dpennington asks:

How can I get my school to give my son help for ADHD?

Hello all and thanks in advance for any help.

My son is 5 years old and was Diagonosed with ADHD.  The school he attends doesn't offer any help to him to keep him on task.  They told me they could get him help IF I had some sort of medical insurance which I didn't.  I have been reading and from what I can tell my son is entitled to any services to help him succed in school.  They don't offer anything.  They haven't tried to verify that he is ADHD or anything.  The only help they offer him is speech therapy.  I do know they offer programs for kids with my sons disorder, but why do they need medical insurance.  I thought that was suppose to be supplied by the schools to help the children.  Am I missing something.  I do believe they are not compling with the No Child Left Behind Act.  I am contacting an advocate to help me with this, but is there something else I can do.  He is being held back due to their lack of helping him properly.
In Topics: Working with school administrators, ADHD & attention issues
> 60 days ago



Jul 29, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Hello DPennington and thank you for writing to JustAsk.  It would seem that you may have to get some support with helping to advocate for your son.  Since, I do not have all the steps and information of your process, thus far, I will try and help you from what I know.

First note, please keep all your documents, including medical information (and copies) in a file.  Make sure to submit with a written request the information you have to your son's public school administrator asking for a team meeting to determine if special education services or other accomodations are warranted for your son to academically achieve.   If your son is in public school in the United States and you have documented proof of a medical disorder and it is found through evaluations that this disorder impacts his ability to learn as compared with AGE mates, then he should be given some form of special education intervention (which can vary from monitoring to much more hands on).  According to your letter, it would appear that he is not mastering skills according to age or grade.

Remember that not all children identified with ADHD have discrepencies with their learning, thus, they do not qualify under federal and state laws for special education. That does not mean that you cannot hammer out some accomodations with the staff in support of your son.  This may include a specific behavior system for your son to stay better on task or allow him more frequent breaks.

Also, note that if you feel that you are not getting anywhere then please feel free to contact your school district office and ask for a parent advocate to be assigned to your son's case.  If this does not work, I have listed some very good websites to help you with seeking an advocate.

Now for the item of insurance being an issue... According to federal laws (which you will also find on the websites below), your son,  if found to have educational deficits that are preventing him from performing at his age level within the public schools, is entitled to free and appropriate special education services within the least restrictive environment.  Accomodations must be made, if warranted.  If your school does not have services that are rendered necessary to help with achievement then you have the right to ask for services in another school setting.  Sometimes not all schools in a district offer high level of services and a child needs to be transferred.  These cases are rare.  However, there have been instances that a child may be found best served in another school setting.

Good luck.

Louise Masin Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families
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Additional Answers (2)

KidAngel writes:
 I can relate to your frustrstion. I have dealt as an advocate to many parents in my area that are dealing or have dealt with schol issues such as yours. I need to ask you "who" diagnosed your son with ADHD at age 5? If it was a Doctor what remedy was prescribed? By answering these questions I will be able to give you a more definitive answer to your question about your sons school taking the stance they are taking with you concerning this serious issue.

Barbara Antinoro
Educational Counselor
Kid Angel Foundation
Education.com Team
> 60 days ago

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icare writes:
I am a teacher and a mom of children with special needs.  Many school districts don't want to "diagnose" a student when they are in kindergarten because often it is hard to get a true score on many of the tests that are used by the school psychologist.  However, the LAW in PA is that if a parent requests verbally or in writing that the school test their child, the school has 10 days to respond in some manner.  They can tell you they don't believe there is a problem and will not test your child.  They can tell you they will test your child and should then send you a permission to evaluate with all the tests they will use listed on it.  What they can not do is say that they don't have the services for your child.  IF they don't have the services for your child in the district where you live, the district MUST pay to provide the services for your child.  

There is a program called ACCESS.  Basically this program provides money to a school district for use with special needs kids.  IN turn, the district asks parents of children who receive services beyond being part of a special education classroom, to sign a form that allows the state to bill their health insurance for the services their child receives.  You do not have to agree to this, and your insurance company can not penalize you in any way if you do agree.  I don't think this is what your district was talking about, but it is the only thing I know of that would involve medical insurance in a public school setting.
> 60 days ago

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