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ADD And Special Education

Q – A doctor diagnosed my child with ADD/ADHD and the doctor told us to make a request for special education services from the school. When we made this request, the school denied our request saying that he is not eligible because he is currently passing his classes. Does this mean my child is not eligible for special education?

A – A child with a disability is not automatically eligible for special education under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities with Education Act). To be eligible for a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA, the child must have a disability and must need special education and related services.


Although the school personnel said the student is not eligible because s/he is passing, this is incorrect. Children who receive passing grades and advance from grade to grade can be eligible for special education. The IDEA regulations clarify that schools must offer a FAPE to any child with a disability who needs special education, even if the student is passing his/her courses or grade.

As a special education attorney, I can assist the parent by demanding the school perform a cumulative educational assessment of the student to determine whether the student qualifies for special education, despite the fact that the student is passing his/her classes.

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