Tag Archives: teachers

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

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

 

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Casting a Wider Net: Section 504 Revisions

Casting a Wider Net:  Section 504 Under the 2008 ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA)

©  Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq.

In 2008, Congress amended the Americans with Disabilities Act, significantly broadening the definition of disability, beginning in 2009.  That change impacted the definition of disability under Section 504, one of two statutes from which children  receive special education services in school, (the other being The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA.).  The major changes as they pertain to students with disabilities, including children with ADHD, 2e children, and other bright children who may not have qualified for special education services or accommodations are significant, and are summarized herein.

What’s Section 504 got to do with the ADA?

Both are civil rights laws that protect individuals with disabilities from being discriminated against in our public schools.   Section 504 was enacted in 1973 and applies to all programs and activities that receive federal money.  This includes public schools, colleges, and universities as well as certain employers, state and local government programs, and places of public accommodation, such as a public library, courthouse or Federal office building.  (It’s hard to find any school, including private school that does not receive some financial assistance from the government.)   The ADAAA includes a “conforming amendment” to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; meaning that the newly expanded coverage under ADAAA also applies to Section 504.  Since both statutes are interpreted in parallel, the ADA impacts Section 504. While the wording of Section 504 did not change, because of the ADAAA, it’s interpretation has.  The main key to understanding Section 504 is that it 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, when it comes to equal access to governmental sponsored activities, venues and rights.   It confers no federal funding upon the states, it is an unfunded mandate.

Today, the key difference between Section 504 and IDEA is that under 504, the level of restriction is the determining factor, not the severity of the impairment, or adverse educational impact.   Further, a substantial limitation in one major life activity need not be limiting in other major life activities in order to be considered a disability, and consideration must be made on a case-by-case basis, according to the “reasonable person” standard.  (If a reasonable person/ average person would consider that disability to be materially restricting.)

These changes are especially important if your child:

  1. Was previously evaluated under IDEA and was found ineligible.
  2. Was previously evaluated under Section 504 and was found ineligible.
  3. Already has a 504 plan.
  4. Is already receiving informal accommodations.
  5. Needs accommodations from the College Boards.
  6. Is applying to college.

 

Why The Change?:

Previously, the definition of disability was described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  Under Section 504, a person was considered to be a person with a disability if he: (1) had a physical or mental impairment which substantially limited a major life activity and; 2) had a record of such impairment; or (3) was regarded as having such an impairment. Once a person met that standard, they could receive a “reasonable accommodation.” Over the years a few landmark employment law cases made it to the Supreme Court, which decisions tightened the requirements by which a person could be considered disabled for purposes of employment and disability law. Congress thought that those Supreme Court decisions contradicted their congressional intent of protecting people with disabilities, and so Congress revised the Americans with Disabilities Act (The ADAAA), to re- clarify and broaden the interpretation of disability and realign it with the original Congressional intent (which was whether the school, entity or facility met its obligations under the law, not whether the claimant met the definition of disability.)

What’s New?:

The Definition of Major Life Activity:

The definition of “major life activities” was expanded to include learning, reading, concentrating, thinking and even sleeping.  And the definition of “major bodily functions” was expanded to include neurological, digestive, reproductive and brain functions.

The Definition of Disability:

The definition of “disability” is to be broadly, rather than narrowly interpreted. And a limitation in one major life activity need not impact other major life activities.  Eg., a reading disability need not impact all subject areas to be considered a “disability.”

The Definition of Substantial Limitation:

The ADA as revised by Congress has now clarified “substantially limits” with a lower standard of “materially restricts.” While the wording of Section 504 did not change, because of the ADAAA, it’s interpretation has.  Today, the level of restriction is the determining factor, not the severity of the impairment.  Further, a substantial limitation in one major life activity need not be limiting in other major life activities in order to be considered a disability, and must be made on a case-by-case basis.  This change significantly broadened the definition of what constitutes a “disability.”

