Category Archives: Advocacy

Unconditional Acceptance of Yourself

What if we applied unconditional acceptance of who we are? What if we took a good look at ourselves, our body, our thoughts, our feelings, our actions, and said, “You are perfectly OK. You are perfectly good”?By Leo Babauta

Many of us are familiar with the idea of loving our spouses, children, or parents unconditionally — and we might even try to practice that unconditional love, though imperfectly.

But do we try to love ourselves unconditionally?

Consider whether you do any of these (I sure do):

  • Criticize your body.
  • Feel like you need to improve at things.
  • Feel guilty about things you do.
  • Feel undisciplined, lazy, unhappy with yourself.
  • Not feel good enough.
  • Fear that you’re going to fail, because you’re not good enough.
  • See yourself as not that good looking.
  • Feel bad about messing up.

For many of us, there’s an underlying feeling of not being good enough, wanting to be better, wanting to be in better shape or better at things. This isn’t something we think about much, but it’s there, in the background.

What if we applied unconditional acceptance of who we are? What if we took a good look at ourselves, our body, our thoughts, our feelings, our actions, and said, “You are perfectly OK. You are perfectly good”?

Would that be a whole different experience for you? Could you accept every single thing about yourself, just as you are, without feeling that it needs to be changed?

I know what many people will immediately say: “But what’s wrong with wanting to improve, with seeing things that need to be improved? Doesn’t feeling bad about ourselves motivate us to change?”

Yes, it can be a motivator. But feeling bad about yourself can also be an obstacle: people who feel that they are fat, for example, are more likely to eat poorly and not exercise, because they see themselves as fat. They are likely to feel bad about themselves and to comfort themselves with food, alcohol, cigarettes, TV, Internet addictions.

What if instead, you loved yourself, fat body and all? What if you loved yourself, laziness and all? What if you loved yourself, all that is ugly and incompetent and mean, along with the beauty and brilliance and kindness?

This person who loves herself (or himself) … she’s more likely to take actions that are loving. Doing some mindful yoga, or taking a walk with a friend after work, eating delicious healthy food like beans and veggies and nuts and berries and mangos and avocados, meditating, drinking some green tea … these are loving actions.

Acceptance isn’t stagnation — you will change no matter what. You can’t avoid changing. The question is whether that change comes from a place of acceptance and love, or a place of self-dislike and dissatisfaction. I vote for unconditional love.

 

Originally published on ZenHabits by Leo Babauta, who allows others to freely re-post his work. Thank you, Leo – Source

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Children with ADHD… What Teachers Need to Know

“Why doesn’t my child’s teacher ‘get it?’ ” “Why doesn’t she understand how ADHD really impacts my child?"Written by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC

 

Why doesn’t my child’s teacher ‘get it?’ ”  “Why doesn’t she understand how ADHD really impacts my child  – that he is not lazy, unmotivated, nor intentionally manipulative?”   I know this opens up a whole set of emotions for many parents out there, so before I go any further, I must clarify two important issues.

First, teachers are individuals, each with their own background, knowledge, and experience.  Unfortunately, many parents and children have had negative experiences with some teachers, but there are also many teachers who have, through their compassion, knowledge and methods, opened the door to learning and personal growth in ways that have been life changing.  Most teachers go into their profession with the intention of enlightening the lives of the children they touch.

Which leads me to the second issue-   Most teachers, especially general education teachers, are not specifically taught about how to recognize ADHD, or how to teach and support children with ADHD.  They may receive a general overview of the symptoms, but they are not given extensive education about the many issues involved in supporting a child with ADHD.

It is this second issue that creates the greatest concern and potentially devastating impact on children.  Here are some of the concerns it raises:

