Kentucky Education Rights

February, 2014  Newsletter


ADHD...Does the plan work?

I often receive calls and emails from parents expressing the difficulty their children are having in school. Based upon the information given and the fact they have been diagnosed with ADHD, I quickly learn the school problems are wide spread. I ask if there is an IEP or 504 Plan in place and frequently the answer is yes. The usual parental response is that the school is not following the "plan". At this point, I have figured it out! In my 20 years of advocating for children and traveling to nearly all the Kentucky school districts, I can not recall a singular incident where a school simply refused to follow an IEP or 504.

Understanding the problem at this point, I ask the parents if the below describes their child:

1. Everything is printed, not in cursive and the printing is nearly illegible.

2. He has difficulty comprehending  what  He’s reading…unless it is a book HE chooses.

3. Math is a struggle. Getting the concepts are difficult and learning the multiplication tables is nearly impossible.

4. He argues just to argue.

5. Homework is a nightmare (for the whole family). First he may say there was no homework or he already did it at school. You find out there in fact is homework but you can’t decipher his assignment from what he has written. THEN, you find he didn’t bring his textbook home to complete the assignment. One day all the stars align and he actually completes his assignment to perfection. A couple of days later you find out…he didn’t turn it in!

6. He would rather associate with kids much younger or adults, OR may well be suited to just being alone.

7. Give him three things to do and he accomplishes one and has no idea what the other two are.

8. He cannot copy from the board accurately.

9. He loses things…even things that are important to him.

10. He procrastinates to the extreme. Give him 3 days to accomplish a task and at the end of the third day he’s trying to figure out how to put it off until the next day. His greatest thrill of accomplishment is when he actually completes a task in time or even early.

Many times (especially with the boys) this is an accurate portrayal. I then ask the parents to closely read over the IEP or 504 Plan and see is any of these descriptors are contained within. Usually not. The problem is not that the school is refusing to follow the IEP or 504, the problem is that the IEP or 504 does not specifically address the unique needs of their child.