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504 Plan? WHAT IS IT? HOW CAN I GET INFORMED and HELP for MY ADD/ADHD GIRLS

Can someone please tell me what the 504 plan is? From what I see from other responses to other requests its something that can help my ADD/ADHD children that do not qualify for the IEP programs in school because of their ability to score high on the tests. My 8th grader passed all state tests when she was 5 and was told i could not get help from the state financially or educationally because she passed the tests. My 4th grader also passed all tests last year and I was told the same.. My 8th grader is givin up and failing every class because her medication is barely keepin her on tract and I cannot afford private counseling or defferent medications. What can I do with these kids of mine academically? Someone please tell anything and everything about the 504 plan.. Thank you

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YOu can call Matrix Parent Network at 1-800-578-2592. Or visit their website at www.matrixparents.org and more specigically this link http://www.matrixparents.org/pub/materials.htm and click on the link to "504" Plans.

Matrix is a non profit organization helping families of children with special needs.

1 mom found this helpful

S.
My response is a little different from others. I say you should call DREDF in Berkeley. They are the legal arm of Center for Independent Living. Their number is 800-348-4232 (v/tty).They can advise you. It's what they do.

Good luck

S.

1 mom found this helpful

We help people with ADD/ADHD through nutrition, and have a number of remarkable success stories. If you would like to talk with us, please call A. ###-###-####.

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Section 504 is a section of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that protects students with an impairment by committing districts to provide a free, appropriate public education to qualified students with disabilities (physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities). It is a support plan for general education students. For special education students, it would be called an IEP.

My daughter was on a 504 when she was diagnosed in 4th grade, and it's just a way of checking and balancing with the teacher and school staff on what is working and what is not working, and making changes that will help the child be successful in school.

I did not want to medicate my daughter, either. I took her to Gregory Manteuffel, M.D. in San Francisco ###-###-####, who practices homeopathy. Along with ADD, my daughter had eczema and warts. Homeopathy often takes longer to gain lasting results because it addresses the CAUSE of ADD rather than the SYMPTOM. She is no longer treated for any of these conditions, as they resolved themselves through this approach in middle school. Although we had many ups and downs, by the time she was in high school NONE of her teachers would have considered her "ADD". She still struggled with focusing and paying attention - especially on research projects or projects that spanned lengths of time. She is now very successful in college and LOVES the college approach to education. She's a full-time student, works 5 days a week, lives on her own and volunteers in her brother's kindergarten class every week. I share all of this to let you know, there is hope - even through the impulsive teenage years. My daughter has grown into a productive, functioning and thoughtful young lady. Praise God!

I work for an elementary public school district and this is a section out of our Section 504 handbook that may help you understand what a 504 Plan is:

"If a child is eligible, a Section 504 Plan will be developed to give the student access to the general education curriculum. Unlike the Individualized Education Plan (SECTION 504 PLAN) for special education, there are no legal requirements for what should be included in the plan. A free appropriate public education (FAPE) under Section 504 often means identifying reasonable accommodations to help the student achieve the same access to education in the classroom as a non-disabled peer. An accommodation plan usually addresses the following:

* Nature of the disability and major life activity it limits
*Basis for determining the disability
*Educational impact of the disability
*Necessary accommodations
*Placement in the least restrictive environment (LRE)
*The District will utilize a standardized format for an accommodation plan"
---------------------

Go to your district and ask for a copy of their plan, work with your child's teacher(s), principal and school psychologist. Just be an advocate, and work with your daughters on what works for them. Mine needed to be in the front of the classroom, be given NON-verbal warnings, sit at a table apart from others to concentrate on assignments, and be given extra time on some tests. As she improved, she no longer needed a 504 plan - just a simple chat with her/the teacher/principal often helped.

Excuse the length, but I want to help anyone experiencing this challenge!

Keep praying for your children! God can do amazing things!

2 moms found this helpful

This is really long but it has alot of 504 info in it. Hope it helps.
Who is covered by Section 504?

To be covered under Section 504, a student must be “qualified” (which roughly equates to being between 3 and 22 years of age, depending on the program as well as state and federal law, and must have a disability) [34 C.F.R. §104.3(k)(2)].

Who is an “individual with a disability”?

As defined by federal law:

“An individual with a disability means any person who:
1. has a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity;
2. has a record of such an impairment; or
3. is regarded as having such an impairment” [34 C.F.R. §104.3(j)(1)].

What is an “impairment” as used under the Section 504 definition?

An impairment as used in Section 504 may include any disability, long-term illness, or various disorder that “substantially” reduces or lessens a student’s ability to access learning in the educational setting because of a learning-, behavior-, or health-related condition. [“It should be emphasized that a physical or mental impairment does not constitute a disability for purposes of Section 504 unless its severity is such that it results in a substantial limitation of one or more major life activities” (Appendix A to Part 104, #3)].

