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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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What can I do next?

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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.

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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


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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!

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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

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


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:
Mary Ann L. Fiedler
President, SNAFU
Shirley Nutt

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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.

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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.)
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
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

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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

Hi S.. Contact your local Family Resource Center. Here's the web site to find your local one http://www.frcnca.org/directory.html. This is a non-profit group ran by parents of special needs kids. They will be able to walk you through everything.


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Parents Helping Parents in Santa Clara www.php.com can help you.

Also check out the website: schwablearning.org
If you look under search our site they have a "tab" for 540 plans (So I guess its a frequently asked question.


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There are many valuable resources to help you with a 504 plan.
However, according to IDEA, they should not only use test scores to evaluate your daughters. They need to use work samples, social skills and other evaluations. I would request another evaluation from the school district so you can get the appropriate services. You can request counseling from the school district.

Pete Wright's website is a great link.
Other organizations that can help you are:

Parents Helping Parents - you can contact Loni at ____@____.com, also, have a link regarding 504's and IEP's. Another thing that they have are mentor parents that can help you through the process.

CHADD - deals with all persons that have ADD and ADHD. Their website is www.chadd.org. You can look for the chapter nearest where you live.
Schwablearning has changed to www.greatschools.org.
www.copaa.org - you may be able to find a volunteer advocate to assist you.

All the other websites that are mentioned are great resources.

Please feel free to email me with other questions and I will do my bes to assist you.

1 mom found this helpful

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

I believe I was ADD growing up. I didn't take any medications because I wasn't diagnosed. I have a 15 year old son who is ADHD. He tried different types of medicine and he didn't give them time to work. Concerta was one that worked for him as long as it lasted. Some meds can help kids, sometimes the child feels that they are depressed because they are on medicine. My son has a friend whose on medicine, this kid is one hyper child. My son has a low self esteem and doesn't want to do anything I tell him. The ADHD needs to avoid sugar for it will make them more hyper. I still have struggles with him, some of it wore off as he got older.
I don't understand why they wouldn't get her in IEP, my son has been to numerous schools since kindergarten. He is also considered EDD certified, because he cannot be in a regular class. I know girls are different, and I hope some of this information is useful. You can check google to see what it says. I do have IEP meetings twice a year.

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Hi S.,

Sounds like you've gotten lots of info on the 504 plan, so I won't touch that; )

I picked up on you saying that the meds don't seem to be working optimally. I have a 7 year old with ADHD, and we've had very good results with nutritional changes. The Feingold Program is a lifesaver for us, and we also supplement with fish oil, magnesium, probiotics and a good multi.

There's not a one size fits all remedy for ADHD, as it's a kind of catch-all diagnosis used to describe a wide range of symptoms that can be caused by a number of different things.

I highly recommend the ADHD drug free yahoo group if you're interested in exploring other ways to approach your girls' issues, you may be able to reduce or eliminate their meds entirely. At least support the action of the meds if that's the way you choose to go. There's tons of info in the files and links section there on many different approaches to treatment, and lots of experience in the group with working with school systems and teachers.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

I don't know much about the Section 504 but I know that it is supposed to protect our children under the school system when they have a disabilty. My son has severe food allergies and is being tested for Aspergers so this is how I came acrossed this website. I hope it helps you. L. Please let me know if you were able to acces the information on this website, if not maybe I can send you a copy of the information I have.

1 mom found this helpful

Both my sons have 504 plans. If you can't get help from the school, you will have to have them tested on your own. I am doing this again this weekend with my youngest son. His grades are too good for the school to test him. He does have a 504 because I did private testing that showed he has learning dissabilities. My advice is to (1.) Really push your school. They do all they can not to give help as it is so costly. I fought all through my boys school years. They have to be in the bottom 7% to receive benefits. Have you been to a good Diagnostic Pediatrician? I know it is expensive, we are in the same boat. I am fighting my insurance company to help cover it, as there isn't anyone in my network that does this testing. It takes persisitence.

