School: Having trouble with school. We... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

CHADD's ADHD Parents Together
11,174 members3,768 posts



Having trouble with school. We just had another meeting with the teacher, principal, school counselor and school psychologist. We have a 504 in place for our son. The teacher has him sitting alone up front but that is where he said he likes to be, so I'm ok with it. But I dont like him beinging singled out. She is asking for suggestions that dont take her time or attention. I'm not sure what to tell her. I've went through my binder of information and got a few ideas for her to try.

He already has velcro under his desk to play with, a rubber band for him to play with on the bottom of his chair, a cushion for his chair.

I suggested to make 1-2 goals for a week, right away in the morning have him come talk to the teacher about the goals. I told her he needs positive feedback frequently, "hey buddy I seen you raised your hand" "hey buddy good job sitting in your chair correctly ". Have him help with the lesson or help other students.

Does anyone have anything else I could have her try?

Thank you

16 Replies

Here's a list of suggestions from Russell Barkley, a leading researcher on ADHD.

What treatment options have you been implementing to help your son handle his ADHD? Maybe something there needs tweaked that will carry over to school as well. :)

School is a constant battle until things are working. Here are a few thoughts... if you are wanting goals, you are really asking for an IEP ( Individual Education Plan) and then specializes staff can follow them, chart goals for success. I am not sure what grade your son is in. I am also curious, does your son take medication to help with focus? Or impulse contol?

As far as what the teacher ( who is a general education) she can walk the room and tap on his desk to get him to focus again.

It sounds like you have some great OT tools set up for him.

I assume since you are talking about 1 teacher he is in elementary school. It is also important for him to have breaks when material is long.

Hope these suggestions help.

Good luck

I just wanted to say you are amazing. As I notice you always taking the time to reply and share such valuable advice. Its really special that you care so much and I just wanted to let you know I admire your compassion for all of us.

Pennywink in reply to willowadhd

Onthemove is definitely a blessing to us. 😊

You are very sweet to say this, I have been living with these experiences and just want to share so others don't have to suffer.

There are also so many others on the blog to help out and are compassionate also, I think that is what makes.this place so safe and comfortable to many.

Thanks again.

Take care

He is in 2nd grade and we are not doing medication at this time. I want him to be able to control it on his own without medication. I haven't done the IEP because he dont have a learning disability. We have tried a sticker chart last year and it was horrible. He knew if he didnt meet his goals then he would get rewarded at home. So when he seen he was t getting all if his stickers he would get upset. I have asked for him to get breaks but teacher says that she cant watch him and teach the class.

Thank you for your help.

seller in reply to Soccer2012

Please consider putting your son on medication. ADHD is a life-long neurological condition and children are rarely ever able to manage this on their own. An IEP for ADHD does not mean he has a learning disability. School will be much easier for him and his behavior will improve. I would also recommend doing some reading about ADHD. Russell Barkley has some great books that describe ADHD very well.

Soccer2012 in reply to seller

I have done a lot of reading about Adhd, me and my husband have went to classes, I've bought books, and have met with parents of children with adhd and also grown ups with adhd. I have done a lot of research about it for my son. I dont believe that medication is the answer, I believe that we can teach my son how to live life without medication. I have talked to a mom that I have been friends with since I was in school. She did put her son on medication but only for 2 yrs. He is now in middle school and functioning without medication and excelling in school.

Aspen797 in reply to Soccer2012

It sounds as though you are doing an amazing job advocating for your son. Our son was diagnosed in second grade. We also used fidgets and movement tools (wobble stool is also good). Exercise in the morning helps. Heavy work (carrying books to the library) tasks during times of heightened impulsivity might be suggested. As our son aged, other kids (and staff) were less tolerant and his self-concept was worsening. We decided to try a small dose stimulant. He went from isolated and in trouble all the time to having friends and feeling good about himself. I know stimulants aren’t for everyone, but they do have a role in our son’s well being (along with sleep, nutrition, exercise, and organization).

CRB78 in reply to Soccer2012

I agree with seller completely. I’m just trying to be 100% honest with you and come from a good place here, because I absolutely adore children with ADHD and see past their disorder and see how dang special and beautiful these kids are, when most everyone else doesn’t want to deal with them. But imo I’d very highly suggest you completely submerge yourself in anything and everything you can about adhd, learn it fully, learn about how it works and the many different methods proven to work, which absolutely includes medicine. Research all the medications as well.

I completely understand you and where you are coming from. This, imo, is a textbook case of parents just finding out their child has adhd, learning a little bit about it but not becoming fully educated on it, probably because they still have yet to even accept their child even has adhd. They also don’t want to medicate because truth be told, it sucks! Who wants to give their child a drug that is basically speed in order for things to slow down enough for their child to process the information at school so they can retain it and learn? Who wants to do that? Nobody! It’s sad! It breaks my heart! But for so many children with adhd, it’s the only way! Otherwise without it, you can pretty much expect the calls from the school and having to go to your child’s school because your child did this or did that, over and over and over again. That’s when you finally give up on fighting the giving them the medication. Then you see how it works. Then you wonder why it took you so long to go the medicine route, and regret you didn’t do it earlier on.

