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ADHD at School

Referral, detention, repeat

My son - who is 10 and has ADHD - came home today with three referrals (one from yesterday and two from today).  One of them was because he told another student their art work was disgusting.  Rude, definitely yes.  Referral worthy, meh.  My husband told the teacher that lately the things our son is getting referrals for are pretty weak (nit picking on the smallest things) and that he’s being singled out.  He brought up last week when our son came home and said a classmate told him he was ugly and stupid.  When my husband asked the teacher if that kid would get a referral had she heard her say that to our son, the answer was no.  She would go down on the behavior chart but it wouldn’t be a referral.  To me it seems him getting his feelings hurt means less.

It’s definitely not the first instance either.  A while ago another student dared him to do something and he did.  (Pick your nose, put it in your potatoes and eat it. Total gross little boy thing.)  My son was told he should be disappointed with himself and received 3 days detention.  The other kid who came up with the idea, nothing.  “Because he doesn’t have a history of being naughty.”  Am I being overly sensitive, or does this seem wrong to anyone else?  I feel like they think I don’t take his behavior issues seriously, because that couldn’t be further from the truth, but some of these things seems just down right silly. 

Anyone else have their child get punished for every single thing they do at school?  How do you handle?  I feel like our concerns go on deaf ears.  And I feel these things are taking the focus away from the bigger behavior issues.  My son has mentioned that he feels he can’t do anything right and even when he tries to tell the truth no one believes him.  Or when he goes above and beyond it goes unnoticed.  All he’s good at is getting in trouble.  How sad is that!


I am so sorry to hear this.  Yes, we went through similar with my son.  He was being bullied to no end and when he reacted, he was always the one in trouble…...never the instigator.  I wish I had advice but I don’t.  He was doomed in that school.  No matter what, it was always his fault and always elevated consequences.  Thankfully for us, 4th grade was in a different school and they handled things better there.  My son was able to confront his bullies in a supervised environment with the guidance counselor and they all admitted what my so said was true.  No consequences still, but at least for the first time, my son was validated….....and it really wasn’t consequences we were seeking.  The boys all agreed to try to set the example to include my son more and just be nice to him.  It made the rest of the year much more bearable.  This year we asked that he be away from those children and he was placed in another class with no e of the children from last year’s class.  He is thriving now.  Don’t give up.  Keep at the school.  Keep your own records.  Work through guidance…..and if you have to, use the word bully because they must take that serious.  Good luck.  Give your son a big and work on building his self esteem so he not so eager to go along with what others say.

Posted by Peacfldove on Dec 14, 2013 at 2:16am

No you are not!  Today, my son was kicked out of classroom because he was tapping the desk.  Instead of going to him, they told him to get out.  I really know how you feel about your child is single out over small things.  I talk with the teacher, principle, and case manager and nothing has been done by getting extra help in the classroom.  Again, I know how you feel.

Posted by sdelaine on Dec 17, 2013 at 8:11am

I wouldn’t be surprised, especially given the date, that the referrals are as much of an issue of the teacher’s level of patience and the overall student vibe before the holidays as it is the issue cited in the referral.

If you do want to address things, consider letting them know that you want to discuss things, but don’t get into any email or live discussions until after break. You may find it more effective.

Posted by Dr. Eric on Dec 18, 2013 at 6:18am

I would ask for a functional behavioral analysis (FBA) and a behavior intervention plan (BIP). These are formalities that make your son’s ADHD officially tied to his behavior, i.e., it’s a disability that prohibits him from making good choices sometimes. The BIP includes strategies to help your son with his behavior issues at school. I always recommend this when a child is getting detention and suspensions for behaviors that are obviously related to their disability but not a danger to themselves or others. Make a formal request for this to the school in writing.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Dec 18, 2013 at 7:46pm

Yes I agree with those who posted about the teachers patience being thin at this time. Still it’s no excuse, my son went through the same thing with a seasoned teacher (last yr), in 4th grade. Some teachers just don’t know how to deal with adhd kids, sad but still unfortunately true.

Posted by Starla571 on Dec 19, 2013 at 6:24am

Oh and when my son would get a “personal foul”, the other child who was fooling around with him…didn’t. And guess what, his mom works at the school…hmmm.

Posted by Starla571 on Dec 19, 2013 at 6:26am

Penny, we just made a request for special education service due to other health impairment.  FBA and the BIP haven’t been brought up - I’ve actually never heard of them.  But you better believe this will be mentioned when we meet next month!  Thanks for the information.

Posted by hockeymama on Dec 20, 2013 at 8:00am

I’ve had this happen too- my son and another kid (The PTA president’s son- ugh) were playing on the bus last year. My son was tiger-boy and Luke was muscle-man. This involved her kid punching mine and my son scratching hers. Great game. Well, her son came off the bus with scratches on his neck- mine didn’t have a mark on him but was being pummeled the whole ride. Both boys were ok with this.

Well the other boy’s parents were not- they called the school and my son got front-of-the-bus seating for 3 months. It was finally lifted and he went right back onto the mouth of the dragon. It sounds like the same boy was bullying him and throwing his backpack at his face. Is it bad to be a little bit happy that my son came home with a scratch? I called the school and they assured me it would be addressed and that they don’t discuss other children’s punishment but that he too would get assigned seating. Well, he didn’t. I kept calling the school and and they basically told me that since Luke was “a good kid” his punishment was lifted early. BS.

Posted by evans_mom on Dec 30, 2013 at 9:08pm

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