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ADHD at School

Question about 504 Plans and selecting the teacher

If you don’t think your child’s teacher is the right fit for his learning style, do you have more “rights” when you have a 504 plan to request a change within the first few weeks of school? It was the first day of school today and my 2nd grader was in tears. His relationships with his past 2 teachers was wonderful. Thanks!


Hi Stacy!

504 Plan or not, I would talk to the principal and advocate for a better fit. It’s much better to make that change now, than later in the school year when this teacher has harmed your child and switching classes makes him a social target. My son had to switch teachers the 4th quarter of 4th grade because she refused all accommodations in his IEP and caused him irreparable anxiety and damage to his self-esteem. It was so bad, we had him repeat 4th grade, despite testing at or above grade level for 5th—he just wasn’t ready and he didn’t get anything out of 4th grade with the crappy teacher.

At all the schools my son has been to since he had an IEP, the principal has hand-picked the teacher for all students on 504 plans and IEPs. You are 100% within your rights to tell administration what type of teaching style is best for your child and request an appropriate match.

This article on finding the right teacher may help you as well:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 29, 2014 at 1:49pm

Thanks Penny! What a great resource you are!

Posted by StacyStacy on Jul 29, 2014 at 5:47pm

In many schools, teacher changes or selection is a very taboo issue with administration.

There are numerous reasons for this.

However, the main ones involve politics with the teacher’s unions and trying to keep all teacher issues as Personnel Issues/Human Resources (and, therefore, confidential) issues away from students and parents.

There are other reasons as well… worries about opening the floodgates… not wanting teachers who don’t want to work with alternative learners the ability to deliberately cause transfer requests…. etc….

I honestly don’t know if it is because there are not enough adminsitrators brave enough, of if there were enough, but they no longer hold the position because of it.

Posted by Dr. Eric on Jul 29, 2014 at 7:07pm


Posted by StacyStacy on Aug 04, 2014 at 11:13pm

Throughout all of my son’s elementary years I asked for a teacher not naming names but one that fit him best based on the style of teaching etc. The administration always selected the one that I wanted for him. In middle school I asked for the specific teachers knowing the styles that were best for him. Unfortunately when he went into high school in freshman year this wasn’t the case & he had one teacher for 2 classes that was unwilling to work with him or me, (even with the accommodations in place). In the beginning of the 4th quarter he switched schools & had the best teacher for that class. In the future years it is set up that the counselor & I am working together to get the best teachers for him. If he doesn’t like the teacher he isn’t going to do well. You need to find the teacher that they are going to perform well with.

Posted by chris61 on Aug 13, 2014 at 6:57pm

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