Many students have conditions or disorders that are not readily apparent to others. They may include conditions such as specific learning disabilities, diabetes, epilepsy, and allergies. Hidden disabilities such as low vision, poor hearing, heart disease, or chronic illness may not be obvious, but if they substantially limit that child’s ability to receive an appropriate education as defined by Section 504, they may be considered to have an “impairment” under Section 504 standards. As a result, these students, regardless of their intelligence, will be unable to fully demonstrate their ability or attain educational benefits equal to that of non-disabled students (The Civil Rights of Students with Hidden Disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 — Pamphlet).

The definition does not set forth a list of specific diseases, conditions, or disorders that constitute impairments because of the difficulty of ensuring the comprehensiveness of any such list. While the definition of a disabled person also includes specific limitations on what persons are classified as disabled under the regulations, it also specifies that only physical and mental impairments are included, thus “environmental, cultural, and economic disadvantage are not in themselves covered” (Appendix A to Part 104, #3).

What are “major life activities”?

Major life activities include, but are not limited to: self-care, manual tasks, walking, seeing, speaking, sitting, thinking, learning, breathing, concentrating, interacting with others, and working. This may include individuals with AD/HD, dyslexia, cancer, diabetes, severe allergies, chronic asthma, Tourette’s Syndrome, digestive disorders, cardiovascular disorders, depression, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, HIV/AIDS, behavior disorders, temporary disabilities (e.g., broken writing arm, broken leg, etc.). Students who are currently using illegal drugs or alcohol are not covered or eligible under Section 504.

What does “substantially limits” mean?

Substantially limits is not defined in the federal regulations. However, in a letter from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), they state, “this is a determination to be made by each local school district and depends on the nature and severity of the person’s disabling condition.” Additional guidance from the Americans with Disabilities Act states: “significantly restricted as to the condition, manner, or duration under which an individual can perform a particular major life activity when compared to the condition, manner, or duration under which the average person in the general population can perform that same major life activity.”

Who can refer a child for consideration for evaluation under Section 504?

Anyone can refer a child for evaluation under Section 504. However, while anyone can make a referral, such as parents or a doctor, OCR stated in a staff memorandum that “the school district must also have reason to believe that the child is in need of services under Section 504 due to a disability.” (OCR Memorandum, April 29, 1993.)

Therefore, a school district does not have to refer or evaluate a child under Section 504 solely upon parental demand. The key to referral is whether the school district staff suspects that the child is suffering from a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity and is in need of either regular education with supplementary services or special education and related services [Letter to Mentink 19 IDELR 1127 (OCR) 1993]. If a parent requests a referral for evaluation, and the school district refuses, the school district must provide the parent with notice of their procedural rights under Section 504.

Who decides whether a student is qualified and eligible for services under Section 504?

According to the federal regulations:

“...placement decisions are to be made by a group of persons who are knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, placement options, least restrictive environment requirements, and comparable facilities” [34 C.F.R. §104.35(c)(3)].

Unlike Special Education, the federal regulations for Section 504 do not require or even mention that parents are to be a part of the decision-making committee. The decision to include parents in the decision-making committee is a determination that is made by each school district and should be spelled out in the district’s procedures for implementing Section 504. Parents should at least be asked and encouraged to contribute any information that they may have (e.g., doctor's reports, outside testing reports, etc.) that would be helpful to the Section 504 committee in their determination of what the child may need. Schools are expected to make sound educational decisions as to what the child needs in order to receive an appropriate education.

What information is used in doing an evaluation under Section 504?

Under Section 504, no formalized testing is required. The 504 Committee should look at grades over the past several years, teacher’s reports, information from parents or other agencies, state assessment scores or other school administered tests, observations, discipline reports, attendance records, health records, and adaptive behavior information. Schools must consider a variety of sources. A single source of information (such as a doctor’s report) cannot be the only information considered. Schools must be able to assure that all information submitted is documented and considered.

Can my child be placed under Section 504 wthout my knowledge?

No. Parents should always be given notice in writing before their child is evaluated and/or placed under Section 504. (34 C.F.R. §104.36). Parents must also be given a copy of their child’s Section 504 accommodation plan if the committee determines that the child is eligible under Section 504.

What types of accommodations will my child receive if determined eligible under Section 504?

Each child’s needs are determined individually. Determination of what is appropriate for each child is based on the nature of the disabling condition and what that child needs in order to have an equal opportunity to compete when compared to the non-disabled. There is no guarantee of A’s or B’s or even that the student will not fail. Students are still expected to produce. The ultimate goal of education for all students, with or without disabilities, is to give students the knowledge and compensating skills they will need to be able to function in life after graduation.

