IEP/504 Question


New Member
My GD is now 6 and has been diagnosed ADHD/ODD/with anxiety. She's on a medication referral and we see the psychiatric next week. She's had quite a bit of behavioral issues at school due to this. Her school is setting up an appointment on May 2nd for the student intervention team (probably due to her behavior). I want to protect her rights so she isn't seen as a "willful" child. She does have a disability that is hard to control. My question is, if I request an IEP to see if she has any Learning Disability (LD) due to her issues and it comes out negative, can I still request a 504 at that time? Or do I have to go through another formal request? They may even try to deny the request because she is on grade level with math and reading. Writing is an issue though. She's already been suspended one day from the after school program because she ran off looking for me (I work at the same school). I just want her to have some safeguards in place. Thanks in advance for any advice/answers.

Castle Queen

Warrior in training
Hi Grmac,
My son has an IEP and has no learning disabilities. His behavior affects his learning, and that was enough. (can't learn much if you are not in class due to suspensions, right?) When you meet to discuss your request for evaluation, they will probably offer certain tests and evalations. If she has a disability around writing, such as dysgraphia, it should be found. The evaluations are ALL valuable, but in my opinion the MOST CRUCIAL one is the functional behavior analysis- so make sure that's included. I would bring along any dr. reports you have as well.
I feel strongly about pushing for an IEP and you are smart to protect her rights. We had a 504 plan when difficult child was younger and it was years wasted.


Well-Known Member
My grandson is on a 504. He didn't qualify for an IEP, although he's been thoroughly tested by the school team (Occupational Therapist (OT), Speech, school psychiatric, etc) twice in his 7 years. He's on par and even ahead academically, but socially, not so good. His behaviors are pretty scary sometimes (he rages) and as kids get older, they have less tolerance for it (I can't blame them), and they don't forgive and forget.

He's got a big target on his back now and he's even starting to become a victim of teasing. Quiet, sneaky, under-the-radar-when-an-adult-can't-hear type stuff. He's alone at recess, etc. So, his issues (ADHD, kind of, anxiety, anger management issues) haven't kept him, up until this point, from accessing the academic curriculum.

The 504 had some stuff from a school-based behavioral person (a joke, in my opinion because they kinds of kids fail at reward-based systems; it fuels the rage). So, the things put in place (recess supervision) happen occasionally, the teacher is amazing and really doesn't push him to do worksheets when he starts to lose his you-know-what, and he doesn't get suspended because it has been noted that the behaviors are as a result of his "disability" and so they can't really suspend him for them.

Whether or not a 504 is implemented fully and faithfully seems to vary quite a bit from district to district and certainly a 504 doesn't have the legal "teeth" that an IEP has. But, his little school tries, is fairly savvy, and ultimately kind to him, and it's enough for now. As the work load gets harder and moves faster, I don't see how it won't affect him academically, but we'll have to wait and see. At least the suspensions stopped for us. Good luck!

You may be looking at a qualification under Other Health Impaired, or SLD (specific learning disability) would be the most likely, although the closest qualifying condition in our particular case would be Serious Emotional Disturbance, but everyone is really reticent to go there right now. But whatever the label, it has to be proven that her academic progress and access to the curriculum is being affected. Many argue that social success and functioning are part of accessing the curriculum as well. I don't know. I work with hundreds of students with mild, moderate, and severe disabilities on IEPs, I have never seen social issues as a reason a student is put on an IEP. I can only speak for my district of 25 large schools at which I work.

But, many suspensions is violating is a child's FAPE (free and appropriate public education) rights and must be addressed.


New Member
Castle Queen, thank you for your input. I especially will include the functional behavioral analysis in my request. HMBgal, I'm so glad your grandson is being protected by a 504 and your school is on top of it. Reading others' experience with 504's I would say you are pretty lucky! I have heard our school district tries desperately to discourage testing due to the cost. I feel I'm going to be in for a fight, ugh. Guess I can always retire if it becomes 'too hot in the kitchen'. Earlier I found a very good sample letter to the school requesting a full evaluation. Now I wish I would have saved it. I can't seem to find it in the archives now. It may have been in some other posting. Do you know of a good sample letter?

Thank you so much!

Dun Haddit

My reply is super long so it will be a couple posts.

