My 15 yo son was diagnosed with Inattentive Type ADHD in April (not quite 5 months ago now). He has struggled with grades since 4th grd. Despite my quarterly begging for help and talking to every teacher, every year about it, he was never even refered for evaluation ("child find" didn't 'find' him!). Finally, during the 3rd qtr conferences last school yr, a teacher asked if I'd ever heard of a 504. She didn't know enough to help me with questions but I went straight to the school psych. with them! She told me (quote!) that "traditionally, students need a medical diagnosis for a 504." So, we did an informal "intervention team mtg" incl. my son but by this time, there was only about 6 wks of school left. I decided not to waste any more time and consult his pediatrician re: ADD who did diagnose Inattentive Type ADHD. I informed the school psych that very day & said he now had a diagnosis, could he get a 504? Her reply (again, quote!), "No, typically you'd need TWO diagnoses. Let's just see how the last few wks go on the suggestions we made." In the mean time, we got him on a med. & grades went up, school ended for the summer. 4 wks in on med, very frequent vocal tics show up resulting in another dr appt. in which I inquired about the tics possibly being present since about kdg. but dr said no, it was med so he switched his meds & ordered a 2 wk break from meds (to give the tics time to subside). The tics lessened but did not go away. Started new med, 3 doses in and tics are back with a vengence. Back to the dr., again asked about minor tics previously and if meds could be exaccerbating an underlying condition. Dr finally ref'ed us to neurologist who confirmed Tourette's after patient history. Neuro switched meds again but new med which brings us to August and the school year starting soon. During summer break, I spent my time learning what a 504 was which is how I learned about IEP's. On the first day of school, I dropped off a formal eval. request & cc'ed everyone and their brother just to be safe (lol)! Yesterday, we were scheduled to have an "Evaluation Planning Meeting" where we were to go over suspected disability and evaluations. I was told it'd be less than 1 bell (roughly 45-60 min.). I showed up with an advocate, a 3" binder FULL of work samples, progress reports, conference notes, formal written diagnosis from dr.'s, etc. to support my request.The first 45 min of the mtg. were spent listening to a room full of people tell me I was wrong, that I didn't want an IEP, that his needs would be met just fine. I held my ground. Then the "team" switched tactics and asked what evaluations I even wanted (sarcastically) so I restated what was written in my letter. The school psych said no because they didn't have the staff to do the ones I wanted. I was told by the Tourette's Assoc. what to ask for btw. They brow beat me a while longer before trying bribery... psych told me she already had the written prior notice partially filled out because she "thought she knew how this was going to go". She said, "what is it that you even want? Because I was ready, I mean, I have enough right here and now to start on his 504 soooo...?" Again, I held my ground. Finally, she said, "I can see that you feel like you aren't being heard, and after you'd worked soo hard on your binder...." After I tamped down my anger, I said, "Again, I would like the evaluations done." I requested a few accommodations be started now while the eval's are being done. That night, I got an email cc'ed to his teachers re: his eval's, stating he's on meds & for them to watch for any symptoms of meds such as: tics,... We were very clear in that mtg & I even supplied a copy of the diagnosis from the neuro with my eval req. letter so I was pretty mad that she ignored that entire diagnosis when she informed his teachers! Sooo, my question: do schools have to provide a comprehensive eval when a request is made or JUST the eval's specifically requested? Pysch was only focusing on the ADD part of his diagnosis. She argued that he's passed every grade and that his grades came up on meds so why am I even bothering? I said she was not factoring in the EFFORT it took ALL of us to get him through the year, EVERY year. Another Q: I am thinking he qualifies for the 2004 IDEA under the OHI classification for both ADD and Tourette's because it has caused him significant struggle in functioning as well as academically (though they can fight me on academically, either way he still qualifies because of functional development struggles) which is what the 2004 revision provided clarification on. Also, the revisions that went into effect as of July 2005 state that school districts are no longer required to use the discrepancy formula for purposes in determining eligibility and are also required to address not only academic difficulty but also functional difficulty, which is undefined by law). Am I correct? And if so, what is my next step? Was the school pysch breaking any laws? How do I handle her now?
I'm sorry this is so long, none of it made sense if I didn't include background. I need to have this settled asap. I've got another dr appt with my 12 yo to start his process for ADHD (combination type)!