My Son Left Graffiti on the Walls...So The School Had Him Arrested!

Q:

My son was caught writing graffiti on the school walls. He was suspended, and the school had him arrested. His ADHD caused him to do this. What now?

A:

ADHD is not an excuse for criminal behavior. What your son did was wrong, and you should discipline him appropriately.

In terms of legal rights, if he is classified under IDEA, has a current IEP, and was suspended for more than 10 days, he is entitled to a hearing. If the hearing determines that he committed the act, and that this was due to his disability, the school district is required to perform a functional behavioral assessment and to develop a plan to prevent your son from doing it again. In most cases, any criminal charges will be dropped.


Robert M. Tudisco is a practicing attorney with ADHD. He is the executive director of the Edge Foundation, which provides specialized coaching to college students with ADHD. He is also a nationally recognized author and lecturer on special-education law.

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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