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ADHD-related education guidance issued by federal government

Suffering from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can pose some special challenges for a child when it comes to their educational experience. This is among the reasons why federal law gives special protections to individuals with ADHD when it comes to education. We discussed some of these special protections in a recent post.

Unfortunately, schools do not always comply with these special protections and provide the help and support to students with ADHD that federal law requires. In recent years, a good portion of complaints of elementary/secondary education disability discrimination to the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education have involved complaints related to ADHD. Specially, complaints of students with ADHD being discriminated against made up over 10 percent of the over 16,000 disability discrimination complaints the agency received in the prior five years.

ADHD-related elementary/secondary education discrimination complaints can contain a range of different allegations. Some common ones include allegations of schools not giving students with ADHD needed accommodations for their condition or schools not having proper evaluation measures when it comes to ADHD.

When ADHD students’ rights under federal education law are not being respected, their ability to receive a quality education, which can have major implications for their future, could be endangered. There are many questions parents of students with ADHD may have regarding what they can do if they suspect their child’s school isn’t living up to federal requirements when it comes to the educational support it is providing their child. Skilled attorneys can advise such parents on these critical and potentially future-impacting matters.

In response to the many ADHD-related discrimination complaints it has received, the Office for Civil Rights recently put out an ADHD-related guidance. Among the things the guidance contained were clarifications of the protections federal law provides students with ADHD and some warnings to schools about potential pitfalls to avoid when it comes to their decision-making regarding their practices involving students with this condition.

Do you think the guidance will help reduce the occurrence of students with ADHD in the U.S. experiencing problems having their education rights properly respected by schools?

Source: Rincon Hill News, “US Department of Education Releases New ADHD Student Civil Rights Guidelines,” Shelley Jackson, July 26, 2016

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