Late learner: My granddaughter is 1... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Late learner

NervousNana profile image

My granddaughter is 14 now and even though she was diagnosed with ADHD a few years ago we haven't had too many issues until recently, mostly with school. Her behavior is fine but she absolutely refuses to turn in assignments. Now I'm feeling like I waited too long to educate myself and I've wasted time punishing her when I should have been advocating for her. I've been told several times that I'm spoiling her, now I need to work to try and learn how to parent in a more constructive way. I'm having no luck with the school helping her. She will be a freshman in the fall and the way Indiana has determined graduation requirements there is no way she can finish everything required. She's a smart girl with many talents but if she doesn't get the grades she won't be able to participate in extracurricular activities. She is being set up for failure and I am very concerned. Any suggestions?

9 Replies

I can feel your overwhelm and I too at times have been too judgmental on myself.

1. I would first speak with the school counselor to clearly map out her road to graduation. I don’t see how she could possibly already be off track to graduate when she is only 14.

2. Also, have the counselor point you in the right direction to set up an IEP meeting with the school so she can begin getting accommodations. Is this a private school or public? Public can be easier to get help.

3. I would also look into hiring a private tutor to help her get her homework done. Maybe try a couple and then let her choose the one she likes. Perhaps she isn’t turning in her homework because she is too overwhelmed by the workload.

4. Is she on medication? If not, I would find a pediatric psychiatrist to get this started.

Kudos to you for helping your grandchild! These things will get the ball rolling to help her. Ignore the outside comments and just focus on the tasks at hand. It’s obvious that you want to do right by her!

Thank you for the suggestions. I've spoken to her counselor, he's going to do a 504 plan. She is required to take 2 years of algebra, she's currently failing pre-algebra. They don't offer any alternative math classes, accounting/personal finance, etc. We have tried tutors, online courses, (Kahn Academy) I have asked that assignments be printed out but since she doesn't have an IEP that usually doesn't happen. I'm frustrated with the school and with state requirements. Not every kid is going to college.She is on vivance and goes to counseling regularly. I think I am probably looking too far ahead and should be making the best of every day. She isn’t aware of my concerns about the future, just that I’m concerned about her grades in general. I just wish the school paid more attention to kids that love things other than math and science.

Thanks for letting me rant. I’m excited that I’ve found this site. I just started today and I’ve already learned a lot.

I've been told to get an IEP, not a 504 because an IEP has more teeth - in other words, they have to do more.

Exactly. I’m lucky they’re doing that much. I haven’t had any luck getting them to do the iep. I would think since she has straight “F’s” they would take it seriously.

If she has a counselor/therapist they should be willing to write a letter to get her one. Ours has offered to since my kid was diagnosed this year and the school refuses to even do 504 since he's been remote due to COVID.

I really feel like the school is doing a disservice to these kids. That, combined with the state graduation requirements I see nothing but struggling these next four years. Thanks for your advice. I’m so glad I found this site.

I have it myself so I'm trying to get things done for him early if possible. It doesn't help that the early intervention specialist was reassigned to teach Kindergarten and they dropped math support district wide.

You and/or a parent have the right to request an evaluation to assess her eligibility for an IEP. The school team, with your involvement, may decide if her current academic/social/emotional markers warrant a deeper look through testing. If they say she does not, you may pursue private testing but that is initially at your expense. You may opt to line up a private evaluation at any time and it does not hurt to inform the team that you are doing so. You want a neuropsychological evaluation and they may be as much as $2000. depending upon your area. I do not see how it is the right or function of the counselor to summarily decide she gets a 504. (That is often a technique used to keep parents at arms length. ) This is a reference for you. I encourage you put all of your communications/request in writing. Create a paper trail and hold the school to the timeline. You are absolutely right to be concerned at this point. An IEP will provide her with services through to age 21, including vocational training.

Wow, that is very helpful. Thank you!

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