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How can I make sure that my child with ADHD is covered under IDEA?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
Your child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will need to be evaluated to determine whether they qualify for benefits under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is a program ensuring that some children with ADHD have access to special education services.

If you think your child qualifies for special education services due to ADHD, contact your child's school counselor or school psychologist. The school counselor will guide you through the evaluation process. During this process, you may also work with your child's teacher and other school or counseling professionals. This team of professionals will communicate to determine the best way to serve your child's needs.

If the team members agree that your child qualifies for special education services under IDEA, you will meet together to create an individualized education plan (IEP) for your child. This IEP will outline specific interventions and modifications to help your child in school.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

To make sure your child with ADHD is covered by IDEA, you need to be like The Little Engine That Could: cheerfully vigilant. IDEA protects the educational rights of children with disabilities. However, it does not specifically name ADHD as a disability. This means it’s up to your school to determine whether your child has a learning disability and thus qualifies for special educational services. The first step is to submit a written request for evaluation by your child’s school. Based on the results of the evaluation, your child will either qualify and receive a personalized program that gives him the extra education resources he needs to do well in school or he will not. At any time in the process, if you don’t like the result, you can appeal.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.