Special Education/OCD in young boy


I have a 6 year old who is very sweet but suffers from OCD and ADD. The ADD I can cope with but the OCD on some days is crippling. The school is doing everything wrong dealing with it. They are SO ritualistic believing every child needs timers and scheduling when in fact it is unscheduling that some kids need to learn. They constantly introduce new unnecessary crutches to get him to do things and then he needs the crutches. I have seen tremendous regression and I'm left holding the bag. At home I just try to alternate things and this seems to help him from getting stuck. He gets very anxious when he gets stuck, starts crying, it is so so stressful and I don't want it to happen needlessly. I do not want to put him on medication because I read it rarely helps.
I also was told by a doctor that it very often gets better when kids grow up and to be hopeful. He said he considers it mild to moderate based on my description but trust me, some days it's severe. The school also put my son in a self contained class for half the day because of this. The problem is he is bored in the self contained class. It doesn't seem right to restrict him cognitively because he's bright. There are no other local placements, just this. I felt that because they assigned him an aide, he'd be better off in Gen Ed all day but the Gen Ed teacher has it out for him, she's very rude and unwelcoming and clearly views my son as trouble and doesn't believe in this condition at all.


It sounds like you are in a very difficult place with your son and the school. You are facing an uphill battle to change the school. I assume you have tried to have your son placed in a different general education class? The things the school is doing are very typical for ADD and OCD kids. Most benefit from structure, reward based systems, and knowing what is coming next.

The ultimate way to seek changes is to file for Due Process. If you do this, you are going to have to have an expert (typically clinical psychologist) assess your child and observe him in his school settings. This expert will have to make very specific recommendations concerning the educating of your child. You will be up against the school district's experts who will testify that what they are doing is correct. The judge will probably lean toward the school because their experts are viewed as non-biased whereas parent paid experts are sometimes viewed as "Hired Guns." (Judge: Would you have them testifying if they did not agree with you?) If you decide to do this, you will need to retain the services of an advocate or lawyer who is experienced in these cases and hearings.

Short of filing for Due Process, all I can recommend is that you try to work with your school people. Often retaining an advocate or lawyer will help.

I wish you and your son the best,
Tim Runner, Advocate
Advocates for Kids
Email: timrunner@gmail.com
Phone: (949) 582-3601
You can learn more at my web site:

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Tim Runner


Questions concerning special education: IEP, assessments, Due Process, mediation, resolution conference, federal law, state law, qualifying for services, residential treatment, special day classes, resource specialists, procedures, having your child assessed, adaptive PE, speech & language, non-public school, FAPE, and tuition reimbursement.


I have been an education advocate representing students and parents for six years. My experience includes: representing my clients in IEPs, SSTs, Due Process, review assessment results for my clients, and mediations. I have represented clients with learning disabilities, autism, Downs Syndrome, cognitively challenged, emotional problems, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and physical disabilities. I have also represented clients to County Mental Health Departments and Regional Centers. My clients range from pre-school to college students in many states.

I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of California with minors in Psychology and Physics. I also studied applied statistics in psychology at the graduate level. I have taught college classes, conducted seminars, written articles for various publications, and testified as an expert witness.

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