Confident Solutions
Lately we have been receiving a lot of feedback regarding children who need help socially. These children often have "below the lines" or are "on red" at the end of the day. Often they are suspended because of behavior. When the parent reaches out for help, wanting the school to consider special education, they are being told that these students won't qualify because there are no "academic concerns". They are also told they must have a medical diagnosis in order to be considered for Other Health Impaired. Let me confess, that I used to tell parents this same information. It was what I was told when working in public education. Then I started to read the federal laws and my eyes were opened. Child find is mandated by the federal government. Schools are tasked with the responsibility of finding and identifying children with special needs, this includes children with ADHD. If the school requires you to have a medical diagnosis, they are responsible for helping provide that. If a school tells you that even though they have ADHD, there are no academic concerns take a minute and reflect on this. Are your child's behavior preventing him or others from learning? Are they so unfocused or impulsive that they can't initiate or complete a task, then it is effecting their education. If they can't attend during circle time, how can they possibly be learning the material being presented? An IEP would provide specially designed instruction for these kids. It may mean they are pulled to a quieter more structured environment so instruction can be delivered appropriately. It may mean that your  child needs more positive reinforcement than other children. This could be provided in the classroom or out. What should you do if you ask for a full evaluation and the school tells you that because of their academic achievement, they would not qualify? Ask them for the data. Ask questions about how much help the teacher is giving to initiate or complete a task. Ask how long they are attending to instruction prior to a redirection being given. Ask how many times a redirection must be given before a task is initiated or completed. When looking at the initial referral form, ask them to check every concern you have. Attached is a letter from the federal government providing clarification about students with disabilities regarding behavior. dc-fape-behavior-discipline