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Hi. I haven't been on this message board for more than a week. How is your son doing with school? I hope the cocerta is working good for him. I had my son's doc increase his concerta last week. It seems to be helping but I'll find out for sure tommorrow. We're going to meet with his couselor. He's a freshman in high school. I wanted to ask you did your son's school provide you with resources to help your son? My son was diagnosed at the beginning of 1st grade. He had a wonderful teacher who was doing her best to help us and our son. But the principal and some others were giving us a hard time. I looked online to find out all about ADD. I found a place in Chicago called Family Resource Center on Disabilities. I arranged for my husband and I to take a one day course on chilren's legal rights. Under federal law, a child has a right to an IEP every year. You, as a parent, have a right to request things your child needs (special seating arrangements in class, smaller class, visual or audio testing in place of written, etc.). And the school district has an obligation to provide to your son anything that is in that IEP. Learn as much as you can about your rights as a parent. Believe me, the school district doesn't want to have to pay any more than they have to to educate your son. Usually, school districts get a set amount of money based on the number of students. In other words, there's a price on their heads. If a child needs special accomodations, that costs more than the set amount and they have to pay. Be your son's advocate. You're the only one he has. Too many kids just dlip by in school not even being able to read or write. That's largely because parents don't know they have rights as far as their child's education goes. Don't be afraid to be assertive. Sometimes you may have to get down right ugly. And by all means, use a tape recorder in the IEP meetings. You have a right to tape record those meetings as long as you tell them you're taping them before you turn it on. That way, they HAVE to provide the best they can for your son. You will have their voices on tape saying what they're going to do for your son so if they ever deny anything (it does happen), you can say "I have it here on tape". Then watch their jaws drop! An IEP basically is a promise to do whatever it is they say they're going to do in a given amount of time. Hold them to that. It's easy to deal with them if you don't back down. Your son deserves the BEST education that can be had. I wish you and your son the best of luck. Go get 'em! :) :) :)
Barb
Barb,

Thanks so much for your concern and advice, I really appreciate it. My son has been back to school for a week now, and I still think it is too early to tell if the meds (Concerta 54mg) are helping him. He does seem to be a bit better organized this year, and is doing his homework, although there hasn't been that much homework yet.

I spoke to the guidance counselor a week before school started, and I'm going to give her a chance to settle in before I call her again. They have the psychologist's report, and we have not yet implemented the 504 plan, but I know that it my right to do so. Our school also gives us the option of calling a "team meeting" where you can go in and meet with all of your child's teachers all at once, to get feedback from each in a group setting. I'm going to do this soon, so that I can get a feel for the teachers, and determine which ones will be a potential problem (too rigid) this year.

Lastly, we are continuting to have a reading tutor once a week, which is forcing my son to read (something he doesn't like to do). My goal with this is to get him up to his grade level in comprehension, where he is lagging behind right now.

What dosage of Concerta is your son on now, and why did you increase it? Does he have any side effects from it, and does he feel any differently when he takes it and when he doesn't? My son still says that he feels absolutely no different, and he doesn't think that it is helping him focus more. How can I tell if it really is making a difference? That is really my biggest concern right now, because I don't want to be medicating him unnecessarily.

Good luck with your meeting, let me know how it goes.

Neelie





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