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Getting Help for a Child with a Behavior Disorder

by Wrightslaw

My son is in the 10th grade. He has a behavior disorder and he can’t control himself at times. The school does not understand when he gets agitated and angry. They just suspend him and deprive him of his education.

You say your son has a behavior disorder. Many kids with learning disabilities develop behavior problems. If the school doesn’t teach them the skills they need, they become angry, frustrated, and depressed. Then the school labels them as “behavior disordered” or “emotionally disturbed.”

  • Is he under the care of a mental health professional?

If not, he needs this right away.

By suspending him repeatedly, the school is putting him at high risk for dropping out.

  • Does he have an IEP?

If yes, what services is the school supposed to provide? Are they providing these services?

  • If he doesn’t have an IEP, you should get an evaluation by an independent evaluator.

The evaluator will determine what his needs are and what type of educational program he needs. The evaluator can help advocate for him with the school. A mental health person can also help you learn how to advocate for him.

At this point, you have educators who have little or no training in mental health and behavioral problems dealing with him, mainly by suspending him (which isn’t a punishment for many kids).

  • Is he under the care of a child psychiatrist?

If not, that’s your first step. You also need to get a comprehensive evaluation to find out what is going on with him, why he can’t control himself, and how to help him get himself under control. The child psychiatrist should be able to recommend a good child or neuro-psychologist.

Bottom line: You can’t tackle these problems successfully unless or until you have good diagnostic testing and data.

You’ll find more information and resources on Behavior Problems and Discipline at

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98 responses so far ↓

  • 1 star 03/09/15 at 8:42 am

    i have a 16 year old who is in 9th grade. he is so jealous of his dad at being happy. he destroyed his dads last marriage. he cant stop telling lies. he talks to hisself and answers hisself. he will steal things and goes against our house rules. last night he had been taking a bath and he was saying i got rid of his other and i will get rid of her to. he has threaten to throw his dad in prison because he doesnt want to do what he is suppose to do. please help me cause i cant take his anger or not doing anything at all. i am taking nerve medicine just to be able to stand being in the same room. and there has been many nights that i would not sleep because i was afraid he would hurt us. his dad keeps saying he will grow out of . but it has been going on since 4 years ago

  • 2 LaTasha 03/07/15 at 2:45 pm

    My son is 16 years old and is in the 10th grade. I am concern with everything going on with him because he has got to the point where is doesn’t care about his grades and there is always an excuse as to why he is not passing. Out of 8 classes he is only passing 2 of them. I had to give him a drug test because he was and I believe he still is using marijuana. I feel like I am at my wits end and I really don’t know what to do anymore. Some times he will walk around angry and won’t talk and then a few hours later he is fine. I honestly feel like I am losing my son and don’t know what else there is for me to do to get him back. I also have a 12 year old who sees all of this and I don’t want him to head in the same direction but he is trying hard not to be anything like his brother.

  • 3 Jeanette 03/06/15 at 12:57 pm

    Debra, You posted a few months ago about Scott’s Valley Boarding school in Oregon. I am very interested in more what you have to say about this school.

  • 4 Gail 02/23/15 at 2:35 pm

    I have an 11 year old grandson that is ADHD and is on meds. He has 2 brothers and one sister. His behavior at school and outings with his friends and family are great! He is a total different boy at home. He can destroy the whole harmony of the family. He will not follow through the simplest task. How a very angry temper. His brothers and sisters hate him! He is a beautiful talented boy! His parents never do enough for him in his eyes! The spoiled one would be him. His parents are very concerned over the fact that they have no control over him now so what will happen in a few years! You never know the mood of this boy! If you met him you would think what a handsome well mannered young man. So very concerned, such a talented boy and his worst enemy being him self. They need some direction.

  • 5 Gerry 02/22/15 at 8:48 pm

    My granddaughter is a high functioning autistic child. This blog gave me hope that the Sped folks will consider putting her on an IEP. I am a retired school teacher and have seen how the game is sometimes played with special needs kids.

  • 6 Elba 02/19/15 at 10:09 pm

    We’ve got a 14 year old daughter who has ASD and has become uncontrollable at home. She’s under the care of a psychiatrist, but needs more than medications. A crisis center will not take her in for an evaluation unless she harms herself or others, and she’s come pretty close to this. Does someone need to be hurt to get the help they need. We are seniors and our daughter is 5.4-1/2, defiant, strong, oppositional, combative, you name, she’s it. What can we do?

  • 7 shatika 02/11/15 at 11:52 pm

    My son is 16 and he just got kicked out of school in Georgia. He was in IEP. They did nothing to help me. I am going crazy because i am a single mama with 3 boys. And i work 2 jobs. I need some help so bad.

  • 8 Briana 02/11/15 at 3:31 pm

    My daughter is an iep student at collage. I am also disable myself. Need help in how to help her out. She is angry because the disable program doesn’t help her out.

  • 9 Daniel 02/04/15 at 11:08 am

    If a child who is a senior got in trouble off school grounds, the school found out, suspended him for 45 days, then expelled him. Said they will home school him so he can graduate, get his diploma. But he can not walk with his class. His dad lives in another school district. The school said we can not transfer him. Can we put him in a private school?

  • 10 Marie 02/01/15 at 10:06 am

    It doesn’t seem there is enough help out there for a parent/parents with children with disability factors such as ADHD, behav. disorders, etc… My son went through the system, special schools, ritalin, all of it; he is now a grown man and has grown up problems in relation to his disability. It is wearing me down; killing me. He gets in trouble with the law; hangs with the wrong people; amongst other things. I am at my ropes end on what to do. No one cares enough to help me nor him. They just look at you with uncaring faces and throw out some information so you will just leave their presence. I honestly need him committed for a comprehensive evaluation, but no one cares to help me, nor do they listen. So here I am lost and in a major life’s distress/depression.

