Individualized education programs for students with ADHD: Analysis of special education services provided and cost of intervention
Pariseau, Meaghan Elaine
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Emphasis on accountability in education for all students has lead to increased examination of the academic achievement of students with disabilities who receive special education services. Due to considerable impairment in the areas of appropriate behavior and academic achievement, children with ADHD represent a sizeable portion of students who receive special education services and supports. However, little is known regarding the types of special education services provided to these students. The purpose of this study was to gather more detailed information regarding the types of special education services provided to students with ADHD and the costs associated with these services. Descriptive and cost analyses were conducted using the individualized education programs (IEP) of 88 children with ADHD. Results of the descriptive analysis indicate a wide variety of special education programs, related services, and modifications/accommodations are provided to students with ADHD. Overall, there appears to be a disconnect between what research has shown to be most effective for students with ADHD and the special education services outlined on students’ IEPs. In addition, the academic impairment experienced by students with ADHD appears to be more adequately addressed through special education services than are impairments related to behavioral and management difficulties. Results of the cost analysis indicate that a significant amount of resources are spent on providing special education services to students with ADHD, and there is wide variability in the costs of various services. Practical implications of these findings are discussed.