lot of her side effects from the meds were similar to someone on methamphetamines. She hates them and I hate making her take them. I didn't know about the genetic testing though so this is something I will definitely bring up to her pediatrician. Medicated or not though I feel this teacher has no right no bring my daughter's self esteem lower. Not to mention two days later she slammed a clipboard down next to my daughter and yelled at her in front of the class for something she later realized my daughter didn't even do. Am I wrong to think she shouldn't be helping children with learning disabilities in this fashion? She has adhd herself and I feel in her position she needs to have patience or find a new job!? My daughter's behavior charts come home with words mispelled and I am trusting her to help my daughter with reading!?

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Sherb87-Um, yeah. The teacher stuff just isn't acceptable. I have learned, and am still learning that I always have a right to stand up and defend my child. If I feel a certain way about how even his father is treating him, I have the right to say something. If it was me, I would probably go to the school and have a chat with her superior.

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Of course I agree that your child deserves constant support, guidance and patience. What I have learned is that I am not always as supportive, patient or give direct clear guidance to my daughter, so I can understand how a teacher would make mistakes. I agree for you to advocate and model all that your child deserves! What I see in your info that is another barrier is if the teacher has ADHD then the teacher has difficulty in guiding her own self so she would have difficulty guiding deserving children! I would advocate that the teacher needs to get help herself so she can be a safe and effective teacher or yes, find a new job! I lift you and your daughter up for the support and miracles you deserve! HUGS

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That happend to my son 3rd grade teacher kept comparing him to other kids and his brother who she had has 2 years before nothing good ..blame for things he didnt do we had a journal one of the behavioral specialist read through it all the things she wrote about my son and reported her to human resources i belive she was suspended for some days. Sometimes we dont want to make things bigger because of all the stress we already have trying to help our kids but if we dont speak up then what is it of our kids?

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Hi Krista, thank you so much for your post. Would the doctor's office be able to administered the genetic testing? How does it work?

We did brain scans but I'm curious about the genetic testing and will talk to my son's doctor about it.

Thank you!

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Hello. Would you be able to provide some information about the type of brain scans you had performed and why. It's something I thought about, but would like to hear from people that have tried this. Was it helpful to have the procedure? Thanks.

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Hi! We did the SPEC brain scan. We went to one of the Amen Clinics. The Spec scans give you a full image of the brain activity and they will also tell you if there is head trauma. Dr. Amen outlines 7 types of ADD/ADHD and they diagnose according to the scan images. We agree with his "if you are not looking, you are just guessing" philosophy.

We did have some challenges for the second scan but eventually was able to work through it. There are two scans, one perform during rest state and one during concentration state. The patient is required to be still for about 20 minutes during the scans.

It was quite costly... We took out a loan because we believed it was good to have a more detailed diagnosis. If you have PPO your insurance might cover it, they have an insurance specialist that will help you at the clinic.

We have been working with the doctor at the clinic but we are seeing very minor improvement with the current medication (guanfacine). Ideally I don't want my son to be on medication and the doctor worked with us on supplements at first, so that was comforting.

I felt it was helpful in the sense that we know what's going on in our son's brain. It's been a month and a half and we are seeing very slow improvements. We have a follow up in a week and a half.

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I am so sorry you had that experience with the teacher. My son has ADHD and he is also 9 years old. Have you thought about changing schools? I heard that once you have a diagnosis in writing you can bring it to the school dist and demand, in writing, that your child be assessed by an outside source. They can not deny you. The assessment is approx 10 days and your child is observed during school to monitor behavior etc. I don't know. It's worth a try. I hope it helps

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This is great advice. And to add to it, you can also request that the school revisit the IEP in place at any point in time. On an additional note, we worked with a special education advocate who knows the law inside and out. It was expensive, but so far, worth every dime. If cost is an issue, though, there may be organizations that provide a special education advocate for no cost.