  • 11 MORNING 01/31/15 at 6:13 pm

    Tonya, I would question if the school has any social groups for him. Some schools have lunch buddies with typical kids who are compassionate to role model behaviors. My daughter was one of those “typical” kids and I was against it as no one asked my permission and the behavior of the other student greatly concerned me, but it all worked out. You mentioned something about the father and weekend visits. Is there anyway that you and his father can collaborate with a counselor to promote better outcomes for your son? Your son will be motivated when he sees that both parents are “cheering” for him not just at school but also sports, arts, etc. More, you did not mention any reading or math deficits which may also contribute. There are many agencies and resources to help. Call the info line in your state for resources.

  • 12 Daya 01/30/15 at 4:47 pm

    I have 5 years old son who was diagnosed with autism spectrum. He is in one on one kindergarten classroom. He just learned how to talk, he is very good student but his behavior has been big issue. He is beating teachers and everyone in family. He does not listen and it has been very hard to go out with him. Is there any special school for behavior in Boston Massachusetts or do you have any other suggestions for us?

  • 13 Tonya 01/30/15 at 3:51 pm

    My son will be 8 in March. He gets very angry at school. I thought it was the school at first. This has been going on and off since he started preschool at 4. He gets Angry easily if he isn’t getting attention or if his teacher is telling him to listen. He gets disruptive in class and he yells at his teacher. When I ask him why he is acting this way at school he says other kids are making him mad. I asked him why he takes it out on the teacher if the kids are the ones that make him mad? I finally got him to talk to me about some kids bullying him and I spoke with his teacher about this and it stopped. He gets easily distracted and rushes through his work at school even if he is not understanding the work.(Math). He is a very smart boy. I let him go to his dads house on the weekends and I am certain this is why his behavior is bad.

  • 14 Shawana 01/29/15 at 6:58 pm

    My son is 5 and is in prek and been having behavior issues since he was 3 and going to a Head Start program. Has been diagnosed with ADHD ODD and Mood Disorders and Behavior issues. He’s on medicine and the school is no help at all. Just need some advice on what to do. Are there any schools in Georgia for behavior issues?

  • 15 Jeanette 01/21/15 at 11:52 am

    My son is 13 going on 14. He has an IEP. I took him out of school and started him in the k12 program. Now he is doing good on the program getting good grades. I don’t know how he was failing in school. My problem is that the kid don’t listen, he disregards anything I say to him is like talking to the walls. he dose not listen to nothing I say to him. He is ADHD, he is on meds has a counselor, see’s a psychiatrist & still its always madness in my house. there’s never a smooth day in my house. I need help plus a vacation!!!

  • 16 sherry 01/20/15 at 11:36 pm

    I can’t get any help where I stay.please help me with my child. What should I do?

  • 17 miranda 01/06/15 at 7:05 pm

    I have a 5yr old daughter who is completely out of control. she doesn’t listen, she’s extremely mouthy and still pees herself during the day and at night. she hits me and my 4yr old son and pushed my son down the stairs. i’m to my wits end. ive tried counseling. they wont let me enroll her in school due to the fact of her behavior. they claim she’s to young for any type of meds. please someone help with some type of advice bc i dont know how much longer i can do this.

  • 18 denise 12/30/14 at 7:35 pm

    My friend adopted 2 boys about 8 years ago but she had them for all together 10 years they were 3 & 4 years old they have always had behavior problems but she kept them in counseling on going about 3 to 5 days a week. Monday 1 session, friday another session, saturday another session, with 3 different counselors 1 psychiatric being seen 1 a month for the medication, they have been on every adhd medication from stratera, abilified, ritalin, the patch, vyvanse, adderall tenex, deporcote, trazadon, melatonin, round the clock. we also had men from a church helping taking out time with them and they stole games cigarettes, cellphones, food from school, stealing things out from lockers in school and being caught on camera, knife incident. now lives in ga every way she turns she gets shut down because he is 14 yrs old. what can she do or put him?

  • 19 mali 12/15/14 at 7:17 pm

    I need help with my 10 year old. I do not know what is going on with her but I am hitting so many walls can someone help me so I know what my next step is I have had her in treatment centers and counseling for 3 years and not getting anywhere.

  • 20 Brenda 12/13/14 at 1:27 am

    My son who is 19 does have bipolar disorder and has bad behavior. I had him tested and his IQ is only 58 and like I have stated he is in counseling but that isn’t really working as I hoped. He doesn’t understand half what his counselor tells him. He has very limited understanding.
    What can I do for him? Is there other help that I can give him? I tried to find parenting classes so I can learn to deal with my son,and unfortunately my county that I live in doesn’t offer help like that for parents. What can I do and why can’t I get the right kind of help for my son and for myself?

  • 21 virginia 12/09/14 at 11:04 am

    My son is 11 and will not go to school. we have called the police to school. please help i dont want dss getting involved again.

  • 22 tina 11/22/14 at 5:37 pm

    It is so sad that a child is expected to act perfectly as they are strapped behind a desk behind school doors. Schools should be more focused on life skills and how to cope with and solve actual life situations instead of fractions. If we all cared more about each other we could build relationships and character traits to help us overcome anything life throws at us. Anger is a god-given emotion and there is a reason behind every outburst. The hard part is figuring out the hidden reason

  • 23 andrea 11/18/14 at 4:14 pm

    My 6 yr old is out of control. I’m getting calls from the school that she kicks kids and even spits and pokes the kids, even teachers. She destroyed the principal’s office. She continues getting suspended. I don’t have access to get her seen at the Dr.

  • 24 Debra 11/11/14 at 11:41 pm

    Rashetta let me tell you you’ve just described my son. After an awful year he’s at a place in Oregon that has done well for 3 kids that I know. One parent is placing another child as I write. Its called Scotts Valley boarding school. I am a parent I don’t have any thing to do with the school. You can find some good schools this is the most cost effective. They can finish high school here :) Very happy.

