504 Plan

Melissa - posted on 02/07/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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What's in the 504 plan and is it going to help my daughter? Any experience with it?

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Megan - posted on 02/10/2009

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504 is a federal program that allows certain accomodations for a child to have in a learning environment without actually placing the child in special education. My son is 10 and was finally just placed under a 504 plan in Dec 08. It was not easy to get the school to place him under the 504 plan, but I was very persistent and did not take no for an answer. My son needed certain accomodations that EVERY student was not afforded. That is the key. If it is an accomodation that EVERY student is not afforded, then it can be covered under the 504 plan. For my son in particular, he must be seated at the front of every class that he attends. He also needs a privacy folder so that when he is doing his work at his desk, he can minimize the other classroom distractions. He also needs extra time to complete assignments. He also needs to be afforded the opportunity to redo an assignment where the teacher can tell that he has rushed through it and not fully completed it or not fully understood what the questions were asking for. He also needs a quiet environment in which to take his tests. In the first 504 meeting, the school said that since they were already providing my son with these accomodations, they didn't need to put him under a 504 plan. I disagreed with them. That made no sense to me. I told them that since they were already accomodating him, they wouldn't need to make any changes, but we were getting ready to move and I needed these accomodations in writing. They still wouldn't budge.

I am in the Army, so I went to their resources and found an advocate for children with special needs. She specialized in the 504 plan. I met with her and brought all of my son's records from both his psychiatrist and psychologist. She reviewed them and said that since my son not only has ADHD, but also depression and anxiety, he should be under a 504 plan and possibly special education. She said she would come to the next 504 meeting with me. At that meeting, the school was still poised against putting my son under a 504 plan, but my advocate was a wonderful help. All of the BS the school tried to pull, she just tore it down and knew how to fight them on each issue. They kept going back to the point that my son was still making pretty decent grades, B's and C's, so they didn't think that his ADHD was severly limiting his education. I pointed out to them several times that if those accomodations that were already in place were taken away, he would spiral downhill very rapidly. I also pointed out that through my research, I read that a child does not have to fail before being placed under a 504 plan. The school agreed with that statement. I told them that all of their arguements are saying just the opposite. It sounds like they want my son to fail before they will even consider placing him under the 504 plan. When it was all said and done, We had convinced everyone in the committee meeting, with the exception of the head of the 504 plans, to agree to place my son under a 504 plan, and the majority wins on these. It was a difficult struggle, but this is my son's well-being I was dealing with and I was not going to back down. My advice to you is to educate yourself about the 504 plan. Google 504 plan and find out as much as you can about it. Then all you have to do is write a letter to your child's school requesting that your child be placed under a 504 plan. You will be invited to the 504 plan meeting and be afforded to voice your opinions during the meeting. The more you know the better off you will be. You may need to find an advocate like I did to fight for you, but hopefully your journey will go more smoothly for you than mine did.

Virginia - posted on 02/09/2009

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Just beware, My adhd son with falling grades was turned down because he is " still passing".  He has gone from an all a,b student to making mostly c's and d's.   So if your child is passing, you might have difficulty getting the help.

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Melissa - posted on 02/11/2009

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Thanks everyone for responding to my question! It seems I am going to have to get an advocate for my daughter - since we are up against many of the things Megan mentioned below. The school has really been putting up a fight against us getting any type of help for her. All arguments are put out there - everything from "she has shown an increase in her grades so it doesn't seem to be her ADHD" to "she is already sitting up front." It's almost like the school doesn't want to be responsible or is worried about the cost. I don't think the public schools really understand what us as parents go through when we see our children struggle. Either way, looks like I have some research to do. Better put up my guards and come well-prepared. I have a meeting with the school counselor to discuss the 504 plan. I will make sure to get as much information as possible before that time - so that I can have an answer for anything they throw at me.
Thanks again!

Gladys - posted on 02/10/2009

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Wow...I didn't realize how much trouble some people have getting the 504 in place.  All I had to do was request it.  I only did it as a precaution because 3rd grade is such a transition year and the work gets so much harder.  Thankfully, my son is doing great in school and always has but the 504 will allow you to discuss with the teacher (and sometimes a committee) things that can help your child.  Maybe it's because he's in a smaller school that it was so much simpler for us.  I wish you all luck.  so many people still don't realize how very real ADHD is.

Jennifer - posted on 02/10/2009

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I am a teacher and a mother of a child with ADHD....A 504 plan IS a legally binding docuemnt and it is the school staff's responsibility to carry out any modifications or accomodations that have been stated in the plan. This plan does not prevent your student from "failing", it just simply outlines the things your child needs to be more successful - if those things are not provided you need to follow up with the principal - who is usually the 504 officer at your school. You can get a lot of information if you google 504 plan.

Jeri - posted on 02/10/2009

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We are currently going around and around with my 6 yr old son's teacher on the issue of a 504 plan. She says he is doing "well" in class, they are already making the accomodations recommended by the educational psychologist and occupational therapist and she says it is a waste of time that will not help him. Yet he is not meeting expectations for 1st grade in writing and struggling with reading. It's like they don't want to help but don't mind sounding the alarms. This has been a very frustrating year!

Lauren - posted on 02/10/2009

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Our school says that my son is too intelligent for an IEP (Special Ed), but that a 504 is basically the same thing.  Nice to know that the school is not accountable in a 504

Jeanette - posted on 02/10/2009

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Meghan you and I have been thru the exact same problem with the school. I hired an advocate as well. We finally got the 504 for the accomadation part but now she is failing two classes. So now my advocate has refered us to a lawyer.

Jeanette - posted on 02/10/2009

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We just got our daughter a 504 plan. It's a plan that helps with behavior. However it does not hold the school accountable for anything. So if your child is failing something b/c of ADHD and other problems then Special Ed status is the only plan that will hold the school accountable for your childs education.

Donna - posted on 02/08/2009

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to my knowledge, the 504 plan is a law that requires that the school makes accomodations for any child with "other" disabilities.

Karen - posted on 02/07/2009

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Quoting Melissa:

504 Plan

What's in the 504 plan and is it going to help my daughter? Any experience with it?


 

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