Re: ADHD Disqualifier

Discussion in 'DoDMERB' started by racandthree, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. racandthree

    racandthree New Member

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    My son is currently a senior in high school and would like very much to participate in the AFROTC program. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in 2nd grade and has taken ritalin since that time only during the months he is actually in school. I inquired about whether or not ADHD would disqualify him from participating in the ROTC program and was provided with seven questions which if answered yes to would disqualify him. Ironically 6 of the 7 items were not an issue, however the very first item was. They indicated that if he had been enrolled in an IEP (Individualized Educational Program) after the age of 14 he would not be eligible. I was very surprised to learn of this especially since I don't recall every being told that his participation in the IEP would affect his ability to serve in the military. He qualified for his IEP based on his math performance, and ironically we were told after his 8th grade year that he was not "required" to continue with the program unless we chose to.

    His grandfather and great grandfather both served in the Air Force and he has always wanted to follow in their footsteps. The ROTC representative indicated that he would take the DodMERBS exam in August prior to starting ROTC this Fall and could begin taking the necessary classes until the results came back (since he would not be on scholarship). If the results came back with an issue then of course he would not be allowed to continue. My first question was whether they could have him take the exam before that time so that he would learn of the results prior to investing a semester of his time in ROTC only to find that he would be unable to continue. I've also read that if he was to refrain from taking medication for one year and demonstrated no decline in his behavior and academic performance that a waiver for ADHD would not be required. If that is true then I wonder if it would be better for him to wait a year (free of medication and IEP assistance as he would not receive this in college) and then apply for the AFROTC program in 2015. If he did take the DodMERBS this year and did not pass, would they offer him the option of proving himself during his first year of college (free of medication) and then clear him after that? He has already taken the ASVAB test and am unsure as to whether or not this will be a factor in their decision process. Any suggestions you may be able to provide would be greatly appreciated. He is determined to pursue this so I just want to make sure we take the best path. I am hopeful that his ADHD will not prevent him from becoming a member of the military, regardless of whether he takes the ROTC route or not. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

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    I can't speak to AF regs regarding learning disabilities, but your son's IEP is an Army DQ by itself.

    Its "possible" he could receive a waiver for his ADHD. Again, I don't know the AF regs, but the rule of thumb is the Army regs are the most lenient of all the services. I would hope for the best, but be prepared to hear he's DQ for his IEP.
     
  3. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I don't think he would be allowed to do the DoDMERB exam prior to enrolling, although I suppose a conversation with the cadre or cadet command might help. Each unit handles the exam differently. If they are reasonably proximate to a military base they will often bus or otherwise send the college programmers to the base for their exams. Hard to do that prior to starting college for most kids.
     
  4. BoyerPA

    BoyerPA Member

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    racandthree,

    I am going through a similar process your Dear Son (DS) will be disqualified because of the ADHD diagnoses. A lot of this is understanding the verbiage. Like myself your son can go through the DoDMERB process and will expect to be declined based on the ADHD diagnosis. After receiving a disqualification your DS can apply for a waiver which is figured out by the specific branch he wants to commission under, in the case AF. From what I have learned/experienced, someone with an learning disability has to be off of medication for two years and demonstrate that the can hold themselves to the academic standards set by the particular branch. Please do not use this as an academic goal, but the Air Force standard for this process is a 2.0.

    Also, unless he has been awarded a scholarship your DS will not enter the DoDMERB process until the fall of his sophomore year. This does give him a year to demonstrate academic success without being allotted learning assistance. I have not heard the one year option, but you could always contact someone at the Detachment your DS is interested in to get info on that. Good luck!
     

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