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Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants
SJR: 0.332 SNIP: 0.491 CiteScore™: 0.89

ISSN Print: 1050-6934
ISSN Online: 1940-4379

Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants

DOI: 10.1615/JLongTermEffMedImplants.v15.i4.60
pages 389-400

Advocating for Students with Learning Disabilities and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Public Schools

Noel F. Keegan
Special Education Instructor, Albemarle County Schools, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Frederick J. Brigham
Associate Professor of Special Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Jennifer M. Cardellichio
Special Education Instructor, Nelson County Schools, Lovingston, Virginia, USA
Michele M. Brigham
Choral Music Director and Special Education Instructor, Albemarle County Schools, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA


Learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders are chronic conditions that represent the most common diagnoses of students served in special education programs in the schools. In this article, we discuss specific problem areas that require decision advocacy on the part of the affected individual as well as his or her family. We briefly describe the requirements for teachers who specialize in this area of education as well as the nature of the conditions. We argue that education programs for individuals with such conditions must be tailored to offset the specific manifestations of the disability and its interactions with the requirements of the educational system. We also note that educational requirements are often dramatically different as students move from early education through the system toward high school graduation and, for many, into post-secondary education. We describe general procedures for advocacy that can be used to enhance educational programs across the spectrum of school placements.
A section that specifically addresses advocacy for parents of students with these types of disabilities acknowledges the critical role that having a supportive parent plays in the development of successful education programs. We then address the specific issues that are likely to characterize educational problems at different levels of schooling. Among these are increased requirements for self-management and self-discipline as students move through the grades and increased emphasis on academic learning as students move into middle and secondary schools.
The article also discusses instructional methods that are supported for students with such conditions as well as a brief description of several types of treatment that are considered to be ineffective for such students. Brief guidelines for recognizing both supported and contra-indicated educational programs are also provided. We conclude with resources for gathering information and making decisions that promote the long-term interests of the affected child. As with other chronic conditions, the probability of desirable outcomes is greatly enhanced by early and effective planning.