For parents, teachers, related services providers, and school administrators who have questions about whether children with ADD/ADHD qualify for special education services under IDEA, please read the Joint Policy Memorandum on ADD/ADHD published in 1991.
This Memorandum was published jointly by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, the Office for Civil Rights, and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Memo clarifies that children with ADD/ADHD may be eligible for special education services under three IDEA disability categories – SLD, OHI, and ED. It also describes the circumstances under which schools must provide services and supports under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
The Memorandum begins with this statement:
“There is a growing awareness in the education community that attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) can result in significant learning problems for children with those conditions … ”
You should also read the “OCR Memorandum: Evaluation of Children Who May Have ADD/ADHD” published in 1992.
The OCR Memorandum is “intended to clarify the responsibility of LEAs (school districts) to evaluate children suspected of having ADD, based on parental request.”
“Under Section 504, if parents believe their child has a disability, whether by ADD or any other impairment, and the LEA has reason to believe the child needs special education or related services, the LEA must evaluate the child to determine whether he or she is disabled as defined by Section 504 …”
After reading these two Memoranda, you will have a clear sense of what the laws require schools to do for children who may have ADD/ADHD.