OCD is a complex, multifaceted disorder that can affect individuals mentally, emotionally and physically. If your child has OCD, you may know just how debilitating it can be. This might lead you to wonder: can you obtain accommodations and services for your child in school?
The answer? Yes, it is possible.
Federal laws do consider OCD to be a disability. While the thirteen categories of disabilities covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) do not specifically include OCD, it can fall under the category of “other health impairment.”
This means that your child could potentially obtain accommodations, services, and support through an independent education plan (IEP) or a 504 plan. However, as with any disability, their eligibility for such a plan will depend heavily on your child’s individual needs.
OCD can involve:
- Severe anxiety
- Repetitive rituals
- Uncomfortable intrusive thoughts
The combination of these can make learning a challenge. Obtaining a 504 plan or IEP could be the key to helping your child succeed in school.
How can I help my child obtain these accommodations and/or services?
There are a few critical steps California parents can take, including:
- Obtaining an official OCD diagnosis
- Discussing the facts about OCD and your child’s experience with their teacher
- Sending a written request to the school for an evaluation for a 504 and/or special education for your child
- Obtaining an independent education evaluation
An invisible disability or disorder does not mean that children do not deserve accommodations and services. Your child has rights as a student, and it is critical to protect those rights and your child’s future.