Hello, my son 8 yrs old was diagnosed last summer with ADHD and minor ODD. He is extremely hyperactive and his attention span is very limited. He's prone to fidget, wiggle, confrontation, hitting, name calling etc. Now, that diagnoses was a shock to me, I honestly thought it was a phase, perhaps other kids in his school picking on him, driving him crazy.
I changed his school, the one he goes to I thought, has better capability of handling him. It's a larger school with lots of support for kids who need it. What I didn't know, and was never informed of, was that I needed to jump through hoops and processes and large volumes of paperwork to see that he gets the proper treatment or corrections for his behaviors during school.
(I feel I should mention here that most of the year he has been getting minor infractions for name calling, teasing, interrupting class by wiggling, throwing things, etc. Now he has a Major referral because he looked up something called "buttman" on the computer, I have no idea what that is.)
Now, I have been told by his PCP about various medications, starting with Ritalin but I don't want to go down that road. I don't want my son feeling sick from various side effects of different types of drugs. I want him feeling good and being happy, like he is when he's at home.
I expressed to my son's teacher that I don't want him on medication and that I will do what it takes to avoid that. She was not happy about that and informed me that she feels medication is absolutely necessary.
I took my son to see what I thought was a counselor but wasn't exactly a therapist? I'm not exactly sure what his role was besides chatting with my son a few times, passing along his diagnoses with a prescription for drugs and telling us my son needs therapy and have a nice life.? I'm still trying to wrap my head around this but what ever.
Back to the present, I was sharing my frustrations with a friend and she pointed me in the direction of obtaining an IEP which sounded great to me! However, I know very little other than some minor research done on the school board web pages and I printed up the cookie cutter version of an IEP outline some tidbits of useful information and things of that nature. Armed with this and after a call to my son's PCP for a referral to a therapist that my insurance will cover, I called my son's school to speak with the head of special needs and educations department. She said she would look into it for me and I hadn't heard from her for the next few days. Today I called her and she tells me that an IEP is not available for my son because he is not academically challenged and that she is going to send him over to the woman in charge of 504s.
I agree that my son is very smart, his grades reflect his intelligence. However, it's that day to day struggle to keep him focused and not bored to death during class, and at recess being involved in playing that doesn't frustrate or anger him causing him to lash out blindly. When I talk with him about what happens in class he tells me he can't help it, he's so bored and the people around him are so distracting. At recess he tells me that he just gets mad he can't control himself, he just sees red and things happen. He does feel bad about it but sometimes has trouble apologising for it.
I'm just at a loss on what to do, I'm worried that he's going to get kicked out of school for something he can't control. He's being punished or "diciplined" by taking his recess away and so he's stuck in class in a chair the whole time and it's making things worse. I.. don't know what to say or do other than what I'm trying to get done right now.
Sorry for the long post I just, am lost. What can I do if my school won't help with an IEP and I don't know if a 504 will be enough? My concern is that the 504 leaves it up to the classroom teacher what happens as far as discipline goes? Doesn't have to contact the parent to take action? But, the actions taken so far haven't worked out then why continue?
Thanks for reading and offering any advice in advance I appreciate it.