problems with school making accommodations

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2011
problems with school making accommodations
Fri, 05-13-2011 - 12:25am

My 12 year old has ADHD and is in 6th grade. We are in our second elementary school. And, in the town where we Iive, the schools i.e. administration don't consider ADHD a disability and aren't willing to make modifications to assist him excel. Occasionally, I will have a teacher who is willing to provide information that I need, but for the most part it is a struggle. I'm told,"He needs to be responsible for remembering his assignments and tests." It is just one road block after another. Early this year, he had a very low D in math; it was almost an F. And, thankfully, the teacher was willing to sit down and provide lessons plans, tests dates. I took this information to a math tutor and now my son has a very high A in math. She is the model teacher. But, she has been the only one ever to do that. I cannot understand why it is so extremely difficult for me to ask the specifics of assignments during the week, so I can make sure he learns what he needs to. I"ve been accused of "holding his hand" and today i was told by a principal that I need to push him away. One important part of needing assignments is that he needs to take a booster in the afternoon, but only if there is work to do. Two different principals have told me that teachers are busy and just don't have time to keep the pages up to date and that they certainly cannot be specific. I've pretty much given up on getting emails answered in a timely manner.

"It is the child's responsibility to do this. And, he's going into 7th grade next year, so they have lots of freedom." Where we live there are not school psychologists, or interventionist and mental health services are very limited. I see my son failing before too much longer and not being able to keep up. I'm deeply concerned about his future in education. Is it like this everywhere? They aren't even willing to do a 504 plan, because he doesn't have a physical disability. And, he doesn't qualify for an IEP, because that is only for cognitive. Do others fight this battle with schools? I"m constantly emailing and complaining because of the lack of communication and have already been labeled the bad parent. My son struggles with rebound in the evenings, too, which are so difficult on me. I"m a single mom with an absent father. Luckily, I have a job that love. However, I'm consider looking for another job in another area - hoping for a better school situation. Plus, I have no support at all.

My sister teaches in another part of the state and is constantly appalled at the things I tell her. Her school would have a psychologist who would sit down and if the parent wanted specifics about the schoolwork, they'd provide it. I'm actually considering giving up a great job to move to a better school. Has any one else faced this dillema? I even called our state department of education and was so disappointed to find out they offer little support.

One last thing, my son has a fairly high IQ, so I truly believe he has the potential to excel.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2011
Sat, 05-21-2011 - 11:09am
Thank you so much! Your words and support are such a comfort to me. I'm a single mom and my own mother died when I was young. And, because of my son's problems and the demands of my job, I don't have friends. So thank you so very much. I know my son has so much potential and I will never give up!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2011
Sat, 05-14-2011 - 4:56pm

OMG - I got so angry after I read your post.

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Fri, 05-13-2011 - 2:04pm

Hi perkyprmom! I get so angry when I read stories like this :( Schools should be doing everything they can to help students, and I'm just floored when they go against the sole purpose of educating the students.

My son is in 7th grade, and has had a 504 plan since 4th (just a side note, we didn't even have a diagnosis then). While I agree that he does have to learn responsibility, the school also needs to assist with that. My son has an extra 5 school days to complete assignments before they are considered late written into his 504 plan. We don't let him use that as a reason to not stay on top of work though, and he does lose privileges if he isn't taking his schoolwork seriously. I also stay in contact with his teacher if he's getting behind or has a major assignment coming up. Teachers should be working together with the parents, neither side can do it alone.

Being your son's advocate does not make you a bad parent, it's what you need to do when a school is not willing to help. Please keep us updated on your progress with the school.

We also have a Special Education Plans board that can advise you on what accomodations the school has to make and how to get them to do it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2008
Fri, 05-13-2011 - 10:39am

Have you requested an educational evaluation in writing? If not, do so, and they then have 60 days to do it, or violate federal law. I would ask WHY they are now in violation of IDEA2004, and also look into an advocate.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 05-13-2011 - 8:58am
H, I don't know what state you live in, but it is against the law for the school district to deny your son a 504 plan or an IEP. Even if your son goes to private school, I believe he is still entitled to accomodations. However, I assumed from your post that he is in public school. ADHD is a disability, no matter how high his IQ. You need to request an evaluation from the school in writing and they must give it to you, and you will need a letter from an MD diagnosing him with ADHD and saying it affects his school work. If he needs medication in the afternoon, they are required to have the school nurse give it to him if you give them a form signed by the MD saying he needs it. My DS is in 5th grade and has ADHD and an IEP, despite the fact that he is in the gifted program and now gets very good grades. Every day is still a struggle. I had not trouble getting him evaluated and getting the IEP. RE the homework, however, they do have a point. I tried to insist that they give me my DS's homework assignments every MOnday and get an extra copy of books, but they told me they felt he had to learn the responsibility. I reluctantly agreed, and he still forgets, etc. but it is better that he takes responsiblity for it. We also got someone to sit with him and help him with his homework after school so it gets done, and give him rewards for remembering to bring home the homework. IF you can't get the school district to give him an evaluation (which is free BTW) after you have requested it in writing, you need to hire an attorney. Also check out the website for Wright's Law (google it) - it has all the information you need about your son't right to a free and appropriate education!