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School and ADHD
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Bob    Posted 02-16-2005 at 10:38:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
Speaking of schools and special programing, does anyone have any experience with an ADHD kid?

My son, now 15, was hyperactive in the lower grades, but with some understanding teachers, he did OK. He had a HORRIBLE teacher in the 5TH grade, who made him HATE school, which he's never gotten over. (She's made numerous other kids hate school, too!)

Starting in the 5TH grade, we got the local Special Ed District involved, and they have been of NO help, what little help and suggestions they have, the school simply ignores. He is on an IEP, and there's always big plans to help him with organization, etc., and the teachers simply ignore the plan.

I have been told by the principle that it just isn't right that the "good" kids in the class have to put up with the restlessness and behavoral problems of my son and 2 or 3 other boys in the class who have also been diagnosed with ADHD, and that the teachers shouldn't have to "babysit".

I would think in this "enlightened" age, there would be a little more understanding of this problem, rather than making fun of the kid, and belittling the parents.

(My son was on medication for ADHD for a couple of years, and even that didn't seem to help. One of the drugs he was prescribed has now been cautioned against for adolescents because of the increased suicide risk.)

He has been professionally diagnosed with ADHD, which qualifies as a learning disability (handicap), yet the school treats it completely as a behavoral issue.

He sees a counselor, who has written to the school about what to expect from ADHD kids, and some suggestions to deal with it, and the counselor has even been on a speakerphone call with all the teachers present, to tell them this is a disability, and answered their questions.

When the principle wrote me recently, belitting the kid for his restless behavior, I replied if my son had an arm missing, or other obvious deformity there's NO WAY they'd get by making fun of him and not accomodating his special needs. Yet with this other, recognized disability, they feel they can treat him like crap.

Does anyone who's dealt with this have any suggestions to get through to these people what they're doing is not acceptable?

Hal/WA    Posted 02-16-2005 at 23:37:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
One of my best friends probably was and is ADHD. Dan had the "distinction" of having the lowest GPA of anyone in my class that graduated from high school (although a couple of others might have been lower if they hadn't quit before graduation). Dan always had trouble concentrating on things unless he was really interested, and was/is extremely stubborn. I think he ended up taking Freshman English 3 or 4 times before he passed it, although he passed Sophomore and Junior English with a different teacher. He did well in shop classes and in mechanical drawing and was a talented athlete. But because his grades were so low, Dan never was eligible for high school teams.

Dan floated around at various jobs after high school and usually got fired or just got bored and quit going to work after awhile. About 10 years after high school, somehow Dan got sent by the state to the community college to study drafting. He was very interested in this and kept a B+ average for 2 years! He then worked in drafting for a couple of years--but got tired of it.....

My friend Dan has done all sorts of jobs since then--construction, trucking, wrenching, welding and farming, never staying at any job more than a couple of years. He has been married 4 times and never really made very decent money. I don't think he has any retirement beyond social security.

I have spent thousands of hours with this guy in the 45 years we have known eachother and I would and have trusted him with my life. I know he is smart and capable--we have talked about all sorts of things over our lifetime and he knows a BUNCH of stuff.

But Dan just has never been able to get it together or to keep it together for any length of time. He fits a lot of what I have read about ADHD. I wish that all those years ago something could have been done for him to succeed in school. Some teachers tried, but none were very successful in really motivating Dan.

Maybe medication would have worked. My Mom has taught remedial reading in her retirement years and has had students who did fairly well most of the time, but just couldn't concentrate if they had missed their meds that day. But they didn't have anything like that 45 years ago, when Dan might have benefitted from such medications.

What a waste.....

screaminghollow    Posted 02-16-2005 at 19:46:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
Odd,student restlessness and inability to pay attention were thought to be the hall marks of a lousy teacher, now they are the symptoms of a handicap.

I realize that many kids have problems, and the staff is right, it isn't fair to the normal kids or your own kid. Around here there has been some limited success with diet and ADHD. I don't understand it. (I know that some folks intentionally give primary students lots of sugar and caffeine before school. Really, seeing a first grader sucking on Mountain Dew at the Bus stop. Who don't know that will be a problem? )

There are a significant number of kids who have ADHD and aren't behavior problems. But it seems all behavior problems are ADHD. As a kid who could never pay attention myself, I had to teach myself cause, 50% of the elementary school teachers I had were unfit. I think my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Rossi, finally realized that I was bored to tears. He gave me extra tasks to do, not really assignments, ie set up the next electrical experiment for the class, etc. Even got to help explain it during class. Got so that I'd look forward to listening to him teach the thing even though I had just learned it before the class so I could set it up. I even think he would intentionally leave out something and ask me if he forgot anything. went from hating school to loving it and from being a "problem" to honor roll.

Fed law, says you have certain educational rights for your son. The school is supposed to explain them and offer them for your son. They are supposed to go over this with you at least annually. "Mainstream" teachers do often overlook the special needs kids. Maybe, just too much on their minds, trying to keep the attention of 30 pubescent, hormonal, wayward kids with thirty different problems and family lives.

