Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > Special Education > Special Education Laws > Does My ADHD Child Qualify for Special Education?

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Does My ADHD Child Qualify for Special Education?

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Eileen S. Marzola, Ed.D.

Q: My 12-year-old was recently diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type, and has already gone through evaluations with the child study team. He scored very high in almost all areas, determining that he does not have a learning disability.

Since my child is unable to "stay on task" or "multitask" because of the ADD, the Team suggests classification, including in-class support and a study skills class to help him become more organized. I really don't want to classify him, but instead would like him put on a Section 504 plan. I'm really getting a lot of conflicting information from both the school and other specialists in the field. The Team says he's not eligible for the services they're suggesting under Section 504. I've read about Section 504 and it sounds like he is eligible for what the school is recommending. Can you help me?

A: Unless there are other factors that the school has not made clear to you, it certainly sounds like your child qualifies for Section 504. For a comparison of services/requirements under Section 504 and IDEA, go to Special Education and the Law on familyeducation.com. You'll find helpful information that you can take back to your son's school about the differences between these two laws.

You can also go to the website for Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (CHADD) at http://www.chadd.org or call their toll-free number 1-800-233-4050 to see if there's a branch of this advocacy group in your community. Someone at CHADD should be able to walk you through the process of getting appropriate supports for your child.

More on: Expert Advice

For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks