Help getting adhd kid 504/IEP - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Help getting adhd kid 504/IEP


Nothing like having the school principal calling you with an angry attitude since you called the county board of education. Seriously how long does it take to put an iep or 504 in place?

I've been at this since the 4th grade. And most aggressively just before the beginning of the 7th grade school year. Half the school year is over and the 3rd quarter is beginning. He is getting getting D/F in math and language arts every year with MAYBE at best an occasional C- .

Yes I am pissed off but I have been very patient. They have absolutely no empathy and act upon their stress of the day. I get that. But how am I to help my son who is in the process of finally getting an actual diagnosis for add/adhd just so they get documented proof? I feel helpless. All they tell me is they are working on it. And the principal's excuse is this is his first year in the school. Idk. I feel contacting the county was a brilliant thing to do because of all the past empty promises. Next will be them AND the state if it goes another quarter. I have done everything possible including doctors and counseling and giving them ALL the records for proof. Only 1 teacher (math) of 5 half filled out the conners survey revealing only no academic concern.

If they don't get on this idk what to do. Changing schools means starting this ugly process all over. We don't have another 4 years to mess around.

I've changed my parenting many times. Tried to understand google classroom with the unmatched titles of graded assignments on the online posted school site. Asked for help from the school many times- no help. Asked for my son to stay over with teachers, I would pick him up (they agreed but never did including starting to give him detention). Nothing since 4th grade. I homeschooled before then and it took all I had as I am a single working parent of 2. Even the school guidance counselor who had 4 adhd sons will not help me except to say if he finishes lunch early he can go meet with one of his teachers or go to her office for help. But no one is making him do that when he would rather be with friends.

He does have missing assignments from not keeping up and being easily distracted. He is struggling. And there is absolutely no accountability or help from the school getting him to do what he needs to do. They won't even give me usernames or passwords for fear I would do his work I guess? But how am I to keep him accountable when "he doesn't remember" cause the school computers automatically save everything for him and they aren't allowed to take them home?

I feel like I am out of resources.


14 Replies

This is such an emotional process! You are really doing a great job in getting your son the help he needs in school. Something to think about.. There is a clear difference between an IEP and a 504 Plan. A 504 plan assist with accommodations ( in writing so everyone is on the same page) an IEP is a Special Education plan ( usually eligible under Other Health Impaired) where there are goals and staff assigned to helping him. These goals are often areas of weaknesses that support learning that is lacking.

Most general school staff ( principals, counselors and teachers) are not familiar with IEP's and even 504 plans. What has helped our son the most is getting to the correct person who could help us. This person is often not even at the school site.

If you consider all of the accommodations ( siting in front of class, breaks, microphone off during distance learning) or modifications ( less work problems, use of special testing tools, )

which ones could your son benefit from and then request these. If you feel he has areas of academic weakness ( scores low on state testing in an area) and needs work in this area, then an IEP will be required. An IEP will be determined with assessments. "Usually" a 504 plan can be written from a doctors/psychiatrist/psychologist note.

Working in a school system is very frustrating, the way we got success is to just stay focused on the goal ( getting the help our child needed) and I knew this plan was life long including college.

Big hugs for your struggles.

This is a federal law that if your child has ADHD they qualify. One of my grandson's has a 504 but he does well on his medication. The other one is more volatile and he has an IEP. Back in grade school I really had to fight the vice principal to get the IEP. My grandson's psychiatrist said a lot of school's fight them because of the paperwork involved. I sent a certified letter to the school asking for an IEP meeting. They have 10 days to respond. The first IEP I let them talk me out of some of the limits I wanted to put in. They were like let's see how he does with this.

Now I stand up for what they need- limits on homework, extra days to turn in assignments. With the younger I put in that he could leave the classroom and go to the counselor's office if he got angry or overwhelmed.

Do not let the principal intimidate you which is what he is trying to do. Good luck.

I'm working on getting help for my grandson, recently I contacted IN*Source - Special Education Parent Support. COVID is not helping he is on his third quarantine.

