Academic Accommodations Are A Legal Right For 504 Plan ADHD Youngsters

By Charles Cox

For many parents, home or private schooling is not an option. They must rely on the public education system. When children have mental and physical disabilities and disorders, getting officials to recognize the problems and take steps to improve them can be difficult, even if the law is on your side. It is often up to the parents to overcome the obstacles for their children and advocate for academic accommodations that will suit their needs according to 504 Plan ADHD law.

When you have a school age child dealing with attention disorders, the first thing you need to do is become familiar with the law regarding their educational rights. There are two basic federal laws concerning special education. They are Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

Section 504 is the law that traditionally applies to kids with ADHD. These children often do not qualify for special education services. They do have a right to preferential seating, assistance with taking notes, and additional time for completing tests. If you are under the impression that the classroom teacher will automatically accommodate your child, you are probably mistaken. It will be up to you to get your youngster evaluated and into the program.

First you will have to request an evaluation. You should not try to go through the teacher or the principal of the school your child attends. A certified or hand delivered letter needs to be addressed to the chairperson of the Special Education Services committee. There are sample letters online if you are unsure of what should be included. If the committee declines your request, your next step should be to ask for a private assessment, which may include going outside the school system.

You youngster's evaluation will include observation, behavior assessment, and academic reports. The professionals who conduct the assessment might include a school psychologist, special education and other professionals. You need to be involved in the process and become a member of this team in order to maximize your chances of a successful outcome. Parents need to keep detailed notes and retain any paperwork for their records.

Once your child has been successfully evaluated, you and your team should develop a customized plan for your child. You need to make sure the details are specific and that there is a time line to reach goals. It is not unusual for school officials to recommend plans that fit in with their existing programs, whether or not they are the best solution for your youngster.

Even though an agreed upon set of actions has been put in place, you will still have to be an aggressive advocate for your child. The plan should be monitored and reviewed. By law, school administrators do not have to conduct annual reviews, but most do. You have the right to be involved in the reviews and request additional meetings throughout the school year if appropriate.

Having a child with special challenges is not easy. Ensuring they have everything they need to maximize their academic potential can be frustrating. Arming yourself with information and becoming a persistent advocate for your youngster will make all the difference.

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