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Understanding The Academic Rights Of 504 Plan ADHD Children

By Charles Cox

A lot of parents want their children to get a public education, even if those children have special challenges. These parents are often met with resistance when they approach educators about getting the academic accommodations necessary to give their youngsters a chance to succeed scholastically however. They quickly find out that they will have to be strong and assertive advocates for their kids, especially when it comes to the laws regarding 504 Plan ADHD children.

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 covers ADHD youngsters. They may not qualify for special education services, but they are entitled to preferential seating, extra testing time, and note taking assistance. As a parent, you cannot just assume the classroom teacher will make these accommodations available to your kid. You will have to go through the proper steps and channels to ensure the law is applied in your youngster's case.

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.

The evaluation is typically conducted by school psychologists and members of the special education team. They consider academic reports, assess behavior and watch your child interact in the classroom. As the parent, you need to be involved in the process and understand each step. Taking good notes and keeping paperwork for your records is important.

After your child has been approved under Section 504, you and the school officials need to meet to devise a program that suits your child. If you are uncomfortable with administration suggestions that include only programs they already have in place, do not agree to the plan. You should insist on a specific time line showing definitive progress. The plan can be amended if enough progress has not been made.

Once an approved actions are in place, with a time line for achieving specific goals, you need to monitor the activity and progress. This law does not mandate that schools hold annual reviews, but many do. Most also actively encourage parents to be involved in meetings and discussion groups. You can also request meetings throughout the school year.

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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