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How do I fight the school for help for my high school student?

I have been trying to be a "voice" for my son for 4 years now, he was recently diagnoised with inattentive ADHD in December and with a medical diagnoises I'm still waiting to meet with the school to set up any accomandations such as a 504 plan or even IEP. They dont agree with the results I have had done at Akrons Childrens Hospital, and continue to prolong any kind of meetings. My son now has developed social anxiety and I believ he is depressed. He has very little confidence and low self esteem. I need help! I get intimidated when I finally meet with the educators, and at this point they are trying to determine what path to "pursue" I myself, have AADHD and struggle with reading and comprehending, therefore feeling very inadaquete when meeting with them. Does anyone have any suggestions or help as to WHAT TO SAY during my meetings? What are my rights? HOw much longer I have to wait to have him get help? Any comments, suggestions or advice would greatly be helpful! Thanks....

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Asked by solmenkoo3 at 4:19 PM on Mar. 20, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 7 (190 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • Ummm depending on what state you live in, Federal Law states the school is required to provide special qualified teachers and help to teach your child. I know in Illinois the school tried to tell me they had no way to provide for my child's adhd needs and told me to send her to a different school. After I got done with them they were falling over themselves to accept my kid into the school the boundaries said she needed to attend and provide qualified teachers. That was 15 years ago. Contact the school board, the PTA and the state agency that regulates public schools.

    Answer by vbruno at 4:25 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • I don't know about Ohio's laws because I don't live there, but I'd be for trying to talk to the district's superintendent about now, since the school itself is dragging it's feet. Maybe also contact your PTA to see if you can get some moral support as well since you get intimidated?

    I would also make notes or bullet points to remind you what you want to address at the meeting, if it ever happens. I would also make noises about how the school is required by law to provide a quality education to your child. I hesitate to say special needs, but you may have to to get them to get their heads out of their fifth points of contact.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!

    Answer by Rosehawk at 4:33 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • When it comes to his ADHD I think that most teachers assume most of their students deal with that. The schools are basically only held responsible for the bare minimum, though I'm sure that there are some after school or before school tutoring programs you could enroll him into. Other than that I would look into other programs, like the Sylvan learning center, or others in your area.

    Answer by LoveMyPoliceMan at 4:34 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • You can NOT get and IEP unless there is a medical condition present. You can get an ADEP or something similar that is just for ADHD. It has the same protections as an IEP. Here is what I did when my son's middle school refused to do anything with his ADHD, I threatened with an ATTORNEY. I told the principal and counselor that they had 24 hours to put an ADEP in place with what I wanted in it or I was contacting an attorney and suing. That ADEP was done within hours and followed. I also called the district special ed department and asked what to do if the school wasn't following the ADEP. She suggested the attorney thing. You keep fighting, you threaten, you sit at the school until your son gets the help he needs and deserves. You have the DOCTOR call the school. Whatever it takes. Call the state dept. of education, federal if you have to.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 4:42 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • My son has ADHD and has an IEP at school. The biggest help I had was from his doctor. Ask your doctor if they have the number for the state education number, I have found calling them and asking any questions I had then calling a meeting and just mentioning whom I had talked to worked wonders. Hope this helps.

    Answer by sheba1000 at 5:02 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • The school has 90 days from the first documentation of a "disorder" to begin establishing an IEP or 504 plan. An IEP will only be established if your sons ADHD is effecting him educationally. Like you stated your ADHD effects your reading and comprehension, so I'm guessing when it came to school you often failed and struggled in those subjects. That would qualify you for an IEP. If your son is passing all his classes and not struggling academically then he doesn't qualify for an IEP. A 504 plan only deals with medical needs. Like, for example, a child is on seizure medications that cause extreme drowsiness. That student would qualify for a 504 plan that might state they're allowed a 20 minute nap in the nurses office at a specific time, and work missed will be made up in a certain number of days. If your sons ADHD isn't causing medical problems then he doesn't qualify for a 504 plan either. (cont)

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 10:22 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Most children with ADD ADHD don't have IEP's or 504 plans. The extreme cases, where it effects their educational needs, have IEP's. But just your run of the mill ADD kid isn't in special education or given any services. A good teacher will understand they might fidget more, and provide more hands on learning. Or give them tactile things to squeeze to help release energy. I crappy teacher might tell the student they just have to deal and make the year a bad one. I would expect since your son is in high school there should be at least some accountability for his own behavior. He also needs to work with the schools and not use ADHD as an excuse. I'm not saying he is. If he's failing academically or there's medical issues then pursue legal options, but if not talk with your son about taking responsibility and ownership of his own behaviors and education. In high school he most definitely should be able to, even with ADHD

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 10:27 PM on Mar. 20, 2011

  • Your son can get a 504 plan because he has ADHD. Call the school district and talk to the head of the Special Ed Dept. You have a medical diagnosis and that is all most schools need to put a 504 plan in to effect. Do not let the educators intimidate you, they are no different than you & they are trying to keep from doing their job! You & your son have rights!!!!! Here is a link to help you:


    Answer by sarchasmicangel at 12:48 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Your son can get a 504 plan because he has ADHD.

    This is not true in the state of Ohio. I live and teach here, unless a child's medical needs are impeding their education (ie they're failing classes due to hospitalization because of seizures, or they have chronic pneumonia and are absent days in a row) they do not qualify for a 504 plan. ADHD has no medical side effect that would impede education. Schools are not always the horrendous dictatorship they're made out to be, sometimes they can't give you what you want because you're not legally entitled. If the boys educational needs are not being met, an IEP can be placed, but usually one does not get all the way to high school before an IEP is in place. If his academic needs weren't being met he wouldn't have the grades to get to high school and issues would've been raised earlier. The diagnosis is a positive to help aid the child, but the schools hands may be tied.

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 1:20 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • If you cannot get a 504 in Ohio then Ohio needs to relook at the FEDERAL LAW -- IEP's or 504 are NOT a state issue its a FEDERAL Law and if the stuent has a physical/medical disability the requires for them to have adaptations -- esp. for things like testing etc. then they HAVE TO follow the LAW. If the student is in addition also having social anxiety and other things that are affecting his education then an IEP maybe called for b/c we would be looking for specific direct teaching of certain skills.


    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 8:24 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

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