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I was against medication since my son is only 6 he was diagnose at 5 but show signs since he was small I did years of therapy because his doctor saw what I saw and understand my concerns whit him so once he reach 5 she said ok we can diagnose him now. I have one and a half year of group, individual and family therapy even thou they work he wasent getting at the point we wanted him to be so I did medication he takes foclin 15 mg he's been on it for 3 months amd has works wonders for him hopes this helps

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Hi everyone. I am a mother of triplet boys and a 20 year old daughter. One of my boys, has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. They will be 9 in January. It has been very emotionally draining trying to get him help. At first, I was against medication or rather wanted it to be a last resort. I am very uncomfortable giving my child narcotics. We also tried all the alternatives but he kept having meltdowns My husband or I would be called from the school 3-4 days out of the school week. Finally, I agreed to try the meds. I kept detailed notes of the side effects. After trying 6 different ones we finally found one that does not have as many side effects. Quillichew 20 mg. He has been able to complete his work and stay in class. I have requested a special education evaluation but since he is academically gifted, I was told he would not qualify. He is under 504. We live in Texas.

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Being gifted should not impact the right to an IEP. My son has an IEP with a behavior intervention plan. The ADHD guidance issued to all schools by the Dept of Education points this out. Google it. Good luck,

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Medication behavioral therapy and a good tutor. Firm rules and expectations. Dont feel sorry for her and give a thousand chances. Be consistent

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My son is seven with ADHD and odd. His classmates are not friendly to him, and my son got used to playing with kids from another class. his classmates instigate fights with him and then cry and complain to the teacher that my son hit them or pushed them. My son is naive, timid, and lacks the confidence to speak up. He gets the blame for anything that happens, and i am worried about his self esteem and being bullied.

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My 12 year old was diagnose with ADD recently and just got a 504 in place. That did not stop her English teacher (who helped set up the 504), from humiliating my daughter in class. The teacher told my kid that she did worse than everyone else in the class on a specific writing assignment because she failed to follow instructions, and that her remake assignment was even worse than the first one she turned in. I was LIVID and called the school counselor. The teacher apologized and made a feeble attempt to "make it up" to my kid. She sent a post card telling my daughter that she should be proud for persevering and getting the writing assignment completed.

Anyway, I no longer trust that teacher...and her words have impacted my child. Even though my kids has all As and Bs right now, she still thinks she's not doing well enough...

I have decided to pull my kid out of public school and we're going to do a combination of homeschool/online school. I think we need to have a bit more control over who gets to "teach" my child who is just adjusting to this new diagnosis and feels really confused about it or how to handle it. This bad experience with this teachers (and others there that have expressed impatience) is not the only reason we're leaving. There are other reasons that have to do with anxiety, poor sleep quality, and sensory processing issues that prevent my daughter being able to adjust to her clothing (this problem is exacerbated by stress).

Good luck to you... I wish that I had some advice. I just wanted you to know that you are not the only one dealing with a less than supportive school environment. I have decided to take my kid out of the system and hope that it helps.

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Do Not ever Allow a teacher to talk your daughter that way. I have a special needs son as well as a daughter with ADHD. If an educator is behaving in that manner you need to have a meeting with the principal. If those do not produce results go to the school district . The IEP is a legally binding agreement the school must follow.I strongly recommend you take an advocate with you to the next IEP meeting too. Also, please give your daughter extra TLC and encouragement. She is going to need it. In high school, the training wheels come off and the IEP only works if she advocates for herself. They won’t let Mom step in as much.

Be Strong. You Can Do This 😊.

MommyMac

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Some teachers are just amazing and when your kid has that teacher it makes all the difference. Some, on the other hand, just don’t get it or don’t believe adhd is real or for whatever reason don’t know what to do (even when they have the IEP). When your kid gets that type then it’s the year from hell. Then once they reach middle/high school they need to deal with multiple teachers!!

In second grade he had a teacher that would take away his recess time if he didn’t stand still on line or if he didn’t finish all his morning work - then couldn’t understand why he had more trouble staying in his seat in the afternoon. And this is after I had many meetings with her explaining that taking away recess was the worst thing she could do.

In 9th grade he had a teacher that told him (and other kids) in his class that she would be surprised if they graduate.

Some teachers really do a number on your kids self esteem! After that (among other things) we decided to leave the public school system. He is now in a smaller private school, is doing very well (grades have improved tremendously and to me it looks like the work he gets assigned is actually harder that what he got in public school), and he loves it. His self esteem has sky rocketed! I should have done it years ago (except that now I could really use a big lottery win- it’s pretty pricey).

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I agree with everything everyone has said. Have you tried a mood stabilizer instead of a stimulant? My son had the same side effects on stimulants and we switched him to a mood stabilizer and it has made a big difference. Also, go to the head the school and special ed teachers. She should NOT be treated this way.

