Monday, September 11, 2017

Help Prevent the Removal of Critical ADHD Protections!

The US Department of Education Requests Comments Before it Removes Regulations and Guidance


the CHADD Public Policy Committee


The US Department of Education has issued a list of regulations and guidance to eliminate under Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda.” CHADD has become aware that the ADHD Guidance is on this list. The Department is asking for public comments about which regulations and guidance to keep, remove, or modify. CHADD appreciates this opportunity and would like everyone to show support for protecting students’ rights. If you want to tell the Department how important the ADHD Guidance is to our children, you can submit your own comments asking the US Department of Education to retain the ADHD Guidance—officially called the “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD”— as active guidance.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


Background information on the ADHD Guidance

  
On July 26, 2016, the Office of Civil Rights of the US Department of Education issued guidance to every public school district in the country about the implementation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for students with ADHD. The Guidance provides clear technical assistance that helps teachers understand the nature of ADHD and how effectively to provide education services to students with ADHD, consistent with the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
For example, the Guidance describes certain behaviors that could indicate a student has ADHD and should cause a school district to consider conducting an evaluation. Among other things, the Guidance states that a student with ADHD may need behavioral and executive function supports.  

Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance, including public elementary and secondary schools as well as charter schools. The US Department of Education enforces Section 504 through OCR.  

On February 24, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13777, “Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda,” which directs federal agencies to identify regulations and guidance to eliminate. The Department of Education has issued a list of regulations and guidance it is considering. The ADHD Guidance is on this list. The Department of Education is asking for public comments about which regulations and guidance to remove, keep, or modify.

CHADD worked hard to obtain the ADHD Guidance to protect the civil rights of students with ADHD from preschool through high school. CHADD provided significant input to Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education. Through its Public Policy Committee, CHADD maintained ongoing and active discussion with OCR from November 2013 through July 2016. Based on the results of a survey that we conducted with our membership, we shared the concerns of our members about the implementation of Section 504 and the effects on their children. In response to many requests from OCR, we provided scientific research findings and other knowledge about ADHD. For more information, read our previous blog on the ADHD Guidance.

What YOU can do


We cannot lose this Guidance now! We must tell the Department of Education how important this guidance is to students with ADHD.

 
Until September 20, 2017, everyone has the opportunity to weigh in with the Department of Education and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to show support for protecting students’ rights. CHADD will submit our comments urging Secretary DeVos to keep the guidance.

Individuals can submit comments as well. If you want to tell the Department how important the ADHD Guidance is to our children, you can submit your own comments here asking the US Department of Education to retain the ADHD Guidance—officially called the “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD”— as active guidance.
  

NOTE: At the top of your comments you MUST INCLUDE these three things:

Remember, if you want to submit comments, you must take action before September 20!

HOW TO SUBMIT A COMMENT

  • Submit it here before 11:59 PM ET Wednesday, September 20, 2017.
  • Click on the green “SUBMIT A FORMAL COMMENT” button on the top right hand side and the comment form will open. You can type a comment directly into the box or just write “see attached comment” and upload a Word or PDF document after pressing the button.
  • You will then be asked to add information about yourself.
  • Check the preview to see how your comments will appear once submitted, and then check the box: “I read and understand the statement above.”
  • Finally, hit “SUBMIT COMMENT” on the bottom of the form.

Comment Deadline 11:59 PM ET Wednesday, September 20, 2017

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

This was a critical change in regulation and the guidance needs to stay. Children that could not qualify for classroom supports 2 years ago can now qualify under this guidance, and it can be life changing for them. This rules forces school districts to follow through because, lets face it, sometimes the decision all comes down to funding for the supports. My son got his ADHD diagnosis with a very superior range IQ back in January 2016 but he could not qualify for a 504 plan because he was meeting or exceeding academically for first graders. In second grade we realized how severe he was. He could not sit at a desk and was distracting other children because he had trouble staying in his own space. It impacted him socially and he hit a brick wall, and he began acting out, with several incidents occurring that ultimately led to a suspension. This is not who my kid is. So after the guidance was implemented that summer to change the criteria for eligibility for ADHD, he finally qualified for a 504. Luckily we have a great school and teacher and he now has a plan that allows him to self regulate; he has a ball chair, standing desk, is allowed to take breaks, and trips to the sensory room. Now teachers cans see how smart he is, they are impressed with his ability to self regulate at such a young age. No behavior issues and plenty of friends. Without this guidance, he would not have qualified for any of this. It truly allows him to reach his full potential. There have got to be so many more success stories like this, so I hope others make their voice heard. We definitely will be commenting based on our personal experiences, thank you CHADD for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that the US Department of Education to research what like is like for a child with ADHD (or any disability)before removing ANY assistance. We all need this assistance in place to help protect/help our children with ADHD for the child and the schools. The more help we provide for kids with ADHD, it benefits the child and EVERYONE else in this child's school community by allowing more tools and resources to help minimize the extra disruptions that ADHD can cause in the streamline of teaching all kids.

