Comments from the NEUROLOGIST,
A 12-year-old patient with add came to my office for a review of his meds. During the course of his visit his mom mentioned that her son was doing very well both with his medication and because he had a checklist that he was using to get his work done in school. Her son’s teacher told her that they wanted to do away with this support so that he could attain a greater level of independence. The mom told me that she was fearful this might be “pulling out the rug from underneath him.” I asked the attorney.
Comments from the ATTORNEY,
A child, especially one with ADD/ADHD, may rely heavily on organizational supports. It is quite likely that organizational problems will re-appear if supports are “faded out.” There will appear to be a relapse. The need for organizational supports reflects executive function problems, not a problem with maturity where “gaining more independence” could be an issue. Certain types of organizational supports (such as checklists) are often necessary in order for the student to be successful. The school can’t pull away supports that may be necessary for successful performance. Rather your child should be taught to independently use these supports that are necessary for his or her successful performance in order to have a life-long tool to help deal with weakness in executive skills.
Fortunately this “fading out” of supports, supports which are provided for in the IEP cannot be done unilaterally by the school. The IEP must be modified. The CSE has to bring the IEP team together to do this. At this meeting these issues can be raised.
As always, do your homework in preparing for this meeting!