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It's certainly not great that your daughter's teacher is not treating her well, but I have to ask you why you are against giving your child ADHD medication? Please do your research on ADHD - it's a neurological disorder and although there are things that can help manage ADHD, medication is really the only thing that shows almost immediate and consistent improvement. The sad fact is that most ADHD kids will not graduate from high school without some sort of medication as well as interventions like an IEP. Talk with your child's pediatrician about the different types of medication - there are many options now, including a patch. I think you will be surprised at how much better she will do once she starts taking something. You would give her medication if she was diabetic, or had epilepsy, or hypertension, right? Although ADHD is not a life-threatening disorder, it is definitely a life-altering disorder. Your daughter will do much better in school, as well as sports and any social activities on the meds.

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I have an 8 year old ADHD/ODD and anxiety son; he was diagnosed at age 6. We did 1-yr of no medication and tried several other alternative methods...nothing worked. He was always angry, cried a lot, and miserable! He would have complete meltdowns due to anxiety, and would hide under the table. The kids were afraid of him because simple little things he would get frustrated with set him off. He was out of school more than in school in Kindergarten (due to safety for the other children), and fell behind in reading. I finally convinced my husband to allow him to try Focalin to help him maintain focus and help with impulse control. We are now 1.5 years on this medication and my child is a completely different child. We have also altered his diet and monitor his sugar intake (which is a feeder for ADHD) which includes limiting the white bread, no soda (except for special occasions), limit his whole milk, and no sugary drinks AT ALL. I've also removed him from high fructose corn syrup (another feeder) and do not buy cereals or breads or anything else with it in it; many drinks will have it in there too. I do not allow him to consume RED 40 (another feeder). Read your labels!! We are killing our kids and ourselves with this stuff. We have noticed a HUGE improvement over the past year and the teachers are so amazed as to how far he has come. Yes, he is still on his medications, can focus on his work, no longer has an overly busy mind and his impulse, outbursts, meltdowns, are very limited. I truly believe his medication has helped him thrive in society with his peers, where they were once afraid of him and nobody liked him; he had NO FRIENDS! He is now interacting with kids, and they want to be his friend as they are no longer afraid of him. He is no longer the "angry kid" or as one child asked me one day in the classroom while I was helping out, "Are you the scary kids mom?" Help your son by helping him get the help he needs, and if that means medication, well get him some medication to help regulate his brain so he can get focused, and LEARN how he can help himself to cope with his/her ADHD symptoms so they are not on medication for forever. But in order for them to thrive, they have to be able to communicate appropriately with others. Please don't set your child up for future failure because of medication that could help regulate his overactive brain; dpm

Their brains are like car engines; a normal running brain runs like a family car...an ADHD child's brain runs like a racecar with a blower full-time; how exhausting for them. We need to help our child be the best he/she can be, and I know that you don't want your child to be the one everyone picks on because they are different or bcs they are afraid to talk to them due to being afraid of them. All children want to be liked and accepted...why take that opportunity away from them if there's a way to help them?

Lastly, yes, they do lose weight, however regulation is the best I have found to regulate it; our doctor is fantastic (KU Medical Center). My child's school faculty (due to his IEP) has also accommodates him by allowing him to go get a snack at the office and eat it in the nurses room as most the time (due to the time of lunch) he will not be hungry. He's better now and doesn't need to have those snacks since its been over a year on his meds; he's actually gaining weight back now and we are able to allow him to do sports since he can focus and not have meltdowns. HE IS THRIVING!!

A good place to find out about what happens in a child's brain with ADHD is found here and what those neurotransmitters are NOT doing in their brain and how medications work.

understood.org/en/learning-...

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I'm so sorry your going thru that my daughter is 11 and also has ADHD and her teachers are very mean to her for having it she every day is kicked out of class when I ask the teachers why they say talking to much moving around alot not focused speaking out of turn I explain to them those are all ADHD behaviours but everyday they continue to kick my daughter out of class I have requested an IEP for her or 504 plan but I was told she doesn't need either of those but she is barely passing and not aloud to be apart of the class for a full day ever all over her ADHD behaviours that she can not control I'm starting to believe this is discrimination and I'm going to fight to make sure this changes I wish you and your daughter the best I know how hard this all is

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