Is My Just Diagnosed ADHD Son Eligible for a 504 Plan?


My son was recently diagnosed with ADD, and I requested a 504 Plan for him. The vice-principal said that he isn’t eligible because he’s taking medication, which, he says, “cures the problem.”

ADDitude contributor Robert Tudisco is a practicing attorney with ADHD and an expert on special education law and disability advocacy.

First, medication does not cure attention deficit disorder. In most cases, an effective medication program manages many, but not all, ADHD symptoms. Second, no law states that a child who takes ADHD medication is ineligible for a 504 Plan.

While an ADHD diagnosis, or a diagnosis of any other disability, does not automatically qualify your son for services and/or reasonable accommodations, he is eligible for support if his ADHD symptoms significantly limit a major life activity, such as his ability to learn. You must prove and document the fact that medication isn’t managing all of his symptoms, and that he needs a 504 Plan.

Since Robert Tudisco was diagnosed with ADHD, he has researched and written extensively on the subject of special education law and disability advocacy, and now specializes in the area as a practicing attorney. He is a former Executive Director of the Edge Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides specialized coaches for students with ADHD and Executive Functioning Impairment. He has served on the National Board of Directors of CHADD and is a former Vice President of ADDA. He is a frequent resource for the media, including CBS News, New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, ABC News, The BBC, The Today Show, CNN, USA Today, and The Seattle Times.
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