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ADHD at School

Teacher Difficulty

My 11 year old son was recently diagnosed with ADHD after a rough start to middle school in September. The school crafted an IR&S plan, but I find that strategically working directly with the teachers has been the most effective tool in figuring out and implementing what helps my son become successful in school again.

His math teacher seems completely unwilling to help. She writes e-mail complaining that he forgot his homework or he should remember to organize himself each day in class.  When we asked to meet with her, she expressed frustration with his hair twirling, inattentiveness or inability to sit still. Today, she scolded him for using an anxiety reducing tool prescribed in the IR&S plan.

I e-mail this teacher daily and include my son’s tutor to create a team environment on math. Each time I use diplomacy and try to explain his actions are resulting from his ADHD. I have even sympathized with her frustrations about him. This class (or teacher) takes up a great deal of my time with no results. My son works with his therapist weekly on strategies to deal with her strident disposition, but often comes home upset or cries later in the night if he knows he has math the next day.

When is it time to give up and ask for a new teacher? And when is it better to hang in there in the hopes he learns to deal with difficult people at an early stage of his life?


Hi AbbRy0806, have u called the school to find out what is the best time to meet with the math teacher instead of expressing things in writing?  I’d call the school they should have a schedule of this teacher’s schedule and let them know that you plan on coming to the school on such and such date to speak with the teacher, to see what the problem is for her/him.  Have u consider maybe having your son’s tutor come to the meeting I hope you set up with the school. This will help, so the communication is heard by the tutor.  I understand the frustrations for you son and you.  If I was you, i’d ignore the emails for a week and when u don’t reply she may contact u about scheduling a meeting.  My feeling is that you should contact the school or if can, when bring your son to school ask to speak with the teacher.  See what happens then.  If not, I’m not sure how your son’s school runs, but I’d contact the dean or the school superintendent to see about scheduling a meeting.  Good luck! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Lee

Posted by happynewyorker on Nov 27, 2013 at 3:00am

What is an IR&S plan? Is it like an IEP? If it’s legally enforceable as an IEP is, I would go to the principal and demand that the teacher comply or move your son to a new class.

After my son’s experience with a heinous teacher in 4th grade that did irreparable damage to him, and moving him the last quarter of the school year with great results, I vowed never to hem and haw about a teacher. If the teacher will not comply with his IEP after a few attempts to correct it, I will request a teacher change.

It sounds like you’ve done everything you can to work with this teacher so it’s time to go over her head and make sure the environment is right for your son. Tell the principal she needs to follow the plan and get on board immediately or your son needs to be placed in a different math class.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 27, 2013 at 8:13pm

It is important to meet the teacher face-to-face. If she can work with you that’s great. If she doesn’t understand the nature to ADHD and it’s impact on learning, and if she’s not willing to listen, then for your child’s sake, you need to appeal beyond the classroom, maybe even the school.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Nov 27, 2013 at 8:16pm

I like the idea happynewyorker had about making an appointment with the teacher and asking her to work with your son’s tutor.  Tell the teacher you are bringing the tutor to the meeting.  Then give the arrangement one to two weeks.  If you see no improvement in your son’s attitude about math, then it is time to speak to the principal about moving to another teacher.  I had to do that once myself.  I felt badly about moving my son from Honors Geometry to Regular Geometry because of a teacher, but I saved my son.  My son is an attorney today.  There are wonderful teachers out there, your son deserves to have one that will work with his learning style.

Posted by Bensonadvocates on Nov 28, 2013 at 7:21am

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