Ask the Experts

When Your ADHD Child’s School Won’t Give Accommodations

My attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) son’s doctor sent a letter to his high school, requesting that class notes be e-mailed to me, so I can help him study for tests. The teachers refuse to do this. His elementary school did, and he always made the honor roll. What can I do?

A doctor’s note alone won’t get accommodations for your child with ADHD or a learning disability. Only an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan can do that. If your son already has a plan, request, in writing, a meeting with his special education team at school about amending it. Bring the doctor’s note — and ask your doctor to attend the meeting, or to be available to answer questions by phone.

Review your son’s IEP or 504 Plan from elementary school, if he had one. If neither was formalized, find your e-mails or letters expressing a need for accommodations, and the school’s agreement to grant them. This could be helpful in getting teachers and administrators to agree to your request for e-mailing class notes home. If they don’t agree, see an attorney about possibly filing a due-process hearing to resolve it.