The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act maintains that students with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate education, a free disability evaluation from the school, and to be placed in the least restrictive environment; with parent consent.
IDEA specifies 13 special education categories but does not specifically state that a diagnosis of ADHD will qualify for special education services. Students with ADHD may qualify under the categories of Emotional Disturbance, Multiple Disabilities, and Specific Learning Disabilities. Emotional Disturbance could be the category used when a student acts out often in school (tantrums, fighting, etc.) or has co-existing disorders, such as a Mood Disorder, that interferes with a student’s education. Keep in mind that individuals with ADHD have a high occurrence of learning disorders and other disabilities that may help qualify them for special education services.