February 4, 2019 at 11:01 am #108432
My son is in 6th grade and is diagnosed with ADHD – inattentive. He scored as gifted on IQ test, but score is considered invalid, as it is likely higher, but affected by ADHD.
With no support, his grades quickly drop to Cs, fighting to prevent worse. He routinely gets marked down for missing work, late work, and not catching all the directions.
With making sure to review his math homework every night, if he brings it home, he dose fantastic in math. However, teacher won’t make sure he brings it and won’t give me a book for home.
In English, his teacher has agreed to review his written work for completeness. Will send him to the aid if not restating the question and supporting properly. This has taken his writing grades from Fs to As. Sadly, this writing requiremebt affects his social studies grade.
The school is saying he actually doesn’t qualify for such accommodations because he doesn’t get Fs on report cards. They say his disability isn’t making him below average.
So since he is gifted, gets a mix of As and Fs that average to Cs, he is out of luck. His grade is allowed to reflect his disability. Not his ability. He can be punished for his disability (late work penalty, zeros on missing work, missing directions), until the punishment kills his grade. Which, I fight to not allow since he looses opportunities if he gets Ds and Fs on report cards.
One example is the local football league. Can’t play if any quarter grade is below a C. Sounds like discrimination to me.
I just feel sick that it’s okay to get a B or C because of such conventions around late work and not seeing the directions. He didn’t do the work wrong. It feels like unless enough work is late to produce Ds/Fs, then he can be punished even though it’s a disability, not motivation.
Why isn’t an “appproproate” education considered to be comparable to same level peers, not just kids the same age?
He is missing out on gifted education and opportunities like National Junior Hinor Siciety because his disability makes him look lazy and unmotivated.
Why is it allowable for him to loose points for his disability unless it gives him a D or F?
If he’s got an A, he can receive a zero for an assignment that got misplaced because he truly thought he turned it in.
It’s demoralizing and unfair that because he’s smart, his disability is allowed to affect his grades.
One teacher said, what does a grade matter if he knows the material? And, no kid always works at the top of their ability, so it’s okay if a gifted kid gets Cs for missing procedural conventions.
Last quarter, he got all As, to my shock. But, I had to really push homework. Insanely difficult, so much effort on my part. So they think he’s fine. But, if I have a bad week, not constantly pushing/checking, things tank fast. I am tired of doing all the accommodating.
I feel like my hands are tied.
February 4, 2019 at 11:05 am #108436
Oh and they say only possibly 504, no IEP. Problem is 504 doesn’t provide goals. I want them teaching him how to check himself. He needs to grow out of accommodations at some point. I can only do so much at home. I can’t be there all day to walk him through how to make sure he’s catching everything. Crutches are great, but what about physical therapy too? If he’s fit As, Bs, Cs, he can limp all he wants.
Biggest concern is things are getting harder. 7th grade next year has much more complicated work and expectations he isn’t going to be able to manage.
February 6, 2019 at 7:58 am #108756
Legally, grades are not the only measure of need for special education services and an IEP. Sadly, many schools steadfastly believe that a kid has to be failing to qualify for an IEP. That’s not what the law says.
The struggles you outline are due to executive functioning deficits. There are accommodations that can be helpful at school. Needing accommodations alone don’t qualify a student for an IEP. An IEP is for students who also need individualized instruction. With good grades, an IEP qualification is for students whose behavior is negatively impacting school performance (not just grades). If you can make the case that he needs individualized instruction or different class placement to support executive functioning deficits, then he could qualify for an IEP… but I don’t think that’s realistic.
There’s a lot of the IDEA law that is very ambiguous and open for interpretation. It doesn’t state that kids have a right to meet their maximum potential. It only states the right to an “appropriate” education. I’ve had many a heated discussion about this in school meetings over the years. My son is 2e, 10th grade, barely getting Cs in regular level and inclusion classes, all due to executive functioning deficits. Mind you, this is Cs with a TON of work and help on my part. It’s most definitely exhausting. My son has an IEP (qualified for dysgraphia in 3rd grade). He has assistive tech and a goal for the effects of EFD on knowing what needs to be done, doing it, and returning it and turning it in. The issue is that the classroom teachers won’t provide the level of support he needs in this area. They feel he basically needs to “man up” and get it done, because he’s 16. I have the developmental disability, not really functioning at 16, discussion with them at every meeting. Again, exhausting.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
March 18, 2019 at 9:13 am #111742
“Legally, grades are not the only measure of need for special education services and an IEP. Sadly, many schools steadfastly believe that a kid has to be failing to qualify for an IEP. That’s not what the law says.”
The threshold is has a disability AND cannot achieve a meaningful and measurable educational benefit without specialized services.
There is no universal definition for how educational access and benefit should be measured.
However, in my evaluations, report card grades hold the lowest weight in my analysis.
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