  • ADHD involves a great deal more than impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattentiveness.   It impacts many areas of learning, including their ability to manage their materials, time, emotions, and productivity.  Without a full understanding of how ADHD is impacting the specific child in the classroom, a teacher might, unknowingly or unintentionally, make assumptions that are false about that child.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 9.5% or 5.4 million children 4-17 years of age have ADHD.  By and large, these children are in the regular education classes.  That means that each regular education class probably has at least one child with ADHD in the classroom.
  • Along with ADHD, there are often co-existing conditions which can complicate the learning in ways that a teacher may not realize.  For example, depression and anxiety may be playing a role in the child’s life and this may not appear evident in the classroom.
  • Many parents look to their children’s teachers for advice and guidance regarding their children’s development and education.  In fact, a recent survey conducted by Parents Magazine and The Child Mind Institute found that a staggering 83% of parents said that they would want their child’s teacher to tell them if he thought their child should be evaluated for a psychiatric or learning disorder.  (Parents Magazine, May 2012, “Attitudes About Children’s Mental Health”).  While experienced teachers may be in a position to notice atypical behavior or performance in a child, without the proper knowledge or training, they must tread very lightly in what and how they communicate to a parent.  Their observations are helpful, in fact, they are a valuable component to the diagnostic process.  However, they must make it clear to any parent that they are NOT qualified to diagnose, and that their observations are within the limited scope of the classroom.

I propose two specific remedies.  The first involves you, the parents of these magnificent children.  As you approach your teacher to discuss your child, keep in mind the following:  This is the person who is with your child each and every school day.  Empathize with the fact that they are responsible for managing and supporting not just your child, but also a whole classroom of children.  Even if you suspect otherwise, approach them with the attitude that they want to help and that you value their insights.  However, although they may have the best intentions, they may not yet understand how to help your child, and in fact, may be unknowingly frustrating, alienating and perhaps even harming your child.   If repeated experience with this teacher leads you to conclude that they are not supportive of your efforts to collaborate, then you may want to involve the guidance counselor or school principal.

The second remedy involves educating the teacher.  For many parents, this is a real awakening – the recognition and acceptance that, for better or worse, your child’s teacher does not really know how to best help your child.  So much of what we know about ADHD and how to treat it effectively we learned within the last decade.  You as the parent have had to become an expert in ADHD and your child.  With due respect, and without judgment, request to share with the teacher some of the knowledge, tools and strategies you have learned.  There are wonderful written resources available that you can share with your teacher, but no one besides you can create the shift and reframing necessary for your teacher to see your child through the lens of compassion and insight about the challenges your child faces like you, the parent, can.

Invite them to ask you for insights about behavior that may seem frustrating or illogical.  You must help the teacher understand why certain accommodations and modifications are truly beneficial.  For example, having “note taking” as a goal may be more frustrating than helpful at certain stages of development.   Providing a set of class notes for your child allows him to focus on the teacher since his working memory makes the act of writing while listening too challenging.  If appropriate, you can explain the impact medication has on your child (for example, that perhaps your child isn’t ready to eat during lunch but may really benefit from a power snack around 2 pm as the meds wear off, or the fact that the end of the day might be particularly challenging for your child to learn new material or remember to pack up properly).

For a true, systemic change to take place in the education of children with ADHD, we will need our teaching colleges to mandate a more in depth training of new general education teachers regarding the latest research on ADHD and the best practices for teaching and supporting these children.  We also need our current teachers to be provided with in-service training regarding the same.  (Note from author: I personally welcome the opportunity to speak to any group of current or future teachers who will have me. Located near New York, NY)

ADHD is a neurobiological disorder.  It is not an excuse for poor behavior, and it is not the result of poor parenting.  Yet, unfortunately, I still hear many stories from children and parents that their teachers do not “believe” or “understand” that the challenges the children face in the classroom and with homework are not fully under the child’s control.  If they could… they would

Keep in mind – kids do well IF THEY CAN.  If not, it’s up to the adults in their world to help them figure out why and to help them succeed – either by helping the children develop the skills, or modifying the expectations or environment until they can.  Teachers are on the frontline of education – we must ensure that they are well equipped with knowledge, skills and strategies to support all children.

Here is a list a list of things you may want to help your teacher know.

 

12 Things Teens with ADHD would like their Teachers to know

by Eileen Bailey

1) I forget things, even important things.

2) I am not stupid

3) Please be patient

4) I really do want to do well.

5) I do complete my homework.

6) ADHD is not an excuse

7) I need help to succeed.

8) If you notice me acting in inappropriate ways, please talk with me in private. Please do not talk to me in front of the class.

9) I don’t like having “special accommodations” in the classroom. Sometimes they are needed to help me succeed and do well. But that doesn’t mean that I like it. Please don’t call attention to any special treatment in front of other students. Please do not draw attention to my ADHD.

10) Detailed explanations of your expectations will help me. I work best when I know exactly what you expect from me.

