My son is in 9th grade and is ADHD. He has very poor executive functions causing problems in math and writing. He has been evaluated twice with the school deciding that he has normal IQ.
I know of many other cases where poor executive function has not been recognized as a reason to give IEPs, yet children with this problem are struggling and failing.
How can we get the law changed?
I don’t see that either the IEP law or that the law regarding the definition of “‘child with a disability” needs to be changed.
The law is clear that if a child has a disability, and the disability adversely affects educational performance, then the child is entitled to services under IDEA 2004 and entitled to an IEP.
The law also says that child does not even need to have a label to be eligible for those services.
Whether your child has an executive function disability, has the xyz syndrome, or even the abc condition, if that disability adversely affects his educational performance, then your child is entitled to an IEP.
If you read our Wrightslaw Special Education Law book, at page 50 you will see my footnoted comment that relates to the legal definition of a child with a disability.
20 U.S.C. 1401. Definitions.
(3) Child With A Disability.
(A) In General. The term ‘child with a disability‘ means a child –
(ii) who, by reason thereof needs special education and related services.
I explain on that page that a child with a disability is not automatically eligible for special education and related services under IDEA. The key phrase is “who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services.” A child can advance steadily from grade to grade, without failing grades, and still be classified as a child with a disability.
For the legal authority for my comment see Regulation 300.101(c) and 300.8(2) and footnote 16.
Again, rather than changing the IEP law or the law regarding the definition of child with a disability, learn how to effectively present the data about a child’s unique needs.
The person seeking to find eligibility for a child needs to learn how to present the data in a way that others agree the child needs service.
Don’t focus on what has failed for one or more parents and assume that this is the standard. It is not. To advocate for your child, you need to learn for yourself what the law says. Learn how to get services. Start your self education on Wrightslaw.
Your perspective and ability to open doors for your child will be changed forever.
More about Eligibility.