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ADHD at School

Being included in the selection of my high school son's teachers!

Hi everyone,

I’m a new member and am very excited about this forum!  Does anyone know if it is possible to be included in the teacher selection process for an Adhd student?  My son seems to always get teachers who just DON’T “get it”.  I don’t know if thses teachers lack education in this area or what?!  My son deserves access to those teachers who actually have a clue. He will be taking several AP courses sophomore year and I want to make sure he has teachers who are patient and kind at the very least.  PLEEAAASE HELP!  Thank you in advance! smile

Replies

I have pushed for every teacher my son’s had since grade two. Each year they tell people you’re not allowed to name a teacher you want, and each year I would talk to his current teacher in early Spring (before they start meetings on class placement), I would send a letter asking for the teacher I wanted and why I thought it was the right fit (some years I asked not to have certain teachers, some years I asked for a particular teacher, all years I asked for a teacher who was firm, organized and yet still flexible enough to come up with alternative solutions for my son). And each year I got what I asked for. Not every teacher understood ADHD (his grade 5 teacher thought it was just laziness), but she was still the best option at the school in that she was willing to do the accommodations I asked for, and was generally creative in her solutions with him.

My son is in middle school now. I have the teacher I wanted (who knows ADHD) and he’ll have her again next year. But after that I’ll be pushing again. I have no idea what high school will be like… my plan is to go talk to his counsellor and go from there.

Posted by Rai0414 on May 17, 2014 at 4:15am

If he’s got a 504 or IEP, consider making teacher selection a part of his accommodations. I have selected teachers since 2nd grade (my son is finishing 8th). In some cases, we’ve gone with the recommendation from the principal because I did not have a clue about who would be best. Sometimes it was a good fit, sometimes it wasn’t, so we switched.

If it is not working out, I would always request a switch. We’ve had teachers give up on our son and my son knew it. Being abandoned by your teacher can be devastating.

It has surprised me how many teachers do not understand ADHD. I especially love the ones that thought they could cure my son just by virtue of being in their classroom. Even more disturbing were the ones that would make commitments at his 504 meeting, just to do the opposite in the classroom—or worse, penalize him for not measuring up to their expectations. And then there were the ones that go on and on telling you what great teachers they are and how successful they are with every other kid in the classroom but yours—as if it were about them.

Getting my son on an IEP and into a resource class has been a godsend because that teacher can influence his other teachers peer-to-peer. And she knows which teachers work best with ADHD kids.

Best advice—be engaged, be present, keep pushing and don’t back down.

Posted by Cheryl P on May 17, 2014 at 8:07pm

In our area, at least for elementary and intermediate school, the principal hand-picks teachers for all students with an IEP or 504 plan. Sometimes it has worked well, sometimes not.

I would speak to your child’s guidance counselor or principal and inquire about being part of the teacher selection decisions. Go in with the attitude of wanting to be a part of these decisions in order to make the school experience the best it can be for your child, AS WELL AS THE SCHOOL STAFF. Let them know you want to help THEM (even if you don’t).

Good luck!
Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on May 19, 2014 at 4:39pm

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