Reply To: Struggling with our kindergartener


Hi Valerie,

We learned that NJ was a state that viewed ADD/ADHD as a disability in our state through the Exceptional Student Education or ESE counselor at our son’s school.

I suggest you contact your ESE counselor for assistance. All schools must offer help by law; both public and private.

The ESE counselor is the one who creates the IEP or the Individual Education Program that schools must follow to help the student. My son is now 22 and we still have the IEP open even through college.

If you need additional help you can consult CHADD and they have an open hot line which I have utilized successfully in the past. I am sure they can provide the information you need.

Your pediatrician is also a great source of assistance and recommendations.

We were able to get one-on-one tutoring in kindergarten and first grade. As he got older there was still an aide in the classroom for help and as he progressed, he received group tutoring.

I already raised a kindergartner with ADD and the one thing I suggest is to ask as many questions of physicians, call CHADD, get his IEP done, make sure all teachers are actually using the IEP and following instructions, show up for all IEP meetings, call the ESE counselor periodically and ask him/her to circle around with you on his progress, set up logs with the teachers with 4 or 5 behaviors your child needs to work on daily and then review the log with him every day. Reward him with a star and if he has enough stars allow him to make a decision as his award such as selecting dinner, dessert or stay up an extra half hour. There were many times I ate donuts for dinner or watched Sponge Bob for the 1,000th time because he earned the privilege to make that decision.

If you go to a CHADD conference you can meet other parents from your state and they can offer academic recommendations.

Be involved and advocate for your child. Make sure he receives all the benefits of his IEP.