The inability to interact with peers can have a major affect on learning. Bullying is outrageous, even the here-say stuff. At our first meeting I TOLD the team that a 504 plan would not provide the structure our middle son needed. They kept trying to use his academics to disqualify him, even though, legally, they can't. Even outside of a confirmed diagnosis, any behavior exhibited that interferes with learning almost always opens the umbrella for that child to be given future accommodations.

I tell anyone who will listen that schools and school districts wager parents don't know their or their children's rights. Unless you have a rare teacher or administrator that helps you, most will not do anything until you out the request in writing.

Our son on the spectrum had issues with writing, so the school gave him a computer equipped with a voice program that would dictate. I wasn't too happy about that because it enabled him. At the very least, type the work! But....all that changed when I 'forced' him into 4H.

Record books are kept throughout the year to track programs, events, community service and what ever project(s) a child is enrolled. From day 1 he wrote everything. All the other kids did, too, so he didn't think anything about it, which proved to me, he just didn't like to write. In the next IEP, handwriting most assignments was added. He has an amazing IEP team, we couldn't ask for better dedicated people.

The child we have the most problems with is ODD, Bipolar and anxiety. At first, everything was great. We have extenuating circumstances that complicate everything for our children. Their biomom has bipolar and they suffered mental abuse, our autistic son was physically abused and mostly ignored by giving him a video game to stop meltdowns and keep him quiet.

This is going to be long:

The bio didn't care for those two boys, but doted on their younger twin siblings. We took the older boy almost immediately. As custody battle dragged on, she offered us the other child as a trade, hoping to end the battle for the twins. We took custody of him, too, still pursuing the twins.

We had the goods on her big time. Revolving door of men, children walking in in her having sex, long term boyfriends meant more than a few weeks, immediately bringing them around the children without vetting, etc. Then she got engaged. This is when it also looked really bad for her because she had dating profiles on a couple sites claiming she only had 3 children who did not live at home, on other sites she only listed 2 children.

1 week before court she contacted CPS and claimed the middle boy molested the twins. All the children were already swing a court appointed therapist, so he, along with CPS did the investigation. Everything she claimed the twins 'told' her was ruled unfounded. Still pursuing it, she interjected she was there and saw it, contrary to her initial claim and all 4 children's interviews.

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Dun Haddit

The court gave a temporary order, we needed a 730 evaluation, and CPS would continue to investigate because all the children reported domestic violence between her and boyfriends, and then one weekend, another guy starts sleeping over. We still aren't sure if her fiancé ever knew about him, but the next week she and new guy (we call him druggie) drove to Vegas and got married. With that info we found that he was 2 or 3 weeks out of prison, on parole. It turns out he absconded and never even checked in with his PO, until he was arrested outside the courthouse after testifying he also saw molestation.

All inherited her mental disability and having been accused of molesting his siblings, our middle son went off the deep end. Things were ok at first, he didn't see her for visitation until the therapist thought it was time. She never gave in to the lie and he became increasingly aggressive when confronting her about it. After nearly 2 years, therapist gave the green light for them to visit again, that's when he started acting out really bad.

Long story short, we have total custody now, if she ever decides to see them again, she needs to pay a court supervisor and that supervisor was given explicit orders that she was never to be left alone with any of them or interrogate them about what goes on here. It was also proven she told the twins to stop taking their medications and not to mind me. Because of that, our daughter was 5150'd.

Angry at the world, the path of destruction began. I've never had the testing process span from the end of one school year to the beginning of the next. I received notification that a meeting was scheduled to go over all the evaluations.

That day I sent an email to the vp and counselor. They wanted us to come in on 9/10 @ 1300. I'm out of town from. 9/3 to 9/21. The time wasn't possible either because of our younger children's school/bus schedule.

I explained our youngest children are out of school @ 12:30 on Mondays. Their bus drops them at home by 1450 Tu-Fr. We would not be able to meet after 1300 any weekday and not at all on Mondays. I reminded them
(AGAIN) my husband is off other Friday and we (and his boss) would prefer those Fridays over all of them.

Yesterday, I received the call for rescheduling, and was told "by law" they have to have this meeting within 30 days of school starting. School started 8/12, so, without even asking for date preference, it was scheduled on day 28.

I re explained our situation and due to a work conflict, my husband could not attend, and again, I'm out of town. She then stated that they would go ahead and convene the meeting in our absence and then table everything. I objected to that and stated we would only agree to that if they videoed that meeting so we can see and here everything. She stammered and said that the law doesn't require video, only audio. I reiterated, no video, no meeting.

