Can anyone suggest best way to change my sons 504 plan to an IEP? Already following procedure and beyond, very frustrating.

Lola - posted on 06/18/2011 ( 31 moms have responded )

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My son will be in the fourth grade and has a 504 plan. In 3rd grade, I realized my mistake asking for a 504 plan to begin with, I wanted to go with the least restrictive enviroment. We are due to re-evaluate in August. During the past year I requested an IEP evaluation and spoke to the counselor about changing his plan. Her response, he'll score to high on I.Q, he won't qualify for an IEP. My son has (1) lumbar levoscoliosis with leg length discrepency and hip tilt (2) Asthma (3) Tourette's Syndrome (4) GERD (5) adynamic ileus (6) sensory processing disorder (7) ADHD (8) OCD (9) lack of co-ordination and (10) emotional lability. His Neurologist and other specialist feel he may be in the Autism Spectrum. He is scheduled for ASD evaluation although I have not received the date yet. I have kept the school informed of every diagnosis, development, medication every detail. His medication has been a roller coaster all year, it's either too strong, not strong enough and several medications he can not take because of his tourette's. He was just approved for SSI benefits based on his multiple dignosis and prognosis. He is very intelligent which shows when it comes to technical, fact based or memorization. I explained to his teacher the entire year, his difficulties just being able to tell her if he's having a problem. When it comes to test (reading is the big one) He can ace the test because he memorized the study guide at first glance. If you ask him anything inferrential, he's lost. His teacher finally saw what I said all year. On the end of the year test (the smartest kid in the class) got a low D on his reading test, because there was no study guide. Math is his best subject (it makes sense to him), he scored a 98 on the end of the year test. My fight has been getting the school to listen to me. I am finally getting his IEP evaluation in August when school commences, I fear I won't get any further than I already have. He just needs a little one on one that his 504 doesn't provide. After being in her class all year my son still could not bring himself to ask for help. He was the best behaved most times simply because he would freeze and would not speak, he would not look at her. Third grade was torture for him and I dread fourth grade. I have also considered private education if I can manage it, and even home schooling which I am really apprehensive about. Any suggestions for the IEP, or if I should even stay in public school?

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/20/2011

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I know exactly what you're experiencing. In my experience, I took it to the next level.. Not the school, but the central office of the district. Talk to the head of the school district, give them your request. Make sure you also include the ADA coordinator for your district.



Best of luck with your fight. KEEP FIGHTING!



They cannot deny testing requested by a parent. You also need to document the harrassment/teasing of your son. Bless his heart, of course he doesn't understand! You are in my prayers, my dear, so keep up the fight. Your child is THE most important thing here.

Dawn - posted on 08/27/2011

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I did not catch where you were from but i live in Washington State and a 504 plan is way differant then an IEP (at least it is here). My 11 year old son has ADHD, asthma and alergies and each year at the start of the year I have to renew his 504 plan with his doctor for the school... The 504 plan address'his health issue in regards to any medication needed at school such as his Albuterol. He also has an IEP (Individual Edication Plan) which will follow him through out all of his schooling and this covers any learning disabilities (example poor reader) This places him in a special education class for his reading and writting. It took me 3 years to get his IEP however he has had his 504 plan since kindergarten. My advise is if you do not get any results with in the school take it to the next leval and go to the school superintendant and so forth untill you get the results you are looking for. Good luck.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/23/2011

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My mom also said to take down any and all phone calls, conversations, and interactions with people reguarding his IEP. Dates, times, what was said - document it allllllll, she said that way you have proof later on if you need an attorney.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/21/2011

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LOL...typical Wyoming...I grew up in Laramie, then we moved to Colorado for a few years. Came back to Laramie, and sure enough, the problems with the school district started!. Mine was compounded because I'd gone to church with, and babysat for the "special needs" coordinator, so he thought I was trying to get special accommodations without proof...needless to say, he changed his tune when I brought proof...

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/21/2011

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Lola,

You are doing everything you can, and you are on the right track. If you can get someone from the SSA to sit in on your meeting, and perhaps a legal advocate as well, that is awesome.

Where are you located? The way you are being treated, I could SWEAR it's Wyoming! You are describing exactly what I went through with both of my sons!

