As part of the Trump regime’s attempt to gut our schools and remove “unnecessary regulations” one of the best tools that Children with ADHD and their parents have is on the chopping block. And it isn’t even a regulation.
At issue is a “Dear Colleague” letter which provides extremely basic guidance on the help available to ADHD students. It isn’t a regulation in and of itself, it’s simply a letter making teachers and administrators aware of resources for ADHD students, and the myriad of complications that affect them, and their legal responsibilities to those students. It’s something that ADHD advocates fought long and hard for. It’s a small thing, but it’s massively helpful to our community, and helps children with our condition get the help they need.
It’s on the chopping block, for no reason that I can understand. Getting rid of a guidance letter just seems like meaningless cruelty… or base incompetence. This will help schools avoid discrimination lawsuits. But this is Trump’s America, and we have to fight for basic things like letters explaining what ADHD is to people who aren’t mental health professionals.
Without this letter we’ll go back to the days where parents will have to fight tooth and nail for for their kids to receive even the most basic accommodations from their schools. Teachers will lose easy access to the tools they need to educate students. It will be a disaster for a generation of kids with ADHD.
The letter does a lot: It makes it clear that students with ADHD are protected under the Americans with Disabilities act and that schools must support them regardless of cost; It makes it clear that ADHD does not have a one-size-fits-all solution and helps schools identify the different kinds of ADHD; it makes it clear that ADHD students with support can succeed, some of them in gifted classes and on an advanced level; and most importantly, it provides a resource packet that helps schools and administrators access tools they might not even know are available to help them provide for ADHD students.
How you can help:
(This is easier on a computer than a phone)
1. Go to this website: www.federalregister.gov/...
2. Click “Submit a Formal Comment”
3. Copy-paste the following to the top of your letter (remove the three spaces in the URL between www2. ed. gov, which i added to make copy/pasting easy)
- “Docket ID: ED-2017-OS-0074”
- The full official name of the guidance: The “Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide on ADHD”
- This link to where the guidance can be found on the website of the U.S. Department of Education: https://www2. ed. gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201607-504-adhd.pdf
4. Tell them you support keeping the Dear Colleague Letter and Resource Guide. Your support can be the length of a tweet.
A good thing to mention is that this letter and guidance packet protects schools from discrimination lawsuits and saves money. Because that’s the sort of thing Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education cares about. You know. More than they care about students.
We’ve got less than 48 hours to get this done. Please, please give us just 10 minutes of your time.
If you’d like to read the full packet you can read it here (PDF Warning): www2.ed.gov/...
If you’d like to read CHADD’s comments on the situation, they’re here: chaddleadershipblog.blogspot.com/...
If you’d like to watch a cutesy youtube video on what this guidance means for students, parents and teachers, here’s one:
As a personal note, I am an adult who has ADHD, and was diagnosed with it as a child. I’ve fought depression and other mental health issues my entire life. I only received the education I did because my parents, teachers, and administrators fought hell and high water for me. Not every child is going to have the adults pulling for them like I did. Kids with ADHD need your help, now, to keep this guidance in place.
If you’ve got any questions about ADHD, feel free to ask them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Thank you all for your time.