No Requirement of Educational Need:

Accordingly, the threshold for “educational need” is now more flexible under 504 than it is under IDEA.  Under 504, educational need or adverse educational impact is not the threshold for evaluation; the disability is. (Think disability plus some level of restriction in some area regarding learning, thinking, communicating, and so on, versus the requirement of “adverse educational impact” under IDEA.)  The threshold is not the same.

No Requirement to Fail:

As for twice exceptional children, or bright children who did not previously qualify for special education services; under the new interpretation under 504, a district may not use a child’s superior or adequate grades as a reason to refuse to evaluate him.  A 504 plan may still be appropriate even in cases where the disability does not impact learning. Nothing in the ADA or Section 504, or IDEA for that matter, limits eligibility to students who suffer academically.  Therefore a district may not refuse to evaluate a child whose disability has no educational impact if the child meets the new definition of disability under the ADAAA and thus 504.  Thus, schools can no longer tell parents that their child doesn’t qualify for an evaluation or a 504 plan solely because he is “doing okay without any intervention.” To say this is now a violation, says the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR). Other information about the disability must still be considered. The child may, after a full evaluation, still not qualify for a particular accommodation or service, but he must still be evaluated, if he has a physical or mental impairment that materially restricts one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment, regardless of good grades.

 

Definition of Reasonable Accommodation:

A “reasonable accommodation” has no definition in educational law and no limit at the moment, other than undue hardship on the part of the district.  And, the accommodation requested does not need to be directly related to the specific disability. (That does not mean however, that the sky is the limit in requesting accommodations from the school district.  The accommodation request can still be denied if the school district feels it is unreasonable, and then it is up to the hearing officer, or judge to decide.)

No Consideration of Mitigating Measures:

Mitigating measures cannot be considered in determining substantial limitation (except for contacts and eyeglasses), and if mitigating measures create an additional impact, there must also be an accommodation for that issue caused by the mitigating measure. A student must be able to use a mitigating measure independently; if the school personnel has to do something, then the disability is not mitigated. When determining whether the disability materially restricts a major life function, school districts must do a “look back” evaluation to determine what the child is like when off medication or without the mitigating measure. That is a very difficult task, but good news for kids with ADHD who take medications to help them focus.  They must be evaluated based on what their behavior would be when un-medicated.

No Penalty for Self-Accommodations:

And perhaps the most important change: kids who have learned to “self-accommodate,”  adapt—or compensate, as we like to call it—now cannot be penalized for learning to manage the disability on their own. Learned adaptive skills are a mitigation that may not be taken into consideration when determining substantial limitation. A child with a reading disability who can still learn in other ways is still disabled for the purposes of the new interpretation under Section 504, perhaps even if he is an honor roll student.  This change significantly benefits children with ADHD, and other children who were bright enough, or had enough compensatory skills to slip under the classification radar.

What Conditions Are Covered?:

In addition to disorders of learning, reading, concentrating, thinking and sleeping, other biological conditions are now covered. Diseases in remission are now considered as if they were active.  (Yes, you can get a 504 plan for cancer in remission, if it materially restricts you in some way.)  Alcohol problems are covered, although drug addiction is not. Other biological conditions such as gastro disease, neurological, brain, and reproductive disorders also fall under 504 protection.  Medical needs, if they trigger 504 services are now a burden that the district must bear.  And service dogs are now covered and may be allowed in schools.

Children Who Are Bullied:

Another interesting wrinkle, children who are bullied may fall under the “regarded as” prong if they are bullied as a result of their perceived disability.  And, according to Congress in revising the ADA, that discrimination provides them protection under 504, whether the disability is “substantially limiting” or not. This is a very interesting new wrinkle. Conceivably, a child may be entitled to an accommodation for being bullied if he is discriminated against (bullied because he had a disability), whether or not his disability is materially restricting enough to otherwise qualify for Section 504 protections or accommodations.