The 504 allow him to have accomodations. My son gets extra time on tests, Note takers if possible, more time for homework. smaller work load. My older son in a RSP class that allows him to do his work there with a tutor. He is going to college next year, and the testing has allowed him to get special accomodations at college.

There are many websites to look at. Swablearning.org, They can walk you through the process of IEP's) CafeMom has a great chat site for ADD/ADHD. I have
learned alot from them. Also, the Children's Health Council in Palo Alto. There are lots of resources out there. it just takes time....lot's of time.

Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello S.,
There is an resource you can use called Parents Helping Parents. These people have been through it and have all information you need, they have classes and will actually tell you how to write your requests for further testing, For now A 504 plan is basically like an IEP but it doesent have the power of the IEP you must be really strong and insist further testing. Use the 504 to ask for preferential seating,( front of class) extra time on tests ,testing in a private area, extra help in reading or math resourse classes, more updates to the parents.My son has had difficulty all of this years and he finally qualified for the I.E.P due to the history of low math scores, disiplinary troubles, and low performance in all academic areas.
Lucky for you I have just finished securing the IEP for my son who is 16 I have the information on the parental rights. I would be willing to fax you this information or even mail it. You deserve a break but, it will take some energy and knowledge to get it. Lets talk in private and I can give you my phone number...Been through it and still there but stronger due to persistance and growing love for my family. Medication can help but need to be closley monitored. As the child grows and gains weight the med's need to be adjusted. T. K

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
My son had as ADHD and had a 504 Plan through washington unified in west Sac. basically a 504 plan is a contract the school has between you, your daughter and them giving your daughter special items or help needed because of her condition. Advocate hard, schools don't like to do them because the cost time and money. I had an extra set of books at home for my son because they didn't allow books to leave the classroom. I also had certain teachers offer take home tests where I acted as proxy, I also had him get extra time, it is through the American's with disabilities Act and you can find out some info online but your district office will have information through your school, you will have to have a note from your doctor verifying diagnosis and they will have to have some type of IEP in place for the 504, do no let them bully you, they will be resistent I suspect, do not let them, I have found with an ADHD child, you have to advocate very hard for their needs, but it teaches them to advocate harder for themselves as adults. My son is at Sac City College and has always made the deans list. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I can say "ditto"! ADD is a disability but not "serious" enough to get the help needed in public school. I've had it with public schools...I'm doing homeschool next year, and just looking into it now.
HOWEVER, I have a friend who knows how to get results. She is VERY persistent to the point of annoyance, until the school staff get to know her and build a rapport. She said to contact the county education board to talk to them about your rights, then demand your child be tested (theres a time frame they have to abide by once you sign the form)and let the staff know that you know your rights.
Anyway, home school is looking better and better!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Read all you can about ADD/ADHD...I'm convinced there's BETTER ways to learn for these kids other than traditional school.

Hi S.,

Have you ever considered homeschooling them? I homeschool 3 kids and it is such a blessing. My kids would score too high for public assistance as well, but if they were in school, They would be filtered through the system and certain conceptual building blocks would be missed and they would be in trouble. My Kindergartener/1st grader has taken a LONG time to absorb the letter sounds. I have a sound curriculum (Spell to Write and Read) that works for children like her who may have Dyslexic tendencies. It is helping her to form a solid foundation. Thank God for this program!

Here is something I learned while homeschooling as well: If a major concept is not understood and fully learned at a certain level,from that grade onward, that child will struggle terribly or most likely fail at being able to perform higher level functions. Some children may never truly get past a 3rd or 4th grade math level because upper level math requires a solid foundation in multiplication, subtraction and addition facts memorization. I am learning this the hard way, because I "pushed" my 4th grader through to the next grade without her knowing math facts. She was taking so long to absorb them, and I didn't want her to be kept behind in 4th grade level work again and I thought we'd catch up on it as we went along. But what happened? She couldn't do (or truly understand) the division and fractions in 5th grade because her foundation in multiplication was not solid and these higher level concepts require it. So we ended up having to go back and fill in that missing block. Kids get pushed through the system all the time, but many times, the missing blocks never get filled.
The same holds true with language. A solid foundation must start at the beginning. Not only must the teaching method used be a good one, the kids must understand the concepts before moving on. Failure to learn how to read (phonetically)and understand language concepts will show up later in middle school and high school on many different levels. Many public schools have given up on time tested methods of teaching (like phonetics and rules for spelling) for more progressive methods (reading by sight and not memorizing the spelling rules at all) which leaves holes in the building blocks of language. And if you can't read, you can't spell and write. They go hand in hand. Kids who can't read well could have a hard time with math language and symantics in general.

