There are two laws under which children diagnosed with ADHD can receive
special help in school: Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of
1973, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Depending on
how they are interpreted, the differences between the two laws can be nuanced
or dramatic, leaving parents and caretakers confused about their options.
While the federal government continues to interpret how IDEA and Section
504 relate to and protect students diagnosed with ADHD, state governments and
school boards have begun enacting or calling for their own laws and policies.
By and large, states are focusing their efforts on studying or moderating the
level of psychostimulant drugs being prescribed to school children.