11) Learning about ADHD is one of the best ways to help me.

12) Although I have ADHD, I am not ADHD. I am a person; I have feelings, hopes, and expectations. I have needs. I want to be liked and accepted. I want to feel good about myself. All of this is important to me. Sometimes I act out to hide my embarrassment or shame. This does not mean that something is not important; on the contrary, it means that it is very important and I am hiding my disappointment that I failed.

 

Written by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M., ACAC        © 2012 PTS Coaching.  All rights reserved.  Articles may be reproduced or electronically distributed as long as attribution to PTS Coaching is maintained. http://www.ptscoaching.com

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I want to change my ADD life. What can I do?

ADD is a way of life, a difference in the way you see and move in the world. You can learn to manage the world and use your brain.A series of articles by Sarah Jane Keyser. Follow the links.

ADD has strengths as well as weaknesses; like heads and tails, you can’t have one without the other.

Attention Deficit Disorder is not an illness (in spite of the name) and there is no “cure”. ADD is a way of life, a difference in the way you see and move in the world.

You can learn to manage the world and use your brain.

There are many ways to train your brain. Usually, a combination of medication, ADHD coaching strategies, and exercise is most effective. Each individual needs to discover what combination works best for him or her.

Here are some ways that you can change your life:

Life Styles for ADD – You can do many things for yourself. A good program includes exercise, what to eat, how to breathe, how to get to sleep and how to enjoy.

Maintaining the Brain – If your car runs on two cylinders you take it to the garage. If your brain sputters take it to a doctor for a checkup.

ADD Coaching Strategies – A coach is a partner who guides you to new ways of seeing yourself and the world. An ADD coach who knows how ADD feels and understands the ADD brain can help you value your strengths and structure your life.

Celebrating ADD – Learn to appreciate the passion and sparkle which are the gift of ADD.

 

 

Published by Sarah Jane Keyser, Copyright 2006, all rights reserved. Learn more about ADHD at Coaching Key to ADHD

Permission is granted to forward or post this content in full for use in a not-for-profit format, as long as this copyright notice and full information about the author, Sarah Jane Keyser, is attached intact. If any other use is desired, permission in writing is required.

*** About Sarah Jane *** Sarah Jane Keyser worked for many years with computers as a programmer, analyst, and user trainer, but her struggle with inattentive ADD kept getting in the way of her plans and dreams. Her credentials include ADD Coach training at the ADD Coach Academy, the Newfield Network’s graduate coaching program “Mastery in Coaching” and “Coaching Kids and Teens” by Jodi Sleeper-Triplett MCC. Sarah Jane is an American living in Switzerland who coaches in French and English by telephone.

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Celebrating ADHD

People with ADHD have tremendous vitality and enthusiasm. They are creative and fun to be with when they are in an environment which supports them.

I want to change my ADD life. What can I do?

Life Styles for ADHD

Maintaining the Brain

ADHD Coaching Strategies

Celebrating ADHD

 

Celebrate

You may not feel much like celebrating if you are discouraged and frustrated with ADHD. Negative thinking, constantly focusing on what is wrong, and denying or ignoring what is good and right is characteristic of people with ADHD.

People with ADHD have tremendous vitality and enthusiasm. They are creative and fun to be with when they are in an environment which supports them. Get a job which thrills you and a partner who believes in you to find the sparkle and passion of life.

Believe it! and Celebrate!

 

Published by Sarah Jane Keyser, Copyright 2006, all rights reserved. Coaching Key to ADD 

Permission is granted to forward or post this content in full for use in a not-for-profit format, as long as this copyright notice and full information about the author, Sarah Jane Keyser, is attached intact. If any other use is desired, permission in writing is required. *** About Sarah Jane *** Sarah Jane Keyser worked for many years with computers as a programmer, analyst, and user trainer, but her struggle with inattentive ADD kept getting in the way of her plans and dreams. Her credentials include ADD Coach training at the ADD Coach Academy. The Newfield Network’s graduate coaching programme “Mastery in Coaching” and “Coaching Kids and Teens” by Jodi Sleeper-Triplett MCC.
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Self advocacy for ADHD: Know yourself

2a Self advocacy for ADHD- Know yourselfSelf-advocacy can give you the opportunity to speak for yourself regarding your needs and help to secure the necessary support at work or school and for your personal life. We don’t have to struggle so hard. Developing self-knowledge is the first stepADD Coach Dana Rayburn reminds us, that, “when properly treated, ADHD loses much of its power over our lives. As adults, we can paint a new picture of who we are and what we contribute to the world…” (1)

The goal is to develop your strengths and delegate your weaknesses.

