To the editor: This story implies that school districts have responsibility for diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (“ADHD is now classified as a specific disability under federal civil rights law,” July 26)
This is not true. ADHD is a medical condition that can only be formally diagnosed by a physician. For teachers or any school personnel to use this term when discussing a student with a parent would be tantamount to practicing medicine without a license. Teachers must address the issue with great care when suggesting to a parent that a student needs help.
I am a retired special education teacher. Many of my colleagues and I were pretty good at recognizing this disorder. But convincing a parent to accept help for the child is another issue, and parent permission is necessary for the student to receive appropriate services.
This aspect of the situation should not have been omitted from your story.
Norma Stewart, Arcadia
To the editor: Before I retired from the Los Angeles Unified School District, we teachers were told that we were not doctors. We were not to mention hyperactivity, distraction or medication.
I violated the district’s rule very quietly quite a few times and am not sorry I did. Kudos to the U.S. Department of Education for issuing its new guidelines on ADHD.
Rosa Carrillo-Coronado, Panorama City