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by Steve Glink
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Is there any kind of law that can ban a child from youth activities and Sunday school from a church for having ADHD with behavior problems?
I need some advice.
Nancy: Thanks for your question. Before I answer, I must tell you that I am an attorney licensed to practice only in Illinois. I am not familiar with laws or court decisions in other states. I am familiar with federal law on this issue, but court decisions vary from state to state and between federal districts.
There are no laws that ban children with ADD or ADHD from activities or Sunday School/church. On the contrary, there are laws designed to protect these children. Under a variety of federal laws (i.e., the ADA; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; IDEA), kids with disabilities are entitled to "accommodations" for their disabilities. With respect to activities, the ADA provides, in essence, that no otherwise qualified individual shall be denied the opportunity and/or benefits of participation in activities of a public entity due to his disability. Section 504 has similar language, but requires that the entity involved be a recipient of federal funds. The real question is whether the activities that you describe are those of a "public entity."
The church is probably a private organization, but may come under the jurisdiction of federal law. That would have to be checked out. You should also check your state's/ city's anti-discrimination laws. You can start an investigation by filing a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department or your local prosecuting authority. I hope that this was helpful.Steve Glink