A few days ago

ADHD child entering middle school need advice on what needs to be done before school starts?

My son is entering 6th grade and has an IEP in place from grade school, Im curious to see how this year will develope considering last year was horrible and IEP was not being followed at all. What should I do to get ready for this year and should I go to the school and get things squared away before the year starts and if so who should I speak to at the school first. Ive been told to go to the counselor first and just start a discussion and get the basics out of the way but I was told that this is not the way to go by the special ed teacher from last year.

I love my son dearly and do not want him to have the frustrations that he delt with last year with teachers and other students. He has a high IQ but was bringing home d’s and f’s which is not like him and his teacher was not helping to work with him at all. It took me going to the pricipal to get things straightened out (this is after numerous attempts to speak and work with teacher). Please help me decide a plan of action to help.

Top 10 Answers
A few days ago
First of all, they should have had a transition conference for your son at the end of the school year. This should have been when you all discussed what classes he would take. If that was not done, I would contact the middle school and find out who your son’s teacher of record is going to be. I would set up a conference before school started and see if I could get a couple of his teachers there. The best time to do this is a couple of days before school starts and after the teachers have reported. One of the things that I would make certain of is that each teacher has a copy of the IEP. Keep in close contact with your son’s teacher of record. He/she is the one that is your go between with the teachers. Make sure you stay on top of your son’s assignments. Sometimes he won’t tell you what he has to do, so make sure you contact the TOR to see that the assignments are done. Remember that as the parent, you can call a CC anytime you want. If you don’t think that the school is doing what they are supposed to, call a CC. Find out if they have special needs advocates in your community and utilize their expertise. Above all, don’t panic — be organized.

A few days ago
I am in the same situation that you are and I went through every step there was last year with my child. Section 504 is a joke by the way.

I don’t think there is any set format to follow unless the school has procedures.

The problem is that no matter weather those procedures are followed or not, the teachers are not trained and or educated on how to deal with ADD or ADHD. Two schools and several teachers later, there has been one good learning class for my child and that was because the teacher’s own child was ADD and she understood how to communicate etc. with my child. That year was very rewarding for my child and enjoyable.

And I know there are people that feel the same way the teachers do when they read this that Add is nothing, and that it is the way the kid is brought up and the child’s actions etc. are deliberate. Well, I have nothing to say to those people!

Good luck to you and if you come up with more answers than I do, please e-mail me.

I just want to add that for the mommy that suggested things be organized etc., I agree, but with an ADD or ADHD child you can organize and routine them all you want. I have done all the binders etc. and the problem is them remembering.

I disagree with the 125 student thing as an excuse for not being able to deal one on one with a student.

The teachers now a days have student aids, assistant teachers, room moms. etc. There are more people in any one of my daughters class rooms than I ever saw when I was in school.

The teachers that I deal with now adays are not working past 8am to 3pm. They don’t take nothing home with them. They don’t make phone calls on their personal time. They don’t give up thier lunch hours…..there is no extra effort what so ever like there was when I was in Junior High or High School.

Shoot, they don’t even grade their own papers anymore.

To those teachers reading this that do, God Bless you all!


A few days ago
If your son has an IEP, there should’ve been a transition meeting at the end of the year at your elementary school where you meet the special education director from the junior high and help answer any questions that you may have.

I teach 6th grade (still elementary school in our district) and I’ve helped many students with IEPs transition into junior high. I would highly suggest having your son’s IEP on hand (make many copies) and within the first few weeks of school, take the time to meet his teachers in person so they can put a face to a name and also hand the IEP to them. Sometimes, because junior high teachers deal with SO many students on a regular basis, they can’t take the time to look through every students’ files, but if you make them aware of his IEP, they’ll usually be very receptive to it.

There should also be an IEP meeting with the special education department toward the beginning of the year, so make sure it gets scheduled. If you don’t hear anything by mid-October, I suggest you call the school.


A few days ago
An IEP is a legal and binding document, I know because I am a teacher, so therefore if written, it must be followed or you can have a lawsuit on your hands. If I were you, I would contact the counselor prior to school starting, and make him/her aware of the problems you encountered with the previous year’s teacher. I would then request a meeting between the counselor, the school psychologist and the teacher for the upcoming year teacher. Since you are his parent and this meeting would be your request they have to comply within 30 days upon your request. At this meeting, you would review the IEP and insure the modification and accommodations are in place for your son to be successful and allow you to voice your disappointment in the manner that things were handled last year as well as voice your the expectations you have of your son as well as the teachers. Perhaps, last year’s teacher was new and inexperienced. I don’t know if your son is on any medication, and I was not an advocate of medication for treating such, until I had a child. Then I became aware of just how much her inability to focus and calm was effecting her. It can be very frustrating for a child to have these issues that they are not capable of dealing with, so along with medication, I suggest counseling to help in behavior modification. I would consider the overall picture, your son must be feeling incredibly frustrated.

If you find this year, the school is unwilling to comply with the IEP, then I would call your state’s coalition for children’s rights. Believe we, they would gladly jump on this. I have seen it happen.


