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Ask The Advocate
by Steve Glink
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With many states having standardized mandatory tests, children with ADD may be left behind, what are the rules regarding special services and standardized tests?
I am from Massachusetts, where students are forced to pass the
MCAS test, or they are not allowed to graduate. My son is in 2nd grade, and will
take the preliminary MCAS next year. I cannot seem to find a website that will
tell me if there are any provisions or accommodations for children with ADHD,
who are taking the MCAS.
Lisa: Your e-mail to the ADDHelpline was forwarded to me for response. Although I do not know of any specific websites that address the issue that you raise, testing accommodations can be (& often are) written into the IEP or 504 plan. You should address this issue with the IEP team when you feel it is appropriate. I would recommend doing it before this school year is over so you have enough time to contact the testing service that administers these tests. That way, you will make sure it is in PRIOR to the test next year.
With respect to the school's delay in assessing your son's eligibility, under most state and federal rules/regulations, if there is a significant discrepancy between ability and performance, the student is eligible for extended school year (esy), which is also known as summer school. Again, this should be addressed at an IEP meeting prior to the end of the school year. You can request an IEP meeting at any time to address any educational issue.
If you disagree with the school's position on either of these issues (or any other educational issue, you must address the dispute by filing for a due process gearing. By law, the school must given you written information advising you of your rights and how to initiate a due process hearing. Go to the school and get their parent's rights packet. You should also be able to get that from your state board of education.
I hope that this information was helpful. Feel free to contact me via phone or e-mail (email@example.com if you have any questions. Good luck.
Steven E. Glink
Attorney at Law
3338 Commercial Avenue
Northbrook, Illinois 60062