Evaluations Under Section 504:

Evaluations under the new interpretation of Section 504 must be comprehensive and look at all areas of learning: thinking, concentration, communicating, and so on.  School Districts must meet 504’s evaluation and placement procedural requirements when developing the plan.  For children with medical conditions who previously had an IHP (health response plan), the IHP may no longer be sufficient to meet 504 procedural requirements and they may need to be upgraded to a 504 plan.

Clinicians who do private evaluations and recommend a 504 plan should be aware that their evaluations:  must clearly show how the disability materially restricts a major life activityhow it impacts learning; (thinking, concentrating, communicating, and so on); also address any deficits masked by mitigating or self-accommodation measures, (what the child looks like off medications); and list any accommodation required for any effect of a mitigating measure.  This is especially important for children who are high functioning and have no adverse educational impact.

What Is The New Standard of Education under Section 504?

That’s a really good question.  The standard of FAPE, (Free Appropriate Public Education) is not the same as under IDEA.  Section 504 regulations define appropriate education as “the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services that (i) are designed to meet individual educational needs of handicapped persons as adequately as the needs of non-handicapped persons are met and (ii) are based upon adherence to procedures that satisfy the requirements” of the additional regulations governing educational setting, evaluation and placement, and procedural safeguards.

Two notable cases, Lyons and Mark H., establish that the 504 “appropriate education” standard is enforceable, and that the standard it imposes on public schools is different from the IDEA appropriate education standard, maybe lower, maybe higher, depending on the circumstances of your particular school district.  For example, a wealthy district that offers multiple programs and activities for nondisabled children, would be held to a higher standard of education for children covered by 504, a standard well above what IDEA calls for.  Poorer school districts that offer a barely decent level of services and instruction to children without disabilities, might be able to get away with providing lesser services to their children with disabilities, which may fall far below the expectations of IDEA.   How this will play out especially in wealthier districts whose kids have more positive outcomes, remains to be seen.  At this point in time, remember there is no definitive limit to 504 services, as long as they provide an equal opportunity for FAPE as that enjoyed by the non-disabled peers.

Remember, under IDEA, the IEP compares the child to his own best capacities, (more person-centered) while Section 504, when looking at the impact of the disability, compares him to his same age peers across the nation.  But, the obligations of school districts and other entities are measured by how equally they provide access and services to the disabled versus non-disabled, and that is a local standard.  And, when assessing violations of the ADA and 504, the focus is on the school or entity, not the disability, or the person with the disability.  This is an entirely different paradigm than under IDEA.

All services, accommodations and modifications must level the playing field in order to be 504 compliant.  Not all actually do what they are intended to do.  A level playing field means an equal opportunity to succeed in school.  It does not mean maximization of your child’s potential.

By now all school districts must have updated their 504 evaluation criteria, procedural requirements, manuals, materials, parent letters, prior written notice letters, etc., and trained personnel not to make statements or policy that violates Section 504.  The Office of Civil Rights has said it will enforce Section 504 in a manner consistent with the ADA Amendments Act. Because school districts must create their own evaluation procedures under Section 504, this is particularly challenging.    Also, Section 504 does and has always included the provision of services, as well as accommodations and modifications.  There is nothing in the statute that limits 504 in that regard, but for some reason school districts forget that.  But, perhaps the most challenging issue facing school districts is understanding that even children who are doing adequately in school may still qualify for Section 504 accommodations and services, if they have a disability that materially restricts a major life activity.

What Should Parents Do?:

Clearly, these changes suggest that any child previously refused services under the old interpretation of Section 504 should promptly request an evaluation under the new interpretation of Section 504.  This is especially important for children who did not meet threshold criteria before or who may have had a discipline involvement (or both) and who are now otherwise protected under the “regarded as” prong of 504 (for example, already receiving informal accommodations).  It is also important for college-bound teens and those seeking accommodations on college boards to be promptly re-evaluated under Section 504. (However, the college board makes it’s own decisions under Section 504, independent of the school.)

