The problem is that the law leaves “appropriate education” up to the determination of the school staff. And there is no measure anywhere in IDEA or Section 504 that promises or even addresses “potential.” This was pointed out to me very early on — my son also has ADHD (and autism) and a gifted IQ. With a TON of micromanaging and school meetings on my part, he barely squeaks by as average, and that’s in inclusion classes, not gifted classes.
It is very hard to see your child’s intelligence, then watch them struggle to even get by in school. It is heartbreaking. One thing that has helped me during the last couple years in middle school is reminding myself that college (if he goes) and career will be something of his choosing in areas of his interest. Where, right now, he’s just a square peg trying to be shoved in a round hole. He learns differently than schools teach. He just doesn’t do school well, and that’s ok, because that DOES NOT mean he can’t do well in the future.
It is a complete myth that a child has to be failing or behind grade level to qualify for accommodations and services in school (https://www.additudemag.com/10-myths-about-special-ed-services/). Unfortunately, far too many teachers and administrators don’t understand the laws and what they are to do for students with learning differences and other disabilities.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism