504 doesn't apply???


New Member
The 504 coordinator called yesterday about oldest difficult child. He has never been a 504 student, but the neuropsychologist felt he should be placed in this status with his most recent evaluation. The neuropsychologist diagnosed asperger's, ADHD and a mood disorder that may be bi-polar.

Anyways, the coordinator says that she's looked at his test scores and they look fine, so she doesn't see how a 504 would help him. I try to explain his deficit socially, but it sounds like this isn't enough.

What do I need to ask for to be sure he's taken care of? Is 504 the wrong thing? Is IEP different? What is the difference?


Whether 504 or IEP, no matter the child's diagnosis, the child's behavior OR academics must be adversely impacting education.

To qualify for a 504, the student's problem has to adversely impact a major life activity. It's much easier to qualify for a 504 than an IEP, however, 504's are near impossible to enforce.

If social skills are a problem, that's a major life activity.

It's my recommendation that you write a letter requesting a full and inital evaluation under IDEA. You can always fall back on a 504 if difficult child doesn't qualify for an IEP. I've posted a sample letter thread several times recently, so it should be hard to find it. Additionally, there are others in the Special Education Archives.

I'm at work now, but will check back later, but these threads will get you started.

Differences between IDEA/IEP and 504s


Just a reminder to send the letter CERTIFIED MAIL. Legally, that will start the clock ticking for certain procedures to be followed.


New Member
I'm confused, they must be adversely affecting his education? So does that mean if his grades are fine but he can't make it through the day behaviorally, he's SOL?


No. "Grades" is only one component of many that must be considered for eligiblity of an IEP.

And yes, when a child is having behavioral problems, it adversely impacts his/her education and the other students' as well.

Although it appears to be a reoccurring misinterpretation of IDEA by some educators, the regs are clear. From https://web.archive.org/web/2008051...0/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/pdf/06-6656.pdf

"FAPE Requirements
• Section 300.101(c) has been revised
to clarify that a free appropriate public
education (FAPE) must be available to
any individual child with a disability
who needs special education and
related services, even though the child
has not failed or been retained in a
course, and is advancing from grade to

...Comment: Some commenters
expressed concern that children with
disabilities have to fail or be retained in
a grade or course in order to be
considered eligible for special education
and related services.
Discussion: Section 300.101(c)
provides that a child is eligible to
receive special education and related
services even though the child is
advancing from grade to grade. Further,
it is implicit from paragraph (c) of this
section that a child should not have to
fail a course or be retained in a grade in
order to be considered for special
education and related services. A public
agency must provide a child with a
disability special education and related
services to enable him or her to progress
in the general curriculum, thus making
clear that a child is not ineligible to
receive special education and related
services just because the child is, with
the support of those individually
designed services, progressing in the
general curriculum from grade-to-grade
or failing a course or grade. The group
determining the eligibility of a child for
special education and related services
must make an individual determination
as to whether, notwithstanding the
child’s progress in a course or grade, he
or she needs or continues to need
special education and related services.
However, to provide additional clarity
we will revise paragraph (c)(1) of this
section to explicitly state that children
do not have to fail or be retained in a
course or grade in order to be
considered eligible for special education
and related services.
Changes: Section 300.101(c)(1) has
been revised to provide that children do
not have to fail or be retained in a
course or grade in order to be
considered eligible for special education
and related services.

....We also recognize, though, that as a
matter of practice, it makes a great deal
of sense to attend to behavior of
children with disabilities that is
interfering with their education or that
of others, so that the behavior can be
addressed, even when that behavior will
not result in a change in placement. In
fact, the Act emphasizes a proactive
approach to behaviors that interfere
with learning by requiring that, for
children with disabilities whose
behavior impedes their learning or that
of others, the IEP Team consider, as
appropriate, and address in the child’s
IEP, ‘‘the use of positive behavioral
interventions, and other strategies to
address the behavior.’’ (See section
614(d)(3)(B)(i) of the Act). This
provision should ensure that children
who need behavior intervention plans to
succeed in school receive them. For
these reasons, we decline to make the
changes suggested."


New Member
I did read all of the above, but I'm afraid all the wording confused me again.

The last sentence states they decline to make the suggested changes. Suggested changes about what? Did I miss that?

Since my son can be known to carry on long arguments with teachers, scream out in class until he calms down, hide under desks, etc., this affects how others learn. However his testing and grades are fine.

How do I approach the committee? Do I want him in Special Education classes or do I want him in regular classes? What do I need to ask for?


Sorry -- this is a narrative pertinent to 2004 changes to IDEA. The feds are discussion a proposal for a change in the regs, and all this says is that this part of IDEA did not change, e.g., no changes.