Don’t go it alone, feeling you have to prove yourself over and over again that you CAN persevere! The truth is, delegating the things you aren’t good at, or just plain don’t like, is a good idea for anyone. If you have ADHD, however, it can make the difference between constant struggle and an enjoyable, successful life.

Negotiate with other workers/family member/friends/employees for help in areas where you struggle. (Hint: Ask them for help in areas where they shine – or at least don’t mind doing with the right incentive). What can you offer or trade to make their lives easier? Make it a point of honor to follow through with your end of the deal.

 

1st  Name your challenges both at home and at work. What are your weaknesses?  When and where do they cause you the most problems? For basic challenges of ADHD, refer to any ADHD symptom checklist. The official DSMV diagnostic criteria  or any of the ADHD screeners   we list are good choices.

It’s also important to identify the situations when problems are most likely to show up. Being in a hurry, under stress, and during times of transition between places or activities are common reasons. Certain environments can also bring out symptoms. Being unable to move about freely, noise levels and visual distractions are just a few. We often think of ADHD as involving “getting things done,” but don’t neglect to note emotional reactions and uncomfortable social interaction as challenging symptoms.

2nd  Know exactly what your strengths are. Your values, talents and skills are all contributing factors. You probably have a general idea, but the more specific you can be, the better. According to Myers Briggs Type Indicator practitioner, Nila Nealy,You don’t need someone else to tell you what your strengths are. Your heart knows them. Still, I believe that sometimes we take them for granted or are so sucked in to the “you must be broken” viewpoint that using tools other people have created can be helpful.” (2) Don’t forget that you have friends and family that can also help you identify your strongest points. (After all, they know you, love you anyway and are probably your biggest fans)

“Give yourself permission to proceed with identifying, embracing and integrating your unique brain wiring into your life,” ~ ADD coach and trainer, David Giwerc. “The standardized ways of learning, processing information and performing may not work for you…Your job is to discover the options that naturally work for you and integrate them into your daily life…Educating others in your life about what works best for you, can help you facilitate home, school and workplace environments that…serve you.” (3)

Another reason to utilize these tools is that self-esteem is a core issue of ADHD and you may not be comfortable “claiming” your strengths without outside verification. Don’t neglect to ask those who know you well what they think are your strongest points. Your friends and family are likely to be your biggest fans. Don’t let self-denigration get in the way of accepting their positive feedback

3rd  You can’t wait until you ‘get over’ your ADHD before you start your life. Develop strategies that reshape how you approach life. Leading with your strengths rather than your weakness allows you to fully express yourself in new ways.  It’s about accepting yourself and making good decisions based on what you do naturally, without struggle. It is based on getting the help that you need to highlight your ability rather than simply shoring up your weaknesses.

 

Tools for Discovering your Strengths

 

Evaluate your assets, accomplishments and the strengths they reveal. Try these exercises from Nancy Ratey from the companion website for her self-coaching Workbook, The Disorganized Mind. (4) (Copy and paste this URL: http://www.thedisorganizedmind.com/)

Seeing Strengths – Strategize and Seeing Strengths – Copy and paste: http://www.thedisorganizedmind.com/adhdselfcoaching/answer-strategize

Goals and Abilities Worksheet – Also from Nancy Ratey – (Copy and paste this URL: http://www.thedisorganizedmind.com/adhdselfcoaching/goals-abilities-worksheet)

Strengths Finder 2.0 – Buy the book ( $12 to $16  (+ S&H) Use the code within to take the online test *One use only.   Your Goal? Identify your top 5 talents. (You can buy a version of the test only through another site, but the book provides great personal stories  and ideas for using your strengths at work and in your social life.)

 

Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator Tests

MBTI is what it says it is, an indicator. It points you to the general area of preferences you have for interacting with the world, taking in information and making decisions. Some ways just may feel more natural than others. The MBTI assesses how you get energized as well as the ways you perceive and express yourself.

Official MBTI assessment with certified professionals  ($50 or $150 with person-to-person feedback from a certified MBTI practitioner.