  • 25 Rashetta 11/07/14 at 2:25 pm

    Please is there anyone out there who can help me my son is Adhd and here recently he been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He gets in to trouble all of time at school because of his anger. Been in ale program since eighth grade. He’s been suspended so many times because they don’t know what else to do so he’s failing school. I don’t want that for my son because he has learning disabilities. He has an IEP so suspending him is not helping him. Been in counseling for about four years. I’m so stressed out about his behavior. He hates everyone, he’s disrespectful and aggressive at time with his sisters and little brother. I don’t no what to do, please help.

  • 26 julia 10/24/14 at 10:49 pm

    A little under 2 years ago when my son was 14 he witnessed his father kill himself, inflicted with a gunshot. When he was younger he was diagnosed with autism. Since this has happened he has become very violent with myself and his 2 sisters. He spent 3 months in juvenile, please give me guidanc. I don’t want to lose him.

  • 27 Edna 09/29/14 at 5:22 pm

    My grandson has been kicked out of public school and now in a behavior school. They have kicked him out of this school unless we put him on alderoll and abiafy (did not know how to spell these drugs). He is home vomiting and is sick. We at home, have no problems with him. Yes he can’t sit still sometimes and he will hit other children if they hit him or if he thinks they are trying to hurt him. By the schools kicking him out, he is behind in his schooling. Don’t understand a behavior school can’t deal with him.

  • 28 Lisa 09/22/14 at 3:24 pm

    My 16 year old son has bad anger problem but only towards his father and I. He was baker acted once 6 mths ago and now again. I would like to know if anyone knows of a place that we can send him for 30+ days. He refuses to do anything when we tell him. He needs help, he threatens to hurt himself. I am beside myself and I don’t want him to think that we are abandoning him. I live in florida and need help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • 29 valerie 09/15/14 at 8:09 pm

    I have a godson. His mom doesn’t want him. What should I do?

  • 30 Andrew 09/13/14 at 12:48 am

    I have a 5 yr old son. He just started kindergarten and everyday he gets in trouble for hitting and not keeping his hands to himself..sometimes he will try and leave class if he gets mad..I need help any advice will do please.

  • 31 Sonnette 09/09/14 at 10:47 am

    I have an 11 year old son who has been labeled with the emotional disturbance. I have been trying to get him help and haven’t really been sure where to go. I had a meeting with the school and they convinced me to put him in containment classes.I just had a meeting with the teachers and the assistant principal yesterday about my son being in containment classes. His case manager said to me that after they did their benchmark testing in language arts the teachers felt that he did not belong in containment classes and said that he needed to be put in general education setting with support. I spoke with the AP about moving my son out of containment classes and into inclusion classes. Despite the fact that the teachers stated he doesn’t belong in containment classes the assistant principal, based in the past from elementary school, does. I want him out.

  • 32 Sarah 08/22/14 at 12:55 pm

    If i get a behavioral evaluation from my child’s teacher and have the doctor look at it, test my son for adhd or add, does the teacher have authority to force me to give my son medication if the doctor recommended it? Also, Can the teacher move into another class just because i requested the behavioral evaluation form to be filled? I just really am concerned about these questions because somebody i know told me these things could happen!

  • 33 Tammy 07/09/14 at 7:23 pm

    My 9 year old grandson has adhd and very bad anger problems. Are there any places that can take him and watch him to get his medication right? He’s been on different kinds but I think he needs help that his case worker and I can’t figure out. I need help

  • 34 Redell 06/30/14 at 1:11 am

    My son is in jail for a rape that a girl said he done 7 years ago. is now 27. He would have been 19 at the time of the rape. He was tested three times last year with a IQ of 53,62 and 64. He was in special Ed in school for 13 years’ Is there anything out there to help him.

  • 35 Dawn 05/09/14 at 1:42 pm

    My son is in a Charter school right now in NJ. He has a learning disability. I was told that is on a 3rd grade level and he’s in the tenth grade. He also has behavior issues and the school he basically trying to get him out there trying to send him to Job Corp in Edison NJ I dont think he’s ready for that change and I need for him to attend a school that can help him be successful.

  • 36 Rhonda 04/08/14 at 2:41 pm

    I work for Head Start we have so many children 3 -4 years of age who are out of control. Hitting kicking biting bullying. The public schools are telling me they do not offer services for pre-k children. We have had to shorten some of the children’s time in HS. We have child development specialists in the centers to help with the children but we are still failing these children. How can I get the LEA to assist us with this problem.

  • 37 Tammy 03/30/14 at 11:03 am

    I am raising my 8 year old granddaughter and she seems to keep getting worse. I bought her children’s fish oil, and she has been taking this for about a month and this does not help at all. Her school has no one who can help children with ADHD, she was just recently asked to leave school because they just could not deal with her, that they needed a break! This saddens me, I do not want to put her on any medications and want to try as many alternatives that I can. She has even made up her own saying ” Hocus Pocus help me focus”. She really wants to be able to learn and pay attention to the teacher, she has even asked to have walls put all around her and just have a small opening so she can see her teacher. I do not think that it is fair or right that her school can kick her out and deny her a education. This is what her school does.

  • 38 Irlanda 03/24/14 at 7:56 am

    I have a 8 year old child with a bad behavior problems in school. I am struggling with him at home also. I want help with him please.

  • 39 loretta 03/16/14 at 12:39 pm

    My granddaughter has an IEP in place, for (SED) I’ve had at least 4 meetings, the Principal refuses to attend. For the inital meeting, she sent someone in her place, but I was told that this person does not have an admin. degree, on my paper work it clearly state that the administrator will be in attendance. Does this make the IEP invalid if she does not sign off on it?

