Volume 40, Issue 3 (2011)
Identification Disputes for Students With Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: An Analysis of the Case Law
Stacy D. Martin and Perry A. Zirkel
This study provides a systematic analysis of published court decisions concerning identification of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The 41 pertinent child find and eligibility court decisions yielded 51 relevant rulings, with the majority being under the IDEA and in favor of school districts (i.e., rejecting eligibility and child find). The most frequent IDEA disability category at issue was other health impairment. Examination of the court opinions revealed three variables that appeared to be notable decisional factors: the presence of comorbid disorders, the results of high-stakes testing, and previous implementation of accommodations and interventions. After the 1999 recognition of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in the IDEA regulations, the frequency of relevant IDEA rulings and the proportion in favor of parents increased. The authors identify implications for school psychologists and areas of future research.
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