If you have a child with a learning disability or special need then you may be familiar with a 504 plan. If you’re not, it is simply accommodations written down to assist your child in performing to the best of their ability in a classroom setting.
Red was originally put on an IEP in third grade. In seventh grade we stepped it down to a 504 and things were going pretty well. We still had some small struggles in seventh grade but nothing major.
When we moved from New England and he began school in Colorado we kept with a 504 and made the choice to also put him in advanced classes. He continued with the advanced classes for ninth grade and today we had our 504 meeting to see how things are going.
I worried about him starting high school. I worried that he might be in for a rude awakening since he would likely be held more accountable. The workload would increase and most importantly, everything now counts more. I am thrilled to report that he is standing up to the challenge and rocking ninth grade like a boss so far!
His English teacher said that he’s a leader in the class, reads aloud often, speaks in front of the class, and is really digging his assignments. This, the child who has always hated to write. Captain Succinct is now expressing his thoughts and kicking butt.
His Social Studies teacher said something similar. He is doing very well, interested, participating enthusiastically and seems to be enjoying his classes.
His Math teacher also said he’s kicking butt. But Math has always been Red’s thing. I’m not sure where he got that from, but it sure wasn’t from me. This wasn’t a surprise to me at all but nice to hear that he is still doing well and enjoying it.
I am so relieved that he’s adjusting well to high school. We stepped his 504 down a bit more. Honestly, they aren’t giving him any real accommodations now and he’s still doing well. For now we are still keeping it in place just in case things get more difficult as the months and years progress, but so far so good!
So those of you struggling with 504 plans and managing a child with ADHD in school, it can get better. For us the light at the end of the tunnel has come with finding the right medication (for us it is Vyvanse), maturity, keeping on top of the 504, and challenging him to think and do. ADHD kids don’t always work to their ability for various reasons and in our experience are often not given the chance to be challenged in the classroom. Push for it. Try it out. It could be just what your ADHD child needs to keep their busy mind stimulated. Really, isn’t the need for stimuli at the very core of the ADHD child?
Whether it’s preschool or high school, how is your child adjusting to the new school year?