Wish you luck.

jughead    Posted 02-16-2005 at 17:43:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
how about a little accountabilty on your sons part-seems like everybody is to blame but him. So lets lower the quality of education for 24 others just so this one can feel good about themselves and in the process disrupt and disturb any quality learning thats going on-GOOD JOB

Mike in tn    Posted 02-16-2005 at 15:36:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Call and request an IEP meeting. They are supposed to do it ASAP. Take a tape recorder and put it on the table to have a record of everything said. Express your concerns and get their reply, which won't be to much since it is being recorded. If things don't get better soon, call the County School Administrator office and request the paperwork for you to file for an executive review. You have the right to request this. It is a big hassel for the teachers and the whole school administration. They will try alot harder to please you if they can avoid this review. The review consist of people from the state education department doing an in class evaluation of all your kids Teachers. They review all the schools policies and make sure that they are in compliance. The school officals will have to do a ton of paperwork for months. Some of his Teachers may very well spend the summer in college to get updated about the rights of special ed students to get the state off their back. I have a special ed kid and know what you are going through. Things got alot better when we had the recorded IEP meeting & I told them that I didn't know what to do except to call for an executive review if this didn't work. Thats when the chins dropped. They even came to me at work 2 times within a week so see if everything was going OK. The problem was just with one teacher (should have already retired and admitted on tape that he didn't know how to teach kids with disabilities). The Administrator, Principle, and other Teachers all gave him a hard time when they understood the problems it could cause everyone. I have been through it and wish you good luck. If you go to the IEP well informed and make them aware that you know your rights, I bet they will be alot better to work with.

Old Sarge    Posted 02-16-2005 at 16:02:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
You're right on. with this. Here in Ky it's the same basic program. Have one grandson who was "hyper" according to his teachers. NOT SO. They did an evaluation. He was tested and found out he wasn't stupid. just BORED.

He'll be 17 next month and graduate in June. Then IF he can CON his Mom he'll be in Paris Island Boot Camp by July.

Dale in WV    Posted 02-16-2005 at 15:28:11       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Bob -- you've got a tough situation. No school system wants to see a student fail to get an education and no parent wants to hear that his child is in any way disadvantaged. I have a son-in-law who truly balked (tame response) at even the hint of his son assuming this category. But it worked for his child to get some special help -- he didn't have ADHD -- more like cognitive skills and gross motor skills. Now he's doing little league ball and before he couldnt even sit on a swing!
Daughter # one is a Kindergarten teacher. 23 kids -- the state mandated maximum -- in her class. One student is ADHD and has been prescribed medication. $180 a month for the meds and parents having a tough time with balancing needs of that child and needs of the family unit. With the medication he has attentiveness, self-control, displays respect for others -- well, as much as any of the rest of them do. Unfortunately without the meds, he's totally the opposite. For SOME students, medication is a help. I agree with the other postings that the way to approach some students is to find out what they need to get them pointed in the right direction. As the parent, you've had the opportunity to steer him and maybe unknowingly you know what makes him tick and how to maintain that focus.
Daughter # 2 is a school psychologist in Florida. She's the one who generates these IEPs. She's the one who is school trained and Board Certified to provide and suggest alternatives -- ways of dealing with these situations.
It's with the school psychologist I'd suggest you try to set up a meeting -- bend their ear, treat em to coffee, find out ways that they help the teacher keep your child more productive. It been my experience that no principal turns away a parent sincerely involved in their child's education.
Dale in WV

Try this...    Posted 02-16-2005 at 14:48:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Here's the link to the US Department of Education. This describes in detail special needs laws currently in effect for ALL schools.

The more information you have, the more likely you can make progress with your local school to find a better solution for your son educational needs.

These kids are bright and have many special talents.

Good luck...


Melanie    Posted 02-16-2005 at 14:59:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
I can tell you that the gifted program sees many ADD/ADHD kids in its rolls. A lot of the time kids with ADD/ADHD are gifted. Or conversely, a lot of gifted children have ADD/ADHD. And my daughter tells me that her teachers are trained in techniques to manage the behavioral "quirks" of these kids, so that they are not disrupting class, but having their excess energy channeled into interesting, exciting, and productive activities.
Look into gifted programs around your district and see what they offer.

mark    Posted 02-16-2005 at 14:32:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
Renee used to work with children with, special
needs I'd guess you'd call it. She loved the
kids and the work ( had to for the cruddy
money she made ) She was right in the
normal room working with her kid/s on the
normal lessons, no special rooms or classes
the only thing special was she was there to
keep them on task. Her kid/s were able to
move right along with the rest of their class.
She could always tell when someone subbing
for her didn't give a rip cause she'd have to
work a couple of days at getting them back
into the swing of things

deadcarp    Posted 02-16-2005 at 11:34:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
at 15, he's way past his learning prime bob - now his mind is leaning him toward appliication. it's a fast mind - try to keep it busy. having been one & having raised one, here's my take

john    Posted 02-16-2005 at 11:15:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
So many of our young people are misdiagnosed.This [like so many others]is a clear case of BTS.BTS or boring teacher syndrome is always found to be the underlying cause in 98% of children.