Since it sounds like you really enjoy children, you would be a good candidate for homeschooling if you are interested! The curriculum that is available to pick from is so diverse and numerous, it would blow your mind! They come with teachers manuals to make it easier for you. Your teen children can even help tutor younger ones in lower level math and reading. There are MANY familes in the Tri-Valley area who homeschool and there are several E loop support groups available to help you get started and keep you motivated along the way. There is info. on the web, too. There are curriculum fairs coming up soon around the area where you can buy discounted materials, and sometimes people will just give it away to bless others. If you do decide to homeschool, ask around for other's input on the best curriculum out there. Pick the best you can get for math and reading.

It's just a thought. Oh, another thing that helps my kids tremendously is a lot of water intake. The brain, (which is composed of 85% water (and runs on hydro electricity!) can't function well when it is deydrated. My children act better and can focus much longer when they have been drinking a LOT of water throughout the mornings. Try it!

Good luck!

http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/sec504.index.htm The Wrights Law site is very good. Check to see if your school district has parent advocates. These parents will help you at no charge.

Contact the parents education network. They can give you very valuable information to help guide you through the iep/504 process.


Here is a link to a website that has FAQ's about 504. After you read through it you can call up your school district and ask to speak with the Student Services head (at our school district she's an assistant superintendent) and schedule a meeting to assess your daughters' needs. Ask to have a Resource Specialist from your daughters' school/s at the meeting as well.

Good luck.


There are some simple exercises they can do that may reduce the amount of medication they need. Refer to the Donna Eden book, "Energy Medicine" on www.innersource.net

Look at the Wayne Cook posture and start right away having them do figure 8 patterns in the air and around their body for fun. This will help weave their energy patterns and reconnect neural pathways in their brains. You can call me or email, and I'll walk you through how to do the wayne cook posture, if you're interested.

Love, L.

Start with the Learning Disabilities Association. Just type in LDA in a google search and it will come up. They will tell you everything you need to know. That is where I began my journey with my son.

A 504 plan can be set up during a meeting with teachers and admin. at your child's school. This allows for your child to:have modified work, extra time on tests, preferential seating, and possibly even a place to go to get extra help. A school will pull all of their resources to help your child succeed. If you've already had an IEP meeting, they could have set this plan up at the same time. However, if this was overlooked for some reason, call and schedule a meeting and ask for a 504 plan to be put into place. Good luck with this!

aka--stay at home mom/teacher on leave.

I don't know what the 504 plan is, but I can't wait to see some responses. I had the same problem - ADHD child - no help from school; took her to counseling that I could afford but couldn't afford to do it long enough or consistent enough to make any difference. Daughter ended up dropping out of school. I am now raising her 5 year old daughter and I see signs of ADHD in her so I am very anxious to see these responses. Just want you to know you're not alone and offer my encouragement.

A 504 plan has to do with the school system. I was a kindergarten and 3rd grade teacher before I had kids and decided to stay home with them. You will most likley have a SST (student study team) meeting with the teacher and other school personel. In the meeting they will come up with a plan (504 plan) to help your child be successful. It will have techniques for the teacher, possibly counseling, and objectives that the child should meet within a certian time frame. It basically a meeting to see where the school can help your child and to hold the school and your child acountable.