I could tell she was frustrated, so, of course, the next move was to go back to the "law" and have the meeting within 30 days. I said I understood and we would be willing to sign a waiver pushing the meeting back. She claimed there was no way to do that and she would need to check with the District. I said I understood and for intent and purpose, the email requesting the date change is considered a legal document and should satisfy any legal requirements and would also support the school and District of any responsibility, if we decided to complain.

Layer that day I received a call from the school psychologist. She had not received the questionnaire from the psychiatrist. She also asked how things were going at home so I told her. You would have thought we had twins and sent the good one to school and kept the not so good one home. Going through his file, there was nothing to suggest that our son need an evaluation. Absolutely non of the behaviors I was speaking about were noted. A few teachers did have comments that hinted there were behavioral issues, and the questionnaire from the therapist mirrored my descriptions.

I asked if she had seen any of the letters of reprimand, warnings or suspensions. She stated there was nothing in our son's records showing any negative issues and that she would check to see if there may be some other file that contained all this.

From the start of last year through the end, we were open and upfront about the increase in behavior issues. We discussed the diagnosis and how we were struggling to get him to behave and stop agitating everyone into fights, hurting his siblings, and his constant threats to call 911 to accuse us of abuse. A couple months before the end of school, it was clear his diagnosis was adversely affecting both his academics and peer relationships. There were incidents in which he was attacking other students and was also being attacked, himself. We requested he be evaluated for Special Education.

A few weeks toward the end of the year, I reached out to the vp asking for assistance in having our son complete his community service hours at school. I was told he would be allowed to help the person who rode around on a golf cart to pick up trash. This would be done directly after school so there would be a gap between the last bell and when I would pick him up. It would be approximately 45 minutes a day, which would have completed his hours.

I mentioned it again at our first meeting requesting accommodations for our son. I also elaborated that most attempts at his hours we terminated because he would do whatever job so horribly, he would be asked to leave or some refused to sign his logbook. I mentioned that our son said he wasn't riding around with that person and often called to be picked up.

I scanned his log and emailed it to the vp. I informed him that all our attempts for completion were exhausted and it didn't seem as if the hours were being supplemented at school, as promised. I received an email reply stating our son would not be re enrolled for the upcoming school year for not completing his community service hours.

I contacted the District Special Education Director. I am unsure of her educational background, but the words that came out if her mouth were so absurd, I had doubts that she was even part of the education system. I informed her our son was identified at the beginning of the year as possibly needing accommodations. His behaviors prevented his completion of his hours, descriptions of behaviors and reminded her, we were in the evaluation process which prohibited our son from being removed administratively or judicially.

She went on for several minutes about how Charter school contracts allowed them to dismiss any student, Special Education or not. She even went as far as to claim a child could be dismissed or not reenrolled even if they had been hospitalized, Special Education or regular students are not exempt from the contract they sign at the beginning of the year. I thanked her for her time and said I needed to get off the phone because I was waiting for a return call from the Wrights Law people. 30 minutes later she called back asking if we could come to the District office to discuss our complaint with herself and the Superintendent.

My husband and I drafted an email reply to the vp asking for clarification of his statement. The actual words he used were if our son did not complete his hours, his 'ability' to reenroll "would be jeopardized". We also reminded him of his promises to assist our son by accumulating hours at school, reminded him that our son was identified at the beginning of the year as a possible accommodations candidate and we had already had the first meeting since our request for accommodations. We asked him to clarify if he was violating any of our son's State or Federal rights. If his intention was to follow through on what we perceived as a threat, to consider this email our written request for a manifestation hearing.

The Superintendent agreed that the vp should have followed through with the hours. I took that opportunity to also state we were in the evaluation process and were told the school psychologist would start the evaluations prior to the end of school. At this point, a few days before summer break, our son had not begun any tests. I received an email that same day from the school vp explaining our son's community service log would be accepted, remaining hours did not need to be completed and he would be enrolled for the following school year.

Now, I suspect, with the administrative proof gone, high academics and stabilization as if now, they will try to deny an IEP. Good thing I have the paper records of every warning, reprimand and suspension from last school year.

I agree that our son can be hell to deal with and the hand he was dealt coupled with the abuse and wretched allegations, we know it's going to be uphill. I'll be damned, though, if that vp thinks he can nitpick and look for loopholes to remove my son. If he thinks our boy is trouble, he has no clue what will rain down on him when I get going.

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