Revisiting 504 Plan???

Updated on November 19, 2012
C.C. asks from Apex, NC
10 answers

When D11 started middle school I requested to put a 504 plan in place for her. She was diagnosed with ADHD by a pychologist back in May and now she is currently taking 5 mg of Adderall daily. In the beginning the school councelor said that she met with her team of teachers and they all agreed that D11 was doing fine and that they didn't think it was necessary for the 504 plan. They wanted to wait until she started failing her classes. Her first report card was good, she got A's, B's and one C in math. Now she is getting an F in Science, B in Social Studies and still getting a C in math. She failed to turn in test corrections and completely blew off her homework this weekend. What is the best course of action at this time? Should I be doing more to make sure she is doing her work? I stepped away from checking her work so closely so she could start to me more responsible. Her bully BFF is also in every class and sometimes they get paired up so I don't know if this is distracting her or not. In 5th grade it did distract her and her teacher was constantly trying to keep them apart. Do some of you know if this 504 plan would be appropiate for her or not? I still say she needs help with test taking skills and remembering to complete things. She also doens't always ask for help when she doens't understand something. Any thoughts or feedback would be great. Thanks!

Just wanted to add I met with the IEP team last year and they said she didn't qualify for the IEP. But I was told that I could request the 504 plan with the middle school...

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answers from Chicago on

My niece is a sophmore in high school and still has her 504 plan . She is a straight A student but needs extra time to finish things (at least the knowing she will have the time helps her ). I would have a 504 plan for her . It can only help her . Without it it only helps the staff ;0)

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answers from New York on

As a parent, you request a review by the Section 504 committee to determine whether or not your child is eligible for accommodations. Having a diagnosis does not automatically create eligibility. There needs to be a substantial impact on her ability to participate in school. If she is passing her classes, the odds are pretty good that she will not be eligible. If she is NOT passing her classes AND she's putting for effort (which it sounds like she is not), then she may be eligible.

Yes, you should be doing more to make sure she does her work. Regardless of her eligibility for accommodations, she cannot blow off her work.

Both Section 504 and IDEA (IEP) support are based on the concept of a FAPE- Free and Appropriate Public Education. If she's meeting state standards (not a one semester "blip"), then she is able to access FAPE and does not require additional supports as a student with a disabling condition.

Request a review by your school's Section 504 committee and see what they think.

I'm not sure what Lisa* means by "without it only helps the staff"... having non-supported students in a class is a NIGHTMARE for teachers. Students with appropriate accommodation plans actually make a teacher's life easier. Most teachers are the first ones advocating for support for a student.

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answers from Miami on


I am answering your question as to whether you should be doing more to make sure she is doing her work. YES - no matter what her abilities or disabilities. In middle school, she is still too young to be fully responsible for supervising her own school work. As a parent, it is your job to make sure that you stay on top of it. I helped raise my youngest brother and when he was in middle school (over 20 years ago), I would check his homework notebook and make sure he had everything done. In HS, my mom and I sat on him to make sure that he completed his work so that he would graduate! I am certain that if we hadn't he would have never gotten his diploma. He worked in medial jobs for a long time before going back to college, working hard and getting an accounting degree. But he was able to do that because he had his HS diploma!

So regardless of whether you have a 504, IEP or any medication, yes, you need to stay on top of the homework at least until HS.


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answers from Boston on

If she has been diagnosed with ADHD, she has a health impairment that is covered by the ADA and therefore is qualified for accommodations under a 504 plan if her disability impairs her school life in any way - academically, behaviorally, etc. The school cannot refuse to accommodate issue.

That said, a 504 plan won't help her magically do her homework. What a 504 plan will do is, for example, state that the homework assignments must be accurately made available to YOU in a timely manner (meaning via a teacher or school website, daily e-mails home to you, or teachers signing her assignment book to make sure that she wrote the assignments down accurately). Then that gives you the information that you need to more closely monitor her homework. Another part of the plan could be that if she is missing an assignment, the teacher is to notify you immediately and give her the chance to make up the missing assignment for partial credit (many teachers already do this, but it sets it in stone for those who don't). If her grades aren't on-line already (many middle and high schools post grades on-line in real time), a 504 could specify that you are to get more frequent reporting of her grades to help keep her on track before she slips too far behind.