I come from a place of love. If you still want to hold off on medication for now, that’s fine, it’s not an easy decision, at all.... but for now, I fully recommend more time being given to fully learn and understand adhd, and also I highly recommend seeking out support groups in your area, it’s such a huge help. In these support groups you will be completely blown away how many parents have gone through exactly what you’re going through now, and how you are not as alone as you think you are in this, and what other parents did that was successful for them, and decide what you’d like to try out. Also, know how hard and how much it upsets your son that he’s unable to meet these goals set for him. He really wants to make you proud, so proud! They just don’t have the control to do so. Maybe smaller goals would work better. But either way, even if he falls short, always let him know you’re still proud of him and encouragement, it’s imperative children with adhd are told they are loved, and that you are proud of them, and that you know they can do it! They need to hear this every single day! If not, they will develop low self esteem and that’s the other issue with adhd.

All this said, you are doing a great job, this is so hard... adhd is so so hard, it won’t ever be easy, but it can become easier! Good luck!

Sounds like you have a teacher who doesn’t want to be bothered...I understand; our kids take extra time. Rather than a 504 plan, you may want the school to evaluate and determine if an IEP is more appropriate. On the issue of medication, that’s a choice that only your family can make. If you are not inclined to try medications right now, I would encourage you to investigate broad spectrum micronutrients. There are two companies, Hardy Nutritionals and True Hope. Since your child is not on medications you would not need to consult with the psychiatrist in dosing. They’re worth looking into and a lot of kids have had a great response to them. Best wishes!

There is a far more difficult thing for parents to do but it pays big dividends for not only your child, but every child in the class ... and the teacher, the principal, and the school; and that is to get either the teacher or the school to find a training in the Pax Good Behavior Game. Google Pax GBG. Schools can tap into drug abuse prevention grants because Pax has been proven to reduce substance abuse and many other negative behaviors years later just from being used in first grade. Pax also reduces depression, suicide, truancy, delinquency, smoking, special ed classifications (including ADHD) while increasing grades, graduation rates and college admits. Pax GBG does not single out individuals while reducing disruptive behaviors by up to 90% in three months. No stigma, no shaming, no focusing on the bad, yet it does not ignore misbehavior but addresses it by allowing for mistakes while training the brain in self-regulation through practicing self-control during normal class work. 40 years of research on GBG and named in numerous National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine reports, and US Surgeon General reports. Montana's Governor just announced the state is going all in on Pax. Google Montana Governor on Pax.

I know - the medication decision is a hard one and was not your question here at all. But since it came up in other comments I would like to add to that aspect. I also was hesitant about medication but our therapist asked me "so - if your daughter would need glasses - would you tell to just keep trying harder to see? " Okay - so I could see the point and we tried. It did help my daughter´s attention but actually made her behavior problems worse, so we took her off again. But despite all other therapy the attention problems and behavior problems persisted. Thanks to Daniel Amen´s book "Healing ADD" I know now that there are much more types of ADHD/ADD and that there are more options for medication other than the usual stimulants that simply do not work for everyone. Amen also suggests different supplements before trying medication and describes other combined treatments.

He is also recommending neurofeedback. We had started our daughter on micronutrients from Hardy Daily Essential Nutrients and that already helped a lot (we are giving her half the dose). And two weeks ago we started neurofeedback and also start to see some further improvement there. My hope is that we will not need to try medication at all if this really works. So - there are alternatives for medication - but not one size fits all, you really have to find those "glasses" that are just right for your son. That takes time. But if we had not tried medication first, I think we never would have found out about it and started our search for those alternatives that work for our daughter. Good luck and all the best!

My grandson sat at the back of the class in a corner. He could get up and stand at his desk and move around a little in his small space. But this was with a diagnosis, medication and a 504. Don't know if the teacher would consider this without at least one of those.

Our son has a 504 as well (ADHD, anxiety). We/he prefers silent cues so he does not hear his name all day long, or at least a silent reminders when to stop doing something, as a first reminder or two.

Does having goals for your son weekly work? We found daily behavior charts (broken down by period) made him anxious bc he stopped listening to the lesson and was constantly thinking about if he would get a star for the current period.

Your 504 should or can allow for things like a ball as a seat, standing during lessons, frequent walks. Perhaps those or similar additions will help?

Soccer2012 in reply to Smith97

We do have it set up for him to get silent reminders but I dont believe his teacher is doing it. My son comes home upset sometimes and I think its because of that. We tried the charts and it was too much for my son. He knew if he didnt get his sticker goal that he wouldn't get something at home. He had to carry it around , it just wasnt for him. So we set up 1 goal at a time for as long as he needs it to accomplish the goal. He has already accomplished 1 goal, to stay in one spot. He now has a new goal of getting started right away.

We do have set up for a standing desk and different seat cushions to help.

You may also like...