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Friday, December 6, 2013
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Fidning Helpful Schooling in Cincinnati
My daughter is 13 and has been diagnosed with ADHD and is currently on Adderall XR. However I don`t believe that she`s getting properly educated at school. She`s in an IEP program which is good, but I don`t believe that her teachers are patient enough when it comes to her taking tests, remembering to write down homework, an importance.
Her teachers only communicate with me when she forgets things but always ask "Did she take her medication". I feel that her school which is Cincinnati Public based is very low in helping students such as my child. The teachers have pretty much put the blame all on my daughter and I. They keep saying she needs to take responsibility over simple tasks that they see she has difficulty in. Is there a school in Cincinnati or surrounding areas that I can enroll her in for middle school?
In an ideal world, the teachers would follow the IEP and help your daughter as much as possible. However, many of the teachers are frustrated trying to provide for every child's needs-not only are there LD and ADD children that need attention but also children who are being mainstreamed,or children with severe emotional needs. Most of the teachers are not well-trained in disabilities and many of the resources they need are being cut because of financial concerns. In CPS as in many other schools, the staff most often cut are the school psychologist, counselors, intervention specialist, and librarian. Therefore,the teachers not knowing what else to do, play the "blame game." When that happens, the best thing to do is request a school meeting with those involved in your child's education. Make sure that you are prepared with the facts. Having knowledge of the two main federal laws protecting students with disabilities (IDEA and Section 504) is important in terms of advocating for your child. Both laws guarantee the student "a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment"- educating them with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate to their needs. When you attend the meeting, try to just stick to the facts. Say to them, as an example, "My daughter is on Adderall, we are helping her at home as much as we can, but we all need to work together on this. How can you realistically help my daughter in school? This is what we see on her IEP that is helpful, but we need feedback from you to determine what really works." If you need more help, call Special Ed Regional Recourse Center at (51)] 563-0045. They are federally funded and offer services to agencies, districts,and families. They can even provide you with an advocate. The website is www.swoserrc.org and has very helpful information. Another website is Wright's Law which also has interesting information. Other sites are:www.ldanatl.org -Learning Disabilities of America, www.chadd.org children and adults with ADD and Schwab Learning at SchwabLearning.org.
Hope this helps.
Response by Claudia Schwartz of The Affinity Center.
Susan Louisa Montauk, MD
Formerly Professor of Family Medicine
University of Cincinnati