How they Qualify for special education and 504 services. I suppose I could write a book on this issue alone.. as you will see there are numerous ways to Qualify for services provided at no cost to the parent under 504 and Special Educuation. ( known as Sped ) One thing I would really like to stress here is that they can also qualify for BOTH! **Special education for services. **504 to PREVENT discrimination & for services to accomplish this. Often times in this domain... behavior disorders its wise to do both! There are many places to learn the differences about the 2 programs on the internet.. one of my favorites is in The Special Education Advocacy library at www.Wrightslaw.com S. James Rosenfeld does a supererb job of comparing the two and you can locate it easily using the search function. * Basic Similarities and Differences * It would be silly for me to cover all this in here.. so I will speak to the basics, and breifly explain how they qualify: Any discussion of "How they qualify" must begin with why they qualify and why you should seek them to qualify? First and foremost these programs were designed to level the playing field for students who for whatever reason cannot benefit from education with out assistance. This means that Congress recognized that not all children can learn the same way, but if given appropriate modifications can in fact benefit from FAPE ( Free and Appropriate Public Education). We educate children because our forfathers realized that if all its citizens were educated, it would promote a more civilized nation and help us to better protect ourselves from our enemies. We would be happier and more productive, and contribute to a more stable economy... and that persons with an education would be less likely to be dependent on the State ( Country ) for support. So... before you feel guilty about asking for these services ( some do cause they feel like beggers ) please know that FAPE for your child is a State interest, not a selfish whim on your part. I like going back to Babylonian and Hebrew times when explaining your interest in your child... way back then a child was seen as an investment, and a couple without children ( barren ) were pittied because children were produced to care for their parents in old age and infirmity. Basicly they had kids to care for them in the future. Children were somewhat a status symbol, and if someone injured your child.. it was veiwed similarly to theft. You could "collect" damages from your childs injuries because you had a "proprietary" (means ownership or investment )interest in your childs future. If someone altered ( damaged ) your child, then they were made to compensate you for such. Its really the same today... In the USA we know as parents that we are responsible for raising and caring for our children until age of majority.. ( 18-21 )... if we fail to do this the State will step in and do it for us. * note * wrongful death suits for parents of children who die are largely won on this principal even today.. most think its for pain & suffering but generally courts have ruled we should expect our children to care for us in our old age *** * this is another "State" interest in that if the State allows a child to be damaged ... it can be considered a future liability for the State when the child goes into adulthood. IE: prisons, mental health wards etc. We have an economy based upon our children reaching majority, and moving out... buying a home, entering the work force, and becoming consumers. This is how we "grow" the economy. In old times children stayed with the family and thus the slow economy. If this does not happen then the State will suffer.. and from this we get 504 and SPED. The same is true for you... as a parent its important for your child to get FAPE, so he or she will move out and off your economic support. Additionally, you must be able to predict and count upon your child to assist you in old age and infirmity. *( now resume reading this after you pick yourself up off the floor from laughing your butt off )* LOL This is why... Congress allows YOU to decide and be the MAJORITY decison maker for your childs education. It affect you... you have an interest or stake in his/her future. Many parents of disabled children find themselves caring for those children well past retirement as the State has "done away with" mental health hospitals and the so called "funny farms" of the past where we warehoused our shame. * recently in Michigan a mother was charged with child neglect for not having her 8 month old Cerebral Palsy baby in school... true story!!! Her Peditrician told her to get the baby in school at age 3 mos, and when she did not, he filed a refferal. the child was removed from the home, and taken to foster care where she rode in a carseat on a bus to school each day. ( 8 MONTHS OLD!!!) she was returned to Mom. The State excersized its "interest" in getting this child educated and her disabilities remediated as quickly as possible. If the State did this why do so many parents have trouble asking for help for their child? You need to ask and answer those questions for yourself. I have never heard a valid reason for NOT getting services for a child... its no different than giving them vitamins or shots to prevent polio. But if you think you have a valid reason.. please post it so that we may "think out loud". How they qualify