Anonymous said...

I am a mother of a child/teen (now young adult) who was diagnosed at the age of 7 with ADHD. My daughter struggled in school from elementary through college because of her ADHD symptoms. She did not "qualify" for an evaluation for an IEP or a 504 Plan (years ago) because she was not failing in her academics. Yet she struggled greatly just to keep up with her academic and peer expectations to fit in.
I was thrilled and excited when the Office of Civil Rights of the US Department of Education provided the Guidance to every school district in the country in July 2016. This is a much needed resource for schools, parents and teens who need school considerations and accommodations. My daughter is not alone in her struggles. Claims on behalf of elementary and secondary students with ADHD represent the single most common form of complaint filed with OCR. In fiscal years 2011-2015, one out of every nine complaints that OCR received alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in elementary and secondary schools involved students with ADHD.
I commend OCR for issuing this strong document that does not exceed any legal bounds and can provide great benefit to OCR and students with ADHD. I urge the U.S. Department of Education to retain the Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on Students with ADHD as active guidance. (Posted on Dept of Ed site on 9/12/17)

Anonymous said...

so complicated! Certainly not presented in a way that encourages ADHD young adults or their parents to read, but I will and will submit!

Joanne Juhnke said...

I don't think this is a correct understanding of the request-for-comments. The Federal Register entry makes no mention of any regulation or guidance that is pre-targeted for removal; instead, they're asking a broad question about which regulations and guidance should be kept and which might be appropriate to remove.
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2017-06-22/pdf/2017-13157.pdf

It's entirely appropriate to submit comments requesting that the ADHD guidance be kept, but it does not appear to be under any greater threat than any other piece of guidance.

If you have information to the contrary, such as a link to an actual "list of regulations and guidance to eliminate under Executive Order 13777," please post! Thank you.

Laura Hermsn said...

We need educated people in places of power. I have a child that is spectrum and severely ADHD. He was put on meds a month after his 3rd birthday. This is a real medical issue that effects our children and how they function in school

Ajr2002 said...

Posting on all platforms I can. Sent link to addidude magazine as well.

Shirley said...

Docket ID: ED-2017-OS-0074
The Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201607-504-adhd.pdf

The U.S. Department of Education must keep the 504 guide. It will help many children who struggle in school and end up being labeled "the trouble maker" because they are not getting the services they need. It has already helped many children receive services so that they can reach their full potential and eventually become major contributors in their communities.


Belynda Gauthier said...

I received a suggestion that this link might work better for accessing the Comments page on this issue: [url]https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=ED-2017-OS-0074-0001[/url]

Anonymous said...

Please keep the provisions for ADHD children in place. We are helping these children succeed so that they can be productive citizens in the future. Current Program costs should be balanced against: impacts to the classroom, impacts to the ADHD child's future. My child was 1.5 years behind grad level in reading in the 2nd grade. In the 3rd grade, he qualified for an IEP program and was able to catch up to his grade level in reading. Without special attention, he would not succeed in the classroom. His challenges are ADHD along with lack of Executive function. We work with our child on homework and sports so we can see the level of prompting and attention he needs.

Anonymous said...

I'm an educational advocate and many of the children I help have ADHD. We must keep the provisions for ADHD children in place. These children really struggle in school. Many children who do not receive help don't graduate from high school and end up in jail. https://adultaddstrengths.com/2011/01/12/adhd-and-crime-ignore-now-jail-later-15-clinical-studies/ We are helping these children succeed so that they can be productive citizens in the future. Current Program costs should be balanced against: impacts to the classroom, impacts to the ADHD child's future. Without accommodations and support these children would not succeed in the classroom. Most children lack executive functioning skills that linger well into adulthood. Why are we constantly making cuts to education?If we want to make America great again, start putting more money and emphasis on education for all children. We need all the intellect we can grow in this country.

