Reply To: Overwhelmed scattered Brained and need help

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I am a high school teacher. It depends upon the school and school system, of course, but in some cases and official diagnosis for your child can be a good thing because it can lead to helpful accommodations. There is a formal process to set it up, but you can get your son on something called a 504 plan. I cannot remember what the number is for; it’s a federal designation, meaning it’s available in all states, as is special education. A 504 plan lists specific accommodations to help a student, and each teacher must abide by it. Some examples of accommodations might be preferential seating, extra time on assignments, allowing a student to leave the room and stand in the hall for a moment if he/she feels overwhelmed, etc. All of my students on the autism spectrum have 504 plans. It has helped me as a teacher because it provides guidelines on that specific student and what helps them, such as the best way to redirect or how to best help that student calm down. For students with ADHD, accommodations can include extra time, repetition of directions if needed, help with organizing notes, etc. In talking with parents I have found that often medication that worked for a child doesn’t work anymore as a child hits puberty, so it’s good to re-evaluate everything as a teen grows. Sorry if I repeated something someone said above. Even though you are concerned about labeling, I have found that older kids who understand how their mind processes things handle the struggles a bit better. When I got my ADD diagnosis, I felt better because I thought, “Wow, I’m not stupid!” Maybe getting a full diagnosis of how his mind works will give him some reassurance.