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Parents of ADHD Children

Anybody happy with 504/IEP adherence?

We are having trouble.. again.. with getting my son’s 504/IEP accommodations followed. We have meetings with the teachers and counselors, but then a few weeks afterward we’re back to square one. It feel like battle after battle after battle trying to get him the help he needs, getting the teachers to understand my son’s problems/ADHD, and almost beg them to pay more attention to him. Explain to then that when you have ADHD you don’t remember to turn in papers, finish things completely, write down assignments and maybe even know what they mean when you come home. Why assignment notebooks, borrowed IPads, etc. can’t help someone with remembering troubles. Why homework needs to be reduced and extra time given. They are supposed to be giving him more guidance and direction, and they are not. Do they not believe ADHD exists? It feels like talking to a wall.

They always throw out that the child ‘has to learn responsibility’. How can I keep explaining over and over again that his disability makes their expectations unreasonable? It’s like a broken record. It always comes back to being all on my son’s shoulders and it’s not fair. So now we have to start over again. We’ve been going though this for years and it’s exhausting. We’ve been through the mill this week… again. I know teachers are terribly busy, but why is it so, so hard to get accommodations followed every single time. There’s not been a year without drama or disappointment to varying degrees.

It’s my husbands opinion that a majority of parents are not really satisfied with 504/IEP adherence most of the time. You lucky with some teachers, but I feel like a battle-weary warrior trying to protect my son from being pressured/misunderstood/neglected. Again. Even when a school has a good reputation it hasn’t made any difference to the other parents I’ve met. Across the board it’s meetings, meetings, phone calls, emails, meetings, and then back to square one.  I think it’s in large part because ADHD is so misunderstood that with any problem and the blame gets put on the parent and child leaving you feeling helpless. It’s not a lot of fun and upsetting to everyone. How much longer until summer?


The proper accommodations may not be in place or the teachers may not have the tools to implement them. As a parent, you have to make sure that you are able to make suggestions,‘and ask how they will be followed through. If he is forgetting his books, he may need a checklist to follow throughout the day with a reminder. He can self monitor to ensure that he is making those goals. They are correct because he does need to learn responsibility Whether my daughter has had a crappy teacher or not, they have always accommodated the 504 and listened to my suggestions. By the way, they do not know that I am a special education teacher.

Posted by Speduc8r on Mar 16, 2014 at 5:03pm

Does your son have a 504 or an IEP? I got my son and IEP because teachers and staff tend to ignore a 504 plan. The school says it doesn’t make any difference, but I disagree. They are very mindful of the IEP. However, to get the IEP, which required the school to conduct a full comprehensive eval, I had to go to an education advocate. This is kind of like a cross between a therapist and a lawyer. Our advocate helped me construct a letter with legal language that the school couldn’t ignore. This letter gave them formal notice that they had 30 days to schedule a formal IEP evaluation. They were really under the gun when I sent this letter because it was also close to the end of the school year.

I have sent copies of this letter to other parents on this site. If you would like a copy, please email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). I’ll be happy to share it.

If you would rather speak to an advocate, here is the contact information for ours. Her name is Rikki Light and she works with the Melmed Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is also on Linkedin. If you can’t get to see her, she can probably recommend an advocate in your area. Just be aware that a 90 minute session with an advocate will cost you around $350 and your insurance won’t reimburse you. I thought it was worth every penny.

I hope this information is helpful to you.
Susan in PC, Ohio

Posted by SueH on Mar 16, 2014 at 6:58pm

I too hired an advocate to finally get the school to do psychoeducational testing.  Our problem has always been that our son tests well on standardized testing, but the day to day work is constantly a struggle. 

I do feel the teachers have a lot on their plate.  It’s hard when you have multiple kids that have multiple issues and each has a different set of accomodations.  BUT, my son is MY first priority and I was no longer willing to just let him get by.  It was too difficult each day.  And it will probably still be difficult, but hopefully the full evaluation will give us better information as to where his struggles are and to truly know if he has an underlying learning disability or not.  The schools always insisted he didn’t because his scores were high.  We will see.  They have 45-days from the date I requested the eval to do it.  We had the PPT last week and they agreed to do it.  I truly think having the advocate there pushed them.  They could not just brush off our concerns and they knew the advocate would now how to take it to the next step. 

It sucks we had to pay a bunch of money to get the school to do this, but I truly think it will be worth it.  Even if it only means he just has a more appropriate 504 plan, I’m ok with that.  I just want to make sure we are doing all we can for him and not just brushing him aside be cause he’s able to take a state test.

Good luck!

Posted by Soknows on Mar 17, 2014 at 5:32pm

Hi havebeenthere!

I have the exact same issue you described above. School seems to want to help, writes up a decent IEP, implements for a week or two, then nothing. It’s is beyond frustrating.

I’ve decided recently that it’s because they stop helping intently as soon as our children show a glimmer that they have grasped it (for us, it’s planning and organization skills goal that this always happens with). They will help my son for a week or two, being sure he puts things away appropriately, has materials for class, writes assignments in his planner, etc. BUT as soon as he does it on his own because they are standing over him, they assume he has it and they no longer assist. It’s maddening. I’ve gotten on teachers and IEP team at least 3 times this school year for stopping their aid in this area. I remind them it takes a couple months of consistency to build a habit and have him finally able to sustain the processes on his own, but it falls on deaf ears.

I get that teachers are overworked and undersupported. But, my child shouldn’t fall through the cracks because of it, and neither should yours.

I have involved the director of exceptional children for our county on many occasions. If that doesn’t help, hire an advocate. Threatening to file a due process action or a complaint of discrimination with the US Dept of Civil Rights has been a helpful nudge in the past too.

So sad that we have to work so hard for our children.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Mar 17, 2014 at 6:10pm

I am brand new to this group.  My 11year old daughter has both ADHD and ODD.  We had a 504 written out last year when she was is fifth grade which was also her last year in elementary school.  She had done well academically until then but has always had some behavioral issues.  Her fifth grade teacher was great.  But now that she is in middle school they are pushing her to be like everyone else.  We had a decent 504 plan redone but it wasn’t long into the school year when I started hearing things like “she just doesn’t care”, isn’t working to her potential, and we can’t use her adhd as an excuse forever.  She is smart but middle school is much harder.  She has trouble remembering to turn her assignments in and on time.  Her organizational skills are lacking. She was placed in a study skills class to help her out with organization and she would do missing and late assignments plus have her assignment book checked.  But they took her out of it because she “wasn’t working to her potential” and would waste her timet in there.  I explained that she needs it whether or not she appreciates it.  Come to find out students who score low on MEAP TESTS are put in there automatically.  We haven’t gotten those scores yet but I told her counselor the she always has done poorly on them in the past.  Now her grades have dropped since then but she is in a math strategies class which is good.  But yes it can be frustrating.  Trying to make these ku ‘re normal and fit in I believe causes them to h e stressed out.  My daughter will always have adhd and they ought to be more understanding especially in her first year of middle school.  I will continue to advocate for her and hope they will not try to “shrink” her accommodations each year.

Posted by adhdmiddle on Mar 17, 2014 at 9:04pm

Hi all, I’m brand new to the group as well. This thread has enlightened me so much because I am currently in the process of getting my pre-teen an IEP since I thought that would solve all our problems. Boy was I wrong :( I will still pursue it though because my son is just being allowed to fall through the cracks despite the As he’s receiving on test scores and something is better than nothing. SueH, if you don’t mind me taking you up on that offer to share that advocate letter… I’ll send you and email.

Posted by C5Momofboys on Mar 17, 2014 at 10:19pm

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