Jessica McCabe said...

Hey! Jessica from How to ADHD here -- we made a video about these guidelines https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PM2ebKO7yYM&ebc=ANyPxKpetPvCSZFdaUgLH-pIiwh1Y8cFWj8evxqltOZW3B9cEAsInoUL3hFFS3-U1fvKdSB5gZ6gQnhCr9PdkGdM-tuVepsrRQ if anyone wants to share it to help others understand how important it is to keep them.

CHADD leadership, we want to help however we can -- I'm going to try to get an episode up tomorrow talking about this and urging people to comment by Wednesday, as well as (visually) walking them through the steps. Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to help! These guidelines are critical!

Anonymous said...

The ADHD guidance is so important to myself and my daughter. My daughter was officially diagnosed with ADHD as a kindergartener. I fought for many years to get a 504 plan for her. She wnt through all the testing and data collection and i was informed that she did not qualify because she was on medication. I was so angry. I went through appeal after appeal. Finally, this guidance helped my daughter get the accomodations she needed and we have a 504 plan. She did not get it until she was in 3rd grade... she is currently in 6th grade. Since her plan has been implimenred, her grades and her overall social skills have improved. I believe it is all due to her accomodations. She can choose to stand at a tall desk, her tests can be broken down into smaller chunks as needed, she is allowed to type her assignments instead of writing them out by hand, and she also has an associate or teacher with her only during tests to monitor, redirect focus, and chunck tests. It has been wonderful to see over the last few years the growth she has made. We need this dor all those students, like my daughter, who need those accomodations until they can learn to self regulate their behavior.

txfarmgrl211 said...

As a teacher, I've seen firsthand the importance of ADHD guidelines. Please do not remove them! It would be detrimental to a large number of students, especially since standardized testing has become the norm. The ADHD guidance is important, because it can "level the playing field" for ADHD students during testing, and during regular class time.

Christy said...

Please keep the provisions for ADHD students in place. The accommodations in my son's IEP have turned his entire educational experience around. He spent the first three and a half years of public school miserable because of challenges related to his ADHD. By the time testing tool place he tested as having high intelligence but firmly believed he was stupid. He said so often and that he believed it because he couldn't work as fast as others, struggled to write out his ideas, and couldn't memorize math facts. The testing also told us he had ADHD. We were able to put accommodations for additional time and supports like scribing in place for him. To be blunt, we firmly believe that these accommodations are what will determine if he passes or fails standardized tests. We all know testing is dependent upon much more that what a child has learned, and his accomodations level the playing field so he can actually communicate what he has learned. It is essential to his future, as well as that of all other students with ADHD, that the supports they need remain in place. It is short-sighted to think that cutting funds in education ever has a positive outcome. Quality education empowers children to grow into productive adult citizens. Education cuts simply defer the spending to the future and to other programs addressing poverty and criminal justice. Please invest in out students now to build a better future for us all.

Jared Barney said...

It wouldn't let me send this on the site so I'll send it here just in case. I keep getting a message from an unexpected error that wouldn't let me send it.

Docket ID: ED-2017-OS-0074
The "Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD”
https:// www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201607-504-adhd.pdf

I am 19 years old and I had ADHD without knowing it. I was tested three times, but because I had recess beforehand
to help me focus, I was let off the hook with the results given to my parents that I have a focusing issue. I struggled
a lot getting assignments in on time, but with the help of my parents, I could always find a way. I was going to serve a two
year mission, but it was cut short due to me not knowing I had ADHD.

I know that I would have benefitted greatly in school if I had been given more time in class to do assignments. I would need
more time to get the assignments done to get an A in my class. I am not blaming this on ADHD but the way that ADHD affects
your brain can allow you to excel in certain areas and also be deficient in others. For me math was much easier than reading
was and I spend much of my time at home trying to get my reading done, nonetheless, reading and math combined I needed
more time to get things done. I spent most of my nights hurrying to get homework done and it affected my ability
to be patient with myself when an assignment was due.

