IEP or 504 Plan Feedback: any stigma ... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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IEP or 504 Plan Feedback: any stigma for your child?


Hello. Wanted feedback from those of you who have a child with an approved IEP or 504 plan. My high schooler does not want me to seek this for him at school. He has chosen to keep his ADHD diagnosis private from his peers (although his teachers know). He is struggling in school and won't take medication. It's time I push both subjects with my son again.

When I bring it up with him, his concern is that his friends and peers will notice that he is getting "special attention" in school. He is worried they will think he's Special Needs and will judge him. My son, as is typical with ADHD, lacks confidence in himself and the maturity to get past this perception he has. I understand his concern because he told me that in one of his classes, his teacher spent some extra time with him. One of his classmates noticed and texted him several times, asking why the teacher "thinks your stupid."

Teens are tough on each other and teenage years are hard enough without ADHD. I just want to level the playing field for my son.

My question is, for those of you who have a plan in place at school, has it been helpful for them? Have their peers noticed and have they given your child a hard time or made comments?

Thanks so much for your feedback.

18 Replies

Birdie7- thanks for discussing your son's issue with us. He is really acting like a typical kid in high school. No kid wants to stand out or be different in high school. BUT, he is not doing well so in my book that changed everything.

I would first make sure he is getting counseling to help him deal with this issue and also the "looking different" issue.

I would also make sure he is aware of very successful people with ADHD so he has someone to look up to. In addition I would have the discussion with him about how many people from his high school will be friends with he when he is out of high school. Then if he is considering going to college tell him how important these "services" are so he can use them and more service when he gets to college. Hope this helps.. it's a slow process of acceptance..

Thank you, onthemove1971. Honestly, you sound so calm and wise, wish you could take over at my house for a month! Bet you could really help out. :)

Birdie7- wow, thanks for your kind words. When working... I sit in over 30 IEP's a year and strongly advocate for child.. no way could I do anything with your house mine is a mess, even on a good day..

Take care, let me know if I can give you and more advice there are so many incrediable parents on the bnb log to help you.

My son is 11 and has had an IEP for 6 years. He receives in-class support for the special education teacher and out of class support. There is only one child who picks on him and makes comments about his intelligence level. The other children do not say anything or make fun.

Children can be cruel and find any weakness to make fun of - wearing glasses, having braces, being overweight, having messy hair, wearing cheap shoes, having freckles, being disabled...the list goes on and on.

It is time for you to begin making important decisions about your child's success and put the other stuff aside. You want your son to have access to all the services and accommodations that a 504 or IEP would permit. Also, if you sit by and do nothing you will only feel guilty for not taking steps to ensure your son's educational needs are met. I'm sure you want him to graduate on time and become a successful adult. Please do the best thing for your teen boy. Good luck!

Birdie7 in reply to Janice_H

Thank you for your feedback. My son told me he does not want a plan but I believe I need to move forward and reach out to the school. I've already spoken to all his teachers, his guidance counselor (4 times), another counselor, and even the principal. They all mean well but no follow up. It's time to get something in writing they will be upheld to.

Janice_H in reply to Birdie7

Is he in a private school? Legally a public or charter school must establish an IEP upon request of a parent who has a child diagnosed with ADHD by a medical professional. Check in with your local disability rights law center to help get things moving along.

Can you have it so one of his “classes” is actually a time set aside for extra help one-on-one with someone? He could just say he’s a teacher’s aid that period and others wouldn’t know it’s extra help for him. Also, what are his reasons for not taking medication? You can try to frame it like any medication someone takes for another issue (like an inhaler for asthma or insulin for a diabetic). If he takes it at home nobody would know at school unless he tells them.

Great idea. He actually has a study period. He likes to use that as his down time to unravel the circus in his head from the intense school day, but I think building in an aid during this time would be best...and have it in the plan, in writing. Thanks for your helpful advice.

My 14-yr-old son has had an IEP all through school and the past two years has really struggled with how his peers view the extra help he receives. The teenage years are particularly difficult because the pressure to be like everyone else is so strong. This year, we switched our son to a private school and he feels much more accepted by the students. The classes are very small and he receives more one-on-one help from his teachers. This has been our solution to the problem at hand. It may not be the right thing for your child, but may be a consideration for you. I'm praying that you will help your son find the right balance between succeeding in school and feeling accepted by his peers.

Birdie7 in reply to justanote

Thank you so much for your input! This is what my husband has wanted to do for years, switch him to a private school. I am good with that if the school we find has small enough classes. I do worry about the social impact at this stage, starting high school. It is tough enough being a teenager in this ever demanding education process, but to do it with ADHD and have to make new friends at a new school all over again...if I only had a crystal ball on the best solution for his social and academic health. Thank you so much for your input, it is very helpful. I told my husband and he wants to look at private again.

justanote in reply to Birdie7

I'm so glad! I know that God can work out this situation for good. I'll pray that you find a good solution. Keep me posted!

Neither of my grandsons are in high school yet so not dealing with that situation. But they are both in middle school. The 8th grader does not have an IEP but hes pretty stable in his medication and frequently goes to tutorials after school to get extra help with his grades.

I used to have to email the teachers but now he takes it upon himself to seek help. His behavioral counselor has really encouraged this.

That twelve-year-old has had an IEP for a long time . He doesn't even consider himself in special Ed, he makes fun of the kids in special Ed. We are really working with his counselor to teach him not to make fun of anybody. Big problem of his.

Birdie7 in reply to anirush

Yes, that's the irony of my son's behavior as well...he has made derogatory comments about "special needs" kids also. It's the emotional immaturity of the adhd brain, I tell myself. I can't get my son to see a counselor. He seems to say no to every option we present. When he was younger, we didn't give him the option, we did what we thought was best for him. Not much cooperation then and not now. Think he would rather just avoid everything he perceives as hard and just play video games. Thank you for your feedback and perspective. Question for you: is the behavior counselor they see outside of school or is this a school counselor? Thank you

The grandson with the IEP has a counselor in school. Both of them see an outside behavioral specialist. She tries to make the experience fun with games geared towards answering questions.


I just joined this community.. but I too have a teenage son. My son has ADD. Hes been on a 504 plan for several years now and it has sorta helped, but the main problem I have found is the school. They tend to draw up the 504 plan at the beginning of the school year and then start slacking on there end. I think the teachers involved get frustrated. At first my son didn't want to be on it for the same reasons ur son has said but now he has made couple friends in the 504 plan.

Birdie7 in reply to Hidden

Thank you so much for your input.

My son is 17 now and has been on 504 plan for years. It gives him many options for testing and shorter homework assignments. On testing he can have them ready aloud or on computer read aloud. And also shortened. It is extremely helpful now him work is harder being in highschool. No one notices that he goes for testing or even knows he has shorter assignments.

Birdie7 in reply to Mariposa124

Thank you so much for your input.

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