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Getting The Accommodations Your Child Needs Through The 504 Plan ADHD Advocates Made Possible

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.

Becoming familiar with all aspects of this law is the first step in helping your young child get the necessary classroom accommodations. Kids with disabilities have rights under two federal laws, the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act. If you have a child with attention deficit, she may not qualify for IDEA unless there are additional challenges covered by the law.

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.

Contacting your school system's special education services committee, in writing, to request an evaluation should be the initial step. Teachers do not have the authority to approve your request. The letter you send needs to be certified or personally delivered. Do not be overly worried if you are initially turned down. A private assessment, outside the system if necessary, is your youngster's right.

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.

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.

Being a child can be difficult, even without brain based learning challenges. As the parent, it is your job to give your child every possible chance for success. It may be difficult and frustrating, but you have federal law behind you when you advocate for your youngster.

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