HELP! - FamilyEducation
04/23/2010 at 16:33 PM

My son, Liam, has been struggling with his mind for years. He started showing signs as early as preschool, and he currently is in 1st grade. He is experiencing behavioral issues, hard time concentrating, not completing his work at school. Argues with the teachers, gives us easily, doesn't participate with class activities.. oh the list could go on. We have had several meetings with the schools counselors, the dean of students and other specialist. He had the evaluation through our schools county, along with being evaluated with an outside behavioral specialist. The outside source states that he shows signs of a learning disability and ADHD. So we take him to his doctor, but the doctor doesn't want to start him on any medication until the summer break so we can watch his side effects. He is constantly being suspended from either the bus or from school, and even today he mooned four girls on the bus, which resulted to the authorities to be called. The police talked with him, as CPS (Children Protective Services) came in and questioned the girls. Which two of the four girls were my daughters. CPS questioned them how we discipline our children, and even took their photographs. We can't get any answers from the school, CPS isn't returning our call, and now we are trying to contact the school superintendent, with no luck. I thought about homeschooling my son, so at least he could get help education wise, but I don't know if that is the best thing. The school is delaying the process to test him for learning disabilities, and ADHD. We want to hold him back in first grade.. but we just aren't getting answers from anybody. HELP! We live in Florida.. if that helps anybody in what the laws are down here. I want help for him, I don't want him to suffer anymore, much less I don't want him to get in anymore trouble. He is also showing signs of dyslexia.

What is your understanding about his lack of self-control?

I don't have much advice to give, but keep talking to your doctors about evaluating your son's needs. Talk to them about what to do at school. It sounds like your son needs an IEP, which public schools are required by law to provide. You really have to advocate for your child at school. Lots of school officials are busy and aren't that great at returning calls. I'd send letters to the school regarding your sons ADD or other problems, your expectations, etc. and keep a copy for your records.

I have an important questions concerning vyvanse versus concerta b. My seven year old son is taking concerta b. My friend has mentioned that she had a family member on concerta b who exhibited a disorder called "act on impulse" which caused him to act without thinking. She says he is now on vyvanse and is doing much better. Can anyone comment on this? Thanks. Margaret

To respond to the initial post concerning your son and the possibility of him receiving special education services. The school by state and federal law has a certain number of days (60 for Florida) to perform an initial psycho-educational evaluation of your son. Please click this link below, find your state and determine how many days have passed since you SIGNED for an evaluation. If you haven't signed and if your child is under review for an evaluation (Child Study), which it sounds as though he is, the school can only suspend him for up to 10 school days. (A side note: Put your request for an evaluation in writing and have it notarized and present that to the school.) Also, another route you can take is to get your doctor's signature/diagnosis of ADHD and present that to the school and request (Again,,,in writing) that your son be placed as a 504 student due to his ADHD diagnosis. Hope this helps. Also, be polite to the school officials and try to avoid getting emotionally upset. I know this is hard to do but if you present things to them in a calm and documented/professional way they will do their best to help. Sometimes school officials/teachers/principals develop an adversarial role with parents. This is usually due to a lack of communication. Let them know you want to work with them to do what is best for your child. Pete School Psychologist

Schools aren't required by law to develop an IEP unless a student has been formally placed in a specific special education category. This process takes time but keeping copies of your records along with dates and who you talked to is a VERY good idea. Also, I always tell my parents that a concerned parent knows their child better than any doctor, any test, or any teacher/psychologist. Go with your gut instinct, respect school officials, and above all else don't give up....ever. Keep vigilant and work with the school and good things will happen. Pete School Psychologist