Posted in Developmental Disorders, Education, Preschoolers, Special Needs Children

Possible ADHD & Kicked Out of Preschool #3

Anonymous

Hi everyone - seeking advice and resources to help us navigate a complex but unfortunately common situation. Apologies for the long post, we just received this information today, and I'm still trying to figure out next steps, so if you have a kid with ADHD and have had issues with support (lack thereof), please keep reading and offer any advice you may have! Our son is 4.5. He started traditional preschool at 2 and has had trouble with impulsivity and non-compliance. We were asked to leave two schools prior to choosing his current school. We were encouraged to get an evaluation by an occupational therapist and we were told he was a "sensory seeker" and began weekly OT while he attended an in-home daycare, where he did well for the most part. Thinking of kindergarten coming up, we wanted him to have a good year of classroom experience and ended up choosing this school because of its reputation–started 10 years ago as a special needs program that later implemented a traditional preschool program positioned to understand the needs of every child of any ability. That was promising, and we were told they had options for behavioral issues should they arise. He started full-time in September, and those issues did arise, and here we are being asked to leave his 3rd preschool because "we just don't have the resources to give your son what he needs." Third time we've heard it. A few weeks ago, they did offer a resource, which was a formal psych evaluation from their school psychologist ("free") and a part-time 1:1 teacher at the hefty price of $1,600/mo in addition to regular tuition which is $900. We balked at the idea of suddenly dropping $2,500/mo for a service without evidence-based outcomes. They said they'd offer it through Thanksgiving due to their unclear communication. Two weeks ago, he was doing "so great" with the 1:1 and there were no incidents. We had a meeting today to discuss what we thought would be the data they collected over the last few weeks with his 1:1 and to address the need for the service moving forward. Nope, blindsided. We have two weeks. Parents have complained (new information as of today). We don't have the evaluation back from the psychologist. There may be a diagnosis. There may not be one (we should find out this week). He has an assessment with the state on 12/18 and he'd have to be deemed 25% delayed in any one of the developmental categories (auditory, visual, touch, movement, body position, oral, attention, behavioral, social-emotional) to qualify for an IEP, in which case he'd be provided some services at no cost to us. His current school is calling the state to try to expedite the process, and while I appreciate their help, I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I don't know where to turn. My son isn't violent. He doesn't want to hurt his friends and as far as I'm aware, he isn't actually hurting anyone (bop on the head, shove, etc. although I know not ideal behavior). He struggles in the one-size-fits-all classroom. We realize he's different and needs additional support. We see similar issues with impulsivity at home and it seems like classic symptoms of ADHD. We get that there's a concern with safety and we understand that the school has an obligation to keep all the kids safe. We also see (and are told) how smart he is. We're told he's the smartest kid in his class intellectually. He grasps concepts quickly and learns everything he possibly can about them. He's bright, curious, caring, inquisitive, stubborn, strong-willed and 100% his own little person. But he's already showing signs of low self-esteem (avoiding activities he thinks he won't be good at), likely due to his trouble with attention and focus. He struggles to control his impulses. If this continues, he'll fall behind, and I fear he won't qualify for an IEP, and we'll be left to sort all of this out on our own at his expense. It's heartbreaking. His dad and I are LOST. We know we're not alone but we certainly feel that way at the moment. I'd appreciate hearing from anyone with a similar experience or anyone who can offer guidance. Thanks in advance!

  • Ashley
    Nov 14, 2018

    This sounds so much like my Blake. I thought he was the easiest and most happy baby until he started preschool. He went through so many schools and daycares! Blake was also diagnosed with adhd at a young age. Blake is also had sensory seeking behaviors - touching others and putting things in his mouth. I was told over and over these kids are what they specialize in to sadly be turned away weeks later. It’s defeating and I was fed up. I paid $3k to have my son fully tested outside of the schools and found out my son was actually autistic! He had been misdiagnosed and misunderstood for years and I crumbled. Blake was officially tested and we revived the results this October! Blake is 8 and went that long misdiagnosed and misunderstood. I urge you to seek a second opinion so your child can get the proper help he needs ❤️ before he falls too behind in school. Blake was diagnosed with 2 learning disabilities as well which I feel he wouldn’t have had this been caught sooner and he didn’t miss so much school for being suspended or put in a room, missing the lesson, because they couldn’t handle him! My son isn’t violent either but they made him seem to be, it’s very sad and I wish you and your family best! The school should be patient and if they are unwilling to give you that are they really passionate about your sons education or the money in their pockets? Stay with your gut, you know your sons needs best!

  • Jae
    Nov 14, 2018

    Have you thought about a private nanny who home schools or using nanny share? Your son would be in a much smaller setting (which helps with impulses and anxiety ) and he would still be learning and socializing

  • Anonymous
    Nov 14, 2018

    Thank you both for taking the time to respond. Jae, we are looking into that as an option. We did have him in an in-home daycare for a year while we were getting OT (after the 2nd school asked us to leave). He did better in a smaller environment so I anticipate our next move being something like a private nanny or nanny share. Ashley, sounds like you've had a pretty similar experience. I hope things are getting better for you guys now that you have answers! We're definitely looking into having him evaluated by an outside resource, too. The synopsis we received from the school psychologist yesterday (full report coming soon I guess) didn't seem to reveal anything that was a surprise to us. But we're still unsure whether she's going to offer a diagnosis (we've asked and the answer is "we're not sure") or just recommendations, which seems odd. I guess we'll see. We feel the school hasn't been as honest as they needed to be. Right when we talked ourselves into shelling out the extra money for a 1:1, we were asked to leave, which was never even mentioned prior. In fact, they were proud of the fact that they'd never had to dis-enroll a kid. Sigh.

  • Geraldine
    Nov 14, 2018

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I could have written this post almost verbatim 2 years ago. It reminded me of the exact place my husband and I were in. The advice I can offer is to get your son evaluated - and not just by the school district. I can only explain from my personal experience but I was informed that the school district evaluation is ONLY for the school. They are only looking for things that apply to them and their budget. I know it’s pricey and time consuming but find a pediatric diagnostician in your area and be sure they do a thorough evaluation, not just a questionnaire. My son was observed in 1.5 hour increments on 4 different appointments as he played and interacted with the doctor. His diagnosis definitely lit up a path for us to follow for him. As a fellow mom of a sensory seeker I get your struggle. Our sons aren’t violent or a threat they are just trying to fulfill a tactile need. Best of luck to you and your little one and hang in there.

  • Kei'Yonna
    Nov 15, 2018

    I agree with Ashley second opinion matters