J. H

Hi there,

In Napa county we have a group, Parents-CAN, that helps parents with ADHD kids address their needs, including by helping parents advocate for IEP's and 504 plans In Marin Co, I think the group is called Matrix. You may need to have advocates helping you because even if you get a 504 plan, sometimes, schools are so over-loaded , the teachers don't follow the plans. And sometimes they do!

In Napa County, County Health and Human Services Department did a study this year on school-based mental health needs and found a wide variety of problems with supports for kids with special needs. Children who were not failing in school, even if they had a diagnosis, were noted as hard to get served. What seemed to help most was when families could collect team members to help them work with the schools. The parents seemed to have more success with results then and to feel they had enough support. Perhaps if you are in another county without groups like Parents-CAN or Matrix, you can call these organizations anyway and ask your questions to them and/or ask if they know of similar groups in your county. Good Luck,


Here is a website that tells about section 504. http://specialchildren.about.com/od/504s/qt/504faq.htm
You can Google Section 504 and get a lot of websites to research.

Hi S.,
A 504 plan is simply a plan that lays out the needs of your child to succeed in school. A child with ADD would definitely qualify. You meet with the teachers, principal, psycholigist, whoever else and come up with plans that will be implemented and reevaluated periodically. The 504 holds the school legally responsible, they must do their best to help your child. My child has one-he simply has a hard time focusing-he has been tested, he does not have ADD and does score well on tests. Talk to the pricipal or school psycologist. Good Luck!

I would talk to your daughter's teacher(s) if you think a 504 plan is needed.

From my understanding, a 504 is an educational plan that is an agreement among the student, parent, teacher and administrator. It will specify what each party needs to do to keep the agreement (for example, student will right down homework assignment, teacher will check that student has written it down, parent will initial it once homework is completed). A 504 is meant to give all students an equal chance to learn and succeed at school and honors any special needs your child has.

To get a 504, a "student study team" consisting of one or more teachers, administrators, or counselors will meet and track your daughter's progress. They will then meet with you to make suggestions in how to support your daughter's success. You and your daughter can also make suggestions and the 504 agreement is made.

What happens once the 504 is in place is that you or the teachers can call a meeting at any time if there are any concerns and there will be a date specified to evaluate if it's working. I know students who have been moved from a 504 to special ed and vice-versa.

The thing is with the 504 is that the whole process costs the school time and money, two things that are probably scarce so you may have to be assertive and consistent to make it happen.

I would make copies of any doctor evaluations, prescriptions, etc. and have this ready to make your case.

Hope this helps.


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. ###-###-####.

This website might help: http://specialchildren.about.com/od/504s/f/504faq1.htm

I just googled "504 Plan" and this is what came up.

The "504" in "504 plan" refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifies that no one with a disability can be excluded from participating in federally funded programs or activities, including elementary, secondary or postsecondary schooling. "Disability" in this context refers to a "physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities." This can include physical impairments; illnesses or injuries; communicable diseases; chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes; and learning problems. A 504 plan spells out the modifications and accommodations that will be needed for these students to have an opportunity perform at the same level as their peers, and might include such things as wheelchair ramps, blood sugar monitoring, an extra set of textbooks, a peanut-free lunch environment, home instruction, or a tape recorder or keyboard for taking notes.

As a public school teacher, I've worked with many students on a 504 plan. You, as a parent, can request that your child(ren) be on a plan and the school has 30 days to respond to your written request. This is a federal law so if they (the school or district) don't respond, they could be sued. My district takes these requests very seriously, as they should, but each district is different. Just hold your ground and know that your have rights as a parent.

Good luck!

Hi S.,

Found some helpful internet sites that talk all about the 504 Plan. My son has ADHD, so I understand! The sites follow:




These three articles should really help! In them they have access to other resourcs, too.

If the meds are failing, another visit to the docs should help. Maybe she needs a change of med, or an increase in the amount.

Good luck,

Have you gone to the website Chadd?

A 504 plan is something that schools offer to give your child extra support when they have a condition that interferes with their learning (such as ADD or ADHD) but they don't qualify for Special Education. It is a contract between your family and the school. I can include things such as extra time on tests, activity breaks, and presenting material to your child in a hands-on manner when possible. Good luck to you and your children.