The ugly truth behind the difficulty we all have getting out children the help we need in the public school system is that it is all about resource allocation. Insufficient resources combine with union contracts requiring annual pay increases and teacher tenure which all but removes the ability to remove bad or burned out teachers and good teachers who feel overwhelmed and will do anything to avoid a change which they perceive as making more work for themselves, results in an adversarial system for obtaining needed special education services for your child. Even if, individually, a teacher knows what your child requires and wants to do the right thing, this is often outweighed by the pressure to be part of the team and the overwhelming reality that the resources are insufficient to give each child what she needs. This results in a system that requires the parent of the non-disruptive child to advocate for even common sense accommodations. Of course, we don't care about the systemic problems which were not of our making. We just want what's right for our child. The "hack," so to speak, is to find a way for it to be more difficult and expensive for the school to do the WRONG thing and deny needed assistance. One way of doing this is the formal request for a special education evaluation. As others have mentioned, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires the school to honor a written request for evaluation for special education services (at the SCHOOL'S expense) within 60 days of the request being made. The IDEA governs which children are entitled to and IEP. However, even it the child does not qualify for an IEP, a child with ADHD does qualify for a 504 plan (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973). All that is required is a formal, medical diagnosis of ADHD. While there is a hard deadline of 60 days to comply with a written request for a full evaluation, there is no hard deadline in the IDEA for implementing the IEP, but your state or the school district may have a policy. The school district polices are public information and usually can be found with a bit of searching on the district website. If the state or district has a policy, it must be followed.The idea is to make it more difficult for the school NOT to do the right thing. Face to face meetings are time consuming. The evaluations use precious resources. Doing the right thing is easier for the school than constantly meeting or having to repeat the evaluations. For meetings, I usually found that by the 3rd in person meeting involving the same request for an accommodation, the request would be granted. Eventually, the realization that we would not tire or waiver from advocating for our son made the process easier (we could stay the course as long as needed; the school would tire of denying eventually). Of course, with each new public school (elementary, middle school, etc.), we had to, essentially, start again. If your district or state has no deadline for implementing the IEP or 504 plan and you believe that the delay is unreasonable or intentional, remember that the IDEA does not limit the number of times that you may request a formal (time and resource consuming) full evaluation. The request must be in writing, but as noted, the school must then comply within 60 days. Following up in the results of a completed evaluation (scheduling the meeting and implementing an IEP or 504 plan, which is all you are seeking) consumes less time and resources for the school than completing an entirely new evaluation. Therefore, requesting new, formal, full evaluation (or convincingly arguing that you will) should prompt them to do the right (and now, easier) thing which is to follow through. You can find good, sample request letters on line. Don't let them wear you down. You are on the side of what's right and kids need heroes!! Good luck to you and be well!!

Nitaraeg in reply to ADHD_DAD

Thank you very much for this.

ADHD_DAD in reply to Nitaraeg

You're welcome. If you can't find a good sample request letter on line and need one, reach out. We are all in this together!

Nitaraeg in reply to ADHD_DAD

My first formal letter i wrote after requesting for many years months:

Re: student, Jr High, Request for Meeting

Dear Mr principal and Mr psychologist,

My name is and my child, name, is a student in the 7th grade at school. This is his fourth year at your school. He was able to really excel last year during the covid stay at home. Everything was online. I was able to help him lay out in a planner what he needed to do and when for the week. His teachers took notice as he actually completed and turned in ALL his work. He actually received his first award at the end of the year for showing the most improvement!

I am writing because my child continues to struggle academically without guidance/help. When he was homeschooled with 3-5 days a week at the homeschooling and learning center he was an A student. And since the 4th grade his grades have not been anywhere near. This year he really wanted to do better and I know he gave all the effort he had in the beginning. He is now failing a couple classes not able to keep organized, bring home what he needs to bring home, turn in what is due on time, complete assignments, etc. He has always had a lack of focus, easily distracted, and nervous tendencies with difficult assignments, timed quizzes, or other quizzes or tests. His grades that the teachers post in the progress book online prove that. I myself have invested 5 full years of homeschool with him and I have seen these issues progress making it too difficult for me to homeschool. We are also now in counseling with counselor to address/diagnose areas of concern that might possibly point to ADHD.

