Special Education, 504 Plans, and Homework PIAs

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You all know that three of my kids have diagnosed mental illnesses. What you might not know is that one of them has to go to an intensive outpatient program (IOP) three times a week after school. This program is three hours long, and it’s a 45-60 minute drive from my home, depending on traffic. This means that I have to pick my kid up early from school, and we don’t get home until 15 minutes before bedtime.

Needless to say, this leaves very little time for homework.

I requested a 504 meeting because I wanted my kid to have a reduced homework load and extra time to complete the homework, especially on IOP days. The guidance counselor suggested that it might be easier to just work out a “deal” with the teachers who assign the homework, since a 504 meeting takes 30 days to schedule. I said that would be fine.

Unfortunately, the teachers kept offering “deals” that involved turning in homework on the mornings after IOP. I told them that this wouldn’t work, because we literally have zero minutes available for homework on those evenings. They wouldn’t budge, so I told them we’ll have to have the 504 meeting.

So I’m already pretty frustrated with the inflexibility here, but then this happened. Yesterday, I logged onto SchoolMax, which is an online program that allows parents to check their children’s grades. I noticed that my kid has zeroes on several homework assignments that I know were completed. My husband and I helped said kid with this homework for HOURS over the last two weekends. So I checked my kid’s take home folder, and sure enough, there were the homework assignments, still not turned in.

This kid has ADHD, and the kid also turns in homework at a different time from the rest of the class, so it really didn’t surprise me that the homework was forgotten. I took photos of the homework and emailed it to the teachers, explaining that it had been forgotten in the folder.

The teachers’ response is what has me all riled up this morning.

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They told me that the reading log had the wrong dates on it, so my kid can’t get credit for reading last week. And they said that two of the assignments were past due, so no credit there either.

I don’t understand the point of this power play. He reads for much longer than 20 minutes each day. My kid reads in the car, on the bus, while walking down the street, in bed when the kid is supposed to be sleeping. So what if the kid wrote the wrong dates on the log? My husband and I spent many frustrating hours helping with these homework assignments. My kid spent many frustrating hours DOING these homework assignments instead of playing outside like a normal kid. And now they’re saying that the assignments get ZEROES??

I have now replied, explaining that forgetting to turn in homework, especially outside of the normal classroom routine, is a pretty common symptom of ADHD, and I’d hate to see my kid get academically penalized for having a diagnosed mental illness. We’ll see what they say.

In the meantime, I’m sharing this story with you so that you can see how frustrating it can be to get your kid help, even when you try hard. This kid is in third grade. THIRD GRADE!

I’m not done here. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a better solution in the end. But it won’t come without a heck of a lot of stress.

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Confessions of a New Mummy

Published by Nicole Roder

Writer Nicole Roder lives in Bowie, Maryland with her husband, Matt, their children, Emma, Sophia, Raymond, and Gianni. And Lucy–their fiercely terrifying, 20-pound Boston Terrier who protects their home from some ubiquitous danger only she can see. When she’s not busy composing her next great work of fiction, she’s wiping bottoms, dancing in her kitchen, singing in her minivan, building lego castles, wrapping feather boas around her neck, and driving all over God’s creation. AKA–mothering her children.

4 thoughts on “Special Education, 504 Plans, and Homework PIAs

  1. Wow – this sounds incredibly hard and frustrating. I know teachers have a lot on their plate but you would think they would give a little extra helping hand to those who need it for example, perhaps asking the child and helping them look through their bag for homework? We do not have school age children yet, but I can already feel there is going to be plenty of frustration. Good luck with it all xx #TwinklyTuesday

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds incredibly frustrating and its extremely unfair to be giving zeroes in this scenario. There has to be to some flexibiity on their part if they know there is an ongoing ‘issue’ (for want of a better word). I hope you manage to get something sorted.

    Liked by 1 person

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