ACCOMMODATIONS FOR 2E KIDS
My nine-year-old son has ADHD. His IQ was recently tested, as part of his
IEP, and we were told that it is 132. My question is, if a child is classified as a
2e—twice-exceptional—student, what services can he get at school?
He is great at math, but not so good at writing.
If his ADHD is interfering with his behavior in
the classroom, he may require a behavior assessment, and his IEP could include a behavior modification plan designed to help him get more from
his academic program. There is no standard menu
of IEP services, and you should work with his
teacher to consider which support—and enrichment—will best meet his needs.
WHAT’S IN A CLASSIFICATION?
QMy son has ADHD and a reading disability, and we are starting the process
of getting him an IEP. Does it matter
whether he is classified as “other health
impaired” (OHI) or as having a “specific
learning disability” (SLD)?
Usually not. IDEA has 13 categories of disability,
and OHI and SLD are two of the most frequently
encountered. Think of these categories as keys that
open the door to services. Once a student is classified under any of the categories, he is entitled to a
“free, appropriate, public education” designed to
address all of his areas of disability, even
those falling under a different category.
So, for example, a student who is classified as OHI because of his ADHD may
receive services to address his reading
disability or speech and language impairment. The only time certain classifications might make a difference is
when you apply to a special education
school that is approved by your state for
students with some classifications but
not others. If this situation were to arise,
you could ask for an IEP meeting to have
your child’s classification changed. Many
parents have done this, and their children have performed well.
The fact that your son even has an IEP is a victory.
Twice-exceptional students, who are academically
gifted (usually demonstrated by a high IQ score)
and who also have a disability, are sometimes
denied an IEP because the school district uses narrow guidelines to determine whether a student is
eligible for special education services. The school
fails to consider how a disability affects a student
with significant academic strengths.
IDEA requires that several assessment tools and
strategies be used to determine a student’s eligibility for services. Some districts won’t allow a student
who receives special education services to participate in a gifted and talented program or to take
accelerated or advanced placement classes. This is
a violation of both IDEA and Section 504.
Your son’s IEP should be individualized to meet
his specific needs, to provide him with support in
his areas of difficulty, and with appropriate academic challenges in those areas where he excels.
So his IEP may provide for placement in an accelerated math class, but can also stipulate that he receive services in a writing lab several times a week.
Your Legal Rights
Attorney Susan Yellin answers your questions.
Susan Yellin, Esq.,
is an attorney and
mother of three. She is
the director of Advocacy
and Counseling Services
at The Yellin Center
for Mind, Brain, and
Education, a Ne w York
City-based practice that
evaluations, management, and guidance for
students from grades
K through graduate