I am hoping to figure a problem out that I have this year. It is not huge compared to some and I am lulling it over. I have a student with influential parents. He is very slow in catching concepts. Academically, he is way behind. We are not allowed to hold kids back here. Teachers before me have seen problems with this child and most were afraid to "push the issue." 1 former (gutsy) teacher suggested he be tested for sped. The parents had a fit and bad mouthed the teacher to anyone who would listen. ( Causing the teacher a lot of problems with admin.) One of the parents approached me and told me he wonders if the child has a specific disorder and asked me to look out for signs. The parents are at the point that they are thinking of putting the kid on meds. To me, meds are a last resort. Over the years, I have seen kids who took them in elementary to grow up and have worse problems as adults. I can't say for sure it was the meds because they already usually had some problem. However, I have seen parents who lack parenting skills use meds to keep their child from causing problems that if they were willing to work with their kids and had decent parenting skills would help the behaviors and teach the kids to compensate. I really believe parents and teachers should work on teaching their child to compensate for any difficulties when possible as opposed to drugging them as a quick fix.. I think parents should take about 80% of the responsibility for this because it is their child and they have more influence and power than we do as teachers. I am just getting to know this kid...5 weeks into the yr. ( Although I have known him or who he was for a few years) I am not sure what is causing his problem, but I know he has been spoiled for years. He has all of the newest and desired things a kid could want. I don't think they say, " No!" to this kid often. If they do, I am pretty sure they cave in when he sulks or insists. He has seldom been held accountable by his parents. They blame whomever he has the problem with for any situation. I have noticed that they do not follow through after they tell him to do something. They'll tell him to do something 3 x and then just do it themselves when he doesn't do it. They will not take any responsibility for helping this child with homework as they find it "frustrating." The kid has shown some bad behaviors ( not horrible) in the past and the parents think a lot of it is "cute." For the moment, I am just observing. I'm trying to figure out what makes this kid tick and how to teach him. He zones out when I try to show him how to do something. His peers do not have the patience to help him because he does the same thing to them. To me, it feels like he is wasting my time often. I have actually told him an answer, written it on the board, and he acts like he doesn't know what to do and doesn't do it. I did insist he learn a couple of skills and did not back off for 2 weeks. He missed some fun activities until he was able to do the skills. He did eventually learn 2 skills to mastery that most of the kids learned in 1-3 days. A part of me feels like he has never learned to listen to anyone. My 1st thought was to check his hearing. He does behave in class. Our sped dept. is extremely inexperienced. When a kid gets put in sped almost immediately all expectations go out the window. Teachers hands are tied from trying to get the child to learn and behaviors are allowed to get insane. The main sped teacher told me this year that they are in overload and really just warehousing kids. I'd like to see if this kid has a learning disability, but know being pulled by sped will hurt him in the long run. How long would you observe this situation? Would you recommend him to sped despite knowing it is not going to help him in any way just to find out if he has a LD? I am seriously baffled at the moment and I have a MA and have worked in psych diagnosis with children for a few yrs. I am only seeing 1 possible diagnosis for him there. It is JUST a possibility. Do you think there is any way to get these parents to learn and try different parenting skills? It bugs me when I can't figure a kid out! lol Thanks for any advice or suggestions. PS I will add I am very thankful I do not have any extreme problems this yr. I know a lot of you do.