Feeling frustrated with the school and how it is dealing with my son who seams to be showing all the signs of ADHD

We are getting my son professional help but in the meantime his teacher seams so uncooperative and unwilling to help out. She gets upset if I try to suggest that she approach him different from her other students. I have tried telling her what helps at home but she just interupts me says she has no time to deal differently with him and for the first times my son told me he does not want to go to school. He loves school but this is the first teacher that has actually made him not want to go. He was in her math club and yesterday she asked that he doesn't come back to it anymore because after he was done with his worksheet he walked off to the window and was stairing out of it instead of staying in his seat. He loves math and he was crying so much. It is hard when the teacher doesn't seam to understand ADHD and just continues to punish him.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can deal with this?

20 Replies

  • I have you called a meeting. Is he in BIP. Hang in there the Lord will see you through. I have been there. I am still fighting for my son. You are not alone.

  • Thank you. We are trying to set up a second meeting with the teacher the principal. This is all new to us but I am looking into the EIP? It is good to learn from other parents because this is all so confusing and even more for my boy.

  • Please do not take this the wrong but when you are talking to the teacher and the principal make sure you are putting in email. Keep all your data. As mother I know how you feel and remember you are not alone we have to support each other. My son is 2nd grade and I have been fighting since pre-k. God is with you and he able to help in the time of trouble. Be encouraged because I know what God can do. I have went to bed at crying myself to sleep. You are welcome to inbox me private too.

  • That is really too bad. Teachers can make a difference in this world, and I am so sorry you have a bad teacher. We have a good teacher and life is still hard... I can't imagine having a teacher like the one you explained. I would email the principle and teacher your complaint so that it is in writing. Your child should be allowed to move around if he needs to. I hate being the person that complains, but sometimes you have to stand up for your family. Your child has every right to stand up if he needs to. Complain in writing. Make your voice known.

  • Could your son switch to a different teacher? If he has a BIP or an IEP the school is required by law to follow it. A formal diagnosis will help, but unfortunately you're going to have to fight for your son his whole life.

  • We are looking into having him switch teachers and I am all for doing anything possible to help him. It does break my heart to see educators who are insensitive to issues like this. I will email. You are right, I will put everything in writing. Thank you..

  • I am sorry this is happening. I can empathize. We've been struggling with school issues for years now (2 kids with ADHD, now 13 and 11). I highly recommend finding out about a 504 plan or IEP for him. Both are designed to help kids with specific diagnosed conditions to get fair treatment at school by providing individualized accommodations appropriate for their learning needs. The teacher may not like it but by law they have to follow it. If you have any option of changing schools or teachers, I would look into it...our son started hating school due to similar issues and eventually refused school altogether, struggled with depression and anxiety on top of his ADHD. We eventually found a special needs classroom for him that is working better but those negative experiences can color his view of school for a long time.

    Our state has a Parent Center with parent advocates who can walk you through all this. I would try to find out if your state or school district has something like this. Search CHADD website for resources too. Also I highly recommend you get a formal evaluation to see if your son has the diagnosis, and if he does, watch Russell Barkley's videos on YouTube on "30 Essential Ideas Every Parent Needs to Know." You are his best hope, you know him best, and your advocacy on his behalf will matter. Best of luck to you.

  • Thank you so much! Your reply really empowered me. I am amzed to see how many similar stories to ours there are out there.

  • We are lucky to have a very supportive school, so I am so sorry to hear about your issue with the teacher. I believe in most states you have a right to demand an assessment for an IEP for him (https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/special-services/special-education-basics/finding-out-if-your-child-is-eligible-for-special-education). For our school they recommended some intervening steps. First, Special Support Teams (SST) which means he gets pulled out class twice a week for one-on-one support with a special teacher. If that is not successful, we go to the 504 Eligibility (https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/special-services/504-plan/understanding-504-plans). If that is still not enough, then we would move to request an IEP. I think some people go straight to the IEP if the school is not cooperative. I believe the school is required by law to comply with the request to assess for an IEP.

    Our son underwent a comprehensive psychoeducational evaluation. Below are some of the recommendations the psychologist suggested for our son. Most of these are pretty general -- I would think with some back up from your principal maybe the teacher can at least consider some of these ideas.

    Classroom recommendations:

    Preferential seating near the instructor (and seating away from friends/peers if needed)

    Frequent check-ins to make sure that he understands task directions

    Encouragement to double check his work since he often makes a careless mistakes

    Discreet redirection when his attention starts to wander

    Assistance breaking down long-term assignments into parts

    Ability to take breaks

    Both oral and visual presentation of material when possible to help reinforce retention

    Multiple activities during class periods to reduce the amount of time that he has to stay engaged with one task

    High frequency of hands-on activities when feasible

    Use of a fidget cube in class

    On exams and tests:

    Extra time on tests

    Distraction reduced testing environment

    Use of a computer for short answer and essay questions

    Extra assistance with reading questions and getting started on answering them

    Additional breaks

  • Wow, thanks for this list. May I copy and save for my next 504 meeting? Good ideas!

  • Good luck!

  • This is great help. I will definitely use it. Thank you!!

  • I have a somewhat similar situation as you. He's being out out in the hall way overtime he's being distracted. Im finally taking him out of the school and homeschool him. Its so frustrating. Im so sorry.

  • Your son will benefit from a 504 Plan or an IEP. Asking that your son not return to Math Club would be discrimination if he is protected under a 504 or an IEP. Put a request in writing that says you want an assessment performed. An assessment is at no cost to you. Following the assessment, there is a discussion of the findings and whether or not an IEP or 504 Plan is appropriate. The Department of Education issued a letter to all schools in the United States in July 2016 with a resource guide attached. It spells out their expectations for what schools will provide students with ADHD.

  • Thank you. I will do this. I feel I am understanding the process more and will know how to aproach the school better. Thanks to everyone here and the great information. I will update what happens soon.

  • I see someone has already suggest Dr Russell Barkley. He is one of the leading experts on ADHD in the US. Great YouTube videos!

    The 30 Essential Ideas Every Parent Needs to Know. Here’s the link.


    More importantly than that information is how do we parents effectively fight for our children in this area. You need to look at Wrightslaw. Peter Wright is the special education legal guru in the US. They can help you navigate your way through the schools. They give you the tools on how to track progress and such. They offer an online class but you have to purchase the books. It’s well worth every penny. Here’s the link for that as well.


    Keep fighting the good fight.

  • Oh thank you. I had not heard of wrightslaw yet.

  • Change teachers or schools if necessary. Clearly that teacher is not going to do what is necessary for your child. And in fact what she is doing is harmful.

  • As a mom of a son with severe adhd AND as a teacher you need to go above this teachers head to the principal. The parent is the boss when it comes to their child. Does your son have a 504 plan? If not you need to request this and that is a legal document that will hold her to certain modifications and accommodations concerning his education. She in no way should say she “doesn’t have time”, a teacher that really understands the art of teaching can figure it out and work smarter not harder.

  • She sounds kind of toxic. Did you ask about potentially moving him to a different class if that's a possibility? You could also work with an advocate to request a formal evaluation for an individual education plan. The advocate could word it in such a way that the school has to perform a thorough evaluation. They can't diagnose, but they can set up an educational plan that works for him if it seems like an educational need that must be met. I think CHADD may have a directory for advocates. We pay a fee for ours, but there may be some free advocate services out there. I'm not sure. Our advocate has been worth every single penny.

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