Willy-N    Posted 02-16-2005 at 12:38:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
Have to agree with you. If I was in school now they would be tring to put me on drugs! I was the same way but the teachers that wern't boring I did great in there classes. They thought I was learning impaired but that was not the problem it was not paying attention to the teacher thinking about what I could do after school instead. I have paid for this for most of my life with my grammer and spelling 2 of the classes I hated the most. Sure could not make a living doing that stuff but we can't all be teachers glad some of us were intended to build and repair things instead. Just real tired of all the drug companys, cop out teachers, doctors who fall for the bull or don't care, ect ect. To many drugs being pushed only to find out later the problems using them. Crutches formed all there lives thinking I just need a pill to be normal like the rest of the world. I am begining to think the rest of the world is not normal needing all those pills just to get by on. A slap up the side of the head to get there attention might help a lot more, it would have me. Auto Shop teacher if he caught you drifting off would slap a ruller on the desk real hard it woke up the whole group, then he would go on teaching. Paid off for me in what I do and I got A's in his class! The old bitty English teacher would make me just sit on the curb during class easier than solving the problem. Mark H.

DD    Posted 02-16-2005 at 11:11:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bob, I have some experience with this kind of behaviour. I drive Special Needs children each day. What your son has is NOT a handicap, if it was he'd need to be in a "Special" school. If his ADHD is mild then there's no reason why he shouldn't be able to be mainstreamed into a "Normal" classroom but if it's beyond that and he's "out of control" then I don't think it's fair to the other students in the class for the teacher to have to stop teaching and interrupt the lesson all throughout the day to try and get him to calm down. I've seen this to both extremes and my heart goes out to these children because in some cases they can't help it. In other cases the student has been told for so long and had it drilled into their heads that they have a disorder they have no control over and the lil boogers try to use it to get away with anything and everything. Please do not take this as I'm fussing at you in particular or about your sons case but just sharing my thoughts on the subject in general. I'll be eager to see what other people think when I get back here tonite. Good Luck to you and your son. Either way, that Principal acted very UNprofessionally in talking down to you about your son that way, but that's JMHO : )

Bob    Posted 02-16-2005 at 11:43:10       [Reply]  [No Email]

We're in a small town. There's no "special schools" or other alternatives. The nearest school district with a LIMITED special needs program is 60 miles away. And according to degreed professionals, his condition IS considered a handicap.

My point is that if this had not been ignored all these school years, and he had gotten some help from grade school on up LEARNING TO LEARN, as his counselor says, we wouldn't be at this point now.

SusieQ    Posted 02-16-2005 at 13:50:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well this is how I have felt about some of our schools and the teachers, my opinion only in event we have teachers posting....

When I was growing up and going to school many handicapped challenged children didn't go to schools. Then the state bd. of ed. said all children go to school, regardless, ok, this meant there had to be some specialty trained teachers, and schools had to put elevators in, have aides hired to help out..........wheelchair students, you name it have been thru our schools, and quite frankly, these days, some of the teachers being hired to teach our children, need to be tested before being hired to teach, I mean both ways minds of some teachers fit in some mighty strange areas...what it is boiling down to, they are there for their paychecks.......and if you have a child having will be helping said child.

Willy-N    Posted 02-16-2005 at 12:48:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bob I am not saying your child does not have a real problem in my post above but I truly belive if they have a problem they should not know there taking the drugs to see if it realy is doing something good for them along with not knowing about there problem to use it as a crutch for not learning. A lot of these so called profresionals need there job security with more kids in there special programs at the kids expence. I have met more counclers that try to tell you how to raise your kids right with the worst mannerd kids I have seen! They can't deal with there own but sure can tell you how to fix yours. I would sure think twice befor I let any school person recomed drugs for my kid. One haft the kids are druged on my bus and one familys 3 kids that ride all of them are on drugs and the mother should be jailed for the way she raises them. They are just plain getting over and will never amount to anything in life at the rate there going just like there Mom is. No responcibilitys at all are asked of these 3 kids just sit at home and play Nintindo! Mark H.

Red Dave    Posted 02-16-2005 at 11:02:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I expect that how these things are handled would vary greatly from state to state and district to district.

Your school district's Superintendent should be hearing from you about your problems. Especially the letter from the principle belittling the kid. No matter what the principle thinks, he/she should have enough professionalism to not make fun of any kid.

If the superintendent doesn't help, then maybe the school board or your state's Department of Education might be able to steer you in the right direction.

Hollie    Posted 02-16-2005 at 10:55:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
yes i have...our foster daughter was diagnosed with the same much info to post me...and we'll talk...h

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