Eligibility Under IDEA
In order to qualify under IDEA, your child must need special education. For example, your child may need special education because ADD/ADHD makes her unable to pay attention in class. Another indicator that your child might need special education supports and related services is if your child's ADD/ADHD causes him to act impulsively towards other students, straining social relations and resulting in school discipline.
Even though ADD/ADHD is not specific disabling conditions under IDEA, a child with ADD/ADHD is usually found eligible for special education under “Other Health Impairment” category. The Federal Regulations specifically include ADD and ADHD in their definition of Other Heath Impairment. Alternatively, a child with ADD/ADHD might also be found eligible for special education under the “emotional disturbance” (ED) or “specific learning disability” (SLD) classifications.
Eligibility Under Section 504
If a child who has ADD/ADHD is found ineligible under the IDEA, she might still be eligible for support under Section 504 of the ADA. In order to establish 504 eligibility, you must show that ADD/ADHD interferes with a "major life activity." Section 504 eligibility is often established by showing ADD/ADHD interferes with the major life activity of learning.
Find out more about special education eligibility in Massachusetts here.
To learn more about the difference between a IEP and a 504 plan click here.
To read a parent Q & A about ADD/ADHD and special education click here.