Accomodating students with mood disorders

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When one also considers that these children have an illness which causes their ability to focus and energy levels to wax and wane (often according to the season) it’s not hard for parents and educators to realize these children need special accommodations in school.

In creating the type of education you want for your son or daughter, you must keep in mind that although all the children we are discussing here have bipolar disorder, each child is an individual with different social, emotional, and academic strengths and weaknesses.

Colleges need to recognize that insidious stigmatizing attitudes towards those with mental illness have subtle yet far reaching ramifications.

On-going dialogues about mental health and mental illness on campuses are crucial so stigma and it's consequences are lessened.

In doing so, students can be propelled from the fear of disclosure and requesting support to the freedom of accommodation and academic success.

An excellent resource is the Higher Education Support Toolkit: Assisting Students with Psychiatric Disabilities from Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Higher education and psychiatric disabilities: National survey of campus disability services.

The IDEA requires that measurable growth and progress towards written goals and objectives be documented.

For students with disabilities who do not require specialized instruction but need the assurance that they will receive equal access to public education and services, a document is created to outline their specific accessibility requirements. The purpose of Section 504 is to protect persons with disabilities against discrimination for reasons related to their disabilities.

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The IDEA process is more involved than that of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.To coincide with the ‘teachers’ theme of my most recent enewsletter I thought it apropos to write a post regarding accommodations for students with mental health issues in a post secondary setting.Creating accommodations help students who have mental illness reach their academic potential.But you will need to be able to discuss what accommodations will be helpful. But that is a decision that is very personal, and should be made carefully.There are both informal accommodations (strategies students can implement on their own) as well as ones that are formalized through disability services on campus.

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