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OK, here is the situation. My nephew is 14. He is a great kid, very smart and loving. He is attending a christian school about 2 hours from me, where he lives with dad and step-mom. He lives with his sister, half-brother (baby) and 3 step brothers. His mother (my sister) lives about 45 further away in another larger town. Nephew went to public school until the 3rd grade when it was discovered that he couldn't read. They put him in the C. school so that he would have more one-on-one attention. All the other kids are in public and doing just fine.

Nephew is fluking out of school. His says that he just can not concentrate on anything. He has (when he was small) been diagnosed with ADHD, and is taking natural medication (but it is suspected that he might not be actually taking). They have a pretty healthly diet, but do eat suger, flour and food coloring.

My sister said step-mom called to brainstorm ideas to help him. She called me for suggestions. To compliicate matters, 18 year old nephew (different sister's kid) just dropped out of high school, got a GED and is starting college next month. Now nephew #1 says he'll just drop out like nephew #2.

So, does anyone have any suggestions? I was thinking of alternative schools, vision testing, hearing testing.

Victorian
 

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If he was diagnosed with ADHD at an earlier time, it makes sense to request an evaluation, but I guess being at a Christian school that is tricky. Private schools don't really do that. I'm not sure if by law the local school district has to test him or not if you request it. Hopefully someone who knows special ed law better will drop by to help! I do know that kids with ADHD also often have concurrent learning disabilities; in addition they do learn very differently in many cases being more visual/experiential learners than other kids. Mel Levine's books A Mind At a Time, and All KInds of MInds would be very helpful, and at his age, I think he could even read them and the examples would possibly resonate with him and inspire him to find out just how he does learn, and what ways of learning would work best for him. Another idea, if he is ready for it, is to take on his learning himself, and homeschool. The homeschooling book, I think it's called How to Drop Out of School and Get a Real Education by Grace Llewellyn might be the ticket for him if this fits his personality. The folks on the Learning at Home forum would be able to help you if this might work (with the title of the book, too, if I got it wrong!)

I know more members with good ideas will show up here--the holidays may have everyone very busy!
 

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You called, Lauren?


Yes, you can request that the district of residence complete an evaluation. It needs to be in writing and specific-- "We would like a complete psychoeducational evaluation of X that includes social/emotional, psychomotor, intellectual, academic, components....we are specifically concerned about a previous dx of ADHD and whether he might have concurrent deficits in processing that are negatively impacting his education...." Have the previous information handy if needed. The request should be taken by hand (in my opinion and experience) directly to the district office and handed to a special education staff member, preferably the director of special education. Do not take it to the school of residence, although in theory, the spec. ed. personnel working at that school will be the ultimate evaluators. The district is required to respond in writing within 15 days, not including vacations in excess of five days, with either an assessment plan to be signed by the parent, or with a valid reason for not conducting the evaluation. Districts can actually refuse to complete an evaluation, but the reason for refusal has to have merit--i.e., a student who is getting straight A's in all classes--and in my district we have not tested that part of the law to my knowledge. Once the assessment plan is signed and returned to the district, the district then has 50 days (again, excluding vacations in excess of five days) to complete the evaluation and hold an IEP meeting. If your nephew is eligible to receive special education however, the district can stipulate that in order to receive the services he does have to be enrolled in a school within the district-he has to go back to public school. Good luck.
 
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