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Help- not sure what to do


Char
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Hi y’all- I need help. **Can anyone here help me ask the school 504 team for what could help my son? 

I am a mom to 3 kids all given an ADHD diagnosis & prescribed medication in the last year. My oldest - 14yrs, 5’10” - takes a marginally helpful low dose of Ritalin and we are pursuing support for him in schools. His 7th & 8th grade marks were all over the board & teachers were very concerned— as were we.

In 9th grade, he is not keeping up with homework at all. His ADHD inattentive (same as me) looks like avoidance, difficulty starting, and distractibility once doing work. He was diagnosed PDD-NOS at age 3 which is likely a factor as well, but the school hasn’t considered it & don’t want to evaluate for IEP, only 504. They offered the following after speaking with last year’s teachers:

504 plan: homework check in, study skills class 4xs a week in place of elective, and chunking projects into smaller deadlines. 

However, he is getting notices and emails constantly about missing deadlines & missing assignments. I am reminding, offering to buddy up after school while I work and suggesting timers/scheduled time blocks/movement breaks. 

After school he zones out- It’s as if any energy for school work disappears walking in the door. He gets set up on his school chrome book & when I check on him, he’s on YouTube watching in depth history and mythology videos, writing philosophy, taking personality/political quizzes, anything but the work required. 

I am exhausted. He is discouraged with himself and the school team needs my feedback/acceptance of the 504. I have now researched 504s way too much but am having problems processing that research into a response/ask for different/additional support. 

Can anyone help me to ask the school for what would/could help him? 

He was last tested for possible IEP in this district when he was 6. He took some tests with the school psychologist & they carried on about how smart he was & how high his IQ was — I requested further assessment with a neurologist  but met too much resistance & didn’t have the spoons to get results 🥲 We don’t have a neurologist, only a psychiatrist- waiting lists are long & many are not covered by our type of Aetna plan (it has a clause that says developmental issues are not covered nor are any co-morbidity diagnoses)

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Thanks for your suggestions. I have set up an appt with a neurologist- earliest appt to meet with us in Jan31. I couldn’t find any other offices with better availability. I have a letter drafted to request full evaluation. I need to send it out. Also, psychiatrist finally agreed to change up #mg for my son which was at lowest dose since June. Also added an anti-anxiety. medication because my son says his overwhelm of the final result is really impacting his ability to start projects (even when assignments are small). 
 

With the FB group shitting down, I would love to hear from more people on this— I know many commented in the group and I didn’t get screenshots of many comments. Thank you!! 

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I would put a request for an IEP evaluation in writing to your school. Many students with ADHD have executive functioning (EF) deficits. These don't always become apparent until kids have multiple classes, assignments, etc. to organize and prepare for. IEPs aren't only for academics. They can also be for things like further education, employment and independent living. If your child is even considering college, you will want to discuss how they will accomplish that with the EF deficits they have. Rather than just accommodating those, it's much better to give the child the tools and skills to be able to manage EF on their own. For example, I had a client whose high school aged son is very intelligent, gets almost all A's but has a terrible time focusing in class, turning in his homework, remembering due dates, etc. He has an IEP and we were able to schedule in a life skills class with goals specifically related to improving his EF skills. 

So, again, my advice would be to put the request in writing. The school must either evaluate or give you a Prior Written Notice (PWN) with reasons why they refuse to evaluate. I would also put all your concerns and your son's needs in writing. Here's a great template. https://adayinourshoes.com/parent-concerns-on-the-iep-parent-letter-of-attachment/

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Michigan mother of two with IEPs, and owner of MI Student Advocacy Services. Trying to change the world one IEP at a time. 

 

 

 

 

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study skills class 4xs a week in place of elective

This really seems like special instruction.  The sort of special instruction you get with an IEP.  In my school district, you need an IEP to have study skills class.  This doesn't sound like an accommodation to me.

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Hi!  Are all those things in place or being offered? 

I am hearing 2 main problems in your post.

1) He's getting notifications from all over the place. He should come home with a consolidated list. The homework check in should be helping with this. That teacher should help him get everything in one place and priortized. I would ask that she also help with estimating how long each task should be taking and how to split them up through the week.

2) He's overwhelmed at home.  Unfortunately, this is kind of yours to deal with as the parent. I have found ADHD Dude to be a good resource, and I think his course on helping ADHD kids through homework is probably the best comprehensive take I've seen.  You might like to take a look at it. I have found that for my kids, eating the frog first is not a good plan. They should start with a short acitvity that excites them. Then "eat the frog".

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CM

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