To address this situation, I would like the school to set up a 504 or IEP meeting, have him evaluated, and come up with a plan. A plan where his organizational skills can be reinforced and something such as trying a separate area to help him with testing\quizzes. Having me bribe him, take privileges at home away, and reward him with something big if he does something has not worked per school's previous suggestions when asking for an IEP meeting. We also tried doing accountability where he has to have his assignment book signed. This is a problem for a kid who already is struggling to be organized enough to bring stuff home. He used to stay in from recess to get extra help or finish assignments but he does not have that opportunity this year. When the teachers were diligent in helping him during recess time there was marked improvement especially with his confidence. I would like him to get more help from the teachers even if it is after school. I would like to have better access to see what exactly is due when, what the assignment involves, and if he has completed the assignment. He needs someone to show him regularly how to do a weekly plan/checklist written out to get assignments done and not miss any.

I expect we can set up a meeting soon. My daytime number is . I look forward to hearing from you. I would appreciate a response by 12\17\2020. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

...I received a reply 2 days later from the principal that they knew about it and was working on it. Feb 9th will be 60 days from my first request.

This is the email I finally got from the school psychologist the other day:

After hearing about your son's difficulties and your request, I sent out questionnaires to his teachers to start gathering information related to his progress. I also asked them to complete a behavior scale similar to the one they completed for your Counselor.

I apologize for this taking a little longer than we would like but I am in the district every other my plan is to review the responses next week when I am at the school, and with your permission I would like to administer a brief achievement test to give us an idea at what level his academic skills are.

Also, would you be able to provide a copy of the report/narrative/results of the evaluation completed by the Counselor.

I believe he distributed the Conners Behavioral Scale. This will also help guide us towards the consideration of a 504 / IEP.

Thank you for your time, input and patience!

The following day the principal (after I had just seen him to hand in all dr records and counseling records and upcoming appointments) called me at home to ask me if I called the county and when I gave my explanation why he give me an angry speech of how they were working on it. It was as though nothing I said mattered. But I know if it were his kid or his friend's it would.

Maybe the above letter can help someone. I felt it was pretty good based on a few things I read about what you should include. So I guess I regave him permission for the academic evaluation the other day when I replied to the email. So will the 60 days restart?

ADHD_DAD in reply to Nitaraeg

The 60 days runs from the day of the initial written request for a complete CSE (Committee on Special Education) evaluation. If that is how you interpret your letter (I couldn't tell whether the evaluation had already been completed and you were requesting a meeting to follow up, which is what I thought when I wrote my original response), then February 9 is their deadline to complete the evaluation (which perhaps explains their chagrin when the county was contacted; they still had time). From the school psychologist note, it appears that they are just beginning the evaluation which tends to include a Psychological assessment and Academic Achievement testing (including IQ testing). So, it seems like your efforts have been successful and they have every intention of completing the eval within 60 days of the request. I know 60 days seems like a long time, but that's the law. The evaluation will determine eligibility for an IEP but, as noted, he will qualify for 504 plan even if not for an IEP. Keep us advised. Many of us have been through this process and can help you with the IEP or 504 plan content. Hang in there. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Kids are funny; in retrospect, they seem to remember the help they received but not when they needed the help and didn't get it. Please keep us all advised. You are doing the right things and if you stay the course, you WILL get your child the help he needs!

