If your child has ADHD, he might be entitled to school and classroom accommodations. However, having a diagnosis of ADHD doesn’t automatically qualify a student for accommodations; symptoms of ADHD must have a negative impact or interfere with your child’s ability to learn. If your child has ADHD, is struggling and you feel accommodations, such as preferential seating or extra time for tests, might help, the first step is to write a letter to the school asking for an evaluation or assessment.
Use the following letter as a guideline, changing information to fit your child’s situation. The letter should be sent to the principal of the school your child attends.
Wilson Elementary School
1000 School Drive
Anytown, NY, 99999
Re: Daniel Proctor
Student ID # 123456
Date of Birth: 6/23/2004
Current Grade: 4th Grade
Current Teacher: Mrs. Jones
Dear Ms. Davis;
_I am requesting a comprehensive evaluation in all areas of suspected disability of my son, Daniel Proctor, for eligibility for special education provisions (IDEA) or accommodations under Section 504.I am concerned about his progress and feel that he may need special help in order to learn and reach academic goals. _
Daniel’s teachers have indicated that there are some concerns and problems, including:
- Problems completing in-class assignments
- Not handing in homework
- Problems with impulsivityand recognizing situations where self control is needed
- Difficulty in dealing with unexpected distractions
Daniel is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. I am attaching a letter from his doctor confirming this diagnosis along with his recommendation that we pursue accommodations in school due to difficulties in sustained attention, hyperactivity and controlling impulses which contribute to impaired school performance.
I am specifically concerned because I have seen a sharp decrease in Daniel’s grades based on not completing in-class assignments as well as not handing in his completed homework. Daniel’s current teacher has also indicated that he often disrupts the class because of constant fidgeting.
I understand that this evaluation will be performed at no cost to me. I would appreciate meeting with the assessment team prior to the evaluation so I can share pertinent information about Daniel. I also expect a copy of the written report so I can review it before an IEP or Section 504 meeting.
This letter serves as my permission for the assessment to be completed, however, should you need proper forms completed, please forward these to me as soon as possible. I understand I will also receive a written explanation of the process.
Please contact me as soon as possible so we can move forward as soon as possible.
(Remember to provide an address, email address and phone number)
You can include documentation with your letter. For example:
- A letter from your child’s doctor indicating a diagnosis and a recommendation for accommodations at school
- Written notes from your child’s teachers indicating specific classroom and learning problems
Be sure to make copies of your letter and all documentation before submitting it to the school. Your letter should be sent certified mail or hand delivered. With certified mail, be sure to ask for a return receipt so you have documentation the letter was received. If you hand deliver the letter, ask for the principal or school official to sign and date a receipt showing it was received. Keep the return receipt or signed receipt with your copy of the letter as documentation of the date the school received your request.
If your child attends a private school that does not receive any federal funds, accommodations may not be available.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.