ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and its relative, ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) is characterized by lack of focus, restless, impulsive behaviors. For a child dealing with ADHD, school can be an extremely frustrating place. However, if your child has ADHD or even if your child has symptoms that seem like they might have ADHD, your child may qualify for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
A child with ADHD may be eligible for special education services under three different categories under the IDEA:
- Otherwise Health Impaired: This is a category that includes ADD or ADHD if it impacts your child's "strength, vitality, or alertness" in the classroom, this has a negative effect on your child's educational performance, and your child requires special educational services. (34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 300.8(c)(9)(i)).
- Specific Learning Disability: A child with ADHD could be found to have a processing disorder in the area of attention. If the processing disorder is causing a gap between your child's intellectual ability and their actual achievement, your child may be found to have a specific learning disability. (34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 300.8(c)(10)).
- Emotional Disturbance: A child with ADHD could be considered as having an emotional disturbance if they have abnormal behavioral reactions under normal circumstances. (34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 300.8(c)(4)).
Under all of these categories, it is not necessary for your child to actually have a diagnosis of ADHD or ADD. They only need to be suspected of having it.
If your child does not qualify for special education under the IDEA, he or she could qualify under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act if it is found that the ADHD substantially limits a major life activity, such as learning.
If you would like help obtaining the appropriate educational services for your child with ADHD, please contact our office.
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