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Robinson & Clapham - Employment Law Attorney
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Is school reluctant to deal with your child's ADHD?

There are many people who partner with you as you raise your children. Grandparents and other family members, coaches, scout leaders and church ministers may be a few. However, perhaps no one works more closely or is more dedicated to the success of your child than his or her teacher.

The partnership between parents and schools is often a contentious one. Teachers who are overworked and Rhode Island school systems that are underfunded may resist requests for accommodations for a child with special needs, perhaps especially children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Nevertheless, the law provides that your child should have every opportunity to succeed in school, and if your child does not receive those opportunities, you may have to take action.

What are your options?

Some parents are fortunate to have teachers who are willing to make informal accommodations for a child with ADHD. These are often teachers who have special training in adapting teaching methods and assignments for kids who struggle because of their learning disabilities. However, you may meet with reluctance from the school's administration.

If your child's school does not offer to make informal adjustments, you can take steps to obtain official accommodations. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act states that schools must provide appropriate services for students who qualify. These services may include either of the following:

  • 504 Plan: This simply ensures that teachers will do what is necessary to accommodate your child's unique learning style. It is informal, but it places pressure on the school to acknowledge your child's needs, evaluate your child and outline the accommodations they intend to provide.
  • Individualized Education Program: You can request in a letter that your child receive a more formal evaluation that will pinpoint any learning disabilities and compel schools to makeappropriate educational adjustments.

Under an IEP, you child may be offered one-on-one instruction, speech therapy, modified assignments or priority seating, to name a few. Because the testing is more comprehensive, experts may recommend psychological counseling or behavioral therapy.

If you have decided to request an evaluation for your child under IDEA, you have a limited amount of time to prepare for the meeting that may change the course of your child's education. You have every right to have legal counsel at these meetings, and such advice may prove invaluable. You may benefit most from a legal professional who is devoted to fighting for the rights of children with special needs.

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Providence Office
123 Dyer Street, Suite 135
Providence, RI 02903

Phone: 401-400-3841
Fax: 401-331-7888
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Wakefield Office
24 Salt Pond Road, Suite A #8
Wakefield, RI 02879

Phone: 401-594-4365
Fax: 401-783-3670
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