  • 40 Carole 03/08/14 at 2:39 pm

    My 10th grade son has an IEP and has a long history of counseling and medications for… nothing specific! No one has ever been able to diagnose him, with the exception of “traits of Aspbergers” from Children’s Hospital. I decided to try another counseling facility two weeks ago and while they could not diagnose him, they started him on Risperdal for a mood disorder / social awkwardness. Since he was actually admitted to their facility for 5 days, the school insisted on giving him their own risk assessment test in spite of him showing massive improvement and enthusiasm for returning to school. The RAT showed a “moderate” risk for destructive behavior and now they will not re-admit him. They have offered hospital school, but our counselors don’t agree with the school at all. What recourse do I have? He needs to be back in school.

  • 41 Laura 03/01/14 at 10:20 am

    My son is 20 and still in school. He has Down Syndrome and violent behavior. His expressive skills are very poor. He keeps attacking people for no apparent reason. He now lives in a group home because we couldn’t handle it at home anymore. He is under the care of a psychiatrist and taking meds to help with his behavior. The school suspended him yesterday for attacking a staff member. I don’t know what to do. It’s difficult to get him to cooperate with tests.

  • 42 John B. 02/24/14 at 1:33 pm

    What can a licensed special education substitute teacher do to determine whether a student is receiving his/her services?

  • 43 Calista 02/18/14 at 12:36 pm

    My son was originally diagnosed as CD then they changed the label to ED. I requested an IEE then the district changed the label back to CD after agreeing with the IEE. I said all the time my son is frustrated with the work so he acts out. He is under the care of a psychiatrist, has a mentor, has caseworkers. I say as parents we know our children and we are their first advocates, so take that stand for them.

  • 44 John B. 02/18/14 at 9:58 am

    Parents really need to visit their child’s classes to determine whether their child’s I.E.P. is being honored or brushed over. Now that I substitute teach I am seeing schools talking the talk but dropping the ball on providing necessary accommodations as described in I.E.P.’s. This is a violation of the federal law and schools should be held accountable for it. If they cannot provide the accommodations, then it is their responsibility to find someone who can.

  • 45 Denise 11/22/13 at 9:31 am

    What if the child has all the criteria listed above and the school does not comply with the IEP, Mental Health, Professional Behavorist or listen to the parents? What avenues do we persue?

  • 46 Beverly 10/24/13 at 12:32 am

    How would I advocate for a client 11 years old n both the personal and professional setting who has a learning disability and behavioral problems in school and is extremely depressed and just doesn’t care about living anymore. I am worried!

  • 47 Sharon L. 10/20/13 at 12:12 pm

    See if your doctor will write something up with suggestions or agree to call into a meeting or attend a meeting. Be prepared to pay him for his time but it may well be worth it. I have had to do this before but it has achieved great results.

  • 48 dreama 10/16/13 at 11:56 am

    My son has adhd bipolar. He is in special ed and has an iep. they send him home every day now. they told me if I don’t commit him they’ll call dfcs. his doctor says he doesn’t need to be in the hospital. what can i do?

  • 49 Sherry 10/11/13 at 8:54 pm

    My son is LD and has behavior problems. He was expelled for sexual harassement in 7th grade. The schools lawyers made it impossible for me to fight back even though I had proof the girls were initiating most of the behavior. This year I convinced them to let him back and he is already up for expulsion again. He felt they were harassing him and looking for him to do bad things always. They pushed him to the point that he had a melt down and said he wanted to punch someone. I feel they pushed him out as they didnt know how to handle his behavior problems. They should have a better system in place for these kids to get educated

  • 50 Tom 06/30/13 at 5:51 pm

    The problem with the process of pysh evaluations with children who have behavior issues is in some cases is over diagnosis of a particular disorder that can’t be relatively proven with actual evidence, only presumed.

    Also the means by which data is collected for such evaluations in some cases not only contributes to the possibility of a over diagnosis, that is caused partly by biased and propagated opinions by the very same individuals who provided some of that information to the psychs’. for the evaluations who are not qualified in such matters.

    Speaking from experience. I don’t understand why a Psychologist or anyone in a relative field would rely predominately on the observations of others rather than their own observations. Are they not the more qualified individuals on the issue of interpreting child behaviors?

  • 51 mary 03/29/13 at 11:32 pm

    My sons school is givng me the run around. After contstant behavioral problems at school and the teachers frequent questioning on whether his doctor had diagnosed him with “anything”, I went ahead and paid for ADHD testing which was confirmed do I still need to request a behavioral test. A BIP was in place. The teacher decided to take that away without discussing that with us. He has an IEP due to his speech impairment. I have recently learned a little about the 504 plan set up… His IEP has been good since PK now to the end of K he is still having problems pronouncing over half his words and the school is so apt to not help

  • 52 Sharon L. 03/29/13 at 4:10 pm

    Shelly M. I find it hard to believe that any 6 year old is a problem. I have an ADHD son that is now 27 & when he was 6 he was a handful. We also had some issues regarding medicine but did find a solution with Concerta. Our neurologist wrote some suggestions for modifications & accommodations that helped my son behave better. Perhaps your physician can do the same for you. We did have our son on a behavior plan after a behavior assessment was completed. This was helpful because it identified “triggers” that would cause bad behavior & other things that can be done to minimize problems. You would need to sign the school’s consent form requesting a behavior assessment so you can go over the results.

  • 53 Shelley M. 03/19/13 at 10:00 am

    I have a 6 year old boy who this year was diagnosed with ADHD. He has been suspended 6 times this year. We have an IEP in place, but the principals are just not on board with everything and have labeled my child as a “problem”. The principal has called an additional IEP meeting for tomorrow and basically they want to put him in an adaptive behavior program. He is currently seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist. We are on our 9th round of medication and nothing is working. Not sure what to do next.

  • 54 Sharon L. 01/26/13 at 10:55 am

    Tami, Have you requested an evaluation to assess his behavior from the school? They would then do a behavior assessment & put together a behavior plan that can & should be added to the IEP. We had this done for our youngest son. He had certain “triggers” that would cause him to react & he was constantly getting detentions & going to the office. Once the behavior assessment was complete & we met with all parties it was discovered that changing certain things on how the teachers would approach him, talk to him etc made such a difference on how my son behaved. It made such a difference on how his school day went from that day on.

