My son is 7 and has ADHD. We are not putting him in the self contained class, as the school has suggested. He will enter general ed with support. Im wondering tho, legally, is the school required to give him a 1:1 if we ask? I cant seem to find this answer anywhere! Our meeting is this week. TIA!
Can I Demand A Paraprofessional In The Classroom For My ADHD Child?
The short answer is, no.
However, the school is required to provide FAPE (free and appropriate education) in the "least restrictive environment," so if the support provided isn't enough to keep him in general ed., but an aid could, then they should try that before a self-contained classroom. I found a good link though: How to Request a One-to-One Aide for Your Child by ... - Wrightslaw; also, the book below has advice in understanding how schools operate in this area and how to negotiate with them. Have they evaluated for a behavior intervention plan? ~~When searching for special education info, proceed your question with "Wrightslaw" and something relevant usually turns up.~~
I'm curious as to why their minds would go straight to a self-contained classroom--perhaps just because they have one; my ds attends a space-restricted charter whose library is about the size of my bedroom. My ds (now 8yo) has rather ADHD-combined and used to be quite aggressive and hyperactive. Just prior to 1st grade we started him on Concerta which helped a lot but there were still problems. A couple of months later he moved on to Vyvanse which was a lot better, then a few months after that we increased the dose of Vyvanse and he has been doing well on that for over a year. All during the last school year and summer he was seeing a behavior therapist (which didn't help much until the second dose of Vyvanse), but the most important factor in his ability to get through first grade was his teacher--she figured out what it took to calm ds or to talk him out of one of "his freezes" (absolutely no communication), and how to make the school environment work for him.
I recommended reading "Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy" ASAP; the information from the book can be found on their site as well (Table of Contents). Reading "Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition," would be a good idea as well.
I would also suggest pushing the meeting back a week to give you more time to prepare, but if that isn't possible you may want to contact an advocate to meet with prior and accompany you to the meeting. Your state department of education website may have a list of free or low cost advocates. I would also print a copy of your state special education laws from that site.
Under IDEA/IEP, if your child has a disability that adversely affects educational performance, your child is entitled to an education that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and from which your child receives educational benefit.
A 504 (from section 504 of the American's with Disabilities Act) is helping your child get the same education that everyone else is getting--more for a student that needs accommodations to help them learn (like sitting next to the teacher) or for behavior, and that they are not punished for things that they cannot control due to the ADHD (like needing to work standing up or not sit inside a group).
[A IEP or 504 is not an escalation or punishment for the teacher/school. It's more about getting all appropriate parties involved and on the same page. The student, parent/legal guardian, teachers, principals, Pupil Services administrators, support staff (i.e. nurse, counselor, psychologist, language/speech pathologist) as well as the student's physician or therapist may be involved in the placement process including the 504 meeting.]