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ADHD at School

Detention in Kindergarten

My 5 yo in Kindergarten was diagnosed with ADD last month; we just notified the school today. Anyway, I received a phone call that my son would have to attend detention for 2.5 hours after school because he had too many negative points on his school record (online). If he does not attend, he will be expelled.

I disagree with this on so many levels BUT:

Can I request that the time be split up into shorter increments? He is going to have such a hard time & I do not want to set him up to fail.

Do I have any rights here? He already has a 504 plan for his SPD and I just cannot believe he has detention!


My personal feeling is you should be contacting the school and asking them this question.  Many schools have different rules in place.  2 1/2 hours of detention is hard on any 5 year old let alone a child with ADD. 

I would be calling the school and asking if this is done in one day or a number of days?  No, one here knows where ur at or what school your child attends.  You should search the internet and see if the school has something online.  But, your best bet is to speak with the school principal in regard to this.

good luck!

Posted by happynewyorker on Apr 01, 2014 at 11:44pm

I did. It is all in one day. They said having a 504 in place does not exempt him from the same discipline as the rest of the students.

I am still going to request an accommodation anyway.

Posted by KatNat on Apr 01, 2014 at 11:56pm

This sounds appalling. I am in the UK, that is unheard of. Completely unrealistic for even a “normal” five year old to do 2.5 hours detention. I don’t even see how that would help! Tempted to say look for another school that can better accommodate him.

Posted by Janeybee on Apr 02, 2014 at 1:24am

Thats a complete failure of the school to understand adhd

Posted by Janeybee on Apr 02, 2014 at 1:26am

My Mum was a kindergarten teacher for many years and has never even heard of this. My tyke has ADHD also and is the same age. The program we are using has taught him to focus and pay attention in small increments so that he gradually builds up to the acceptable behavior. We almost home schooled him but we have had such success we gave the public system a try and he is fine. You do have rights and you are your child’s biggest advocate, especially in these developmental years. I agree with all the suggestions that everyone has posted and would definitely try to resolve it from the top down. What does “too many negative points on his school record (online)” mean? What did he do to be detained? This is a tough situation because how do you explain this to a 5 yr. old without indirectly condemning him for having ADHD?

Posted by Elly on Apr 03, 2014 at 12:41am

I have 34 years experience working with children who have behavioural challenges. I have 30 years in the School system. I am assuming that a 504 is similar to an Individual Education Plan(IEP). Include the following:
Calming time-no more than 5 minutes with adult support to help child with breathing techniques and self regulation. Visuals are helpful. Include handouts for School on ADHD that apply specifically to your child.
ADDitude magazine has wonderful information to share.
Use of a wiggle seat, exercise disc, lap snake or small fidget items for sitting times. Set up a balance centre in class with calming music, visuals, exercises and fidgets to help with regulation. Set timer and encourage child to return to activity. Use body breaks frequently. Short walk, exercise,balance centre. Set up a token system. Entire class can earn small paper circles or poker chips for desirable behaviour. Give them out for everything. For example: I like the way you came to circle, hung up your coat, used helping hands, kind word,share etc… Put a happy chip in your cup. Transfer all happy chips daily or weekly to a class container, decide on the fill line and celebrate as a class. It doesn’t matter who gets the most chips, only reinforce the positives for this to work. All children get the reward. Reduced day is another option. Pick times that your child can be successful and increase school time as he learns to self regulate his behaviour. Brainstorm with the School team on what you can do to help your child have a positive School experience.

Posted by Caring Counsellor on Apr 05, 2014 at 4:34pm

Did you receive (or requested) a booklet, containing all the school regulations for your school district? If not, check your school district’s website pronto. I don’t know how different these regulations are between counties or states, but in our district - and it says clearly in the booklet - children who are under 504 or IEP or under evaluation, cannot be disciplined the way other students are, if the incident is related to their condition. Good luck.

One more thing: the school may be in this case your worst enemy or biggest supporter. Although in this case the school is wrong - what they are trying to do, make the challenged child, who is at the beginning of his/her education, to hate school forever? - if you prove them wrong, they may not want to be friendly (i. e. suspend your child every time they have a chance or so on). From my experience (my son attended four elementary schools, three of them because of relocations, one of them, because I was pissed with the way they were dealing with his condition) it looks like the best approach is to email the child teacher and offer some help, tell her what works at home and what doesn’t and pretty much let her know you would rather like to work with her as a team to make sure your child loves the school. Although I am fully aware this is the last thing you would like to do under these circumstances.

