The Dilemma of ADHD Support in School

The Dilemma of ADHD Support in SchoolADHD Support in School and the lack thereof is why you are here reading this. So let’s say that you have been through school testing and an IEP eligibility meeting. The school has refused an IEP but has offered a 504 based on numerous statements that are not true like:


  • He needs to be 2 years behind to be eligible.
  • His grades are fine so he’s not eligible.
  • The testing shows no clear sign of a learning disability, so he can’t have an IEP.

What do you do? Well, an option other than pursing legal help or private testing could be to accept the 504 placement and monitor the effects of what is set in place. This is key. After all, the school is saying that the accommodations will take care of what you consider to be impairments affecting his success. What are those accommodations? So many parents are confused as to what can be included in the 504. So the answer is, anything that your child needs should be in it. Don’t let the school dictate the “cookie cutter” approach to this document. Generally a couple of accommodations are thrown in and are not necessarily specific to the needs of the child. Here are some examples of possible accommodations that can be in the 504. Remember, this 504 is general education and serves to level the playing field for the child with the disability, whether it is physical or mental. Expectations for the child are the same as for those without a 504 as far as completing general-ed requirements.

  • More time on tests
  • Another environment in which to take tests
  • Notes
  • Preferential seating

In addition to assuring that the correct accommodations are in place is the importance of monitoringThe Dilemma of ADHD Support in School success and documenting what is working and what is not working. Certainly, this 504 may be helpful in supporting the child with ADHD. But many times, they fail because of lack of adequate support, failure of following through with documented accommodations, and lack of evaluating the effectiveness of those support systems. So what can a parent do? It is absolutely imperative that the parent takes on the role of overseer. Points to consider at the time of 504 development:

  • Attach an accommodation to each of the child’s impairments.
  • Establish communication and with whom it will be as well as frequency. A suggestion might be once a week.
  • Evaluate with the teacher’s help how the accommodation is affecting the impairment.
  • Continue to document struggles that are occurring despite the support.
  • Maintain the paper trail.

All of this will determine whether the 504 is being followed and that it is adequately supporting this child with ADHD in the classroom. Remember, this document is quite loose and does not specify goals to be achieved, as does the IEP. Objective data lead by you the parent can determine the presence of FAPE, Free and Appropriate Public Education.

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