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Regular Features

Dr. Steven Richfield provides articles on many different aspects of raising a child with ADHD.                                   

Each month we our advocate will be answering questions from our visitors about yours and your children's rights in the educational system.    

A mother is trying to help her teenage son learn anger management.   

Five great ideas for motivation, including The Shoe Race, Trading Places and more.  

Organize your child at home, and maybe find some tips that will help you as well.  

Headlines about ADHD, Learning Disability and Mental Disorders

Study on ADD and TV
The recent study published on watching television between the ages of one and three and the possible link to ADD/ADHD did not take many considerations into account. The author of the study even admits that he cannot conclude that television watching and ADD/ADHD are linked.

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by Steve Glink

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To ask our advocate a question, email here

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.

My son is receiving special ed in math and reading, but because the school refused to see how severe his problem was last year, he did not get the help he needed in first grade. He is now in 2nd grade, doing work at the first grade level, and trying to catch up. I am worried about the MCAS next year, and the more important ones in the later grades.

Do you know of any web sites that deal with MCAS and ADHD?
Thanks very much,

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 (  if you have any questions. Good luck.
Steven E. Glink
Attorney at Law
3338 Commercial Avenue
Northbrook, Illinois 60062
847/480-7749 (voice)
847/480-9501 (facsimile)