ADHD Parents Together
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Please Help me so I can help my child with ADHD

Hi! I'm new to all of this and this is my first post. I have an unmedicated 16-year-old daughter with ADHD. Once she was diagnosed, I met with her school personnel to make them aware of her diagnosis. I was expecting to come out from that meeting with some kind of guidance, assistance in which the school, my child, and I work together to help my daughter to succeed at school. Instead, I felt as my daughter was blamed for not getting things done and for her academic struggles. That meeting was useless to say the list. The bottom line, the school did not offer or provide any support or guidance to help my child. Now, my daughter is about to start 11th grade. This year is the time to get her ready for college. I'm afraid that if I don't do something now to improve her academic performance, her academic dreams will be in jeopardy. I don't know what resources are out there in the state of GA to support children with ADHD. The school year is about to start again and I really, really need some guidance to help my daughter with her academic struggles!

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Hi there,

I completely understand your dilemma.. A couple questions for you. You mentioned the diagnosis, but does your school have all the medical documentation that they need for the diagnosis? You have to have a 504 or an IEP set up for her. So you need to contact the school and make sure things are set up so she can start to receive the help she deserves. Have you sat down with the director of special needs for your IEP meeting to ask what she would suggest you do? I approach them by saying, "OK how are we going to help this student succeed." What can WE do to help her make up for lost time, what do you suggest? Putting it back on the school is important. This will help them view it as a team effort ran than a mother voicing her concerns.

Has your daughter started medication? How is that working? Look into all of your options even essential oils. I use them on my son as well. Intune is wonderful!! Also you want to find a medication that works with your daughter. No medication should change their personality, it should just help them focus. Many eastern meds have side effects.

It's the schools job to help each student be successful. I would forget what was said and go in with a new attitude of, I'm here and willing to help. What do we have to do to help her? That has always worked for me and I've had our director of special needs tell the group in the meeting, "we think of Barb as one of our colleagues. So she will run this meeting today." You and your daughter have rights, but the school wants to know you are in it with them.

I sure hope that helped? If you need to talk more you can message me on my page. Prayers and Good luck!! Let me know how you're doing..

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Just read your post. I share the same struggles. My son is a year younger. I spend a fortune in tutors for him just to pass. But, it does help. If you can find someone to work 2 times a week privately it does help.

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It really upsets me to hear this story. Over and over I hear from parents how the school refuses to offer academic support for our kids. The excuse they give me, is that my son is not far enough below the line to receive academic help.

I don’t have an answer, but I’m right there with you!

I agree about having a good attitude and working as a team with the school. I really really try not to get emotional or angry when I meet with them.

However the truth is, I don’t feel like they are really on my son’s side.

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So, instead oif the school giving further assistance they want to watch them fail more and then get involved. Same thing happened to me. The school refused to test him that why I went on my own.

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Fortunately, I didn't have this problem. My son's school was great with helping me through every step of the process. They also let me know that schools and usually not as helpful as they are and gave me tips on how to handle another school if I happen to move out the area.

First, you MUST be the advocate for your daughter. There are laws in place to make sure the school does what they need to do to help your daughter succeed. Some people rely on the fact that most parents don't know the steps that need to be taken. You can have meetings with the teachers and principals as much as possible to help your daughter. If they don't listen, take it to the school board

Second, I believe IEP and a 504 plan are a MUST. The will lay out the techniques and "to-dos" that help your daughter. Which helps the teacher and staff not get frustrated with her so quickly since they will have "manual" on how to assist her through her from day to day.

Lastly, look in to medication and see how it may or may not help your family. When my son was first diagnosed I was 100% against it. When all other options had failed, I started my son on the lowest dose Focalin. It was almost a complete 180. My son started to say how much he loved school, he had friends, he was excited for homework, etc. The school started saying how much of a pleasure he was. He became such a big help rather than a disruption

I hope this helped

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I agree the school psychiatrist should be involved or resource teacher should be involved and writing an IEP or 504 plan. Google accommodations for adhd and you will find examples of accommodations that schools can do. Also, check your state dept of educations special needs division. They may have advocates who you can meet with who will explain the iep process and your daughter's rights and how to deal the school.

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I have three sons with ADHD one of whom has inattentive type. I could always tell when his medication needed to be increased when his grades started to suffer. It meant he was having a harder time focusing in class. I have one of his younger brothers on an IEP, but I probably should have had him on at least a 504 because he struggled with handing things in on time in certain classes and with organization. Sound familiar? It also created unnecessary conflict between the two of us.

Each school is different and some school administrators are more cooperative than others in giving 504 or IEP plans to students. It's why parents have to push for them as well as educating schools about ADHD. There is still a negative stigma about ADHD and we have to help them see the good in our kids and how they are struggling and what we as a team can do to help them create a positive outcome at school. It really helps if you have your child's doctor, counselor/therapist, or a community advocate attend the 504 or IEP meeting. They will listen to these individuals even more than you. :)

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We had the same experience with my son's high school. He had a 504 Plan, which was never ever followed, despite constant emails from me to his teachers. No one cared that he needed extra help and in fact, most were quite punitive when he was tardy to a class, or didn't turn in an assignment. We had a horrible time in high school and by the end, my son hated school. You definitely need at least a 504 Plan (maybe an IEP) and she needs to be on one of the stimulant meds for ADHD. It sounds like she made it through 10th grade without meds, but college is completely different. In hindsight, I now think it may be better to work with your daughter's individual teachers each semester, rather than going through the school counselor, etc. I suppose it's always possible that you could find a really caring counselor, who will work with your daughter and her teachers, but most large high schools are overwhelmed with too many students and too few resources. We were basically told that if my son could not do his work, he should suffer the consequences and that would "teach him". I would meet with her teachers at the outset and see if they will work with her. I also agree that tutoring can be a huge help. Good luck!

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Our stories are similar - I also am in Georgia (just north of Atlanta if you are nearby, maybe coffee and an ear will help - and my 15 year old was just diagnosed. I did find the teachers at our high school mostly just said bad things about him at our meeting which angered me as it was about the 504 plan, not him. That said, the 504 administrator of the school was amazing and quickly accepted all of the accommodations (he doesnt need an IEP). The vast majority of his teachers were great about implementing them, but of course a few were not. The accommodations need to be listed by a professional (i.e. pediatrician or neuropsychologist) - whomever diagnosed your daughter should do it.

In the state of Georgia you will need to get a specific 504 (or IEP) form from your school and then have the diagnosing professional fill it out. Once they do that, have it returned to the 504/IEP administrator at your school (keep your own copies of everything!). Once they get it, they will set up a meeting to discuss the accomodations with you and her teachers. After that, the teachers must follow them. It takes longer to go through all this than any parent wants, but it will happen. PM if you have more questions on how I did this in Georgia.

Hugs to you - it does get better and just remember that high school is not an indicator for future success!

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