  • 55 Tami 01/24/13 at 8:21 pm

    What are you to do when you can’t get the school to assist you with the negative behaviors until your child is seen by professionals???… Who do you talk to then, when you’ve already talked to the teachers and principal??? It’s almost like they want to see him suspended/expelled so they don’t have to deal with the behavior.

  • 56 Crystal 11/25/12 at 3:34 am

    After reading over everyone’s comments I realize that my son and I are not alone. I have been fighting for him for 5 years, leaving one district and this is our second year in another. 50% of the 3,000 students enrolled in the district receive free or reduced lunches, and 445 of the students receive SPED services. Half of them qualify under OHI/LD. The district completely discriminates against low-income families and SPED students by stating they offer services they do not. I recently compiled a ton of the districts facts and other info into a very informative and fact based report in which I had the whole Administration contact me about and teachers giving me secret winks and high fives. Parents in our district are ignorant to their rights and responsibilities! So sad.

  • 57 Sharon L. 11/25/12 at 12:37 am

    Amber, you need your son on a positive behavior plan. My son is ADHD. He was very difficult to discipline. Traditional discipline methods did not work and in fact made things worse. We took some parenting classes, worked with a child psychologist that our son’s neurologist recommended and learned a new way of working with our son. Instead of being the most difficult child he excelled with the positive behavior plan. He is now 27 and a great person, has many friends and is successful.

  • 58 Amber 11/21/12 at 7:22 pm

    I have an 8 year old son that is just completely unruly. He has been stealing money from us, he steals from stores, he gets up at 2 and 3 oclock in the morning and gets into food and markers and destroys whatever he wants in the house. He doesn’t follow any of the rules we set up in our house. We have tried every means of discipline we can possibly think of spanking, grounding, taking everything out of his room and making him earn it back, offer him rewards or allowance for good behavior, nothing works. This has been going on since he was 3 and it has just continually gotten worse. The doctor has diagnosed him with ADHD but hes been on different meds and nothing seems to work. We are literally at our wits end because we have 3 other children and their behavior is turning to our oldest which our 8 year old son. What can we do????

  • 59 Gloria 09/27/12 at 10:41 pm

    I have a 12 yr old son and he was diagnosed with ADHD and mild retardation. We tried medication but that didn’t work at all. He was in public School in special Ed but they couldn’t handle him plus they have too many kids to try to handle with just 1 teacher. My mom is homeschooling him but he is getting out of control and not minding her and doing stuff he shouldn’t be doing. I need help to find a school or something that can help him without costing me a arm and leg. Please help me anyone with any information!

  • 60 Sarah 03/27/12 at 11:35 am

    Our daughter has shut down completely and is now in an autism class (she was moved right before Christmas break). She was restrained/secluded at her previous school. She has not been the same kid since. She has acted up at this school so much so they are wanting to move her to the Alternative school for the remainder of the year. Transition is difficult for her. I told them I refuse to allow them to move her again. What can I do???

  • 61 Linn 10/15/11 at 8:53 pm

    I would give the advice to speak with your local Protection & Advocacy office when you have questions about your childs IEP. In regards to what is appropriate for you as a parent to ask for. What the school needs to do. As, in our case above their were no goals written in the IEP which the state says automatically makes an IEP invalid. Also, the Special ed teacher and her teacher were the only ones present at the meeting. I was informed that somebody with building administrator title must be signed in on the IEP , as that can also be considered invalid.
    We live in a small town and I could tell at the Football game today that other school staff, I could tell by the looks I got that others new all about what happened. I was direct with the teachers and told them I contacted Prot&Adv. and they had to change some things on the IEP.

  • 62 Linn 10/15/11 at 8:49 pm

    We have a 1o year old girl, adoptee wit ADHD.Her IEP has accomodations for shortened assignments, quiet place. This year though at her IEP her new Special ed teacher and teacher made everything sound super. The Special ed teacher said she would have “no goals” as there was really nothing other than redirection. 1 week after the IEP I get a Demerit paper being sent home as my daughter earned 8 checks and was 1/2 way to losing her quarterly incentive- that all kids participate in. Talking and missed assignments.The school was not seeing that her end of the day assignment sheet was filled out and checked by teacher to be sure all unfinished work come home.They refused to fill out the sheet,went to state prot&advocacy &told them they had to. They redid the IEP with reluctant.I said they had to have goals by law.Now I get the looks by staf:(

  • 63 Dawn 05/02/11 at 7:21 pm

    My son has been suspended 18 days this school year. Today he was suspended for calling an other Student a B***h. He has an IEP I am not sure but I think I need help. What should I do? We live in Michigan. Thank you for your help.

  • 64 Sharon L. 01/22/11 at 9:51 am

    Carol – If you son is still on an IEP request a behavioral assessment be done by the school (in writing) and request that you are able to sign the school’s formal documents to get this testing done. Your letter will not be the document that starts the clock ticking since they will have 60 days to do the test. After this test is done reconvene the team and go over the results and make sure you get this listed in the IEP where there is a box for behavior plan. In the meantime request that your son or the other child be separated in the class. It is not good for your child to be in a room sitting all by himself with nothing to do all day. They tried to do this kind of thing with my children until I got the behavior plan put in place.

  • 65 Carol 01/19/11 at 8:02 am

    My 12 year old son is attending a public school and is being mainstream in regular classrooms. A bully is teasing him when a teacher is not around and when my son responds, my son is the one in trouble and is being sent to the office, sitting at a small desk doing nothing all day. The teachers don’t believe my son when he tries to tell them that the bully is teasing him. The math teacher kicked my son out of math class because my son stuck his tongue out at the bully after the bully kept teasing my son during lunch. My son has transitional issues and is not doing so well now. Can anybody help him and me?