Asking for help is something that all students should have access toso therefore that wouldn't be an accommodation - it would be your job to monitor her grades with her frequently or check her homework and then if she seems to not understand something, she'll have to ask for help or stay after.

My oldest (14, 9th grade) has ADHD and was on a 504 in grades 2 & 3 and has been on an IEP since 4th. He spends one periods a day in academic support. And still had a miserable first report card. We are once again back to my needing to check his assignment book, check that against what's on-line to make sure he has the assignments written correctly, check the on-line grading portal daily to make sure he handed everything in, helping him block off time for studying and writing, and having him literally sit at my kitchen table and do his homework or writing or studying in front of me. It's maddening but without constant supervision, he doesn't get things done, or does them halfway, or doesn't hand them in, doesn't ask for an extension or make-up. My boys in grades 1 & 3 take more ownership of this than he does. He's grounded right now until he has no more missing or late assignments and all test and quizzes are an 80 or better.

If I were you, if communication around homework and grades are an issue (you have no way of knowing whether or not her homework is complete, or that she failed a test) then a 504 would help remedy that situation. But a lot of her problem, I'm guessing, is her own behavior. Yes she has a health issue that makes school harder. Yes she has a problem that impairs her ability to organize herself. That means that she is going to have to work harder and longer. Hold HER accountable for her performance. I have a hard time with this sometimes, but at the end of the day, my son knows how much work it takes him to do well - he has to just sit down and do it. I'll help him get organized and stay on top of what needs to be done, but if he chooses to not do it, then it's on him and he loses his social life until he's back on track.

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answers from Chicago on

You can not request a 504. There are a lot of things that have to happen before that happens. If she has a diagnosis in place you have to ask the school for a "case study" (at least thats what its called in Illinois. They have 30 days to complete the case study. it will consist of her being observed during class time by teachers, school social worker, perhaps a principal, usually the district special ed person, the school nurse etc. some paperwork will be given to you to fill out and to have your daughters doctor fill out. none of this should be discussed with your daughter as the observations will not be valid if she knows they are watching her in particular.

when those things are all done the school will call you in for an iep meeting. they can not arbitrarily decide that she needs no help. just as you are not able to say to them that they have to meet special needs that they have not observed and detected.

your last bit about homework. yes you should be following up on it. make her sit at the kitchen table to do it. and you check it each day. check the backpack. don't just ask her. also if you have not done this yet get in contact via email with the teacher to ask what she is missing. tell your daughter your going to start the assignment notebook being signed each day thing if she is not able to get her homework home and done. there should also be consequences for failure to follow through. add and adhd kids need serious structure. I am not saying punishment but structure first and then consequences to follow the failure to finish things.

been there and done that with all of the above as my son is off the charts adhd. he is 17 now and outgrowing a lot of the issues but it is tough.

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answers from Springfield on

I don't know what a 504 plan is, but I can tell you that at 11 I was not mature enough to complete all my homework on my own. If I didn't feel like doing it, I didn't. When I was 12 I was given a semester long assignment (What the heck my teacher was thinking, I do not know. College students are given semester long projects, not middle school students.) I was so overwhelmed that my solution was to pretend it didn't exist. My parents took a much more active roll in my education after that. (Every day, "What did you do in English today? Do you have any homework coming up? Any papers? Any quizzes? Any tests? What did you do in math today? Do you have any homework? Any projects? Any quizzes? Any tests? What did you do in ... )

My point is, it really is age appropriate for her to need you to check up on her a little more. You need to be in regular communication about her homework. You need to know that she is supposed to turn in a test with corrections and that she has homework to do over the weekend and to make sure she gets it done.

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answers from Tampa on

My son is in 6th grade and his 504 carried over to middle school. My son did really well the first semester with no help from me. I emailed one teacher and let him know he had the 504 in place. I don't get the impression that his other teachers know, which has me irritated. Well, after his 1st report card, his grades plummeted in Langauage Arts. His binder was the most disorganized (papers all over his book bag, papers crmbled up) mess I've ever seen. I had to email that teacher and let her know he had the 504 for ADHD and Graphomotor Dsyfunction.