Accommodations that may be used, but are not limited to, include:

* Highlighted textbooks
* Extended time on tests or assignments
* Peer assistance with note-taking
* Frequent feedback
* Extra set of textbooks for home use
* Computer aided instruction
* Enlarged print
* Positive reinforcements
* Behavior intervention plans
* Rearranging class schedules
* Visual aids
* Preferred seating assignments
* Taping lectures
* Oral testing
* Individual contracts

Will my child still be in the regular classroom or will he/she be in a “special class”?

A Section 504 eligible child will always be in the regular classroom unless (according to federal regulations): “... the student with a disability is so disruptive in a regular classroom that the education of other students is significantly impaired, then the needs of the student with a disability cannot be met in that environment. Therefore, regular placement would not be appropriate to his or her needs and would not be required by §104.34” (34 C.F.R. §104.34, Appendix A, #24).

Can my child still be disciplined under Section 504?

Yes. Children under Section 504 are still expected to follow the district’s student code of conduct. However, when disciplining a child under Section 504, schools must consider the relationship between the disability and the misbehavior if the child is going to be removed from the regular setting for longer than 10 days. This does not mean that a student with a disability cannot be sent to a discipline center or that they cannot go to in-school suspension, or be suspended from school for three days. Very strict guidelines exist for schools in discipline issues with students who have a disability under Section 504. Your campus or district 504 coordinator can assist you in this area should you have additional questions concerning the discipline of students with disabilities. Children having disabilities with behavioral components should have individual discipline plans as well as behavior intervention plans.

If I dsagree with the school’s evaluation, will the school district pay for an outside independent evaluation?

Under Section 504, schools are not required to pay for an outside independent evaluation. If a parent disagrees with the school’s evaluation decision, they may request a due process hearing or file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights. (See Notice of Parent and Student Rights Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.)

How often will my child be re-evaluated?

While there are no specific time lines on this issue, students must be re-evaluated at least every three years or whenever there is going to be a “significant change in placement”. The campus 504 committee should re-evaluate your child’s plan every year to make sure that his or her accommodation plan is appropriate based on their current schedule and individual needs. The accommodation plan may be revised during the school year if needed.

Will my child still be able to participate in non-academic services?

Yes. Districts must provide equal opportunity in areas such as counseling, physical education and/or athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, and special interest groups or clubs. However, the “no pass, no play” standard used for students in most states also applies to students under Section 504 (34 C.F.R. §104.37).

What Are My Rights as a Parent under Section 504?

As a parent or legal guardian, you have the right to:

1. Receive notice regarding the identification, evaluation, and/or placement of your child;
2. Examine relevant records pertaining to your child;
3. Request an impartial hearing with respect to the district’s actions regarding the identification, evaluation, or placement of your child, with an opportunity for the parent/guardian to participate in the hearing, to have representation by an attorney, and have a review procedure;
4. File a complaint with your school district Section 504 Coordinator, who will investigate the allegations regarding Section 504 matters other than your child’s identification, evaluation, and placement.
5. File a complaint with the appropriate regional Office for Civil Rights. For additional information, contact:

2 moms found this helpful

S.
My response is a little different from others. I say you should call DREDF in Berkeley. They are the legal arm of Center for Independent Living. Their number is 800-348-4232 (v/tty).They can advise you. It's what they do.

Good luck

S.

1 mom found this helpful

I would advice you to get in touch with a good parent advocate that will asses you legally to fight for your children's rights!!! Love, G.. :0)

Call or email them:
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Mary Ann L. Fiedler
President, SNAFU
www.valleysnafu.com
-or-
Shirley Nutt
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www.valleysnafu.com
www.believeacademy.org

1 mom found this helpful

I went through the same thing with my son since he was in kindergarten. He is now 16. Ask the school to put the children in double classes to help them with reading and math. THESE ARE NOW MY SON'S STRONGEST SUBJECTS AND HE PASSED IS CASE TESTS THE 1ST TIME. ALSO, ASK FOR IN SCHOOL COUNSELING.It is very helpful. Go the the school district/Superintendant to set up a meeting to voice your concerns and demand that your children are given all tools to make them successful. No child left behind!HOLD THE SCHOOL ACCOUNTABLE. I did these things but I did not let up on the school. I never put my son on medication, it made him ill. Also, if you go to your family physican that has him on medication and have him document to the school that he is being treated for ADHD/ADD then you should get the 504 funding, with that note. Make sure you ask for "Your Parental Rights". My son did not want that,(504} because it is part of the special education program, and he did not feel comfortable with that stigma. Like you stated , they are very smart but need extra help. Don't let your children slip through the cracks of Political Protocal. Be persistant.They need extra attention and work best one on one. A smaller class is very helpful.