I feel so much more peace knowing I have ADHD now, but I really struggled through high school not knowing about it. The
time given to people with a learning disability should not be removed because remove that, and you remove the ability to get
good grades and have confidence in themselves to succeed in life for people like me. If more time were allowed during
classes to do those things would have been very beneficial, but I was not given that opportunity often. Please consider this
and help those witth learning disabilities.

Thank you!

Carol said...

I did it! I submitted a comment. We are struggling every single day with our child and making school work with and for him. I need backing so I can't be labeled as "that mom"!

LynleighsMom said...

LOL ... I think I'm "that mom"!

Kim said...

Please keep the provisions for ADHD children in place. I grew up with ADHD and received accommodations. It would have been very hard to get through college without the accommodations.

My 2 children with ADHD are now thriving in school and have received accommodations.

Genesis Kinder said...

Hi I'm Genesis I'm a 14 year old kid from Grand Prairie,TX I didn't even know I had ADHD until about 7th grade I think I was diagnosed before that but I don't know paying attention and staying still is very hard for me when I'm not on my meds I get distracted by little things and even when the room I quiet I'm I'm by myself I get distracted by myself I'm constantly thinking about random things i like or have seen or I just want to sleep and not do anything its hard being a student with ADHD I can barely get my work done even if I understand how to do my work I get distracted and forget to do it and when I'm on my meds it really dosent help I don't tap as much and I foucous a little more but I still wonder off and when I'm on my meds I'm more quiet and I tend to isolate my-self from my friends to work and life I do get my work kinda done but days when I take my meds are a little sad and I dont socialize with my friends as much going to sleep on a school night or any night is tough then I have to wake up early for the bus and I dont have any time to eat brakfast just something small like a rice crispy treat and when I take my pill with out a bow of cereal or a biger breakfast my stomach hurts all day till I get home and that's just another distraction to add on top of the others with my ADHD I always try to blend in with my more popular friends by trying to dress like them but I can't buy cool clothes or expensive clothing all the time my mom is working two jobs and she lost one benifet she got from her job that payed for my meds so now it cost more my ADHD has slowed me down on my writing test some of these prompts are hard to write about then I get distrated and I can only write half a page mabe sometimes I write nothing at all with my accommodations I'm able to have more time to finnish my test im so greatful to have them with out them I would have failed manny of my tests

Emily said...

I had that happen to me too. It worked when I uploaded it as a separate word doc though.

velcro said...

“Docket ID: ED-2017-OS-0074” The “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD”

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201607-504-adhd.pdf

To Whom it May Concern,

I believe that the “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD” is a vital tool for students with ADD/ADHD, their parents, and their teachers. My friend's son has ADHD and I've seen him struggle. I know this can help and I think it should be available to everyone. Please keep the provisions for ADHD children in place. We are helping these children succeed so that they can be productive citizens in the future. Current Program costs should be balanced against: impacts to the classroom, impacts to the ADHD child's future.

Anonymous said...

“Docket ID: ED-2017-OS-0074” The “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD”

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201607-504-adhd.pdf

To Whom it May Concern,

I believe that the “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD” is a vital tool for students with ADD/ADHD, their parents, and their teachers. My family, as well as my good friend's son has ADHD affecting their lives, and I've seen him struggle, I know this can help and I think it should be available to everyone. Please keep the provisions for ADHD children in place. We are helping these children succeed so that they can be productive citizens in the future. Current Program costs should be balanced against: impacts to the classroom, impacts to the ADHD child's future.

Anonymous said...

“Docket ID: ED-2017-OS-0074” The “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD”

https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201607-504-adhd.pdf

To Whom it May Concern,

I believe that the “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD” is a vital tool for students with ADD/ADHD, their parents, and their teachers. My son has ADHD and I've seen him struggle, I know this can help and I think it should be available to everyone. Please keep the provisions for ADHD children in place. We are helping these children succeed so that they can be productive citizens in the future. Current Program costs should be balanced against: impacts to the classroom, impacts to the ADHD child's future.

Unknown said...

As a trained therapist intern I would say that removing this program from the schools would have major negative reprocusions to thousands of students. During the moments where kids are dealing with their own personal struggles such as having ADHD or any other disorder or disability, the school system should be there for support and guidance instead of becoming one more thing to worry about and a burden on their plate.