I am sorry you are going through so much trouble with your son's getting IEP. It is frustrating to have to rely on others to see your point of view and prove to them what you know is absolutely requires help or treatment. Has your child been tested formally and given a diagnosis by a medical professional? From my experience you can sometimes force their hand at school if you come with a report and recommendations from the doctor. The school can do some testing but not as extensive as a neuropsychologist can. The school also can not recommend treatments, only support that is available to them. The other problem is that if you decide to do it on your own, much of the testing is expensive and lengthy and especially during COVID not possible to accomplish. However, there are a number of organizations or centers that either do a prorated fee or masy even do it for free. I only know of some in my area but I started by reaching out to relevant providers based on my health insurance and reaching out to different groups from medical centers and universities. Eventually someone will put you on the right track or will give you a little thread that you can follow. Research trials will sometimes offer free testing as part of the trial, not all of them provide treatments, some only look to gain more information on specific conditions. I hope this is helpful to you and I really hope your son gets the services and the accommodations he needs really soon. Good luck and stay strong as you are his best advocate.

Nitaraeg in reply to foxyoxy21

Luckily I work at a hospital, have great resources, and insurance/finances aren't an issue right now. Our state does allow in person dr appointments for various reasons. He has seen a counselor who has done the conners survey with me. He tried to get the teachers as have I. Only one half completed it. I have also followed up with the school principal and school psychologist about this. We are in the process of an medical evaluation tomorrow. And have two more follow ups scheduled after. I hope that means an official diagnosis and medication. The conners that I did did reveal adhd. Depression, and anxiety. All of which the counselor agrees but can't prescribe or do the official diagnosis. But because he believe he could benefit from medication greatly is one of the few reasons we got referred to a behavioral pediatrician/youth psychiatrist. Its definitely a process. And I wish I had taken him sooner than listening to family how I shouldn't medicate my child and I just need to be a better parent while they don't even support me in my parenting boundaries. Its been my personal struggle to ignore what my parents think/want and just do what I think is best for my family. I've known he has had adhd since he was 5. When your kid is the only kid that can't stand in line on a stage with the other kids and is the only one running around the gym and down the hall during his kindergarten graduation. My confirmation of this grew thru the years as he was just as easily more wild and hyper than the new kindergarteners coming in each year. Its not as bad now but sometimes he can keep up with them. And his behavior at almost 13 is much worse than my almost 6 year old. Hormones are not helping. We have points of crying for 1-2 hours over stupid things like not getting his way. I know he doesn't do this at school. So the conners survery seems more exaggerated with me only because his guard is down at home. There are less adults, no cameras watching him, and no friends to impress. So what the teachers see and I see are two different kids almost. But inside he is still the kid not completing his work, not even trying to do it right cause he is frustrated, or not doing it at all cause he lacks focus and motivation. He is good at science and social studies. But because he is easily distracted he isn't getting A's or B's in those classes anymore. When I homeschooled him we ended up doing 7 days a week 365 days a year. He hated not having fun off summers but he wouldn't stay focused to do the work. I'm a single working mom of 2 kids who are now both in school and I need to sleep at some point. I also am constantly battling in court with my 6 year old's father in court or thru lawyers about something stupid. So I have to work and my kids have to go to public school. I am not blessed with money bags for private education and I make too much for almost all aid of any kind. So I do what I gotta do and we are getting it done for us to be our best. I feel even though the struggle with his grades and the school helping us has been our biggest challenge, I do believe we are starting to see some progression. I at least FINALLY got an email from the school psychologist.And if its paperwork they hate I would fill it all out for them. Thats almost all I do at my job and I love it.

foxyoxy21 in reply to Nitaraeg

I know sometimes it feels like you are stranded on an island with just you and your child because others just don't get it or don't know how to help. You will get there because you are strong and resilient. keep going and don't stop.

I just want to hug you for all you ( and many of us) are going through. Please..please in this journey look forward to all the support for him and I guarantee things will get better and years from now he won't remember these hard days...

We would love to hear how things go once you get support and medication.

Take care..

Thank you. Today is the beginning of our evaluation for medication and actual official diagnosis. Prayers please if you are praying people. And yes hugs to all who have walked these streets before me! You have made it easier for myself and many others with each passing year. I hope to do the same for someone else one day.

Thank you everyone for the support and added resources. You all are a great blessing more than you know!

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