From everything you are describing, the appropriate plan for your son is NOT a 504, so you keep it up! Another thing I recommend is to share your story with the public. Sometimes when the public finds out how poorly the school district is treating someone with a valid disability, the outcry is immense, and embarrassing for the district. However, I think you have a valid discrimination case going here, as they are not allowing your son the full benefit of his education.

My kids scored great on vocab, and their vocal conversation level was at "adult", so I was told that they were "fine", even though their reading comprehension (in 3rd grade) was only a post kindergarten level. It took me 3 years of fighting, and then my youngest got a teacher who actually listened. She advocated for me, and we were able to get my youngest on an IEP. (The school district still screwed that up, so when you do get him on one, make sure you MONITOR them!)

31 Comments

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Bridget - posted on 09/21/2011

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I am so sorry that you guys got denied testing for the IEP. That is awful. And your poor son kids can be so mean :( I hope things get better for you and him. You are such a fantastic mom. You are doing everything in your power to make sure he gets what he needs and that is amazing. Good luck with everything

Lola - posted on 09/21/2011

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We met today and I tell you we have been through the gambit. We have now dealt with bullying repeatedly. I have been to the superintendent and beyond. Today he was denied testing for an IEP however, I have informed them that I am now seeking an independent evaluation as this is my right and from council received, the district receives funding therefore pays for that. I have learned a lot from the books I mentioned before regarding special education law #1 is document, document, document. The post from "User" is correct, there is a distinct difference between a 504 and an IEP. 504 is a civil rights law which deals with physical disabilities and the right to access to FAPE free appropriate public education. IEP is the same FAPE dealing with any learning disabilities however, the quagmire that is special education is mind boggling to say the least if there is a discrepancy in the views of the parent and the public education system. I have and am fighting and am considering starting a support group in some vain for parents on the same journey. There are so many rights parents have that are never told to them and difficult at best to find. Contact local legal aide, or find out where your states childrens law center is at, I did google searches for advocacy groups in my state and I also received a great deal of education from organizations tourettes. I have to admit that condition has worsened, his tics are worse and now kids know how to illicit tics and have been doing so to hear the noises he makes and we are to a point health wise that we will hopefully be placing him on home bound on or by fall break in just over a week and I may home school from there. I am still seeking an IEP because he will need this in place for his issues with reading comprehensions when it comes to state testing and if is not an option. The end goal is what's fair for my son

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 09/03/2011

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Go straight to anyone who can help. Go up high enough until you are on someones desk who is pissed off that they are bothered with such a petty problem in their eyes that they send you to the right people. That's what I do. ;)

Danielle - posted on 09/03/2011

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I do my renewel for my son right before school ends. I guess it really does depend on where you live and what kind of school district you have.

Bridget - posted on 06/23/2011

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@Lola that is good at least he is finally getting tested :) good luck with everything

Lola - posted on 06/23/2011

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I went outside the school itself to finally get a little further, When school resumes they are finally going to test him which is all I wanted in the first place. The services I have requested are more than available and I still want the least restrictive environment he needs. I'm educating myself as I go, I ordered and received today, two different books from Wrights Law on is Special Education Law and the other is From Emotion to Advocacy The Special Education Survival Guide. I will let you know how helpful once I go through them. I have a feeling we have a very long road ahead of us.

