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ADHD, IEP, and 504 Plans
Q: My eight-year-old son has ADHD, takes 35 mg. of Ritalin a day, and has an IEP in speech. Is he still covered under IDEA or Section 504 even though he hasn't been evaluated by the school district? Is he automatically covered since he has ADHD? He hasn't been a behavior problem except for one isolated incident due to his impulsivity.
A: If your child has an Individualized Education Plan for speech, then he is covered under IDEA. Even if he was evaluated privately for speech and language, your school district must have reviewed the evaluation when they approved services. If he just had ADHD and was not receiving other services, he would be covered by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A 504 Accommodation Plan must be written for him every year to outline the accommodations he needs. An excellent guide to possible accommodations under Section 504 can be found in Harvey C. Parker's book, Problem Solver Guide for Students with ADHD.
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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.