Reply To: Scared of Student Support Meeting – 15 year old son newly diagnosed

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Hi –
My 10 year old has ADHD and we are still working with the school to figure out what accomodations she needs. I work with IEP teams in Ohio, so that is where my recommendations are going to come from, the laws may be different in your state. Does your son currently have an IEP or 504 for the dysgraphia/dsylexia? Or is that new with the ADHD diagnosis? Was your psych eval done by the school or privately?

Your best bet is going to be learning about how your school district handles these diagnoses. If he doesn’t have a current IEP/504 you need to request one, stating “I suspect my son has a disability that affects his ability to be successful in school”. That will trigger a timetable that the district has to follow. If you already have a team, then call a meeting and start by asking questions. View it as a team, not a battle. Assume they want to help your son, until you know otherwise. Share what info you have from the psych, and ask what the teachers are seeing in school. If you go in prepared for battle it will make you, and everyone else tense. Also, find out what your state laws are about what the district has to do if a parent suspects a disability. Familiarize yourself with what the districts are required to provide for all students, which then informs what they do for students who have different disabilities. As an example, we are required to provide services to help students access and participate in their education. If gross motor and fine motor are things that limit their participation, then the student may qualify for OT and PT. But, the results of testing may indicate that the limitations aren’t severe enough (ie. the student is independent at school, just below the typical expectation) to limit the student, services don’t have to be provided. If you run into problems check and see if your city has Student/Family Advocates who can help you know the laws and who can go to meetings and help get the services needed.

I have had a great team working for my daughter. We are testing different accomodations in 5th grade through an RTI process, and will formalize what she needs into a 504 for middle school. Lots of the initial recommendations turned out to not be that helpful, and we have had to trial/error things to really sort out what she needs.

Good luck. I hope you have an easy go of it and that your son gets what he needs!