Understanding the 504 & IEP Process

504/IEP So many Questions, So Little Time…

When it comes to getting the right classroom accommodations for your child, there is a sea of information. It can be an intimidating and confusing process for parents.

If your child is struggling in the classroom, they may qualify for accommodations. Students with one of thirteen disabilities are eligible for an IEP, which is the more formal of the two. A student can qualify for a 504 plan if they have any disability that affects their ability to learn.

One of the main differences is the way that each is developed. An IEP is constructed following a strict set of guidelines. To get an IEP, participants must meet two requirements. The first is that they must be formally diagnosed with one of the thirteen disabilities listed by IDEA. These disabilities range from dyslexia to traumatic brain injury. The second requirement is that the disability must affect the child’s academic performance and their ability to learn in a traditional classroom setting.

A 504 plan was actually developed from section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act established in 1973. The Rehabilitation Act is a national law that ensures that an individual cannot be discriminated against because of a disability. It offers equal opportunity for those with disabilities to thrive in a classroom setting. To get a 504 plan for your student, they must have a disability. This can include attention or learning disabilities. The disability must impair the child’s ability to learn in a conventional classroom setting, therefore accommodations are needed for a student to have a chance to be successful.

Another difference that stands out is the way that each is developed. An IEP is developed by a specific team that includes the parents, special education and general education teachers, a school psychologist, and a district representative. All members must be present during the development of the plan and at annual meetings. The plan must be approved by the parents, and cannot be modified without parental consent. The IEP team must review the plan annually and make modifications as needed.

A 504 plan is more loosely structured. In fact, it doesn’t have to be in written form at all. It can simply be strategies and accommodations developed to increase success in the classroom. There are no specific guidelines. However, most 504 plans include what accommodations are being given to the student, who is going to provide the service, and who is going to ensure that the plan is implemented.

In either case, there is an evaluation process. Parental consent is required before a student can be evaluated. Parents can request that the school district pay for an independent education evaluation (IEE), but they don’t have to agree. Parents do have the right to pay for an outside evaluation, but the district does not have to consider it when devising a plan for your child. If you’re seeking an outside evaluation, it’s best to consult with the school psychologist. They should have a list of approved evaluators and are more likely to consider the results if it’s done by someone on this list.

The Educational Support Advisors at Play Attention have a wealth of knowledge and resources available to you about the 504/IEP process. We are also accredited to provide the FOCUS assessment. If you would like an attention assessment conducted with your child that will report your child’s strengths and weaknesses, please contact us at 800-788-6786. The FOCUS assessment results can often be used to help design your child’s IEP or 504 plan. We can also use the FOCUS assessment results to further customize your Play Attention plan. Click here to learn more about the FOCUS assessment.

Play Attention teaches the learning skills that are often set as objectives within the student’s IEP or 504 plan. Attend our upcoming webinar to learn more.

Picking the Right College

Picking the Right College

Just as in elementary and high school, college can be a challenge for someone with ADHD. The good news is that there are a growing number of colleges and universities offering special programs for students with disabilities. Currently there are over forty colleges with such programs. Click here for a list of these institutions and the services they provide.

When selecting a college that is more mainstream, it’s important to understand what programs are available to ensure your student’s success. Be sure to ask the right questions about support provided by the school. Here are some ideas to help guide you.

  1. Is a traditional college the best choice? We know that people with ADHD can pay attention when they are interested in the subject matter. So a traditional, four-year college may not be the best road to take. With lots of general courses needed to graduate, you may lose the student’s attention and ambition. Consider a solid technical college focused on your student’s area of interest.
  2. Can my student’s IEP transfer to college? Colleges are not required to adhere to a student’s IEP from high school. They are, however, required to make necessary accommodations for your student under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.college
  3. Do I have to disclose my disability? Colleges cannot discriminate against people with disabilities and you are not required to disclose your disability to any educational institution. However, it may be to your advantage that you do. This will allow modifications to be made early on, ensuring a greater chance for success. When you disclose your disability, you will be required to provide proof. In the case of ADHD, this proof can come from your physician.
  4. How do I help my ADHD student get into college? Getting into college is extremely competitive. Many colleges reject a large percentage of their applicant pool. Declaring your child’s disability may give them a better chance of getting accepted, especially if your child improved their academic performance after being diagnosed.
  5. Consider taking a year off. – Consider taking a year off to work or travel. By taking a year off, your student will enter college more grounded and ready to take on academic challenges. The year also gives your student time to decide where their areas of interest are.

In her report “Success for the ADHD College Student,” Stephanie Sarkis offers some helpful information such as, “If the student’s college conducts random drug testing, students with prescribed stimulant medication must carry a signed note from their clinician stating the name of the medication, the fact that it is a stimulant, the reason for the prescription (ADHD), and a statement that a drug test could show up positive for amphetamines due to this medication.”

 

504/IEP So many Questions, So Little Time…

504/IEP So many Questions, So Little Time…

When it comes to getting the right classroom accommodations for your child, there is a sea of information. It can be intimidating and confusing for parents as they learn to ride the waves instead of being sucked into the swell.

For guidance, register for our IEP/504 webinar on April 17th with Dr. Susan Crum.

Let’s start at the beginning. Who qualifies?

If your child is struggling in the classroom, they may qualify. Students with one of thirteen disabilities are eligible for an IEP, which is the more formal of the two. A student can qualify for a 504 plan if they have any disability that affects their ability to learn.

What is the difference between a 504 and an IEP?

One of the main differences is the way that each is developed. An IEP is constructed following a strict set of guidelines. To get an IEP, participants must meet two requirements. The first is that they must be formally diagnosed with one of the thirteen disabilities listed by IDEA. These disabilities range from dyslexia to traumatic brain injury. The second requirement is that the disability must affect the child’s academic performance and their ability to learn in a traditional classroom setting.

Request our IEP/504 eBook

A 504 plan was actually developed from section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act established in 1973. The Rehabilitation Act is a national law that ensures that an individual cannot be discriminated against because of a disability. It offers equal opportunity for those with disabilities to thrive in a classroom setting. To get a 504 plan for your student, they must have a disability. This can include attention or learning disabilities. The disability must impair the child’s ability to learn in a conventional classroom setting, therefore accommodations are needed for a student to have a chance to be successful.

Another difference that stands out is the way that each is developed. An IEP is developed by a specific team that includes the parents, special education and general education teachers, a school psychologist, and a district representative. All members must be present during the development of the plan and at annual meetings. The plan must be approved by the parents, and cannot be modified without parental consent. The IEP team must review the plan annually and make modifications as needed.

A 504 plan is more loosely structured. In fact, it doesn’t have to be in written form at all. It can simply be strategies and accommodations developed to increase success in the classroom. There are no specific guidelines. However, most 504 plans include what accommodations are being given to the student, who is going to provide the service, and who is going to ensure that the plan is implemented.

In either case, there is an evaluation process. Parental consent is required before a student can be evaluated. Parents can request that the school district pay for an independent education evaluation (IEE), but they don’t have to agree. Parents do have the right to pay for an outside evaluation, but the district does not have to consider it when devising a plan for your child. If you’re seeking an outside evaluation, it’s best to consult with the school psychologist. They should have a list of approved evaluators and are more likely to consider the results if it’s done by someone on this list.

The Educational Support Advisors at Play Attention have a wealth of knowledge and resources available to you about the 504/IEP process. In fact, there have been many cases where they have been successful in incorporating your Play Attention sessions into your child’s school day. Click here for additional information and resources.