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One-on-One Aid Through the 504?
Q: My daughter has ADHD. The school is giving her an IEP for two hours a day. What are my rights as a parent? How can I get her a one-on-one aid through the Section 504? What are my options?
A: If your daughter has an IEP, then she is eligible for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. ADHD is not one of the handicapping conditions listed under that law, but sometimes children can receive the services by being listed as "Other Health-Impaired." Section 504 offers accommodations for children who are not eligible for special education services. It is commonly used for children with ADHD who do not have any other handicapping conditions. You can find an excellent comparison of the services provided under both those laws at http://familyeducation.com/article/0,1120,23-27216,00.html.
The description of support services (including frequency and group size) should be indicated on your daughter's I.E.P. If you feel that the services recommended are not appropriate to her needs, you can request an impartial hearing to review her case. An extremely helpful guide to obtaining appropriate services for your child is attorney Lawrence M. Siegel's book, The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child.
As a parent, you can ask for any number of modifications/accommodations in your child's program that can be written right on the I.E.P. If she's not making progress under current conditions, ask for her case to be reopened and request the changes you feel are necessary. Knowing your rights and how to apply them will make you the strongest advocate for your child.
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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.