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Ely
Ely, Attorney
Category: Education Law
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Experience:  Attorney in general practice,
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At the age of 5, my son was placed on ADHD meds after s

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At the age of 5, my son was placed on ADHD meds after his pediatrician reviewed the checklist that his kindergarten teacher and mother completed. During that time, the concern was that my son talked a lot that he got distracted and was distracting others.
Now he is 8 years old and the issues that the teachers had commented when off medication is that he talks a lot; distract those around him and is catching up at the end. He also fidgets in his sit. Academically he is doing well in the gifted program; A's and
1 B. In home he does not display these issues at all. I was not aware that my son was on medications nor that he was diagnosed with ADHD. He has not been evaluated by a psychiatrist. His mother has refused this. When I spoke to the teacher about my concerns
she scheduled a meeting with me and a Choo l counselor. In that meeting I was told the two same concerns; he talks a lot, he distracts others around him, and moves in his sit, but academically he is doing excellent. I asked about options other than medications.
They said that the school has not up to this point assess my son nor given him a diagnosis. That the mother went to a third party (pediatrician) which she's in title to do. The only options presented to me was "we can move your son closer to the teacher, or
isolation." This were the only options for an Individualize Educational Plan. My understanding of an IEP is that when there's a concern for a child's behavior or academics, the school has a school psychologist and counselor assess and observe the child and
recommend a plan with goals. That's not what this school presented to me. What can I do to get the school more involved in accommodating my son's needs. I am in the process of getting him assessed by a psychiatrist.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Education Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there -

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What you are experiencing sounds like a carbon copy of what I am going through with my own child. My daughter's kindergarten teacher made the initial assessment and the pediatrician prescribes medication. However, it is up to the pediatrician and the parent to have the child assessed by a behavioral psychologist or a psychiatrist and that is exactly the next step that we took. The school has no legal requirement to do anything other than what the parent and the child's general pediatrician tell them to do. Now, with the involvement of the psychologist who makes reports to us and the school after seeing her every six months, the school holds a meeting once a year and more often if needed to discuss what is to be done over the coming months with our daughter. I suspect that once you have your son evaluated by a psychiatrist, the involvement of the psychiatrist and hopefully yourself will increase and more will be offered in the way of services to your son once the psychiatrist makes recommendations (if you are separated from the mother you should ask for separate notice from the school of all meetings, etc regarding your son's placement). If it was agreed in your separation or divorce that you would have joint rights to make medical decisions, then you should have no problem getting the school to cooperate. However, if your ex has sole custody regarding medical issues and decides upon some different course of action that you do not agree with, the school will follow her direction unless you take the matter back into family court and get a specific order from a judge permitting your involvement in these matters.

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Some school systems are better than others in dealing with special needs children (whether they are behind academically or gifted as your son is) and when something might cost them more money than they would otherwise spend, they will resist assistance and you are then in a position of having to apply to the department of education for either mediation (if the school system agrees to mediate) or for a administrative law judge hearing to consider whether your requests are medically and educationally necessary.

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Regarding whether or not your son actually needs the medications will be assessed by the psychologist or psychiatrist. I realize your hesitation -- my own husband absolutely refused to consider meds for my daughter until third grade and by that time she was falling behind miserably because of not being able to concentrate, etc. My husband believed that it is the inexperience of the teachers who did not know how to handle a naturally spirited child. I finally convinced him to let me try it and she is now in 6th grade with excellent results -- and her doctors are recommending weaning her off the medications starting in 7th grade so she will be done with them before high school. I guess they have some success in handling the situation in this manner so that the child will be off the meds long before they become adults.

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Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not, can you please press a positive rating above in the ratings section so I will receive credit for my time assisting you today. I am paid nothing unless you press the middle, fourth or fifth star in the ratings section above. THANK YOU VERY MUCH

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MARY

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