Lola - posted on 06/23/2011

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Hello,
To date we have almost filled 3 binders with Scottys medical chart. I have the file put together by date and physician divided with tabs. They have been made aware of everything, (the 10 diagnosis listed in my post) including diagnosis with the supporting medical documentation. I gave them an enclosure list on the front out laying everything so anything can be found without wading through the mountain the way I did putting this together. Unfamiliar with the process at first I made the mistake of asking verbally for the evaluation. Since then I have put it in writing and went through the board and a few others. Every time I asked for the evaluation, I was dismissed with he's too smart. His teacher did not follow through on his 504 plan either. I called repeatedly, complained to no avail that's when I went further. They were even given letters from physicians written for school, a letter from one of his former teachers I am still in contact with and even a letter from the same guidance counselor whom saw my son's issues the prior year then contradicted herself at the beginning of 3rd grade (the next school year). When I produced her letter, she looked a little stunned then the meeting commenced and he was given his 504 plan that day which I was asking for in the beginning. I honestly want the least restrictive environment. I did not ask for an IEP in the beginning, and during the 504 meeting we discussed his diagnosis, medications, and sign they needed to be aware of. I am very thorough and I explained all the tell tale sign that my son is in distress. His accommodations were to be extended time during testing and with assignments. He was supposed to be able to be removed if he becomes too stressed. The sign were went over because Scotty will freeze and is not capable of asking for help and most times will not speak to the teacher in general if called on he will freeze. In school and in general he has a hard time. His doctor ordered an eeg because this is such a frequent occurrence and he suspected petite mal seizures, which thankfully testing came back okay on this one. Scotty was supposed to write down his assignments in a notebook, and his teacher was according to his 504 supposed to check over and initial it for accuracy, I was to then in turn initial it too. NOT 1 time did that happen. He was supposed to get extended time which from what I can tell he did not. He received detention several times and most times didn't know why he got it. When I complained, the counselor (his teachers sister and person I had to go through for IEP request) replied "well he has missed a lot of school". Every time he has missed, it has been for medical and documented with a doctors note. I tell my children if you're not sick and you don't need to miss school, you don't miss school. At the end of the year I gave my son the opportunity, to stay home for a day, testing was over and his daddy was coming home after being gone for two weeks. My son absolutely did not want to miss because "that's the rules". He is to the point where he does not like school at all he says; it's confusing, he feels different and doesn't know why, and you can see the dread every day yet he won't miss if he doesn't have too. After getting the 504 I knew pretty quickly thereafter, he needed more help. He struggled so much, we spent countless nights frustrated, or just crying together both of us feeling helpless for different reasons. I let the school know this too for all the good it did. One night I made the mistake of telling him to leave his homework unfinished. I sent a note with him to his teacher explaining the difficulty he was having and I could not seem to explain it well enough and it wasn't worth the stress it was causing. I called the next morning before class to make sure she knew. When I picked him up from school, I asked did she explain it to you, he shook his head yes, I asked did you understand, big tears rolled down his face and he shook his head no. I walked with him to his class and said he's still having a little trouble with this assignment. In a sharp voice she said "What do you mean you don't understand, you said you understood, we went over this" I interrupted her and said excuse me, is there a problem. That was early on and we've had issues every since. There is no reason for them to deny my son his IEP, there's a whole lot more to it. My neighbors son who scored just two points away from my son on an IQ test with the sole diagnosis of ADHD was given an IEP no questions asked from the same school with the same considerations as my son's 504 plan with additional 1 on 1 help 20% of the day.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/23/2011

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Oh my.. Well, keep me posted. Still praying for you!

Lola - posted on 06/23/2011

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Hi Shawnn, it may be worse than Wyoming, we currently live in Kentucky (that is subject to change)

Rochelle - posted on 06/21/2011

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we had to fight with our daughters school district to preform and IEP, finally after 3 years of complaining it finally was done and I was greatful.. call your school district there should be someone in charge of the IEP and the special classes that are available to your child have them REQUEST that an IEP be done as soon as possible, it made a world of difference for us...

Debbie - posted on 06/21/2011

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I am studying to become a special ed teacher.....I have completed my classes and begin my internship in the fall....I also have a son that went through this process....The IEP process is a long one.....it took almost a year for my son to finally get his.....Now according to IDEA 2004 (Individual Disability Education Act) the school MUST begin the IEP process if you request it....I would give them as much information as possible on his conditions.....he will need to be diagnosed with a disability...so the sensory processing disorder may get him to be qualified as Learning Disabled....the IEP process will entail the IEP team (of which you are a member) and there are different tiers that they need go through to show that he really needs and IEP......this was set up so that schools would not just label a child....it is my suspicion that during the first tier....this is when they try to give him some support and if the help works then the IEP process stops...The point is to show in his work that he needs help...My suggestion is to ask for either someone to sit with him 10-15 mins a day to make sure he understands the information...if this is all that is required they will just have him complete this type of session.....but the point is that his scores need to reflect this improvement.....Good luck......as far as home schooling you can do it! But it will take major time out of your day.....I had homeschooled for 13 years and I just put my youngest in school 3 years ago because of his disability.....Good luck with every thing!