  • 66 Sharon L. 11/23/10 at 1:24 pm

    Jennifer – THis is a tough situation. Have you considered requesting a behavior assessment to be done by the school? We did for our son and they discovered “triggers” that would cause some of the behaviors and once known what was some of the causes and solutions then everyone knew how to deal with my son. The IEP got together after the assessment was done and incorporated it into the IEP. My son improved immensely. This way you do not have to go to the school which you should not have to. On the medical side we took our son to a pediatric neurologist and he determined that my son needed a low dose of ritalin and later concerta. We are not fans of medicine but it made a world of difference. My son is now 25 and because he was on medicine in his younger years he was able to do well.

  • 67 jennifer 11/21/10 at 8:04 pm

    my son has adhd and was struggling in school, mainly because he wasn’t doing his work. he would also have blow ups at school. I started attending school with him and his grades shot up to straight A’s and his blow ups diminished. The other day he had a blow up for the first time since I started going and I couldn’t calm him down. I received no help at all from the principal. I signed him out to get him to calm down and when he did I brought him back after lunch. she refused to let me go back to the class, she pulled him out in front of all the other students and suspended him. she also told me I could no longer be in the classroom and not only that could not speak with the teacher at all unless it was through email. Is there something i could do. she treated us like we were terrorists. I did nothing.

  • 68 Sharon L. 11/13/10 at 7:37 pm

    Angela – Have you ruled out an medical issues? My son has ADHD and acted out also. We asked our family and well as other parents to give us a name of a good pediatric neurologist to see our son and he was able to help us a lot with behaviors in the school. Yes my son was put on Ritalin on the lowest dose possible to help him be able to sit still and not be impulsive or act out. This was a god send for us. My son would tell me before he took medicine how mean everyone was to him and after he took medicine how nice everyone was to him. He was able to get through the day and the medicine would wear off at night and he did not take it on the weekends. He is now 25 and is doing well. His self esteem was kept intact due to the positive nature the medicine had on how he was treated.

  • 69 Angela 11/12/10 at 12:53 pm

    My cousin has a son who was diagnosed with adhd add and a few other mental problems. He acts out when the gets mad and acts out when he isn’t allowed to go where ever his mother goes. She has tried everything. He acts out at school and has to go to this institution in her home town. They say there is nothing they can do for him. This little boy need immediate help because the last few times he has acted out he has said he wanted to die or kill him self. He has a older sister that is taking a toll on as long with their mother. She is unable to work because the school is always calling her to come pick up her son. It seems no one is wanting to help her with this problem. She was told he would have to hurt himself or someone else before he really could be put some where he could get help he needs. What can I do?

  • 70 Amanda 11/07/10 at 8:45 pm

    I have 7 year old son that has a behavior problem and has been in the hospital 4xs now. They have changed his meds several times and it doesn’t seem to be working. Id like to put him in some kind of school that can help him. I cant seem to get him to mind, listen, go to school. He’s mean to his sisters he hits himself. He is an AB honor roll student. Just alot of behavior problems. Please if u can give me any information on schools or military school please let me know i have to do something.

  • 71 Meloide 10/12/10 at 1:35 pm

    Does the school have the right to baker act a 5 year old student because he got scared when moved from a class room to another and then acts out. Is there a Florida law against this procedure?

  • 72 Mae 10/12/10 at 9:54 am

    hey i have a 9 year old that is acting out all the time.. mainly at home not so much at school… i am going to try some of this that i read but the help doesn’t help.

    He doesn’t want to do, he doesn’t listen and nothing scares him… he doesn’t care about anything he tells me and his dad all the time that we don’t love him to send him to foster care, and that would be a better life for him… he won’t listen that it isn’t always better for him… but i just don’t know what to do with him anymore if someone could maybe help i would really appreate that…

  • 73 Tim 09/03/10 at 4:02 pm

    I am a behavior disorder specialist in a forward thinking school district in Texas. As we have many young people with behavior disorders and other OHI impairments we are continually striving to better serve our kids. All of our kids are mainstreamed in the classroom and are usually placed in an inclusion class. I am what we call a Focus Re-director and have 2 aids which help with counseling and re-teaching appropriate behaviors. The job is not an easy one but the kids are learning and remain in the regular education classroom as much as possible. For more information about our model you can purchase a book called “PASS Inclusion for students with Behavior Disorders” by James R. Poole and Hope Caperton-Brown

  • 74 Gina 05/04/10 at 10:20 pm

    It sounds like your daughter needs behavioral intervention. Physiotherapy is physical therapy for a physical therapy. Did you try psychotherapy or play therapy? NJ has a department of child behavioral health services administered by the dept of children & families (NOT DYFS). I’m surprised the school district didn’t suggest it. Technically the program is for age 5-21, but they do accept 4 yo in certain circumstances. Intake #1-877-652-7624 Fact sheet:

    Are you near one of the state designated pediatric hospitals? Most have pediatric behavioral programs. Meridian Health in Monmouth/Ocean has programs at Jersey Shore for children with behavioral issues as young as 3. Talk to your pediatrician, clearly there is some issue if she is intentionally injuring other kids

  • 75 Cristina 05/04/10 at 7:58 pm

    My 4 yr old daughter was suspended from pre-k school today because she cut her friends face with a scissor. Her behavior is inappropriate and hurt other kids, pushing and hitting. We went to a physiotherapy and she improved, but today was the worse. Is there other doctor, clinic, behavioral school here in New Jersey that I can help my daughter? She cannot go back to school, as per the principal and the superintendent of public school. The school does not have any type of program to help the students on behavioral problem.