is simple.. and the two programs bascily overlap and are intertwined. Anything that the TEAM determines is not special edcuation but is a concern .. falls under 504 Obesity is one example that fits somewhat.. except depending on the level of obesity a child could qualify under SPED... IF the obesity reached the level of impairing the childs health.. which would get him/her eligible under OHI or POHI. OHI= other health impaired POHI= physically or other health impaired Sooo as you can see an argument could be made that the child is SPED and or 504. In terms of behavior diability .. Congress clearly defines behavior as a disabilty.. they recognized that not all children can follow the same standards for behavior ( because of a disability ) that their non-disabled peers do. This is no different than holding a child with-o legs to same standards in gym class and running as a child with legs. If your child doesnt have the ability to perfom the required tasks then he must be "assisted" until he/she can. This assistance is SPED and 504, and must be provided in order for your child to "benefit" from education and be deveolped to his/her "maximum potential". The key words "benefit" and "maximum potential" should ALWAYS be used when asserting this standard for your child. Behavior disordered children are seldomly mentally retarded or cognitvley deficient. Often times ( very often ) they are on the other end of the spectrum and fall well into the gifted range. If you have an Einstein who behaves like Frankenstein... ( monster ) then chances are better than good that he/she will not "benefit" from education and will not be developed to his/her "maximum potential". This is why parents fail to seek SPED or 504 for their child cause they often argue.. that their kid is very smart... yup and they are also losing out cause they fail to "benefit".. and they wont acheive "maximum potential" The labels: ******************************* EI: emotionally impaired this is for children who's emotional problems interfere with learning.. *hint* Anger is an emotion! this also covers anxiety, fear, depression, etc. ***************************** SEI: severly emotionally impaired this is the federal ( universal ) label and is the same as EI. *************************** Learning Disability (LD): learning disabled this covers a vast range of learning difficulties, and includes dyslexia, central auditory processing disorders, dysgraphia etc. * sometimes children with attention difficulties fall here simply because they are not able to attend well enough that they fail to "get it" ************************ OHI: other health impaired Often times this is where children with behavior difficulties fall... I will explain. As most of you know ODD never travels alone, it always has a co-morbid.. either ADD / ADHD / depression / Aspegers / poly substance abuse etc. Because ALL of those labels fall with the DSM guidelines this makes it a medical issue.. and thus "other health impairment". Schools argue this all the time.. I personaly used the DSM guidelines for ODD / CD in my parent report along with the facts about ODD on Abbeys home page in my parent report. ********************* POHI: physically or otherwise health impaired. same as above different name for states and feds. ******************** These are the main 3 that we need to be concerned with.. so I wont cover the rest, except on an as needed basis. If you have a child with a behavior disorder, these labels will fit and thus qualify him/her for services. Now... a common pitfall here is that many parents experience is much like mine was in that my tazmanian devil was an ~A~ngel at school. uuuugghhhhhhh!!!! Soooo the school district looks at you like your nuts when you even suggest that he/she may have a disability. But the law however knows your not nuts, and Congress said: " the childs needs must be considered in all domains " this means home, church, and community. If your child is an Einstein in school a Frankenstein at home... is he/she benefiting from education? Are they being developed to their maximum potential? NO! If your child finds himself in jeopardy of being imprisoned will this achieve "maximum" potential? NO! Also.. please be ceratin that this dis-order will spread to other domains.. usually around puberty and middle/high school. If you get services now... ( remember the State and the 8 month old baby )... you may help your child benefit and reach their potential. I hope I have covered it all.. but know that there really is no way to address every situation. So please if you are confused please post it here... in this thread so I may assist you. Hugs N Love!!! Jerri ------------------ 5 kids 21,19,18,14& 11. 21 yo M difficult child moved & is engaged! 18 yo M difficult child is not in jail yet but bought his advance ticket! And 11 yo M difficult child/easy child is in remission??! Doing super! No medications.. have tried acupuncture with- good results.Founder PRIE: Parents Rights In Education, volunteer parent advocate. Motto: " Sometimes all thats left is tears to honor the bond.... I cry with honor " Creed: " A pen and a voice for the "Bad Kid"!!" " Giftedness has NOTHING to do with eligibility!!!" " Mr. Chaos stopped by last week and liked the accomodations so well he wont leave! " Top 2 Questions: 1. Have you done a Parent Report? 2. Did you Fix it once Fix it WRITE?