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smsmith81
smsmith81 asks:
Q:

Can they keep my ADHD son back in Grade K?

I live in Maine, Wahington County. My son has ADHD, and is very smart the teachers and aid all tell me(I already knew lol).The school wants to keep him back in Grade K, their excuse is because of his maturity level. Well they where telling me that just 2 weeks after school had started, yes just 2 weeks in. Bit soon to be making that decision dont ya think?  He's 5 years old with ADHD, how old is he suppose to act?! To me they are making judgements on his behavior before he got his aid, which he didnt receive for about a month after our first meeting. Since then my son has gotten an aid to help him focus better and to leave the classroom once he starts getting twitchy, and it has been working out very well. He still acts out every now and then, especially when there are changes to his schedule, but thats not from lack of maturity. The principal told me that ultimately he makes the final decision on passing my son or not, no matter what I want. And how well does he know my son or spend time with him to make a judgement on his maturity level? He doesnt!

Ok. My question is this: Who does make the final decision and can they keep him back when he is in the special education program(thats how he got his aid)? And what can I do to prevent them from holding him back?

Thank you!
In Topics: Special education, Special needs, ADHD & attention issues
> 60 days ago

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Expert

MomSOS
Mar 14, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

I can understand your frustration about this situation, and you definitely need some support. I believe that there are regulations in the state of Maine that apply to students in Special Education.  These regs are designed to insure the well being of the children.

 Here is what I recommend. Contact the Special Education (or Special Services) Director in your district. If your child is in Special Ed. he has an IEP, "Individualized Education Plan." IEP's are vehicles for addressing the special needs of students with various issues, such as ADHD.  Tell the director that you would like to have an assessment done to determine to what extent the ADHD is interfering with your son's education in K. Also ask to schedule an IEP team meeting to discuss the results of this assessment.  The director can order whatever assessment tools they use in your district and then convene a meeting that will include principal, teachers and parents.  You can request that the Special Ed. Dir.
be present if you wish. No guarantee of that of course, given the schedules these people keep.  But you can ask.

I do not know who in your district will make the final decision, but my experience
is that these decisions usually involve teachers, principals and parents--a team.  The fact that your son is part of special education gives you access to a process that hopefully can help determine what is best for him and give you support.

If in fact, the assessment is done and it shows evidence to support his staying back, it may not be for the worst, especially when done when a child is young, as your son is.  Some kids really do need a little more maturing time.  But follow the process first.  You deserve support, and I hope this helps you to get it.

Bette J. Freedson, LICSW, LCSW, CGP
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