post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 

Aufilia, I am with you - I am so easygoing, I'm not good at pressing my points either. I hate going in there solo and feeling like they're all pressuring me to do things their way! I don't want to be the wicked witch of the west in there, but it would be nice to have someone on my side to help make sure things get addressed properly.

 

As for my son's unmedicated behavior, his biggest problem in school is not the ADHD, it's the dyslexia! I honestly feel like if they would use different techniques so that he can correctly perceive the words on paper, he'd be able to focus much better. I see that his lack of attention is directly proportionate to his inability to read. He can hyperfocus on things he finds interesting and engaging, such as a Stephen Hawking show about theoretical physics, or even when the tutor works with him simply using brightly colored markers, with a different color for each syllable. The school doesn't see those abilities of his, because no matter how many times I tell them it doesn't work, they present things in black & white text, which to him looks like a blur with the occasional sight word sprinkled in.

 

The thing I really take issue with is, it seems like the school is unwittingly goading him into bad behavior with their refusal to do things that work for him. It's called an INDIVIDUAL Education Plan for a reason - if the same tactics worked with all kids, there would be no need for special education. He gets so frustrated and stressed out, but is forced to maintain in class, then when he's out at recess he lets loose and gets in trouble for being impulsive! I don't know if they just don't get it, or if it's intentional on some level.

 

I've talked to his pediatrician, tutor, the specialist at Children's, and even the doctors at Sewell Child Development center - while they all acknowledged that he probably has ADHD, none of them think he needs to be medicated. It's not a matter of me resisting what the school wants, because while I see their side of the issue (just trying to do their jobs & being hindered because it doesn't work for him), I also - more importantly - know my son.  My intuition tells me that if I put DS on meds, it will backfire - no matter how focused he is, he will still be unable to perceive words correctly, and will become even more frustrated and anxious, then depressed. And I also worry about adverse reactions, because our whole family doesn't react well to drugs...heart palpitations, psychotic episodes, depression...you name it.  Then there's the message it would send him that "something is wrong with you and you need drugs to fix it" - which will ultimately lead to self-medication later in life.

 

Meds can be a good thing for some kids - I was a childcare teacher for a time, and one of our boys was severely ADHD; the meds helped him immensely. But for my son, ADHD isn't the only problem...it's just exacerbated by his dyslexia, and he's NOT getting proper accommodations and interventions at school. I guess the best thing to do now is to take my advocate with me and talk to the school, then see where we go from there.