A few days ago
Catie I
ADHD children are often brilliant and regular teachers don’t know what to do with them in a regular class. Special Ed teachers are often lacking also. An IEP is required for all children with a learning disability, but it is not an guarantee that your son will get a good education, one that is suited to him.

The frustrations that your son dealt with last year were minor compared with what will happen in middle school.

Talk to the Counselors first, then speak to the Principal, then teacher. Find out where they are coming from. Are they able and willing to make a special effort to educate your son. If you find that they are not capable of giving your son a good education then perhaps you will need to find another school that has a good solid track record for the Learning Challenged kids.

I run a school for the Learning Challenged kids and find that most of them come from public and private schools because these schools are not equipped to teach kids who have a different learning style. Don’t stop talking to your son’s teachers, counselors, or the principal. You are your son’s best advacate for his education. Be totally involved in it and never stop no matter what others say. Your son has a right to a good education, so get in there and fight.


A few days ago
Have him build routines now. Especially when it comes to organization. If he hasn’t been already, I suggest getting him a binder with a section for each subject so that he stays organized. Also, he needs to be an advocate for himself. When you are talking about middle school you have to remember that one teacher may have as many as 125 kids and it’s very difficult to remember which one is on an IEP for which reason (even though we’re supposed to, we are only human-and easy to forget specifics of IEP’s for that many kids). So he needs to be able to remind the teacher “I can leave the room for a different testing environment” or “please help me make sure that I have all the materials I need for this assignment” after he’s gathered what he believes he needs (note that this statement is entirely different than “can you get me the materials I need.”)

Going to the counselor probably isn’t the way to go because they have very little say over special education. I would go to the sped coordinator and his specific case manager. I’m surprised you didn’t have a transition meeting to make that bridge between elementary and middle.

Getting organizational routines and being his own best advocate (and then you being there to back him up) are going to be his best best for future success.


A few days ago
I think it would be a good idea for you to get acquainted with the new teacher BEFORE she ever meets your son. This is an opportunity for you and the teacher to know each other as 2 people before either of you form misimpressions or opinions colored by any of your son’s possible difficulties.

Approach the teacher by asking how you can help her help your son gain the most from his year under her tutelage. DO NOT start by criticizing last year’s teacher, although it sounds like criticism was in order. Let the new teacher “open that door” before you recount past difficulties.

I don’t think it would hurt to approach the counselor the same way. Paint a positive picture of your willingness to help but don’t give the impression of meddling and interfering.


A few days ago
Interesting question. And, well thought out.

I’ve had many students who are labeled ADD and ADHD. I am also ADHD. Imagine that – a teacher with ADHD. It is actually as funny as it sounds.

I have had many days when other teachers would bring their students to my class (I teach Band and Elementary Music) and woefully explain that so-and-so has been quite a handful because they didn’t have their medicine. My usual response is “Don’t worry about it, everything will be fine.” And it has always been fine.

I have found that the primary “trigger” for problems with ADHD is lack of interest on the student’s part.

I am NOT blaming the student. What I do is: Everyday, I do my best to make the lessons interesting and fun for all students.

And, that generally works about 95% of the time.

The other 5% of the times – when the student starts to be a little rambunctious – I openly and very briefly discuss ADHD. I remind the students that I also have it and that I have stopped taking my medicine for it. Then I’ll ask the student, in question, to describe my behavior and demeanor. And, I then ask the student to give me one good reason why he/she doesn’t try to behave like me – especially since neither one of us had taken medication that day.

Understand that when I do this, I do it as respectfully and politely as possible. I model the behavior that I expect form my students. I never act harshly towards them. I never have to raise my voice.

When their normal classroom teacher comes in to get the students, I always have a good report for them.

Of course, I have the benefit of having these students every year. I have their many of their relatives, and I talk with the parents.

As a side note: Talk with the band director and try to get your son in band – anything but drums (drums make most people to energetic to focus and stay on task). One thing band teaches is self-discipline. And, self-discipline is one of the best ways to begin to overcome ADHD. I have several ADHD students in my band and we’ve won the competition “Sweepstakes” Award each year for earning all “Ones” at contest. The ADHD students, in my class, no longer get into mischief in their other classes – even when they forget their medication.

What it all boils down to is this: We must all do our best to make education fun and interesting. Interest is the “trigger.”

Feel free to print this and give a copy to your son’s teachers and principal.



A few days ago
if it were me getting your son, i would appreciate a visit or phone call from you, before school starts. tell me, what qualified him for special education? having adhd does not necessarily mean he is eligible for services through special education. but if he has an iep, i would certainly go over it and see what was determined and why. did he receive services in his other school? was he in general ed and then resource? i doubt he was in an SDC. is he having trouble with teachers, other students, just specific behaviors?

i would start with the special ed teacher, just introduce yourself and tell them that you just want to make contact with the school and so they know that you are very involved in your sons education. you can also tell them of your concerns, but let school start and see what happens. things could be better. speak with the special teacher. it will make you feel better at least. they like parents to be involved and since its a new school, think positively!