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Regular Features

Dr. Steven Richfield provides articles on many different aspects of raising a child with ADHD.                                   

Each month we our advocate will be answering questions from our visitors about yours and your children's rights in the educational system.    

A mother is trying to help her teenage son learn anger management.   

Five great ideas for motivation, including The Shoe Race, Trading Places and more.  

Organize your child at home, and maybe find some tips that will help you as well.  

Headlines about ADHD, Learning Disability and Mental Disorders

Study on ADD and TV
The recent study published on watching television between the ages of one and three and the possible link to ADD/ADHD did not take many considerations into account. The author of the study even admits that he cannot conclude that television watching and ADD/ADHD are linked.

Read the Article

Ask The Advocate

by Steve Glink

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To ask our advocate a question, email here

When an IEP meeting is called with only 3 days, notice, what can a parent do to prepare or delay in order to better prepare for the meeting.

I was wondering if you could quickly answer this question or direct me.

My son, 17 years of age, has ADHD, I have taken him off Ritalin a few years back and we have been dealing with the ADHD on our own, addressing the issues as they happen and discussing better ways to handle things.

This last few weeks have been rather hard for my son, changes with a new step-child in the home and going to the same school. My son attends a public military school and they have all of a sudden scheduled an IEP
meeting since he got angry and verbal with a teacher who required him to clean up several students spit. ( yep, spit) not to mention a health violation and he ended up ill for 2 weeks. Then the following week my son encountered another student and they got in a fight.

The military school is all of a sudden requesting an IEP meeting and trying to do get him counseling on the A3632 program (not sure of #'s), I explained to them we have done this before and he shuts down and gets even more angry at people. I find talking on my own with him and giving him constructive situations helps him more. I expressed to them I did not want him in
counseling and didn't appreciate the short (3 day notice). They have still scheduled this meeting and I will appear on my son's behalf.

I don't know if I can get a professional to help me with this IEP, but I feel my son is being singled out and they are not educated about children with ADHD.

If you could please contact me via email it would be very helpful.

Thank you,

Lauren: Your e-mail to the ADDHelpline was forwarded to me for comment. Based upon your e-mail, I am assuming that your son has been found eligible for special education under IDEA and has an IEP in place. There are several things that I can tell you.

First, by law, you are entitled to at least 10 days advance notice of any IEP meeting. You may waive that right, but are NOT required to do so. If you attend the meeting, that will be construed as a waiver of the 10 day rule. If you need time to prepare or bring participants, you should insist on that.

Second, the notice must specify the subjects to be covered in the meeting. That is critical so you do not get ambushed. If it is not on the notice, the subject should not be discussed at the IEP meeting.

Third, they cannot force you to accept counseling without your consent. If you disagree with their recommendation (whatever it is), they must request a due process hearing to determine if their recommendation is appropriate. Under the law, if there is a dispute, the student must remain in the last properly agreed upon placement. That is known as the "stay-put" rule. Placement may be changed at any time by agreement of the parties.

Fourth, you should find out if there is a functional behavior assessment (FBA) AND a behavior intervention plan (BIP or BMP for behavior management plan) )in place. The FBA determines the target behaviors to be addressed in the IEP. The BIP sets out how the behaviors will be dealt with. This is important with ADD/ADHD kids because their behavior is often misconstrued as a behavior disorder.

Finally, if the school believes that your son is "dangerous", under federal regulations, they must request an expedited due process hearing and prove that to a hearing officer. If they do prove it, the HO may order your son into an alternative interim placement for 45 days. This is a temporary safety measure to allow the IEP team (parents and school personnel) to figure out what to do in a crisis situation. Different rules apply to students in possession of drugs or weapons. You do not mention that here, so I will not go into that.

I hope that this information was helpful. I strongly recommend that you contact an attorney who is knowledgeable in this field because the rules and procedures can be very tricky. Good luck.

Steven E. Glink
Attorney at Law
3338 Commercial Avenue
Northbrook, Illinois 60062
847/480-7749 (voice)
847/480-9501 (facsimile)