it would depend on whether or not your child has a learning disability. Most schools will fight tooth and nail on an ADHD diagnosis alone. Depending on their disability your child could be eligible for a 504 plan, or an IEP.
To request an evaluation, send the school a letter, certified mail and request an educational evaluation...they have 60 days to do it and you go from there.
A child may HAVE ADHD, but it is not what they ARE. Never tell a child they ARE ADHD.
I really think it depends on where you live. I did not have to go to all the trouble to write a certified letter, etc as the pp suggested. Once we had the diagnosis on paper we were very easily able to get the ball rolling to get my son an IEP. By the time DS was 4 he was on an IEP and on his way. He is in 2nd grade now and we have had to re-evaluate his IEP two more times and it is always reviewed at some point during the year as to whether his goals need to be readjusted. Every quarter I receive a report regarding his IEP and how he is coming along with his goals.
It may be as simple as speaking with your child's teacher (as it ws in my case) to get the ball rolling, but yes, you should be prepared to have to write the letter as well.
As for the types of services you can receive it will depend on what will be on the IEP. (Which, by the way, you will have a part in helping to write. It is your right to do so.) In pre-school my son was moved to a different classroom where the teachers were trained to work with kids with behavioral problems. He also received his own para who was with him ALL day and knew when he needed a break, etc... He also received (OT) and still does b/c they believed he had/has sensory issues. A lot of psychs think that's malarky, but when you see success right before your eyes with a weighted blanket, etc... then you can see the that THEY are full of malarky.
Now, DS still gets help with a para at lunch and recess (two big areas of anxiety for him). He is involved in a new program at school that is based on a program developed by Dr. Ross Greene
Some schools won't do the eval until the parent asks in writing, which may be worth it to start with to avoid delays.
My son has an IEP for speech and OT. We do homeschool, but he is required to take the state testing, so we are working on things for that. At home I do things that I would have put in an IEP if he went back to school. Here are things that we do:
-Core stabilizer disk to sit on - he can wiggle, but not too much and it is not as bouncy as an exercise ball. It fits in his backpack.-Help with writing - he dictates stuff to me, sometimes I write all the work out, sometimes I write it on a whiteboard and have him write onto his paper.-Lots of reminders when we are about to change to different subject- Wiggle breaks- Typing will be put in his IEP for the state writing test.- Testing will be done alone in the future to minimize distraction-Classroom placement should be with teacher with lots of routine to help him with knowing what to do when.- No denial of recess based on behavior- classroom placement - up front and near the teacher to minimize distraction- Behavioral stuff - like charts, rewards would go in if at school.
These are what we have, or would have - check out the Ivillage IEP board for more ideas and information.
Sue, my ds has a 504 for his ADHD.
I don't know if all boards work the same. I live in Ontario. You can't get an IEP for ADHD without a LD. My DS is also gifted but that isn't recognized until grade 4. We got an IEP last year, when he was in grade 1, under "behaviour" and that gave him access to an EA (education assistant). Unfortunately he had a horrible EA and an even worse teacher (she would not communicate with me and even asked the union if she could ignore me...and they said yes). The principal and VP admitted to screwing things up with DS many times.
We've gone the med way and nothing helped. He just stopped eating and sleeping but there was no improvements.
I was very lucky last year to meet an individual at the board level to help me out. I have now access a community class 20 minutes from our house. It is a "power of pets" program where pets are used to work with kids with behaviour issues. There are 8 kids in the class (2 in gr.2, 3 in gr.3 and 3 in gr.4) with 1 teacher and 2 EAs.
The point is....I've had to work my butt off to advocate for DS. There were days when I was in tears and days when I wouldn't even send him to school because it got so bad with the school not working with us. DSs behaviour is much better at home so having him home is not difficult. You have to stay on top of schools and find ways to get assistance for your child. There are tons of avenues, you just have to get on the right road. It took me 3 years to find the right person to point me in the right direction.