Beating the good grade excuse

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    • #46909

      Has anyone found a way around the districts, “but he makes good grades so there’s no problems and policy says if they make grades there’s no need for further evaluation” or we don’t see where there could be a disability?
      Child has ADHD, on a 504 for 6 years. The 504 doesn’t work or teachers do not follow. He has a superior IQ and AQI of 148, but major EF deficiencies, a 48 pt. difference on one set of test and 45 pt. on another. His counselor feels he has diagnosed Asperger’s.
      I have been through so many meetings for evaluations and re-evaluations, always to be denied, except for the OT evaluation which they said was borderline (handwriting). His levels(abilities) are decreasing. He is super at Math, 2 years advanced. Has 6 HS credits leaving 8th grade. His writing abilities have fallen so far, he scored a 0 while doing specialty center testing for HS. His writing SOl’s having fallen every year.
      His English teacher is honest and has noted many issues going on. Some of his other teachers refuse to come to meetings. ( I didn’t know they could do that).
      I am trying so hard to get an outside evaluation, but not having any luck w/in 6 months time.

    • #46910

      Forgot to mention his all A’s are the changed grades, by teachers dropping assignments out or listing them as “not graded”

    • #46938

      I’m a mom of 3, all w/ ADHD, as well as a therapist working w/ many ADHD teens, adults, & & parents. This whole issue of “they don’t
      need accommodations cuz they’re smart enough to not need them,” & “grades are already good,” as if grades are all that matters/the only
      guidepost that counts, infuriates & frustrates
      me!!! The #1 most disabling aspect of ADHD is not attention/focus; it’s emotional regulation deficits, & that can impact SO many aspects of the academic/learning process. In addition, just because your child may earn A’s &/or B’s, it doesn’t mean he/she hasn’t experienced significantly more unecessary challenges in the process, such as spending way more time having to study than others w/out ADHD, increased anxiety during quizzes & tests, lower self esteem & increased anxiety due to feeling “stupid/dumb” asking certain ?’s so they dont speak-up when they’re struggling, & SO many more issues. Just because his/her grades are “good,” doesn’t mean your child is reaching his/her full potential & may not be able to do even better if given certain basic accommodations.
      There is a plethora of info out there to assist you in advocating for accommodations for your gifted child. I’d do research & put together a packet of articles to support your request for accommodations for your child.

      Here are some helpful links. If all else fails, hire an advocate to attend the meeting with you at school as that is almost always a guarantee that a child in need will receive additional support & resources. Schools hate when you show-up w/ an advocate; oh well!!!

      Unlocking the Potential of Gifted Kids with ADHD

      Best of luck to you !!!

      Lise Klerekoper, LCSW, PLLC

    • #46941

      Thank you for responding. We have had the standard accommodations,seating, reminders, extra time, short answers, bullet answers, tying everything, but it does not work. He’s taking test over 3 days or having to take them at the mean time missing other classes (see the issue here..more unfinished work comes home to do) I am so tired of “I have 95 kids, can’t keep up w/ ’em”. ( I did not mention my child is and has been in Advanced and gifted education since pre school and center based gifted for the past 6 years). This is the 2x exceptional problem. I am very familiar w/ IEP’S for disabilities, a little lagging on 504. I have the latest publication for 2016 by the DOE on ADHD and schools not complying, not understanding the law. I survived of off Wright’s Law with my other child for 18 years. I am in Virginia, where they are. I have been an advocate myself, but cannot find the help I need for my child. I also work in the school; which I thought would help somehow..I cannot even get a re-evaluation, per the DOE guidelines, there’s the only excuse of he makes straight A’s and since no other person, other than the child (well 1 teacher tried) agrees there is something wrong, I am out voted every single meeting. He is listed as having ADHD, under OHI, that severely limits his abilities and potential, which got the 504 and that took me a year.
      I cannot find a way around the grade thing, which is all they use. I know that grades cannot be the determining factor, nor mitigating strategies that are used, such as meds, adaptive behaviors and all the extra outside work needed or provided, but how do I get 7 other people to see it?
      How can I get them off the grade thing?

    • #47023

      My daughter also had this problem in middle school. Straight As, but was not consistent in homework (homework only counted for 20% of the grade, and she always aced tests). I was furious at the smugness of the coordinator who refused our IEP.

      In high school she is still doing well, and managing her emotional “depression” at having to do consistent work. It’s hard for her, but she wants to get into a prestigious private school, so her grades are still As, in all honors classes, except World History.

      She just got a C for an essay written in History in class. Of course. Slow processing speed, and working memory below average despite the very high I.Q. She never puts enough detail into her writing, and doesn’t get the whole evidence-based format of high school papers. Also, she’s not really all that interested, being a STEM geek, and as we know, if these kids are not interested, it’s quite hard to get them to live up to their potential.

    • #47024

      Nice to know. mine only aces math/German test, that’s it. He has the same writing issues, extreme EFD and I cannot hold his hand forever. It takes so much to get through homework, anywhere from 4-8 hours a night and no life for anyone. He stays behind in work, it’s so bad.

      My son has same issues w/ processing speed and memory. If I am not there to constantly remind him and keep him on tract, he cannot seem to get anything done. I am at the point of telling him to forget the homework it’s ridiculous..(as I sit beside him looking over this 7 part civics computer animation thing they have for homework. It took 2 hours to get through 1 part and you cannot fast forward or answer the question in advance and they have 2 nights to complete it, that’s 14 hrs worth of work to do at home w/ all the other homework/classwork that comes home to complete). 100 vocab words this week, too.