Do not expect your school district to fully understand the ramifications of these changes.  Parents must be proactive and vigilant in protecting their children’s Section 504 rights, even if their school is not.

Ask, ask, ask for a new evaluation.  Be prepared with data and information about your child’s disability, and include examples of how your child functions without their medications or self-accommodations in ALL areas of learning, thinking, communicating, etc.  If your child has another type of disease or disability that is now covered, including gastro-intestinal, immunological, or cancer remission, remember to ask for a 504 plan for any issues arising out of that disease or it’s treatment.  Use your knowledge about your child to paint a picture for the committee.

Be specific about what services and/or accommodations you think they need to level the playing field in school.  Services are included under 504, do not be afraid to ask for “504 Services” by name.  Services that your child may have been denied under IDEA may be appropriate and more easily accessible under the new interpretation of Section 504.

Be a very attentive listener.  If you hear a comment from your school district that violates Section 504, as indicated above, report it to OCR, you can file an OCR complaint online.

Conclusion:

For many years the focus was on IDEA and the IEP and obtaining IEP services.  Children who had a 504 plan in school rarely got the same level of services or procedural protections as those given to children under IDEA.  In fact, the 504 plan was regarded as the “ugly stepchild” of special education.  Today, the ADA Amendments Act has created a paradigm shift in the way we look at children with disabilities, assess them and service them.  There seems to be no end in sight to the possibilities and potential ramifications of the new interpretation of Section 504.  But more importantly, it has opened a world of new possibilities for more students, and especially higher achieving students with disabilities to receive appropriate services and accommodations for disabilities that went un-noticed, un-validated, and un-serviced under IDEA.

 

Disclaimer: Please be advised that this information is not intended to take the place of legal advice.  For specific legal questions seek the advice of a licensed attorney.

©  Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq. – All rights reserved.  Articles may be reproduced or electronically distributed as long as attribution to Lisa M. LaVardera, Esq. is maintained.

Find the original article at: PTS Coaching –  Casting a Wider Net 

 

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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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Bill of Rights for Children with ADHD

HELP ME TO FOCUS …Bill of Rights

Please teach me through my sense of touch.
I need “hands-on” and body movement.

I NEED TO KNOW WHAT COMES NEXT …

Please give me a structured environment where
there is a dependable routine. Give me an
advance warning if there will be changes.

WAIT FOR ME, I’M STILL THINKING …

Please allow me to go at my own pace.
If I’m rushed, I get confused and upset.

I’M STUCK, I CAN’T DO IT! …

Please offer me options for problem-solving.
If the road is blocked, I need to know the detours.

IS IT RIGHT? I NEED TO KNOW NOW …

Please give me rich and immediate feedback
on how I’m doing.

I DIDN’T KNOW I WASN’T IN MY SEAT! …

Please remind me to stop, think, and act.

AM I ALMOST DONE? …

Please give me short work periods with short-term goals.

WHAT? …

Please don’t say “I already told you that.”
Tell me again, in different words.
Give me a signal. Draw me a symbol.

I KNOW IT’S ALL WRONG, ISN’T IT? …

Please give me praise for partial success.
Reward me for self-improvement, not just for perfection.

BUT WHY DO I ALWAYS GET YELLED AT? …

Please catch me doing something right and
praise me for the specific positive behavior.
Remind me—and yourself—about my good points
when I’m having a bad day.

 

(Reprinted from Newsletter of The Delaware Association For The Education of Young Children, Winter 1993-94) © 1991, Ruth Harris, Northwest Reading Clinic – Harvested 3-1-2015 – http://www.kidsenabled.org/articles/diagnosis/reality-adhd – Sorry, Link is broken

“Image courtesy of phhotowizard/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net” – Modified on Canva.com

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