I don't know if it's much help or not. He has accomodations in place but it's kinda of a joke. They do protect him from being failed for poor handwriting and disorganization. That's the only value I see. He is at the point where he is happy for them but doesn't want to utilize the accomodations. He knows he is allowed the opportunity to type, but doesn't want to be singled out. He won't stay for extra help after school, but this is going to change. A 504 is good and it's bad. The community calls it the consolation prize. You have to stay on top of the teachers and administrators. Your child is protected but singled out among his/her peers.

I am back involved as much as I can. I plan to check his binder weekly, encourage him to get extra help, check his homework, etc.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

The law has changed a bit and schools are not suppose to consider "mitigating measures" developing a 504 plan. Medications for ADHD are mitigating measures. I suggest you contact the Parent Training and Information Center (PTI) for NC. They can help you out with 504 plans.

Exceptional Children's Assistance Center (ECAC)
ECAC’s Main Office:
907 Barra Row, Suites 102/103
Davidson, NC 28036

Driving Directions

###-###-#### fax
800-962-6817 Parent Info Line
[email protected]

ECAC’s Raleigh Office:
3803 Computer Drive
Building B, Suite 205
Raleigh, NC 27609-6507

Driving Directions

###-###-#### fax
866-740-4135 toll free
[email protected]
ECAC’s Western Office

###-###-#### fax
866-545-5299 toll free
[email protected]

ECAC’s Southeast Office
More information to come. For immediate assistance, please call our main office at: 1-800-962-6817.

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answers from New York on

Not sure what a 504 plan is - but I have a 13 yr old son with ADD who has had various learning issues over the year. He's very bright, but disorganzied and impatient. He struggles with doing work that requires more than a few steps to complete. He did fabullously in 5th grade - he had a great teacher and a great special ed teacher who was in the classroom for much of the day. Moving to middle school was a tough transition - and now in 8th grade he still has his moments. At age 11 some kids are really ready to become independent with their school work - my daughter was one of those kids. She had and still has other issues - but it's never been about school work. But at 13 I still need to nudge my son and follow up with him. He goes to resource room every other day and many of his classes include a special ed teacher to nudge along the kids who have IEPs. ALthough his learning problems (dyslexia and other language based learning problems) have diminished quite a lot he is still eligible for the extra help becuase of the diagnosis of ADD. He's in 8th grade and finally this year he's beginning to keep himself organized and is planning his work more than a day ahead of time.

You ahve to be your child's advocate - the schools want kids off the special ed services becuase they are expensive. Too bad - push for your child, Ask about resource room and other services. If the school's not aware of your child's ADHD diagnosis then make sure they learn about it. Then when your child comes home from school sit at the kitchen table and go through the notebooks of the day. it will help them remember homework and projects that they've forgotten. My son still tells me he doesn't have homework and then as we mentally review the classes of the day he recalls work that has to be done.

Don't worry - eventually she'll get there - but unlike other kids she has to be taught how to be organized and how to plan her work. One day you'll see the lightbulb has been turned on!



answers from Portland on

My granddaughter has a 504 plan and ADHD. Her plan gave her extra help outside the classroom in writing. The 504 plan does not take the place of help from the parents. It is a part of a group effort. You can obtain help without a plan just by talking with the teachers. I suggest that is the way to start. Once you and the teachers have a better idea of what she needs you can meet to write a plan.

In my granddaughter's school there is a teacher assigned to managing student learning needs. She's part of the special education staff. My daughter and her daughter get help from this person even tho my granddaughter has never been in or need a special education class. Call the school and talk with the principal to ask what sort of arrangements can be made to talk about getting help with your daughter.

Notice that I said with your daughter. You will have to be involved daily with monitoring and helping your daughter focus on school work. It may be that just with you helping her stay focused at home she can be more successful.

My granddaughter's pediatrician's clinic has a nurse practitioner on staff who specializes in ADHD/ADD issues. He monitors and prescribes medication but more importantly he teaches learning skills as he helps the student recognize, understand, and accept their condition and ways to be successful. Ask your pediatrician if they have such a resource available.

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