My son has ADD and is doing very well at school but he doesn't have a 504 and isn't in spec.ed. He is 9 and I'm starting to think that I should put something in place "just in case." At this point my main concern is organizational skills and the volume of homework (it takes him longer than most to get it done). I've also heard you can pick teachers for next year if you have a 504 - which normally isn't allowed in our school district. Any input would be appreciated.
What goes into a 504 Plan and who qualifies varies a good deal with the school district. In order to qualify your son must have a disability (ADD) that is severe enough that it negatively impacts his education performance. He must have a history of that disability or be regarded as having a disability. Do you think his teachers would back you up that his ADD is severe enough to qualify?
If so, then 504 accommodations are written to prevent him from being discrimated against in the classroom; in other words, to "level the playing field" for him. You can do a web search for ADHD zccomodations and find that there are literally hundreds of possibilities that you could include. Things like an extra day to turn in assigments, reduced written assignments, the opportunity to dictate answers, whatever your child needs to help him be successful.
In our district, *nothing* gives you the right to pick your kid's teachers. Your requests may carry a little more weight if your child is special ed or 504, but not necessarily. Your district may do things differently.
Yes - in our district I know for sure that if you have a 504 Plan that you can sit down with the pricipal and your child's current teacher and choose the teacher for the following year - since some teachers are better at working with those with disabilities than others.
Right now, my son is keeping up alright but I'm going to keep a 504 in mind for middle-school - I can forsee that he might need an extra day to turn in homework and things like that.
The way it's been explained to me (and I'm no expert!) is that with a 504 Plan the child is doing the same work as the other kids and is evaluated to the same standards and receives no "therapy." They just need some accomodations to help them. With an IEP they are officially in special ed and need more than just accomodations to succeed. I've got two kids with ADD/ADHD so I'm looking into all this myself.
Section 504 says that a child with disabilities (for example, adhd) cannot be discriminated in the classroom. He is therefore eligible for accomodations in the classroom to give him the same chance of succeeding that other kids have. For an ADD child, this may mean an extra day to turn in assignments, not being penalized for neatness, not losing recess as punishment for bad behavior.
An IEP is written under the federal legislation called IDEA (Individuals with Disabilites Education Act). It is for children with disabilities (like ADHD) whose disabilities are severe enough that they require special ed services. They do not have to be in "resource classes", they can be in regular ed classes, but they require a service that can't be provided in the regular ed classroom.
My 13yo is classified as special ed and has an IEP because he requires the use of the content mastery center for things like dictating answers and testing in small group settings. Next year, his freshman year in high school, the special ed department is going to supply a "helping teacher" in each of his academic classes to take legible notes for him. In addition to these special ed services, he has classroom accomodations like those mentioned above.
Section 504 is broader and easier to qualify for. An IEP, though, provides more services and the rights of the child and parent are more clearly spelled out by it. An IEP tends to be more carefully enforced but that, like selecting teachers, varies alot by school districts (and even by individual school's principals).
What makes this really confusing is that some school districts call a 504 plan an "IEP", too. Hope this helps!
Last edited by index.html; 03-08-2004 at 10:35 AM.
So with a 504 in some districts you can choose your childs teachers? how does this compare to a IEP?
My son is 15 and getting ready for the big switch to Sr High this next year and I know I am going to have to have something in place.
Which is better?
MY 14YO SON IS NOW ON THE 504 , AND LET ME TELL YOU IT WASN'T EASY. EVEN NOW THAT I HAVE IT IT IS HARD TO MAKE THE SCHOOL GO BY THE PROGRAM THAT WE SET DOWN. I SPEND ALOT OF TIME AT THE SCHOOL. NEXT YEAR HE WILL BE IN HIGH SCHOOL, SO I'M HOPING THAT THINGS WILL GET BETTER. I'M GLAD THAT THE GOVERMENT HELP KIDS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES, BUT IT WOULD HELP IF THEY HARDER ON THE SCHOOLS TO HELP OUT OUR KIDS. IT TOOK ME 4 YEARS TO GET HIM ON THIS PROGRAM.
It would definitely be a terrific idea to put your child on a 504. I am not only a mom with an ADHD son I am also a third grade Inclusion teacher. The 504 can provide whatever you think is necessary for your child in order for him or her to succeed. It can be as simple as making sure that they are provided with a pencil or having an assignment reduced. You know your child best. I'm sure that this year's teacher can help to choose a good teacher for next year because not all teachers are understanding about this disability. I know in my son's case I had to keep on their backs and make sure that the accomodations were followed. The 504 plan will certainly help as your child progresses in the grades. Your SPED department is able to provide you with a list of accomodations that can be included in a 504. All children can learn!! Good luck. Paula