Parenting & Family

Locked: How to get help

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 16th, 2019 10:58 pm
Jan 15, 2019
1 posts

How to get help

Any pointers from parents who has navigated the system would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Last edited by JennnVennn on Jan 16th, 2019 10:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.
3 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
2663 posts
You might find some information here - ... #p30059747

ADHD is one of the most overdiagnosed disorders; however, if it really is ADHD then it has something to do with dopamine activity and the reward centres of the brain. I haven't heard of or seen a treatment that works without medication. One misconception with ADHD is that children can't focus at all. That's false. They can focus for extremely long periods of time on things that they find interesting and usually provide constant positive reinforcement. His teacher should be trying to find opportunities for your son to have some choice in terms of tasks that he finds interesting and rewarding.

While the process of identifying a child and developing an IEP can be long, and it differs from board to board, accommodations can, are, and should be provided to all students in all classes at all times. A resistance band around the legs of a chair that lets a child fidget in a way that doesn't distract others is a simple example of an accommodation that can be provided without any formal diagnosis or paperwork or IEP or IPRC. I'd have a conversation with your son's teacher to see what's being done in the class. Don't approach it with a, "What are you doing and why haven't you done anything yet?!" attitude, but share your concerns, share some feedback from the doctor about strategies that they recommend, and follow up to see how they're being implemented and if they're working.
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2007
3228 posts
share some feedback from the doctor about strategies that they recommend
This might be the problem, it doesn’t sound like the doctor was recommending learning strategies that the teacher could implement in class, it sounds like s/he was promising that the school board would provide professional services. Extremely unprofessional, as they’re in no position to know what the school board is able to provide for this child in terms of staffing or therapy, and on what timeline. I’m seeing this increasingly often, parents coming in saying their doctor told them we would provide all these services, sometimes parents coming in with a doctor’s letter (or even just a note on a prescription pad) saying “Jimmy requires a 1:1 educational assistant and weekly in-school speech therapy”. That’s nice doc, but you can’t just prescribe school services, and making parents think it’s that easy isn’t helpful to anyone. There’s a referral process and, especially with increasing cuts, waitlists are long and selection criteria are strict. It would be great if we could provide a wide range of professional services in a timely manner to all the kids in school, but unfortunately that’s not the reality. A doctor has no business misleading parents by telling them they will receive school services for their child, just like a teacher would have no business telling the parents what drugs their child’s doctor is going to give them. Sorry, rant over.

OP, you can certainly ask the school to refer your child to whichever professional school consultants you think would be helpful (e.g., OT, social work, speech, psych) so they can assess your child to see if they would qualify for in-school therapy (and be placed on the waiting lists if the assessments show they qualify), but unfortunately it may take a while even to get the assessment. Services are being cut and the wait lists are long. I agree with @jvnanu that you should talk with your child’s teachers about in-class strategies that may help your child in the meantime (fidget toys, prompts to return his attention to task, strategic seating, movement breaks, etc.), but as for therapy I think you’re doing well to seek outside services. I’m sorry I don’t have more specific information to share about services in your area, but I wish you luck.
Deal Addict
Dec 26, 2007
3228 posts
Edit: It seems while I was writing this post you deleted your OP and the post I’m responding to here. I’ll leave this here in case it’s of any help. Good luck.

Thanks for the extra info. I was mainly referring to the part in your OP where you said the doctor told you your son would receive in-class support and in-school therapy, which is something doctors should not be saying, as they don’t know what resources are available in the school, so it is a really misleading thing to say to parents. But, now that you’ve added the other information, I agree that your son definitely deserves accommodations (different from saying in-class support, as the latter is often interpreted as additional staffing to support the student).

There is no requirement for him to have a diagnosed disability in order to receive accommodations or an IEP, I would follow up with the principal if the teacher is stonewalling you. You are entitled to have input into the development of the IEP (in the TDSB, the school sends you a parent consult form when they start writing the IEP), and once it is written, you will be able to expect that any accommodations it outlines will actually be put in place as the IEP is a legal document.

Kids with ADHD often have an “accommodations only” IEP, which means they are working at level on all subjects and just need to have some specific strategies in place to meet their needs (fidget toys, strategic seating, etc.) during learning and assessment time. In some cases there may be a more detailed IEP, listing not only accommodations, but also some learning expectations that are specific to your child, and outside the regular curriculum (e.g., behaviour expectations, self-regulation) which are things he would be working on in addition to the regular curriculum.

If it was determined last year that your child needed an IEP for this year, he should have had one developed within 30 school days of the start of this school year. Was there a school team meeting (IST or SST) where this was decided last year? If so, you should have received a form about that when it happened as well (and you would have had the option to attend it). I’d definitely follow up with the principal, something sounds fishy here.