Posted by minor.revisions on Apr 05, 2014 at 8:18pm is the best resource for knowing what is legal or not with a 504 or IEP - do NOT assume you will get the correct information from the school!  As another poster mentioned, kids with special needs are not supposed to be punished the same way as other kids.  Educate yourself about your child’s rights. Good luck.

Posted by Katherine85 on Apr 05, 2014 at 9:25pm

Go to your Doctor and give the School a copy of the diagnosis.
Call the Principal and request a meeting. Ask for a representative from the Board or Special Education department to explain the 504 (IEP) and your rights.
Bring any specialist to the meeting.
I can’t think of any reason for a 2.5 after school detention other than safety. Even then, this is unacceptable and basically cruel to such a young child. What services are available?
The child will not learn appropriate behaviour from this experience. What will happen in the 2.5 hours? Playtime, exercise, social stories, snack or heart warming conversations? I imagine he will teach them many things about ADD. Look into your options? Go with him. Please let me know how it goes as I can’t stop thinking about this child who needs us.

Posted by Caring Counsellor on Apr 05, 2014 at 10:58pm

I am an Intervention Specialist with 20+ years experience.
As some before me have stated:  For a kindergartener to serve 2.5 hours detention after school is insanity.  I would urge you to request a meeting with the principal and teachers to get further clarity on the situation.  You say that he’s on a 504, which is a general education plan.  No matter…you request the meeting and discuss alternatives to this.  I don’t know of any kinder student (ADD or no) that this would work.  Good luck.

Posted by RGaines on Apr 06, 2014 at 1:32am

After school detention for a kindergartener?? That makes me sick to my stomach to even think about.. even for a non ADHD kid that would be crazy. :( 
My son is also in kindergarten and was diagnosed with ADHD just before Christmas break.  We started him on a non stimulant medication over vacation, which his teacher and the rest of his team really seemed to be pushing for.. but it doesn’t seem like they’re really making any improvements or accommodations for him in the classroom. I think his teacher thought this magic pill was going to just do it all.  Last week he was in the principal’s office three days in a row, and had lunch detention for the whole week..and wasn’t allowed to have recess for several days—which I think is ridiculous-  that’s a punishment for his teachers and the rest of his class!  If they called me or sent a letter saying that he was going to have to serve an after school detention at all—I don’t know what I would do.. but it would not happen. I am hoping to get him an appointment with an ADHD specialist, who can really tell us what type of ADHD he has, help us figure out the best treatment plan for him, and help us with his IEP at school- I think that having an outside resource is going to be the best option- because they (the school) obviously need training and direction for how to accommodate.  That might be your best bet too—an outside party to advocate for your son.

Posted by HeartandSeoul on Apr 17, 2014 at 5:48am

Thank you everyone! We had a meeting with the principal and the dean of students (discipline person). My son will come in 30 minutes early for 3 days and he will help his teacher set up the classroom for the day. This will earn him positive points & help make him feel important. (exhale) The principal agreed that the initial detention was not developmentally appropriate for a 5 year old, let alone Aidan with his issues. She explained that the policy is for K-12 but as administrators they have to adjust it accordingly. I can’t wait to move! If we had not made a stink about this, I am sure they would have let my son sit there for 2.5 hours.

Posted by KatNat on Apr 29, 2014 at 11:51pm

This school is crap.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on May 01, 2014 at 4:48am

Feel free to quote me.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on May 01, 2014 at 4:50am
Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on May 01, 2014 at 4:50am

My Grandson was in Kindergarten last year.  When he was in trouble for spitting on a classmate he received no recess for the next day.  The Principal phoned me to ask me how I punish this child?  I was like what?  SHe said he is such a sweet boy how do I punish him?  I said time out usually.  Well, she said that she could not believe for one minute that he would just spit on a student and that someone had to provoke him.  There is more to the story.  I did my investigating and found out another student was bullying him and that she knew he wouldn’t just do that.  She punished the other child and of course he still had to have his recess taken away.  These schools make such a big deal about bullying yet when they find out a student did bully you never findout what they do to these students.  I am so glad you finally got somewhere with the school. If you didn’t I would of suggested that he miss the day of school instead of 2.5 hours after school.  Sounds to me like they all need to go back to school and get educated.

Posted by danandmonicat on Jun 26, 2014 at 4:40am

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