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Neal:  What types of accommodations under the ADA are private schools legally obligated to follow for students with ADD/ADHD? My daughter has ADHD, and the private school (which does not fall under IDEA or 504 auspices because they receive no federal funding) she goes to will not document any of the accommodations/ recommendations listed on the psychoeducational report for the teacher to follow to meet her educational/ behavioral needs. The only accommodations they will provide are preferential seating and extra time on tests.

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Does a private high school has the right to obtain the specific medical diagnosis of the minor from the doctor in order to grant these accomodations?


My daughter has severe and sudden onset of OCD from a bacterial
Infection at age 15, her school (independent) will
Not grant extra time despite letters from a psychiatrist, psychologist and Yale dr treating Pans


If you have not done so, you can request in writing that she be evaluated for services under special ed or Section 504.


What accommodations do Title III school, i..e. independent schools need to make for students as it relates with mental health needs. I.e. students who have been diagnosed as having depression, anxiety, suicidal behaviors


Your state parent training and information project should be able to address the rules for your state.


Neal, the idea that private schools don’t have to comply with the ADA is not correct. Private schools cannot decide which accommodations they will provide.

Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination in public accommodations. “Public accommodations” includes private schools. Private schools must make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures.

Private schools must also furnish auxiliary aids – interpreters, notetakers, or readers – when necessary to ensure effective communication, unless this would result in an undue burden.

Download, read, and re-read “ADA: Testing Accommodations” from the Dept of Justice.
You need to develop expertise on this represent your child’s interests.


the link does not exist.

Elise – thanks so much for the heads up. Here is the updated link –

I’ve updated it in the article as well. Thanks again!


My son’s independent high school requires three years of a foreign language for graduation. He is dyslexic and has completed two years, with extreme effort and negative effect on all of his other classes. On the advice of his neuropsychologist, we requested a waiver or substitution of the third year of Spanish. Would this ever be a reasonable accommodation that doesn’t fundamentally alter a school program or result in an undue burden? They are trying to push him to go to another school for Spanish.


See the link below: It seems that his independent school does not think outside the box or offer a level of of support needed for him to succeed and would prefer to not deal with his issues. Some independent schools, that are more forward thinking, substitute independent learning for foreign language (especially for LD students) and allow for an experiential approach to learning a foreign language. There are many ways to deal with this without putting an undue burden on the student. What is your son’s input into this? Would he prefer to attend an independent school that is more supportive?


You can check what your state rules are. In some states the law allows a student to substitute other courses for foreign languages.