The Open Extended Jungian Type Scales was developed as an open source alternative to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. A statistical comparison of the OEJTS with three other on-line MBTI alternatives found that the OEJTS was the most accurate. 50 questions. 5 to 7  minutes.

16 Personalities – FREE Informal assessment of Types

 

Discover your Strengths by assessing your values. – In recent years, some people have proposed that ADHD itself conveys certain strengths. In 2015, the VIA Institute on Character, in conjunction with the ADD Coach Academy,  conducted a research study to identify whether there are indeed specific strengths of people who have been diagnosed with ADHD. (5) Instead, but not surprisingly, the study found that most people with ADHD had shared difficulties in areas related to impulsivity and sustaining attention. Their weakest ”Strengths” were Prudence, Self-regulation [self-control] and Perseverance. Although the qualities of Creativity, Humor, Kindness, and Teamwork did rank slightly higher in people with ADHD , their highest “Character Strengths” were uniquely individual.

What was a revelation, however, was that when individuals worked in accordance with their highest values, their weaknesses proved to be situational. That is, they were far less of a factor in getting things done when interest inspired action. As David Giwerc explains, “When you focus on what ignites your heart and your positive energy, you will always be able to self-regulate.” (6) That is why a “Strength-based” approach works so well. You can continue to struggle to “will” yourself to do work which does not inspire you, or create an environment where your interest and urgency based nervous system works with you to achieve what you desire.

 

VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire – FREE Well researched test (VIA stands for Values in Action -120 questions in 15 minutes

VIA Youth Survey (Also FREE, but for ages 10-17) Takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

VIA Reports – Take the VIA survey, but receive more in-depth reports of your personalized profile. Learn what your strengths mean and how they can help you reach a more optimal, positively fulfilled life, whether you are using for yourself or with others. ($10 for youth, $40 for adults)

 

 

1) “What ADHD Awareness Really Means” by Dana Rayburn  http://www.danarayburn.com/add-adhd-coaching-2/what-adhd-awareness-really-means/   (Harvested 9-12-2013)

2) “On Self Awareness” – Excerpt from the “Human Condition”- Blog by Nila Nealy –http://www.nilanealy.com/  Saturday, January 10, 2009  (Harvested 9/14/2010)

3) Excerpt from Permission to Proceed: Creating a Life of Passion, Purpose and Possibility for Adults with ADHD (pages 76-77) by David Giwerc, MCC, Founder and President, ADD Coach Academy (2011)

4) The Disorganized Mind: Coaching Your ADHD Brain to Take Control of Your Time, Tasks, and Talents by Nancy A. Ratey (2008)

(5) Character Strengths Classification http://www.viacharacter.org/www/Character-Strengths/VIA-Classification

(6) Podcast from the 2015 ADHD Awareness Expo – The Best Things about Adults with ADHD with David Giwerc

 

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Encouraging Self Advocacy in Teens

Tools to help students with ADHD discover their strengths and learn to ask for help to overcome their difficulties.
During their younger years, it is the parents responsibility to speak up for his or her child to get their needs met at school. However, as  therapist Louise Levine writes,

Doing everything for your children may make you feel like a successful parent but it may not let your child be a successful person.”

“Before children leave the protective shelter of home and zealous parenting, we need to help them practice basic techniques and instill competencies that will enable them to:

Feel comfortable conversing about their disability,…

Identify their warning signs,…

Advocate for themselves,…

(Have systems in place that)… will help them…manage their lives, and

Have a sense of humor about ADHD….and their own particular foibles.” (1)

For all children, the ability to view the future with hope is central to their future success. According to the Gallup Student Poll, hope, engagement and well-being are all factors that have been shown to drive students’ grades, achievement scores, retention, and future employment. (2) For students with ADHD, knowing that they have areas of competence and strengths that can help them overcome their difficulties gives them hope.

Realizing that many of your weaknesses are not personal but symptomatic of the disorder and exploring strategies to address specific problem areas provides a sense of power and competence they may not have felt before. Knowing that asking for help is often met positively builds social trust. Being skilled in requesting options to standard requirements at school can also help students to re-engage with learning. The ability to affect their environment and how people react to them increases self-esteem and, in turn, affects their sense of well-being.

For those with ADHD, knowing there are ways around your difficulties that don’t involve constant struggle is truly liberating.

