My grandson has ADHD. He is in therapy and taking medication. He will be going into second grade and the school wants to segregate him into a Behavior Modification class located at another school in the district. I thought it was against Federal law to segregate children. Is this a good plan?
Your grandson is about to enter second grade. He began therapy and medication this summer. Yet, the school wants to place him in a segregated program for kids with behavior and emotional problems without seeing how they can work with him in the regular education class. Why is this?
You haven’t seen this program. You don’t know…
- what problems the other students have
- how behavior problems are handled
- how behavior management is taught, or
- if the children learn academic skills at the same rate as kids in a regular education class.
You and your grandson’s therapist cannot make an informed decision about this program unless or until you observe it. You need to get information about how long children remain in the program. Is it a dead-end street for kids? Find out the success rate and how this is measured.
Getting Back Into Regular Ed
In my experience, the overwhelming majority of classes for kids with behavior problems are ineffective and end up damaging the children.
The dropout rate for kids in behavior classes is higher than any other group. Students learn more maladaptive ways to act out from each other. These children are difficult and teachers often do not have the necessary training to do effective behavior modification.
My other concern is once he is in this class, it is likely to be very difficult to put him back in a regular ed class – ever.
You need to get a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation (psychological and educational) of your grandson by an individual in the private sector by a child psychologist.
The evaluator can tell you if your grandson needs additional testing. The evaluator should also be able to tell you and the school what type of educational program he needs.
If your grandson is very bright or has learning difficulties in other areas, in addition to ADHD, you and the school need to know this before you can make any decisions about his educational programming.
In other words, you can’t make a treatment plan until you have a good diagnostic workup. Once you have this workup, use it to develop a plan that has benchmarks to determine if he is making progress.