504 Plan... Help please...

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by ksm, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    After getting new diagnosis (static encephalopathy, DMDD, possible PTSD) I need to ask the high school for a 504 plan. It won't help much for the last half of her senior year, because all her required classes are over, and now it is just electives, to make up the number of credits for graduation.

    But, we need a 504 Plan to follow her to the local junior college. She is very distracted, loses things, has trouble planning ahead... Can someone tell me what I should be asking for?

  2. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    I'm certainly no expert but my daughter had a 504 from middle school through high school. She also had trouble focusing, losing things, etc. I'm not sure the same things that helped a 12 year old would work in jr college but she had a yellow accordion folder that had a rubber band latch. All her teachers were told that if they saw her without it, she had to go to her locker to get it (I made sure it made it to school). Everything that needed to be transported between home and school went in that folder...homework, notes, schedules, etc.

    As far as distractions, you can ask that she be allowed to take tests/exams in a quiet setting away from the rest of the class-less distractions.

    I also had teachers tap on her desk when they saw her "day dreaming." It was conspicuous but effective.

    Hope this helps.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This is one of the basic accommodations. I'd take it one step farther and also ask for "untimed" tests in a separate setting. It doesn't mean they can take forever to write the test, just that they do not have to consider the clock, which reduces time-anxiety. This is also a basic and fairly normal accommodation.

    Some others that may be available at the post-secondary level:
    - access to scribed notes (either from another student, or from an aide)
    - reduced number of classes (often, 80% or 60% load will be considered), takes more semesters to finish
    - use of technology - sound surround systems for auditory processing disorders, allowance for computer use for exams (usually on a separate "clean" computer so they can't pre-store answers) are two of these.
  4. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I would ask for an IEP, designated Special Education/Other Health Impaired. This is a legally binding contract.
  5. DaisyC1234

    DaisyC1234 Member

    My son is 15 and in high school. He has a 504 plan. It's helped him a lot this year so far. I'm glad I read this because I didn't know I could ask for untimed tests. He did mention he gets extremely anxious if the test is timed.

    The post-secondary level stuff is really good to know. He want to be a fire fighter and will be doing a voc ed program though the high school to complete fire science and EMT classes during his junior and senior years of high school.

    I never knew that I could get him on a 504 plan until the middle of his freshman year. His counselor as school has been a great help and resource.
  6. Iamtiredandsad2

    Iamtiredandsad2 New Member

    I know this is an old post. However, there may be parents out there going through a similar problem. I will give you my personal experience of this common problem with 504 law. I went through this with my son during his high school senior year. As a teacher, I knew he was entitled to this; especially due to the fact that he only had two elective courses needed to meet graduation requirements. All other courses for the semester were just to complete a certain number of credits needed in order for the district to get "full funding -individual student pay/tuition" by the State. However, I was adamant that he just complete the credits needed because he refused to spend a full day in school and his depression was becoming worse. His Psychiatrist agreed and wrote a letter (sealed) for District and Child Study Team to make the accommodations needed. My son and I had to met with the Child Study team, teachers and Administration just to make this official. Of course there is always one negative teacher (because there are many) who simply stated that the meeting was a travesty and his problems was "laziness and lack of respect for authorities". I asked her to give me one single episode. She couldn't. Then I said "regardless of what feelings you may have of him- the accommodations will be made or I will not only sue the district but also those involved trying to impede the 504 process. Because you are violating federal law by denying him these services." The meeting quickly ended after this. My son was able to take his two electives in the morning and was out by 11:00 a.m. every day. If I would have not advocated, he would have flunked out of high school and not attend college. It was a difficult time for both of us. I was constantly calling and texting him, making sure he didn't hurt himself. So yes, you have rights. You can attend the meeting with an advocate or be your own attorney/advocate. Good luck. You can do it. Do not allow anyone to belittle you or your child. As a parent, you have more rights than they do. They know and fear parents who are willing to fight for their kids. Just remember, a 504 student is entitled to accommodations. Modifications are for Special Education students, not 504. The 504 law is for "regular students" who are struggling in the classroom. Some reasons may be mental disorders, abuse, environmental issues that impede learning. By the way, I was a Special Education teacher at the time , so they knew that I had knowledge of the law and understood how the "system" worked in this district.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  7. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    iamtiredandsad2, this is great information and I have a similar story! I am very thankful that I was able to get my son a 504 plan back when he began to struggle in 6th grade. I got a lot of negative responses from teachers as well that this would just placate his laziness, etc. I pushed forward regardless. Someone pointed me to Wrightslaw.com which was extremely helpful in helping me help my son. The wrightslaw website is filled with special education advice. I highly recommend checking it out if you need to advocate for a family member. Fast forward to his senior year when he too refused to spend a full day in school. He was tardy nearly every day and often left school. His anxiety and depression was crippling. If he made it to school, he sat in class refusing to talk or do anything other than stare off or read a book. His therapist wrote a letter requesting he be on homebound education and we called for an emergency 504 meeting. Between this letter from his therapist and his in place 504, they set him up with homebound education to help him finish the year. A teacher came to our home everyday and kept him on track. He still had to meet all the requirements from the county and state to graduate and some of it was just ridiculous electives. One of the electives was hands on building so we had to get really creative to meet the assignment requirements. But at this point, believe me, they wanted him to graduate as much as we did. His teacher was kind and encouraging. He was able to graduate on time . I realize that a 504 is accommodations not modifications but I believe since he had the 504, he was a student the faculty knew well and was used to thinking outside the box for him. And the letter from the doctor outlined what he needed to be well.

    We are now 2 years out from that time and my son is doing much better. He climbed out of the dark hole with loads of help.