We have found a few strength assessments and self-advocacy programs that can help your teen through this process.

Evaluate Strengths

FREE – VIA Strength Survey for Children (VIA stands for Values in Action) Measures 24 Character Strengths for Children – Well researched

FREE – Interest Profiler – Discover what your interests are and how they relate to the world of work. The Interest Profiler helps you decide what kinds of occupations and jobs you might want to explore based on your interests.

strengths explorer $ – The Strengths Explorer For Ages 10 – 14 – Package includes: Youth workbook, a parent guide, and one online access code. ($29)

Self-advocacy

Going to College.org– Designed for high school students, their My Place section offers a good selection of activities and on-line resources for identifying learning styles and personal strengths as well as exploring interests. They present basic information about why knowing your personal style is important and recommend self-evaluation as well as talking with friends,  parents, and teachers about what they perceive as your strong points.

 

EBook

BUILDING A BRIDGE From School To Adult Life – A Handbook for Students and Family Members to Help with Preparation for Life After High School (92 page Workbook – Includes strengths and interests survey as well as self-advocacy tips)

 

1) Kids with ADHD are Natural Born Leaders by Louise Levin, Marriage and Family therapist – SmartKidswithLD.org – http://www.smartkidswithld.org/getting-help/adhd/kids-adhd-natural-born-leaders/ – Harvested March 19, 2015 (Copy and paste URL to link to article)

2) Gallup Student Poll – Hope, Engagement, and Wellbeing http://www.gallupstudentpoll.com/home.aspx – Harvested March 19, 2015

 

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Become an Effective Advocate for your Child with ADHD

Successfully advocating for your child can be a daunting task. This is an area where finding local resources, organizations or parents who have already gone through the process and will “teach you the ropes” can be invaluable.Articles           Discover Strengths          Advocacy Training        Downloadable e-Books         Support and Websites

Does your ADHD child qualify for an IEP plan or section 504? Maybe yes, but the school must agree. The law has left a large gray area open for interpretation. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) covers students who qualify for special education. Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Generally, IDEA plans are more restrictive  and more apt to apply to students with Learning Disabilities than those with ADHD.

Section 504 covers students who don’t meet the criteria for special education but who still require some accommodations in the regular classroom. According to attorney Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq., “Section  504 is essentially a civil rights anti-discrimination statute, designed to level the playing field between a person with a disability and his non-disabled peers.”  Another major difference is that Section 504, as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act is  not funded. (1)

In either case, eligibility for accommodations and/or modifications is based on an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. These life activities include, among a variety of other things, concentrating, learning, sitting, working, thinking, and interacting/cooperating with others. Since many of these are often affected by ADHD, your child may be included. A diagnosis alone, however, is not enough. AD/HD symptoms must be documented as significantly impacting learning or behavior through a specific evaluation process. The school may provide the service at no cost, but it is more likely that you will have to pay for it yourself.

Your goal is to advocate for the needs of your child – to speak up and to ensure they have the help they need to learn.  Remember this: Know your child – his strengths as well as weaknesses.  Build a good relationship with the teacher and other staff members.  Help them identify possible accommodations and put them into practice. Examples of possible accommodations are seating students closer to the teacher, providing note taker, allowing more time on tests, requiring less homework, using daily report cards to monitor behavior or weekly planners to keep school work on schedule.  A few simple changes may make a huge difference. Beyond that, know your rights, bring someone with you to official meetings and document everything!

Successfully advocating for your child can be a daunting task. This is an area where finding local resources, organizations or parents who have already gone through the process and will “teach you the ropes” can be invaluable. Find a parent who has “gone before you”, locate a support group or parent advocacy organization and get ready to work. Although, you may ultimately decide you need to hire a professional advocate to negotiate for the help your child needs, there are a number of resources available to help you learn to navigate the system.

Articles:

Chart of the difference between IEP and 504 Plans – Understood.org

Individualized Education Plans Quick and easy article, but covers most of the bases- from Nemour’s Kids Health

Guidance on 504 Plans: Know your Rights  2 page overview  (Updated in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Education)

Accommodating your child’s needs through a 504 Plan by Terry Illes, Ph.D. – Attention Magazine, published by CHADD – August, 2007 – Restricted screen makes it difficult to read, but includes a number of recommended accommodations.