  • 76 margie 03/18/10 at 6:29 pm

    My son is in the 10th grade, he is constantly getting suspended for calling names or throwing things when someone upsets him or when he is blamed for things he has not done. I have taken him to a private child psychiatrist and they don’t find anything wrong with him. He has not been evaluated by the school. I have called the guidance counselor, and the principal, but they cancel my meetings. This past school year my son has been suspended 3 times. I am frustrated, don’t know what else to do. Staying at home alone is definately not punishment. I don’t have any behavioral problems at home, he is very athletic and popular, but even that get’s him in trouble.
    Thanks, Margie

  • 77 robert 02/16/10 at 10:42 pm

    This is what is wrong with America? Why is it the school’s responsibility to teach anything but academics. It is the parents responsibility to make sure the students conduct themselves appropriately. Educators are held hostage.! Parents and students know that the school has no authority over them. They can disrupt the other 28 kids in the classroom. What about those students. What about their rights? In a democratic society majority rules. I bet the other kids would vote that the disruptive children not be allowed to keep them from learning. It is the teacher’s responsibilty to teach academics. Academics should be the first priorty. We should not subject our kids to this type of nonsense. It has become totally insane.

  • 78 Katrinka 02/02/10 at 3:27 pm

    Does a school system have the right to change a child’s diagnosis label, ie, from MMR to OHI. They refused to provide services to my child because he tested high on a test for perceptual reasoning, but his IQ is still in the Mild Mental Retardation range. But the school said they wouldn’t continue providing services for my child if I didn’t agree to let them change the diagnosis. Is this legal? I have all the documentation on this. And the doctor said that it doesn’t make any difference about his perceptual reasoning being high. He is still Mild Mentally Retarded, with Central Nervous System dysfunction, ADHD, social emotional disorder with behavior concerns. I can’t get the school to even look at documentation about his conditions. He has a twin brother with the same diagnosis, but gets more services.

  • 79 Angela 01/06/10 at 12:35 am

    About 3yrs. ago I placed a call to a attorney’s office asking could I sue the School District because they kept suspending my daughter. She is now 16 and running away from home and I wanted to place her back in school. It had gotten so bad at her last school that they placed her in a school for children with all kinds of problems from selling drugs in school to attempting to murder teachers. That’s where my daughter found her new friends because the kids came from the whole city and all its surrounding counties. Now I can’t keep her home because she has places to go that I know nothing about. I’ve fought the court system to keep her from having a criminal background record because of simply getting frustrated and angry and acting out with her words. I’ve cried over and over again. How do I educate her now?

  • 80 john 12/16/09 at 4:44 pm

    my sister is having a hard time with my 5 year old nieces school district ( mississippi) to set up an educational plan. My niece was recently diagnoised with ADHD and ODD (oppositional defiance disorder). The director of special services said the ADHD and ODD were not disabilities. What should my sister do?

  • 81 Sarah 11/03/09 at 10:47 pm

    Being a special education teacher, I want to inform you that all behaviors have a purpose. Behaviors could be there to avoid something (difficult classwork, bullying, people). Or behaviors could exist because the student does not know the appropriate behavior to do and needs to practice the correct behavior. And obviously there are other issues that can cause behaviors. The school needs to be doing an FBA (Functional Behavior Assessment) on these students with behaviors to determine an hypothesis on what could be causing the behaviors and then find a way to reward the student for appropriate behaviors. I say reward the student because rewards are more effective at changing behaviors then punishments. Much research has proven the effects of positive reinforcement. Hope this helps.

  • 82 Janny 10/29/09 at 2:11 am

    My child has an IEP stating he exposes himself (but this was a 1 time incident) that I was informed about not that its happened more times. My son says he didnt, I beleive him but no adult saw this and only another student made the complain but the records say a group of students. When I was notified no one told me more than one student saw this. How can I remove this from his records? My son has never done such a thing. Any advice please?

  • 83 Stephanie 10/27/09 at 3:28 pm

    This is a vey informational piece, my question is – are places like Colorado Boys Ranch an alternative or last resort? Sometimes, as with my son, the school gets fed up, the teachers get stressed out and there’s really not enough knowledge or training being given to them to handle children with disabilities. My son is ADHD, with alot of work, he’s made it to the 8th grade, but trying to keep him in classes were he doesn’t feel like a reject or like his issues are highlighted to all of his friends, is sometimes most difficult.

  • 84 Amanda 10/17/09 at 8:01 pm

    My child has a dignoses of ADHD and ODD. He was in an IEP and was later taken out by the school against our wishes and his doctors demand that he still be in one. His problems have started over again and he has had to do ISS. I am currently trying to get him back in an IEP if anyone has suggestions or has had a similar problem please let me know

  • 85 Victoria 09/16/09 at 4:43 pm

    I am a single parent trying to raise a teenage daughter along with help & support of my parents. She is in a public school w/ an IEP, she also has ADHD, recently diagnosed w/ depression, anxiety and has major behavioral issues that I am trying to control. Main issue though, she doesn’t like the school she attends, she is picked on by teachers & students as well. Would homeschooling or homebound instruction help our situation? — Besides a psychiatrist possibly to prescribe medication — HELP PLEASE!

  • 86 Andrea 09/13/09 at 8:46 pm

    I have a 10 year old daughter, who is emotionally unstable..she is very smart (she is in an enrichment class), but also attends special ed. The other kids treat her very different, they bully her…almost shun her at times. She has a psychologist, psychiatrist, and also attends IEP sessions. The principal used to be helpful and understanding, but now it seems that he just doesn’t care. I don’t know what else to do. I feel kinda stuck. I had my daughter committed to a behavioral management unit at a local hospital, one week before school started, they only kept her for four days. Didn’t really help. Are there any suggestions, for what I can do for her?

  • 87 Dorrette 08/11/09 at 12:16 am

    Very informative.

  • 88 Mrs. C 06/01/09 at 3:19 pm

    I come to you today with nowhere else to turn hoping for some direction for my son. He is a student in a County School System who is having a very hard time adapting. Since enrolling in the system in 5th grade (currently in the 9th grade for a 3rd time) is has been one problem after another. He is a special education student with diagnosis of Seizures, Mild Intellectual Delay, Behavior Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The problem is he has such a hard time functioning in the school environments that he has been placed in. The biggest problem is how he relates with his peers and adults to be mostly inappropriate. He was originally a student at the High School but was sent to the alternative school for his inability to function appropriately in that environment. Kicking him out of school is not the solution!

