Pendell2133 asks:

My child's school says he has autism

My 8yo boy has been diagnosed with ADHD at age 3, and did really well academically in kinder and 1st grade.  Then he started to slip and by now (in grade 3) he is 2 years behind.  I kept asking the school to test him and that I knew he needed help, but they kept putting me off until this year.  FINALLY they decided to test him.  I was a little taken aback when the principal mentioned before the testing that he wanted to look into the possibility that my child had autism, but I didn't mention my concerns because I figured that that wasn't the case and that I am a teacher at the same school my child is at and I didn't want to ruffle any feathers. After the testing, the school came back to us with an "educational diagnosis" of autism.  We sent all his paperwork to my son's psychiatrist and she flat out said she disagreed with their findings and that he just has severe adhd. I am totally confused because I know my son is quirky, but I don't think it's autism...My husband is accusing me of backing them and not him...we have screamed and shouted about this... I don't know what to do... The school pretty much said we have to sign the papers or not get help for our boy... this is tearing me up inside.
In Topics: Learning issues and special needs
> 60 days ago



Feb 11, 2014
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk,

There are processes and procedures in place regarding Special Education. You will find much material at

Good luck!

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Additional Answers (1)

TeacherandP... writes:
You do not have to sign any papers and - what kind of help are they offering? What have they been doing for him while he carried the diagnosis of extreme ADHD? Were you impressed with the extra services they offered him? Or did they do nothing?
What do they do for their students who carry a diagnosis of autism? There's nothing to scream about here - increasing numbers of children are being diagnoses with Asperger's and/or autism - but it's common for parents to do some screaming and shouting at each other in these times but that doesn't help anything.

 Are they suggesting your son go into a self-contained classroom with other children who carry the same diagnosis? Are they offering him speech and language therapy and counseling?

How long have you taught? Your son is protected by federal laws - they cannot force you to sign any papers but unless you agree to allow services, they cannot begin special services either. You'd do well to talk to someone at hand about how special education works - go to google - do a search. Even if all your son has is ADHD, it would be good to know more about the system works when you're a parent in it.
> 60 days ago

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