The 504 plan has accommodations for your kids while the IEP gets them into the resource program. With the 504 you can stipulate various in classroom needs your children have that will help them throughout the school day. Good Luck!

A 504 plan is typically used for educational and disciplinary purposes with students who have disabilities that keep them from performing at the same level as their peers. It is a "last" resort to keep kids in check with their education and classroom actions when all other meetings, parent interaction have failed. I believe you do have to qualify for a 504. Talk to your school counselor for the qualification details...because I have only been involved on the teacher side of the interactions. The action plan is written out, formal meetings are set up to keep the parent involved and informed, responsibilities are specifically given to the teachers, parents and students involved. Steps to help the student succeed are discussed and recorded. Review meetings are required at least once a year.

Are your daughters officially diagnosed? What are their grades like in school? Are they having discipline issues as well? What have you tried so far? Have the teachers and yourself been involved in techniques to help them already?


Hi S. ~

The School District is REQUIRED BY LAW to let your child be tested (at their expense). Call the school district and let them know that you would like to have testing done; before school is out. Here is a website that can help you or give you more information about this: www.SchwabLearning.org. There is so much information. Good Luck to you!
Lucy B.

Hi S.,

I am a RSP (resource specialist program) teacher in Sac City. You are correct, a 504 plan can offer some help to your children who do not qualify for Special Eduction services because their ADD/ADHD is not interfering with their ability to learn and understand age/grade level material.

The plan will include accomodations to be made for your kids in while they continue to be served in regular classes. It can include things like frequent breaks, on-task reminders, a reward system or sticker chart to be used, more time on tests, assignments being broken up into smaller chunks (this can be especially helpful), preferential seating etc.

Call the school and ask to schedule an SST (student study team meeting). Tell them that your children have medically diagnosed ADD/ADHD and that you are interested in starting a 504 plan. They will know what you are talking about and you should get some help.


The 504 plan is typically used for children with serious behavioral problems. It is a plan that allows for different accomodations to facilitate your child's education with reference to unacceptable behaviors.

You mention that your 8th grader is not eligible for an IEP because of tests taken when she was 5. Check into this further, because schools can do the tests every 2 years. The school may be telling you this to avoid any related costs. If you are verbally asking for assistance, stop. Put your requests in writing. The schools have to respond to written requests.

On a side note, I am surprised that you have 2 ADD/ADHD girls. The diagnosis is typical for boys, not for girls. Was the disorder diagnosed by the pediatrician?

Hi there...
I have sat in on many IEP meetings and 504 plan meetings. A 504 plan is a plan set up for a child with a health related issue that requires them to have certain modifications in their learning environment in order to be successful. Those modifications are decided upon by a team (parent, teacher, principal, school specialists). You would need a doctor's note diagnosing the child with a specific ailment and then you would have to give permission for the school and doctor to discuss your child's condition. Not sure that ADD/ADHD falls into this category. Good luck!

A 504 plan, in plain English, is a detailed plan of what special accommodations your child needs to be successful in a regular classroom environment. It may include modified work assignments (e.g., enough to show mastery or broken down into smaller chunks at a time), more time to complete assignments or tests, modification of testing strategies (e.g., requires small group instructions, oral instructions, etc.), supplemental pull out (taken out of the classroom) or push in (aide or resource specialist in the classroom during instruction) or before/after school tutoring. If your child needs counseling, you can also request a 26.5 referral to receive free counseling through county-contracted services. This costs the school district nothing, but requires paperwork on their part to justify that emotional issues are interfering with your child's performance in the classroom.

My best advice to you (as a mom with TWO special need youngsters) is to document and request EVERYTHING in writing. It not only leaves a paper trail, in the event you need to pursue legal action, it also shows the school district you are serious. School districts are businesses and while there are individuals in a school district that care about individual children, school districts care about money, not children. That's a hard one to swallow, but particularly in these economic times of severe budget cuts, you have to remember, schools are a business.

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