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/21/2011

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Yeah.. that's why I feel for anyone with disabilities going through school systems. :(

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/21/2011

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well, best of luck. seems like it's just as bad at college level...unfortunately...

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/21/2011

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I'm in CA. Not in college anymore. I struggled through 2 years, got half my AA degree and because of my learning disability failed math and cannot continue on without it, you know? So I asked for more help but the college gave me the worst excuses available..... I asked my DOR counselor for help because they are supposed to...... and she said she had no control over the college and had no way to help me learn math. So I went to the dean and he said he knows all about learning disabilities as his son has them but my testing was old (8th grade) so he wanted me re-tested then to proceed with things....... after being retested. I was .5 HALF a point away from qualifiying for my disabillity and guess what? Because the school deemed me not disabled (due to .5) they dropped any and all needs and responsibilities to help me. So I refused to go back and had no help from DOR. Still stuck on this issue. Haven't gone back.. was going to try to go through DOR again (a different counselor and district area because the lady who is head of my old counselors office was aweful and uncaring) and see if I could get help... who knows? :(

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/21/2011

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Typical, nichole! They don't let the kids in Casper carry bags, etc, either...

Where are you now? Are you still in college?

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/21/2011

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Oh geez......... that bites. I also spent 3 months in Cody. The middle school in Rocksprings wouldn't let anyone carry a backpack, purse or coat so I had no where to put my girly 'stuff'. Put it in my binder pocket but some boy saw I was hiding something and found it. Embarassing. There were also a bunch of guys around my locker too so that wasn't an option. I had to get a written note from a DOCTOR.......... come on

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/21/2011

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OMG I lived in Wyoming and had so many issues... I broke my hand and had a teacher told me I HAD to write with it (before the cast could be put on) the principle didn't care! We had to move! Where in WY are you? We were in Rocksprings and Riverton

Bridget - posted on 06/20/2011

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It is awesome that you are not giving up you are a truely wonderful mother. I really hope everything works out for you guys. He really deserves to get a IEP and hopefully with the ASD testing he will get the help he needs. If you ever need anything feel free to message me :)

Lola - posted on 06/20/2011

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I absolutely refuse to give up. What is absolutely astonishing the school said he only qualifies for a 504 plan (which wasn't followed either). Last week my son was approved for social security (SSI) two months after applying for the first time (that alone is unheard of). I took all of my son's medical records at the time of application. I'm sure they verified the documentation first and contacted his physicians which may be why the fast first time approval. The odd thing is the school had the same records as Social Security. The other quirk here, in second grade the same counselor that wrote a letter stating what she observed of my son in class and one on one while he was in second grade then contradicted herself when he entered third grade. Fortunately, I still have that letter. The only thing different was medication, which we still don't have right but are able to somewhat control his "tics" oh and his third grade teacher and the counselor are sisters if I hadn't mentioned that before. With help from others because the local school board was no help, I went through the school psychologist and child advocate who assured me we will get everything started as far as meeting and testing just as soon as school resumes and I also gave her a copy of his file. Today I ordered Wrights Law: Special Education Law and Wrights Law: From Emotions to Advocacy The Special Education Guide. I've been researching everything I can in the Code of Federal Regulations and IDEA, and have downloaded more information about my sons school whom is a title 1 participant to see what their funding is and their allotment per child for SES. I intend to go into this meeting very prepared. I have been told I can request someone from the Social Security Administration be present at our meeting and I am going to check further to see if that is the case. I know my son is smart but still he is struggling. He has problems with reading comprehension, listening comprehension, inferential comprehension and definitely literal comprehension. He is physically unable to ask a teacher for help, he will absolutely freeze. I have two younger children and the youngest will be entering school this fall, I actually dread this. My daughter whom was in first grade last year was in 2nd grade reading and math. My son obsessed over that for quite some time simply because that's not how it's done. Everything is black and white for him and there is not grey area. He is probably one of the most honest kids you would ever want to meet. A lot of parents may say my child doesn't lie, with my son that's true. He can not tell a lie simply because that is against the rules, he's very rigid with rules. Right now we are awaiting his appointment for the Weisskopf center in Louisville, KY. Several of his specialist suspect his is a high functioning autistic or has Aspergers Syndrome both would explain several of his diagnosis. With all this the school does not "think" he will qualify for an IEP before they test him. Honestly, I am almost to the point of researching other schools in other states if necessary. Sorry for the length, not a lot of people in this area that understand or can relate to our situation. Thank you for the support.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/20/2011

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What a bunch of jerks. It's almost like this everywhere hun. Keep fighting!!!!

