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how to get a 504 plan


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dherbetko May 23, 2009


HI all, I have a 9 year old with a congenital heart condition, ADD< and recently dx with a seizure disorder... our IEP does not address his ADD< just a LD in math... my opinion, they have it backwards.. I have been fighting since Kindergarten for this.. OUr situation is complicated, my son goes to a parochial school, how do I get a 504 plan started... where do I go to get one?? my public school is doing the IEP... I have had my own private testing which showed the ADD as the problem... I need help.... should I hire an advocate or lawyer>>> $$$$$$ I am running out of it fast.. thanks

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michellea May 23, 2009


All kids on an IEP qualify for a 504 - but not the other way around. Since you have an IEP, there should be no question as to whether your son qualifies for the 504. But, since you are at a parochial school, they may or may not be co-operative.

Are they aware of the IEP? How do they feel about it? What have they reported to you in terms of classroom and academic struggles? Have they seen the testing? What did the evaluator recommend?

Call a meeting with the Principal at your current school. Let him/her know it is to discuss his IEP and classroom struggles. Suggest that his classroom teacher and any other key school personnel attend. During the me meeting, I would start by presenting the testing and the IEP to the parochial school. (you should have a copy for each meeting member - and you could give this info to them prior to the meeting). I would highlight the data around organization, planning and other issues resulting from the ADHD. And, I would come prepared with:
1. List of parent concerns
2. Description of how the disability restricts access to school life (both academic and social)
3. List of accommodations that you would like implemented to help insure that your child has access.

As a group you can discuss whether or not the list should be pared down, expanded etc. With any luck, they will grant the 504 and comply with it.

In the meantime, read up on your legal rights concerning 504's and learning challenges associated with ADHD. If he has problems in any academic areas beyond math - do a bit of research there, too. For instance, many kids with ADHD have difficulty with writing. Here are some resources to get you started:
504: http://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/?p=53
http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/2777
School accommodations: http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/sec504.accoms.mods.pdf
ADHD - executive function: http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/3153
http://www.greatschools.net/content/article.page?aid=2054

You ask if you need a lawyer or an advocate. Although I don't know your skills and knowledge, if the school is somewhat child centered, it seems you should be able to at least initiate the process on your own. If they completely ignore or deny your request, you may consider getting an advocate.

Keep in mind that getting the 504 is only the first step. Managing it and holding the school accountable is often more difficult. If you find as the process goes along that the school refuses to comply or will not give you the respect you deserve, an advocate can be very helpful.

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jriggs209 May 23, 2009


My friend went through the same thing with her school. She was unable to get anywhere. One of her doctors told her in order to receive the best help for her son she had to pull him from the private school and place him in a public school system. Which she did just that. She was able to receive help for her son and now he is getting ready to return back into his regular classroom. A lot of charter/private schools do not have the adequate accomodation or help necessary for a child with learning disabilities or ADD/OD/ADHD. I hope you are able to find help with your school district.

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italgal May 23, 2009


write a letter to the principal requesting a 504 plan evaluation for your child and the reasons why. the school MUST, by law, comply with your request and arrange for a 504 meeting to evaluate the need for a 504 plan. a child can have both an IEP and a 504 plan! especially since you are dealing with two seperate issues here: learning disability=IEP, seizure disorder=504). our daughter has ADD and has a 504 plan in place because the ADD interferes with the way she learns. make sure the school is aware that you want to be present at this meeting, otherwise, the team can opt to meet without you. we brought the director of our daughter's tutoring service with us. not only was she very familiar w/ our daughter's struggles and very knowledgeable with 'the system', but she was able to lend a clear objective viewpoint of our daughter's case throughout the meeting--i was so glad she was there because it was a rather emotional experience for me. you have the right to bring anyone you choose with you to these meetings. some people do hire an advocate if they don't get the results they wanted after the eval meeting. come prepared--bring your child's testing results (i.e. STAR testing, educational testing, report cards), letter from psychiatrist or child's pediatrician, etc.
familiarize yourself with your state's process of handling a 504 plan--inform yourself and be knowledgeable of your rights so that you will be prepared for a potential battle. learn the jargon. be your child's warrior and don't give up until you get what you need for your child.



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