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ADHD: Diagnosis, Medication, and "Disability" under the IDEA

There is no denying the sharp increase in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnosis over the past few decades. Parents, teachers, and other professionals often argue over issues like drug treatment and proper special education services.

Increase in Diagnosis and Medication

ADHD characteristics may include impulsive behavior, difficulty paying attention, and hyper activity. It is often treated with medications like Ritalin, that are designed to calm specific behaviors. One issue with diagnosing ADHD is that its characteristics can mimic other disorders like depression and anxiety among others. Another issue is that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) expanded its definition to include ADHD, which caused some to push students into this category when it may not be appropriate. These issues may lead to an improper diagnosis of ADHD and additional recommendation for medication. Whether or not you choose to provide medication to your child is your choice.

Is My Child Entitled to Special Education Services?

Though ADHD is sometimes misdiagnosed and mistreated, it is still a real disorder and may qualify your child for special education services. Your child may need services to address academic struggles and other problem areas such as peer interactions and homework difficulty. Your child's right to receive these services does not require him or her to be using ADHD medication, have a medical diagnosis, or even exhibit disruptive behavior. If your child has trouble focusing, he or she may need extra help in the form of 1:1 instruction or counseling, as provided by the IDEA.

Contact Our Office

If you have any questions about your child's special education services, Contact us by email or call us at 714-602-1498 or 866-781-7723 (toll free) for more information.

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Augustin Egelsee L.L.P.
8141 East Kaiser Boulevard
Suite 315
Anaheim Hills, CA 92808

Toll Free: 866-781-7723
Phone: 714-602-1498
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