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(3.12) Can a child with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) be eligible for special education services?

(3.12) Can a child with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) be eligible for special education services?

Yes. The law has specifically recognized ADD and ADHD as examples of conditions that may qualify under the category of “other health impairment” (OHI) if the other criteria for that eligibility category are met.  The definition for OHI has expanded the phrase “limited strength, vitality or alertness” to include a “heightened alertness to environmental stimuli,” and then lists ADD/ADHD as an example of a chronic illness which could qualify.  However, a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder alone is not sufficient to make a student eligible for special education services. An IEP team, after the required comprehensive evaluation, must determine that the student meets an eligibility category – which means that the student has a condition (such as ADD/ADHD) that and that condition must also adversely affect your child’s educational performance. Students with ADD/ADHD may also be eligible under the “specific learning disability” category, or the “emotional disturbance” category. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.8(c)(9); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56339(a); 5 C.C.R. Sec. 3030(b)(9).] See Q & A 28 for information on “adverse affect”.