By Molly McVoy, M.D.
How much do I tell my child’s teacher about her depression? About his bipolar disorder? About her ADHD? Will he fall behind if the teacher doesn’t know? Will she be judged if I tell the school? When do I get testing, an IEP, special Ed? What do those mean?
When it comes to accessing special education services, most schools and teachers want to do everything they can to help your child. I usually recommend families listen to the principal and teachers.They are the experts in education. However, if you are dissatisfied with the educational services you are receiving, my next recommendation is know your rights, know your state’s laws. Every state must provide a free education that meets the needs of each child – no matter what those needs are. What varies widely, however, is how each state manages that requirement. The U.S. Department of Education website has basic information on your rights as a parent and offers links to each state.html. Know your state law, know your rights. Come armed with that information and work with your doctor and school for your child to succeed!