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A Diagnosis of Depression Can Qualify Your Child or Teen for an IEP

Depression is the same for children and teens as it is for adults. Children and teens can feel just as helpless. It is a medical condition classified as a mood disorder. When severe, it can lead to thoughts of suicide, attempted suicide, and completed suicide.


Stephen “tWitch” Boss wore many hats. He was the DJ from Ellen, he was in "So You Think You Can Dance," he was a husband, a father of 3, and he was loved by all who knew him. He took his own life. The tragic event shocked the nation. How could he have committed suicide when he had such a wonderful life and always seemed happy?


988 is the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline available to all, judgment free, 24/7 in English and Spanish.


Some children and teens are afraid that 51As will be filed against their parents and that DCF will remove them from their homes if they tell anyone that they’re feeling suicidal.


Some children talk to their peers and friends about their feelings because they don’t trust adults. Adults have dismissed their feels in the past or told them to “get back to class, you’ll be fine.” Or maybe that’s how children and teens think adults will react to them. Regardless, their peers and friends are not equipped for these conversations.


If your child shows any signs of depression and it impacts your child’s access to his/her/their education then you should ask for your child to be evaluated. Your child may be entitled to services under the diagnosis of depression (the disability for an IEP would be “emotional impairment”). Your child could receive time with an adjustment counselor and/or check-ins when needed. Accommodations could include taking a walking break or going to a quiet space. Maybe the student needs extra time to get homework in because sometimes the child or teen just can't get out of bed to go to school or do work. Talk to the teachers and the school.


Children and teens who are part of the LGBTQ+ community have a higher rate of depression and suicide.




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