1 mom found this helpful

Patricia B says it all!

Here is some of the same stated a little differently:
A 504 Accommodation Plan must address:
1. The nature of the student’s disability and the major life activity it limits.
2. The basis for determining the disability – no physical or mental impairments.
3. The educational impact of the disability.
4. Necessary accommodations.
5. Placement (LRE - least restrictive environment)
As a parent, you have the right to examine all relevant records relating to decisions regarding your child’s Section 504 identification, evaluation, educational program, and placement; obtain copies of educational records; obtain a response from your school district to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of your child’s records; request an amendment of your child’s educational records if there is reasonable causes to believe that they are inaccurate.
Written consent for evaluation of your child is only necessary if it includes a psychological testing (i.e.: IQ tests, etc.)

In the 504 Plan, the following should be addressed:
Physical arrangement of the room:
Depending upon your child’s needs he might need to be seated near the teacher, a positive role model, have his desk with more space around it or in a position out of a high traffic/distractions area (like not by the pencil sharpener).
Lesson presentation: these are just good techniques for all children and the teacher should be doing them anyway!
1. The teacher should stand near your child when presenting a lesson.
2. Allow for warnings of transitions (“We will be finishing math in about 5 minutes – 3 minutes – 1 minute – and moving on to spelling”).
3. Allow extra time for your student to process this orally given information and not expect immediate compliance.
4. The day’s schedule with times should be written on the board (visual processing) as well as taped to his desk and printed in his binder/student planner.
5. The lessons should be presented orally, visually (including outlines for easier note taking, and/or allowing your child to copy the notes of another student, because processing oral lessons is his problems, etc), and whenever possible, with hands on manipulatives. The 504 provides for extra help to modify your student’s curriculum so that the burden is not entirely on his teacher. If you have a poor school district, offer to help – the teacher can give you her lesson plans in advance, a teacher’s book for each subject – and you can make up written points of importance. Don’t let the school district tell you this asking for too much. If they can’t provide it, and you offer to help them help your child, they’d better step up!
6. Oral instructions should have few pieces to them. Multiple pieces should be written on the board.
7. The teacher should check for understanding (she should be doing this for ALL students - student orally repeats back the information/directions) throughout the lesson and have a “ticket out” (student must give the teacher a piece of information before he leaves for recess/lunch/moves on to the next lesson – thereby requiring accountability and often better attention.)
Assignments/worksheets
As long as your child’s processing issues are dealt with appropriately, the only modification to assignments and worksheets should be oral directions written down for him!

What hinders learning?
The feeling of being overwhelmed – huge in auditory processing disorders
Distracting noises and/or people
Tired
Fast track – getting information too quickly
Disorganization – easily occurs with auditory processing problems – think about it and it’s easy to see why!
Lesson/directions not presented well.

Do not let your child over hear you putting down the teacher, putting the blame for his problems on the teacher, etc. But do have high expectations that the teacher’s role is key to accommodating students' ADD/ADHD issues. Your children may have a negative attitude because of so many years of frustration and possible failure. Once you have a 504 in place, maybe a meeting with you, the teachers, and your teen to kick off a “whole new” start would help, plus rewards to motivate your teen to give this new process at try. Your teacher or the school district’s behavioral specialist should have tons of ideas for this! And it should be part of the 504!

Good luck!
T. Clark

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, I had the same battle with the elementary school and middle school. My son, who is Bi-Polar and now ADHD also had emotional issues but scored extremely highly. It was notu until he started shutting down at middle school that I finally got the help.

I recommend you FORMALLY request a 504 review from the elementary school - ie in writing. If they need to review the kids... as much as I hate to suggest this - find out when they are going to be analyzed (observed) and do not let them take their medicines during that time frame. The district should then send you the information of what is required for a 504 plan. If they refuse or do not send you the information - go to the OCR Federal Office of Civil Rights. They are the entity that you need to contact. Good luck.

I would also try to get an Advocate to help you. Possibly thru websites dealing with ADD and ADHD.

C. H.
Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant
Mother of 15yr old son and 11 yr old daughter.

1 mom found this helpful

If you give me a call I can explain what a 504 plan is and how you go about requesting one for your child I just went through this process it was a nightmare because I didn't know anything about it. If I can help you with the information I have it will make everything a little easier for you. The process is not that bad once you know what your doing and who to contact for ths plan. My name is S. Olmos my contact information is Work: ###-###-#### or Home: ###-###-####

1 mom found this helpful

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