Do Florida Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) Qualify for Special Education under IDEA?


Do Florida children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) qualify for Special Education under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)? Like many legal questions that I face as a child rights attorney every day, the answer is “it depends”. ADHD is not particularly listed as one of the conditions that could qualify a child / student for Special Education under IDEA. These conditions include the following:

Hearing impairment (which includes deaf children)
Visual Impairment (which includes blind children)
Mental Retardation
Serious emotional disturbances
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Orthopedic and related physical impairment
Special learning disability
Other health impairment

The United States Department of Education did add ADHD as a condition under “Other health impairment” as noted in the Children with ADD/ADHD — Topic Brief in March 1999. However, a parent must show that the ADHD alone or the ADHD combined with other noted conditions produces a need on the part of the child for Special Education.

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