  • 89 JoAnne 05/30/09 at 6:54 pm

    I am having the same problem. My son has ADHD and dysgraphia. He is very frustrated at school. They have not helped him at all this year with his writing disability. They treat everything as a behavior issue rather than helping him. They continue to throw him in detention or in-school suspension. He is an auditory learner and needs to be in the classroom. He is failing everything at this point. When they gave him in-school last week I told them I disagreed and did not want him in in-school. They told me I had no say in how my son is disciplined in school. Is this true?

  • 90 Christine 05/05/09 at 7:40 pm

    I have a daughter who is six and has ADHD and ODD as well as signs of anxiety and possible learning disorder and or dyslexia. She is defiant and shuts down. At first they considered a conduct disorder. She just got her IEP signed today although I worry because she shuts down and we don’t know exactly what to do when she does this. She has had all the testing that the school says she should. I was so upset to find that the school considered her testing to be fuzzy. They feel because she is so young that she will grow out of this. I don’t see that this will happen with out the right IEP but the problem is not only that the chances of the school following the IEP are slim to none but we don’t know why she does what she does despite the fact I have requested the FBA so many times I can’t count. I wish I knew how to help her get what she needs.

  • 91 Dawn 04/27/09 at 12:14 pm

    I have a son that is 13 he has been diagnosed with ADHD and recently with a mood disorder. The school system suspended him 30 days last year this year he is currently in isolation they tell me they are working on compliance issues such as tucking in your shirt, sitting still in your seat, not lying your head on the desk. I have had numerous meeting with counselors, teachers, principles. He does have an IEP in place but I do not think it is being followed. Educationally he is not learning anything. The teachers in isolation say they do not get his work from his teachers. I ask them to send work home that he does not complete so that we can finish it at home but this has only been done twice. What can I do? Do I have any grounding to move him to private school and the district be responsible for helping with pay?

  • 92 susan 03/13/09 at 9:09 pm

    I have a 10th grader also who has a behavior disorder. I have been trying to get him an IEP since the beginning of the school year. I contacted the state and now the school district is very mad and have suspended my son at least 30 times and are trying to kick him out of school.

    I tried to have a behavior goal placed in his IEP but they will not help. He swears alot and all the trouble that he has gotten is due to his foul mouth. He is now at home being denied an education again. I am really angry at him for his bad mouth. I feel that the suspensions are in retaliation for me making a complaint to the state. Now they will say and do anything to get my son out of the school. His grades were not passing until they put the IEP in place 2 weeks ago. I don’t know what to do.

  • 93 Melissa 03/09/09 at 2:43 am

    I used to live in Gwinnett County Georgia. They provided superior services to my boys. My oldest, 12, has Asperger’s Syndrome, my younger one, 10 has ADHD and Emotional Behavioral Disorder. The older one was placed in a special class just for kids with Asperger’s Syndrome. They received social training and support. They allowed them to attend regular classes with a parapro present, if they get stressed, they are trained to go back to their resource class to deal with the issue. My younger one was violent multiple times during the week toward students and staff, so they placed him in a class specifically for children with emotional behavioral disorders. I believe the lead in the class was a psychologist and the aides were counselors. They had goal based incentives for behavior. I found that this school district to be exceptional.

  • 94 Elizabeth 02/21/09 at 9:44 pm

    My son does have an IEP, is under the care of mental health professionals, and yet….no one can help him. They just shake their heads and say there is nothing they can do. They say the school can do whatever it has to do with unruly kids, and that my son doesn’t need to continue with appointments if he won’t take meds. The school says my son has to learn to make good choices. They say oneo f his choices is to take meds. Other choices include “behaving himself” and choosing to pay attention, not blow up at others, etc. I realize son has to take personal responsibility, but no one is really helping him learn how to do that. It seems to be an insurmountable task.

  • 95 Laura 02/18/09 at 3:48 pm

    I have a son that is 15 in GA and he currently has an IEP. I took him for testing in December and he has been diagnosed with ADHD<, ODD and borderline conduct disorder. Since he is on an IEP is the school required to offer professional counseling as part of his BIP?

  • 96 gloria 02/12/09 at 11:42 pm

    I am a single parent trying to raise a teenage son, that has this problem with the school system that would not do anything for me, to help him, just wanted to suspend him 1o days at a time.So for now he is at home trying to get his education through online courses.I really do need some answers , so this school does not treat any other child like this. please help single parent in Georgia.

  • 97 susan 01/31/09 at 9:00 am

    First, get him to a doctor. You may need a child psychiatrist and a psychologist. In the diagnosis process, you might ask for educational testing. If he needs meds, work that right away as they often take weeks/months to really make a difference. If you are in a private school, contact the public school right away to get the study process going (they may be willing to take the private testing since it isn’t their dime). If a private school, forget civil rights. In @ 39 states out of 50 (like VA), they don’t exist there. Go for an IEP as you already have significant impact. They may steer you to an ED category, but remember things like ADHD and tourettes are OHI (affects your services). Consider multiple categories. This web site is good and also go to Our son has tourettes…been there…got the t-shirt .

  • 98 O’tue 01/27/09 at 11:11 pm

    I just read your article about evaluation and felt that it was very much against a psychoeducational evaluation. The response here actually sounds like you support school district evaluations and their professionalism. Which is it? Are they advocates or pawns in the game. I am confused by the tenor of the responses in different areas. Should the assessment staff be trusted, I mean they have a specialized certification/licenses or should people just assume that an IEE is best paid for out of pocket and hope that person is reputable. Can I find out who certifies IEE evaluators? Do they have to meet the same standards in a state? Who determines that someone can do a private assessment; or are we just supposed to trust what we are told?