Casting a Wider Net: Section 504 Revisions – An extensive article by Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq.

IDEA, IEPs, and Section 504 Plans: ADHD School Accommodations Augmented by links to documents and relevant websites. – From ADDitude Magazine.

Are you ready to retain a lawyer to settle an IEP issue with your child’s school district? If so, this article and the attached worksheet will walk you through the process.

 
Coffee Klatch Special Needs Radio – Choose from a number of interviews on a wide variety of topics. See: Jen Laviano – Special Education Attorney  – Dec 21, 2010

Explore your Child’s Strengths

VIA Strength Survey for Children for Youth ages 10 to 17 
Measures 24 Character Strengths for Children

For more on Character Strengths, see this article from Hands on Scotland: How to help children recognize and develop their strengths.

Parent Advocacy Training

Exceptional Children Assistance Center – Technical Assistance for Parent Centers
Information about the approximately 100 government funded parent centers in the U.S. that teach parents of children with ADHD (or any other disabling condition) how to advocate for the services their children require. Every state has at least one center.

Find a Parent Center near you.

Request for an Independent Evaluation at public expense – Sample letter (Only applies to IEPs)

More Sample letters from The Parent Information Center of New Hampshire

Note: A school psychologist once contacted our non-profit when I was manning the phones. She trying to find affordable treatment for a low-income student who was struggling in class. When asked why the school wasn’t stepping forward to provide the funding, she replied, “…Regarding the school district paying for an evaluation, I can see the smoke going up from our administrators—at even the suggestion. We are instructed to be ever-so-careful when we “encourage” that a child be evaluated. If we sound like we are recommending or insisting, the school district could be held liable to pay for it. In other words, that is an absolute no-no.”  

eBooks to Download

Guidance on 504 Plans Issued by U.S. Department of Education (2016 )- Clarifying the rights of students with ADHD in our nation’s schools. – “Regardless of how well he or she performs in school, a student who has trouble concentrating, reading, thinking, organizing or prioritizing projects, among other important tasks because of ADHD may have a
disability and be protected under Section 504.” 42 page document Know your Rights 2 page overview

An easy to read, step by step Guide to the Individualized Education Program. Provided by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services. 2000. Now in the Archives, but available as a PDF as well as in audio.

Bringing Knowledge to the Table – How to be an Effective Advocate for your Child –   42-page e-book complete with active links on the Special Education process. From IEPs to 504 accommodations it covers both the law and practical application. Includes valuable links.

Websites

CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD) specializes in in-depth information about ADHD and Educational Services in Public Schools – Basic articles are from the National Resources Center for ADHD and available for all, but many articles, especially those about advocacy, are reserved for members. (Families- $53 a year)

National Center for Learning Disabilities – For more than 35 years, NCLD has committed itself to empowering parents, transforming public schools and advocating for families and children challenged by learning and attention issues.

 Understood – For learning and Attention issues – 15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues throughout their journey. Help children unlock their strengths and reach their full potential. Includes a secure online community, practical tips and more.

LD Online has a great introduction to LD/ADHD symptoms and accommodations. The official site of the National Joint Committees on Learning Disabilities, LD online provides pertinent information for parents, educators, even kids. the basics, expert advice, and personal stories.

Wrightslaw.com Complete and accurate, Wright’s Law offers a wealth of information about disability law and how it may pertain to school – Applies to all disabilities, but ADHD has its own section.

Also see Wrightslaw’s Yellow Pages for Kids.com – Directory – Find Disability Specialists and the Organizations that may help your family (Free Listings). Not specific to ADHD concerns, but a great resource!They list a wide variety of service: educational consultants, psychologists, educational diagnosticians,  academic therapists, tutors, coaches, advocates, and attorneys for children with disabilities. You will also find special education schools, learning centers, parent groups, community centers, grassroots organizations, and government programs for children with disabilities

Smart Kids with LD   A great little site offering targeted information with a gentle touch.

Understanding Special Education provides help navigating the special education system as well as how to work collaboratively within your school district.  The site provides parent-friendly information on all aspects of the process as well as a Q & A section and a parent-to-parent forum. (Host: Michele Hancock, M.A., P.P.S)

1) Casting a Wider Net: Section 504 Under the 2008 ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) © Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq. http://addfreesources.net/casting-a-wider-net-section-504-revisions/

Resources compiled by Joan Jager – All sources link as of March 17, 2015

“Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhoto.net” Modified on Canva.com

 

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Supplemental Treatment Providers for ADHD

Treatment for ADHD is multi-faceted

Treatment for ADHD is multi-faceted

This article is part of the series: Find Treatment and Support. You may want to start there.