      I’m really starting to think this “anywhere learning” is going too far and it’s not actually my child, but I know he plays a huge part of it.

    • #47030
      Penny Williams

      Unfortunately, this is a barrier of ignorance all too many parents have to fight. Grades cannot be the only measure of eligibility for services and an IEP!!! Eligibility determination should be based on behavior, academic performance, ability to follow school rules, emotional health at school, etc…

      Here are some insights from professionals:

      Dear ADDitude: Why Has My Child’s IEP Been Denied?

      Wrights Law writes about this a lot too, because it’s such a huge problem:

      Is Child with Passing Grades Eligible for Special Ed Under IDEA?

      It’s absolutely NOT ok for him to be doing 4-8 hours of homework a night. NO WAY! He should only spend as much time on homework as his peers. If he cannot finish in that time, he should have reduced assignments or modified assignments accommodations. To have him spend exponentially more time on homework than his peers is punishing him for having a disability. That is inexcusable.

      A this point, it sounds like you’ve fought hard and gained no traction, so I’d escalate it. You can go to your Board’s Special Ed Director and ask for their help. If that doesn’t work, you can call your state’s Dept of Ed Special Services Director and let them know they have a city/county that is not following federal law.

      What often seems to be the most effective, is to start threatening to file a civil rights violation. Because, your son having so many unaddressed hurdles to his learning is a violation of his rights as an individual with a disability. I hate using that, but it has worked for me a couple times when nothing else would. No school or educator wants to go through a civil rights complaint. Here’s more on this:

      If it were me, I’d start by emailing (gotta get everything in writing) all of his classroom teachers, the principal, and any other staff you’ve interacted with about this. I’d cc your Board’s Director of Special Ed. I’d be very clear about the fact that it violates the US Federal Law IDEA to prevent a child with a disability from special services based solely on grades. I’d let them know in no uncertain terms that your next step is to notify the state department of ed to file a state complaint and to begin the process of filing a US Civil Rights complaint if they don’t begin the process of a new and thorough evaluation.

      Yes, you catch more flies with honey. And that’s exactly what I teach parents starting out. But, there comes a point where the gloves have to come off because your child’s wellbeing is at stake. I had to do it just this school year, but, I’ll tell you what, everyone sat up at attention and are now implementing the IEP fully and allowing assistive technology. I asked kindly, begged, and pleaded for too many years. My son goes to high school next year and it felt like now or never with getting him the help he truly needs and deserves.

      Keep in touch and let us know how it goes.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #47032

      Thank you so much, glad to know I’m not the only one. I have tried so hard to not go the hard route, but I think I’m at that point. Everyone keeps saying be nice, they’ll listen. I have been told I’m harsh and to forward, so people won’t listen to me. I have had meditations with the county and state department on IEP’s for my adult child, and prevailed with all of them, but I’m struggling with the ADA parts now for my son, as they keep saying ADHD is not a disability in itself, blah, blah, blah. I know full well in does fall under a disability category, as they used OHI, for the 504 plan.

      I am going to research more to have the specific state codes for this program.


    • #47186

      I concur with the other posters who have suggested making all communications in writing and getting the higher-ups involved. While not with grades, we had issues with an IEP and BIP- teachers were not implementing but complaining about my son’s poor behavior at the same time. My suggestion that they follow the BIP (that was PROVEN to help my son) fell on deaf ears.

      I started putting everything in an email. And not just to the Special Education teacher, but also to the Principal, Vice Principal, and every General Education teacher he had. When that didn’t work, I looped in the Director of Special Education for the district. I made sure I knew the process, so I could say things like “if progress is not made by [date], I will be proceeding with filing a formal complaint with so-in-so”. We got a meeting and when I showed up for it the front desk receptionist at the school told me that she had never seen the Director of Special Education EVER come to a meeting.

      You can be nice while also being firm and not letting yourself be stepped on.

      • #47305
        Penny Williams

        I had to do the exact same thing this year:

        “I started putting everything in an email. And not just to the Special Education teacher, but also to the Principal, Vice Principal, and every General Education teacher he had. When that didn’t work, I looped in the Director of Special Education for the district. I made sure I knew the process, so I could say things like “if progress is not made by [date], I will be proceeding with filing a formal complaint with so-in-so”.”

        It sucks, but it certainly got everyone’s attention, and they have all been more attentive to following the IEP since. It’s still not implemented on the level it should be really, but it’s night and day better! 🙂

    • #47307

      I have already done all communications in emails, except the meetings, for 5 years.
      I have a paper trail a mile long. Already went to the next level outside the school and still get told no on anything.
      I have been warned about the person at the HS my child will be going to, denies any and everything.

      I have not been able to locate outside testing for my child. I have been turned down by many psychologist offices, saying the school should be doing this.

      • #47445

        Have you tried speaking with the pediatrician for a referral? Perhaps they would know of a psychologist that would happily perform the testing outside of the school system. We are going through that now for additional assessments and the pediatrician was able to refer us out. I’d also suggest maybe reaching out to other parents of special needs kids to see what services/organizations they used in your community. A local support network can really be helpful in helping navigate the system.

        And I agree with the other posters who have suggested Wrightslaw. That was a terrific resource that I used continually when we were having issues with the IEP.

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