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emwalden
emwalden asks:
Q:

The middle school wants to retain my seventh grader. Can I stop them?

my son has adhd and no iep plan he failed math and science they said he is only reading at a third and fourth grade level .  this will be too hard for him to be held back at his age. I have met with his principal and he feels it would be best for my son to repeat the seventh grade and wants to change his whole learning process why didn't they do that before now .  he was in a special reading class rti.  
In Topics: Learning issues and special needs, Working with school administrators, Helping my child with school work and home work
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Allyn Anderson
Jul 22, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

I would get a statement from your doctor regarding your son's ADHD problem for the school. But, I'd also ask the school district for a current educational and psychological evaluation of your child. Is it possible that your son has a learning disability? If so an IEP could be written and appropriate support provided through this venue rather than retention --- unless your son is one of the youngest in his class. Generally, I would not recommend retention after the first grade due to social/emotional concerns.

Since your child is diagnosed with ADHD, I suspect you are already working with his pediatrician and a counselor. If not, I would explore these avenues, as well a possible medication to aid in your son's attention to lessons. Schedule an appointment now to talk with the pediatrician about these issues.

I know this is frustrating to find out now about retention. At this point try to focus on the various avenues of support available. Try to be a positive, proactive advocate for your child; push to get the additional testing done before school. If your child doesn't qualify for special education services, do ask for a 504 plan. This plan will identify your child's educational needs and outline the support your child will receive educationally from the school and often from the parents.

Do call your doctor today and write a letter to the principal asking for the initiation of an evaluation for possible special education services. Ask him to hold off retaining your child until additional information can be obtained. This is a lengthy process that can take up to 90 work days to complete.

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Additional Answers (1)

dr.carolutay
dr.carolutay writes:
The research on retention is not good - especially at that age. It sounds as though your child will qualify for a 504 plan even if they do not have an IEP. Ask you doctor to write a quick letter confirming the diagnosis of ADHD and requesting a 504 plan for your child. It would not hurt for him to include a statement recommending not retaining your child. Get that in your school's hands as soon as possible and request a meeting to discuss it. You may want to bring an educational advocate with you to help you understand your legal rights.
Has an evaluation been completed? I am concerned that this may be a child find issue as your child sounds as though he may have reading issues as well.
I am willing to talk to you more if you would like to email me directly carol@totallearningcenter.com. Good luck to you.
> 60 days ago

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