ADHD Parents Together
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School trying to declassify my son

My son school re-evaluated my 7 yrs old son and because he is so smart he tis testing out well and not failing in school they want to declassify him in spite of his doctor stating that he needs his IEP .I went to mediation they showed up with a nasty lawyer that offered a 504 plan instead . I am afraid it won’t protect him as well when he gets impulsive . I spoke to a lawyer .they are so expensive and I was told that process can be lengthy and not guaranteed .

I feel like I am failing my son if I give in without a fight but I am so stressed out about the whole thing. Any thoughts ?

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I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 26. I was in GT classes then AP in high school and I wasn’t ever hyper. AP English killed me in 10th grade because of all the reading and self paced summer assignments between grades. I was so insecure and it was hard for me to say I was too dumb to do the work because that is literally what I thought, I ended up hanging out with the wrong crowd and doing drugs because it was easier for me as an immature teenager to act like I was too cool for school than admit failure. God, I wish I had only known what was going on back then like I know now. I ended up quitting high school and my life went on a downward spiral, until I finally got help and I was diagnosed with adhd. My whole life changed and I was able to focus on a career I loved and I’m now really good at.

I’m sorry if this comment scares you more but I think you’re fighting for a necessary cause, that could quickly end up a dangerous situation like the one I put myself in because I didn’t know any better. I’ve heard Dr. Kevin Murphy specializes in situations like this. He’s in the northeast part of the US, but it might be worth reaching out to him for some good advise.

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How awful!! Why would they show up with a lawyer? There is the Individuals With Disabilities Act that should safe guard your child from being taken off the IEP if he still qualifies under OHI which includes ADHD. I would suggest getting really familiar with that act to know you and your child rights! Was the lawyer you contacted a child advocacy lawyer? If not, I would suggest trying to find one even to just talk to and maybe help you understand your rights. This is such a terrible thing for a school to do to a child but stay stronge and fight for you son!

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I've had the same concern for my kids who have IEPs. The IEP is a tool to help aid our children in school. When someone is taking insulin, does a doctor then say, "Wow, you're doing great, looks like you no longer need the insulin, so we're going to take you off it now." Someone else on another thread used a glasses analogy. So we'll go with that as well. If you're child is given glasses and is now seeing better and performing better in school as a result of his better vision would you take the glasses away? I don't think so. Sounds stupid, doesn't it?

I think I would approach the situation this way, tell them how incredible it is that the IEP is working to help your son be successful in school. And maybe use an analogy to help them see that taking the IEP away wouldn't make sense. Why in the world would they want to take that away from him and have him struggle?

Good luck!

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Thanks for your support

I used similar analysis

I told them he is doing great because you and the IEP are doing a great job . Why do you want to stop Somone heart medication to see if he will have heart attack . That didn’t go fart they said the 504 should cover it . The lawyer saying it won’t give him the same protection if has any behavioral issues they can suspend him with the 504 . This has been going on for like 3 months now went through mediation now we are heaf d to due process. I am sick of them keep repeating that he is smart and needs to be more independent. They don’t want him what would benefit him but what he NEEDS according to what they think he needs.

I don’t understand why they claim that parents have any power in this process. They simply shrug their shoulders and hand you the parents rights booklet .

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I've been in lots of team meetings and you are right that sometimes parents are taken as seriously as they should be. IEPs carry more weight than a 504 and carry more responsibility on the part of the school and teachers, which is why they push for the 504 versus the IEP. It's why they are trying to move your son back.

I've had my son's counselor (therapist) join me for an IEP meeting which worked wonders in getting cooperation with those who were participating in the team meeting. Having his therapist explain his needs and his challenges carried so much more weight than having me as his mom explain it, even though I would've said the exact same thing. It's frustrating, but the word of a professional means more to them. If you can have others come with you, whether it's a doctor, a therapist, a community advocate, someone who can back you up then it could really go far in helping you keep your son's IEP.

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We started with a 504 before my daughter was diagnosed. The 504 came in because she was diagnosed with endocomprisis (can't spell that one) and was having accidents at school. This was in kindergarten and we are in grade 3 now. Once we got the ADHD diagnoses a year or so later, we moved on to an IEP. We were fortunate that our therapist is very open and the school team was in the same boat. However, our struggle continues to be with the administration team. Our kiddo still struggles and her classroom support was just ended, resulting in a major slide back.

My advice to you is get your therapist involved and invoke your parental rights and get loud. We had to do that more so last year when our principle threatened to transfer our daughter out to a special ed program prior to getting a classroom helper. And it is disgraceful that the school brought in a lawyer to your meeting. There is no need for that.

Good luck and please know that there are a lot of people here for you.

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