Lola - posted on 06/20/2011

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He too needs some speech therapy for articulation. At this school I am quickly learning you rate more by the sports you play and my son tries to play baseball. He has co-ordination issues he just learned to skip a few months ago in occupational therapy. He has to learn to ride a bike all over again each year and he's not proficient but he tries, and he still can not tie his shoes. The school has fought me all the way on this, stating his grades. Like I said he has the most amazing memory and with a glance at a study guide, he memorized it. Reading is a real issue for him. He can read at a 5th grade level, spelling is at a 6.8 grade level, his comprehension is back at a 2.7 level and they don't see that. Those numbers come from his psychological evaluation and testing at school. At the end of third grade he has went down by 1 month from the end of 2nd grade. 1 day before the last day of school his teacher while going over his end of the year test realized he scored a 98% on his math and 75% on his reading. I just looked at her and said I told you all year long he only passes reading test because of the study guide, and the fact that I read his story to him as well and discussed the story with him like a book club and he just listened to me. I was trying to help and may have inadvertently hindered him. I thought surely they would listen to me and if not me then any one of his specialist which have written letters. My sons medical records fill two binders and I have made all that information available to the school. I requested an occupational evaluation with a letter from his private occupational therapist letter of recommendation and need. The guidance counselor who handles the 504 plans and reports to the ADA coordinator. A month later, I asked the ADA coordinator where we were on the OT Evaluation and her reply was what OT Evaluation? Even then I heard nothing more and she is harder and harder to see or find at the school. I don't understand it either.

Bridget - posted on 06/20/2011

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I don't get why he doesn't qualify for a IEP thats odd my little girl is on one and she just has a developmental delay which is very mild and a small speech impairment which is just articulation. I would think your son would qualify. I'm sorry that you are having such a hard time :(

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/18/2011

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I would also look for support groups, because even DOR / DVR and colleges and schools love to screw with you in order to not deal with you.



For instance, my college retested my disability and I was .5 away from qualifying for my disability so they DROPPED all help I was getting. My DOR office said they couldn't help me, even though that is their job is to help me through school. So good luck, seriously. You need good advice, legal and moral through the whole process.



And I mean support groups who are knowledgeable and informative in helping people with your sons disability.. not just any group. I hope you can find one

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/18/2011

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Tourettes should make him qualify alone! Omg I hate school systems. Sorry, I have a learning disability and struggled with it SO much growing up. People don't understand and schools just want to push you under the carpet and do as LITTLE to help as possible. Don't let them. Your going to be fighting the whole time :(

If you can, go through DOR department of rehabilitation (california term) in washington state it's called DVR I think? So you might have to find the right term. Anyway, they test your kid for free and offer help and guidance. Also, local colleges usually test for it. Community colleges? There is usually a waiting list but it is also free and that is how I got alllllllll the paperwork and proof I needed for my disability. So I would look into these two things? Good luck hun

Lola - posted on 06/18/2011

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Additional Information to my original post: I have done the verbal then written request. After the guidance counselor tried to deter me, I made 6 copies of my request with supporting evidence of why I want the evaluation. Copies were given to the counselor, school nurse (because of medical reasons), main office, teacher, special education teacher, and school psychologist. The school psychologist is the only reason we will be getting the evaluation when school commences. She explained the school was not allowed to deny request for evaluation (no guarantee of IEP), Are there any additional test I should request that would not normally be included in the school evaluation. He will not qualify based on I.Q. because he does score above the 70 requirement on the WISC-IV. He really is not able to ask his teacher for help and my goal is a little time out of class with a special education teacher who can make sure he knows what's going on, how to do his work, and not so lost. I'm not looking for more than a 20% time with special education, and I know he would respond so much better. Sorry for the length, very frustrated and desperte to help my son. He is teased at school and does not understand he is being teased. He did say he feels different but doesn't know how or why, just that he's different from everyone else. I desperately want to help my son any way I can.

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