The Special Ed Advocate Newsletter
October 21, 2002

Issue - 183

ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

Message from the Editor

Are Children with ADD/ADHD Eligible for Special Ed?

Section 504: Requirements for Evaluating Children with ADD/ADHD

Reinventing Our Schools by Thom Hartmann

9th Circuit Decision - Relief When SD Refuses to Implement HO Decision

ADD/ADHD Resources

Cool Books: ADD/ADHD

Subscription & Contact Info

Your Email:

Your Name & Zipcode:

In this issue of The Special Ed Advocate, we look at special education services for children with ADD/ ADHD and parental rights in due process hearings.

Highlights: Special education eligibility under IDEA; evaluations under Section 504; Thom Hartmann makes a case for reinventing our schools; new decision from 9th Circuit provides relief to parents; ADD/ADHD topics page; Fall 2002 schedule; cool books about ADD/ADHD.

Download online version of newsletter: https://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/nwltr/2002/nl.1021.htm

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Ask the school to include your State Yellow Pages Flyer in your school newsletter too!

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1. A Message from the Editor

We receive many questions from parents, teachers, and health care providers about special education services for children with ADD/ADHD.

Are children with ADD/ADHD eligible for special education services under the IDEA? When are children with ADD/ADHD eligible for accommodations and modifications under Section 504? Can children with ADD/ADHD be suspended or expelled from school? (Answers: Maybe, maybe, maybe).

Children with Attention Deficit Disorders often have other problems that affect learning and behavior. Many children have learning disabilities; some have Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and bipolar disorder.

If you are a parent or teacher, educate yourself about this disability, educational methods, medical treatments - and how to present the child's problems to school personnel so they want to help.

2. Are Children with ADD/ADHD Eligible for Special Ed Services under IDEA?

Many people have questions about whether their children with ADD/ADHD are eligible for special education services under the IDEA. For many readers, the answer is a clear "Yes." For others, the answer is an equally clear "No!"

What do you think?

Are Children with ADD/ADHD Eligible for Special Education Services Under IDEA? discusses eligibility and gives readers a Game Plan to help them understand these thorny issues: 


3. Section 504: Evaluating Children with ADD/ADHD

The Office of Civil Rights published a Memorandum that clarifies the school's responsibility to evaluate children with ADD/ADHD. This publication includes Questions and Answers about ADD, Section 504 and IDEA, evaluations, more. For example:

Q: Can a school district refuse to provide special education services to a child with ADD because he or she does not meet the eligibility criteria under the IDEA?
A: No.

If you have a child with ADD/ADHD who is not getting appropriate help from the school, read Section 504 and Children with ADD/ADHD at:


4. Guest Column: Reinventing Our Schools by Thom Hartmann

In a thought-provoking article, author Thom Hartmann describes two "world views" of ADD and low stimulation and high stimulation classrooms. Mr. Hartmann is the author of several best-selling books about ADD/ADHD and education:

Reinventing Our Schools by Thom Hartmann at:


5. 9th Circuit: Relief When District Refuses to Implement HO's Decision

For some parents, winning relief at a due process hearing does not resolve their problems. What happens when the school district refuses to implement a hearing officer's decision? What happens if the state department of education does not require the district to implement the hearing officer's decision?

In some cases, parents are forced to request another round of due process hearings to resolve the refusal issue.

Last week, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a decision that will help parents who are dealing with recalcitrant school officials.

The Ninth Circuit held that parents for whom compensatory education program was ordered by a Hearing Officer are not required to seek a new due process hearing or to comply with the state’s complaint resolution procedure before they can sue in federal court for failure to implement the program.

The Court also reversed the District Court’s dismissal of the state defendants, holding that Eleventh Amendment immunity does not bar a federal court from granting prospective injunctive relief.

Steven Wyner, attorney for the parents, explains, "This decision provides a much needed remedy when school districts refuse to implement administrative decisions. School districts that try to waltz parents through endless rounds of administrative proceedings, rather than provide special education as ordered by the Hearing Office, will find that they have to face the music in federal court."

Download the decision in Porter v. Bd of Trustees of Manhattan Beach Unified Sch. Dist. at:


Note: The District Court Order is reported at 123 F. Supp. 2d 1187 (C.D. Cal. 2000)

6. ADD/ADHD Topics Page

Do you want to learn more about educating children with ADD/ADHD? Please visit the ADD/ADHD Page for articles, legal resources, book recommendations, free publications, and a list of information and support groups about educating children with ADD/ADHD:


For information about dozens of topics, from Advocacy to Zero Tolerance, visit the Master Topics Page at:


7. Advocacy Training: Fall 2002 Schedule

Knowledge is power. When you have information and skills, you will be a more effective advocate for your child. Our role is to help you gain knowledge and skills so you can negotiate on your child's behalf.

In November, we travel to Ontario, CA for the LDA of California conference, then to Atlanta for the International Dyslexia Association conference.

In December, we go to Oklahoma City for a two-day Wrightslaw Boot Camp. We hope you'll join us on the From Emotions to Advocacy Cruise!

October 30, 2002: Roanoke, VA. "What Every Special Ed Parent / Advocate / Attorney Should Know About Discipline."


November 7-9, 2002: Los Angeles, CA. Full day of advocacy training on Nov 7; additional sessions on Nov 8-9.


December 6-7, 2002, Oklahoma City. 2-day Boot Camp!



In Spring 2003, we will present programs in Louisiana, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. For more information about events and programs scheduled during this year, please check our Seminars & Training page:


"What a marvelous conference! I often leave sped presentations angry and/or guilty because of all the things that have been done or not done.
This time I left encouraged, inspired and armed! - Maryland parent

How to Plan a Training Program or Seminar

Programs are now being scheduled for 2003-2004. If you want to bring Pete & Pam Wright to your community, please read the FAQs about Seminars:


8. Cool Books About ADD/ADHD

Learning Outside the Lines: Two Ivy League Students with LD & ADHD Give You to Tools for Academic Success. Mooney, Cole 

This inspiring, practical book was written by 2 college students; includes practical strategies for kids to use: notebook organization, note taking, test taking, cramming, reading, and more. Great gift! For more information about Learning Outside the Lines go to: 


Teaching the Tiger : A Handbook for Individuals Involved in the Education of Students With Attention Deficit Disorders, Tourette Syndrome or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by Marilyn P. Dornbush and Sheryl K. Pruitt 

Excellent book for special educators, counselors, social workers, school psychologists, classroom teachers, and paraprofessionals. To learn more about Teaching the Tiger, go to


ADD: A Different Perception by Thom Hartmann gives examples of successful, creative, and dynamic individuals throughout history who were undoubtedly affected by ADD. Great gift for teenagers and young adults! 


How to Reach and Teach ADD/ADHD Children: Practical Techniques, Strategies, & Interventions for Helping Children With Attention Problems and Hyperactivity by Sandra F. Rief. 

Includes management techniques that promote on-task behavior and language arts, & multi- sensory instruction strategies to maintain attention and keep students involved. For more info about How to Reach & Teach ADD/ADHD Children go to:


9. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, tactics and strategy, and Internet resources. Subscribers receive announcements and "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books. 

Subscribe: https://www.wrightslaw.com/subscribe.htm

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Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
ISSN: 1538-3202
Pete and Pam Wright
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
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