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(3.11) My child has been diagnosed with a conduct/behavior disorder, such as oppositional defiant disorder. Can she qualify for special education?

(3.11) My child has been diagnosed with a conduct/behavior disorder, such as oppositional defiant disorder. Can she qualify for special education?

A conduct or behavior disorder or an Oppositional Defiant Disorder is not one of the categories for special education eligibility. However, a student may still qualify for special education under eligibility categories such as a specific learning disability (SLD), emotional disturbance (ED), or under the category of Other health impairment (OHI) such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Therefore, if a student has been having serious or long-term behavior issues, an assessment should be done in all areas related to a student’s suspected disability to determine whether the student qualifies for special education. If the student does not qualify for special education, a Section 504 plan should be explored.  The U.S. Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in California has specifically ruled that schools must convene a team of assessors to make a determination regarding eligibility under Section 504 for children with disorders such as ADD/ADHD and obsessive compulsive disorder even if the children do not qualify for special education. [Manteca Unified School District, 30 IDELR 544, 1998.]