Finding a doctor for diagnosis is only the initial step in managing your ADHD symptoms. The list of additional resources below can help you move forward in your understanding of yourself and the challenges of ADHD. For optimal treatment for ADHD, you may find a need for a variety of professionals from different fields.

See Find Treatment for diagnosis, medical or psychological providers. These include:
Child Psychiatrists, Psychiatrists, Child Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, Psychologists, General Practitioners, Pediatricians, Neurologists, Behavioral Neurologists, Therapists, Marriage and Family Therapists, Clinical Social Workers, Social Workers and Counselors.

Other types of professionals/services may include ADHD Coaches, Professional Organizers, Support groups, Lawyers, Educational Consultants, Advocates, Information and Parent support organizations, Private Schools, Tutors,  and Residential Treatment Facilities. Professionals with an interest in or specialize in treating ADHD will often list their services in ADHD Directories as well.

Find an ADD Coach or Coach Training

Find an Organizer

Find Support – Make in person or online connections

You may find advocates, tutors, a few coaches, legal help and more here:
Wright’s Law – Yellow Pages for Kids with Disabilities Listings for educational consultants, advocates, advisors, psychologists, diagnosticians, health care specialists, academic tutors, speech language therapists, and attorneys. You’ll also find government programs, grassroots organizations, disability organizations, legal and advocacy resources, special education schools, and parent support groups. Good resource for finding help for kids, but there’s no sort for ADD specific providers

Find a Lawyer/ Advocates for IDEA or 504’s – Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) can provide a list of lawyers who specialize in disability rights. Visit their Web site or call in Washington DC 202-544-2210.

Advice on finding an attorney from CHADD’s National ADHD Resource.Center

National Disability Rights Network – Every state and territory of the United Sates has an organization designated to provide independent protection and advocacy services to eligible people with developmental and other disabilities and/or mental illness. Cover both school and workplace rights. Services include: Information and Referral, Training and Publications, Legal Representation, System Impact Litigation and Abuse or Neglect Intervention.

Center for Parent Information – Every State has at least one Parent Center that provides information and training to parents of children with disabilities, birth to 26. Find your State’s Parent Center and connect with a world of expertise and resources

LAW HELP – helps low and moderate income people find free legal aid programs in their communities, and answers to questions about their legal rights.

Legal Services Corporation – Government site – Legal Aid programs – Look for Find Legal Aid in the upper right corner of the page

Private Schools and Treatment Facilities

National Association of Private Schools for Exceptional Children (NAPSEC)
NAPSEC is a nonprofit association of private special education schools that serve both privately and publicly placed individuals with disabilities. Free referral service.

Note: Many private schools and treatment centers advertise in ADDitude Magazine (Bound version or in their ADHD Directory) as well as in CHADD’s Provider Directory or their Attention 2.0 on-line magazine.

Educational Consultants – Struggling Teens – Directory of educational consultants who specialize in helping parents find appropriate places for children with behavioral and/or emotional problems. When you have a need for specialized placement, they know what’s available and for how much.

In need of intensive care? Oppositional Defiant Disorder or the more severe Conduct Disorder are common comorbidities. Later in life, addictions can be a problem.

Psychology Today’s Facilities Guide – Detailed listings for residential treatment facilities, treatment programs, wilderness programs, therapeutic services and young adult programs

Treatment 4 Addiction – Drug Rehab Resource Page contains the SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) database, as well as many private treatment centers, therapists, and addiction professionals.

Tutors/ Advocates

You may find tutors and/or advocates listed in an ADHD Directory, but chances are you’ll need to ask for referrals from local groups, do a computer search and or try the phone directories. Again, ask questions about their general experience and specific knowledge of ADHD. (I don’t know of any professional directories for these fields. If you do, please let us know.)

An article with tips on Choosing a tutor for a child with LD. Understood has a collection of articles about tutoring for learning disabilities as well as attention difficulties.

Quick Links:
Find Treatment and Support
Find Support
Finding Mental Health services

For more information, see our Pinterest page on Finding Help and Support

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