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ADHD and Parent Advocacy
Published November 15, 2010
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common psychiatric disorders in children. Affecting an estimated three to five percent of children worldwide, ADHD can cause symptoms that last into adulthood. Children diagnosed with the disorder have to work on controlling impulsive behaviors and managing their attention issues, while their parents must keep a careful watch on their educational experience. School performance is one of the most common ways that a child is identified as having ADHD. What can parents do to advocate for a child with special needs? Here are some tips:
1. Know ADHD laws. Children who have special needs, including ADHD, are entitled to an education that is appropriate for their particular needs. Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as well as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004, your child may be entitled to additional services at school. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these laws and regulations, and understand what they do and do not protect.
2. Constantly monitor your child’s academic performance. Remain in close contact with school officials and teachers. Make sure that your child sits in close proximity to his instructor and is shielded from potential distractions.
3. Request that your child and teacher meet one-on-one on a regular basis. It is a good idea for your child’s instructor to look for, and reward, positive behavior.
4. At-home tutoring. It may be prudent to consider one-on-one tutoring for your child outside of regular school hours to complement in-school instruction.
5. Get a copy of your child’s curriculum. Follow the assignment schedule and pay attention to whether your child is keeping up with his coursework.
Parents can give their child with special needs the best chance of receiving the help and education he needs by becoming engaged in their child’s learning experience. If you suspect your child’s needs are not being properly accommodated at school, contact an attorney who is experienced in special needs and education issues.
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