Reply To: School Wants to Downgrade from IEP to 504


I’m sorry that you are going through all this. I know exactly how frustrated you must feel. I will recommend sitting down with the EIP Coordinator and change the plan if you have to. Make sure they established in that plan what your son really needs and make sure teachers follow through.

About the medication, I recommend sitting down with his doctor and try different medications, until they find the one that will help him. No kid with ADHD can go through life having all these symptoms without medication. My daughter is in 8th grade and has ADHD, Executive Function Disorder, Anxiety and Depression caused by all the other conditions. For a few years she struggled in school without medication because the first one the doctor prescribed wasn’t doing any good. Later on, she started taking Aderall 20mg and a second dose of 5mg around 2:00 pm at school. In the afternoon, she takes Fluoxetine 10 mg to calm her down and a natural supplement called Melatonin 6 mg at night to sleep. At the beginning I was mortified by the fact that my daughter was taking all these medications, but if she is able to function, I’m happy. Also, these kids need to sleep because usually their minds keep going at night without stopping, and if they wake up tired, that aggravates their behavior. Also, you have to remember that ADHD symptoms are more severe in boys than girls.

At one point, my daughter started showing signs of ODD, because of her frustration. When kids with ADHD don’t know how to deal with something, the first response is driven by impulsivity. Of course, they are going to get in trouble! What I did with my daughter was make myself available, I gave her a phone and whenever she feels she is going to lose it, she texts me and I calm her down. Every single morning when I drop her at school I ask her “How long would it take mom to get to school to help you? And she says “a few minutes” and I will say: For you it will take me a few seconds”. That reassurance gives her the tool she needs to feel comfortable that if she needs help, I will definitely will be there. Believe me, it has been only a few occasions in several years that I had to go and “rescue” my daughter. Our kids need to feel that they have support no matter what. Teachers need to understand that these kids need help, that’s why they have a plan that needs to be followed. I think it is wrong for your son to be disciplined for defending himself. If he got punished by something that he thought it was his right, of course he is going to get frustrated. If your son starts showing frustration, the teacher should help before it is too late. When my daughter gets to that point her teacher ask her to go take a walk in the hallway and come back and that usually helps her. Also, when kids with ADHD turn down the help they are offered is because the way people are trying to help are insulting their intelligence. We have to remember that these kids are brilliant. My daughter is so smart that she is currently in a Talented and Gifted School, but she still struggles. Your son needs to be reminded that he is very intelligent but sometimes we need a little help to focus and keep working. They need to give him the help and at the same time make him feel like everybody else.

You should sit down with the EIP Coordinator and establish the help he needs and once that it is established, ask the coordinator to make sure every teacher gets a copy. This plan is to meet your son’s individual needs. Another thing that has helped me with my daughter is to send a letter at the beginning of the school year explaining my daughter’s struggles, her frustrations, likes and dislikes and some information about ADHD. When she struggles with her writing I send out newsletters with that type of information to all her teacher’s emails.

I hope this information helps your family. I know dealing with ADHD is a struggle, that’s why I like to share my experience. My email is if you need more information or someone to talk to.