View Full Version : 504 vs. IEP


JoJoCplus2
04-03-13, 11:42 AM
Hello everyone!

I am very new here, and my kindergarten-aged daughter was just diagnosed with ADHD combined type. She has no learning disabilities, just the ADHD. Plus, she is the youngest in her class, which doesn't help matters.

Pre-K was an utter disaster, as was the first trimester of Kindergarten. I had considered holding her back, but her Pre-K teacher was so awful that the thought of her spending another year there made my stomach turn.

Fortunately, her K teacher is amazing and has found some ways to help control her behaviors and work around them. Her first report card consisted of all 2s in academics (we use a 1 to 4 scale) and all "unsatisfactory" and "needs improvement" in behaviors. But her second report card showed that she had moved to 3s (meeting standards) in about half of the academic categories, and the behaviors was a combination of "needs improvements" with a few "satisfactories" thrown in. Definitely lots of progress and I am so grateful that her teacher has been so proactive.

The diagnosis just came in this week, and the school said she does not need an IEP next year. They said that because she is demonstrating that she can make progress with special accommodations in the classroom, and that her teacher expects her to be meeting all standards by year end, that they will give her a 504 instead. For example, her teacher lets her stand to do her work when she is fidgety. She is allowed to get up and move around/stretch every 30 minutes or so, and her teacher finds any opportunity she can to allow her out of her seat, like asking her to walk a letter to the office. Also, she is never seated near the door or window or her best friends or any other distractions, and she is taken to a quiet room alone with an aide to practice reading or for any testing that needs to be done.

The principal and psychologist said the 504 will make sure that her 1st grade teacher does these exact same things. They said the IEP is really for kids who need special educational services as well, like speech.

Sorry this was so long. I'm totally new to this, as my older son is somewhat of an "easy" kid and a good student so I never had to ask for any type of help or services before. Does this sound right, with the 504? Or should I be pushing for more? What is really the difference between the 2 plans?

ginniebean
04-03-13, 12:23 PM
Given that her teacher is being so proactive which is truly wonderful an iep may not be necessary for this year however, as your child progresses thru school problems can arrived and you will need to be on top of them. Use this time to educate yourself about school accommodations. A 504 is for civil rights protection because your child has a legitimate disability. An Iep has more teeth (and paperwork) than a 504 so be prepared to request (always in writing) an evaluation for an IEP should you eventually need one. It's early days.

I can't add links but you can learn a lot at places like Wrights law, and I hope someone does come in with links that can help you.

Lunacie
04-03-13, 12:26 PM
It's been awhile since I read the differences myself. My granddaughter
(autistic) has had an IEP since kindergarten and she's in 5th grade now.

There's a lot of information available at wrightslaw.com. Including what
the difference is between an IEP and a 504 Plan. It sounds like as long
as the teacher is willing to follow the 504 that should work just fine for
your daughter. But I think it can be more difficult to enforce the 504 if
the teacher is not willing.

And nothing is written in stone. You can request a re-evaluation for
services at any time.

Ms. Mango
04-03-13, 10:29 PM
504s offer classroom accommodations--preferential seating, more time to take tests, quite testing area, etc. IEPs can also have accommodations as well as offer additional services like OT, a classroom aide, speech therapy, reading help, social skills groups. Both are in writing.

The big difference, IMO, is that the IEP has measurable goals. So, for example, if a child is having difficulty writing, the IEP may call for OT services 1x week with a goal (at the end of the IEP year) of having the child be able to write legibly for test taking or hold the pencil in a tripod grip for 3 of 5 attempts.

For academic purposes, the IEP keeps the child at least on track with where she is at the start of the IEP period. So, for example, if a child is assessed at grade level-6mos. in reading then a goal of the IEP should be that, at the end of the year, there is no regression in her delay. Ideally, there should be a plan for her to close the gap by the end of the period.

If your daughter is making progress with the accommodations already in place, a 504 may be all you need. If, at any time, you feel this isn't the case, you can formally request an assessment to see if she qualifies for an IEP.

sarahsweets
04-04-13, 04:23 AM
I am not a 504 expert but 2 of my kids have IEP's and 1 has a 504. The 504 is monitored by the guidance counselor and the IEP is monitored by a case manager.

cillovely
04-04-13, 10:32 AM
I'm in a bit of the same boat. My son was evaluated and denied the IEP due to sucessful progress being made, but am in the process of getting the 504 in place. Where he's had a few issues, he's gotten some special OT and counseling and group sessions with the adjustment counselor so he is getting some help without having either in place. Where he is in K, I'm not stressing about it too much. He also is the youngest in his class, and the biggest (99.9 percentile for height) so in a way that makes matters worse. People expect more out of him becuase they think he is older.
For him his Pre-K teacher was wonderful and worked with him. She has an ADHD daughter and is more trained in special ed. This year the K teacher doesn't work as well with him, but is trying. So that is another reason I'm not stressing the 504. Just get him thru this year where there isn't much left to it and start the battle next year.
I also have an appointment with a Dr. who specializes in LD's like Dyslexia which I think my son has some form of. But the earliest appointment I could get is the last day of school. So until I get anything there I don't have much defense for the IEP.

Dollface
04-04-13, 12:47 PM
I wouldn't make it any more complicated then you have to. I have a son with Classic Autism and am very familiar with IEP's and ARD meetings and all of that. My other two are diagnosed with ADHD. As long as they are being accommodated and grades/behavior is improving, and they are making progress there is no reason to go above and beyond. Like previous posters have said, you can always go there later if necessary. I think at this point demanding an IEP may upset the teacher and others who have said that the 504 is enough. While I do always suggest you advocate for your child because no one else will, there is no reason to **** off the teachers when everything is going well. It IS a whole lot of paperwork that the teacher will have to spend her time doing rather then working towards the well being of your child.

Imagine if someone called you in from your job and said "you are doing a great job, but lets put this formal agreement in place that says you have to keep up these standards OR ELSE."

Just like in every other aspect of life- kill them with kindness and be agreeable until there's a need to not be :)

Good luck!!

Stevuke79
10-08-13, 10:44 AM
Hello everyone!

I am very new here, and my kindergarten-aged daughter was just diagnosed with ADHD combined type. She has no learning disabilities, just the ADHD. Plus, she is the youngest in her class, which doesn't help matters.

Pre-K was an utter disaster, as was the first trimester of Kindergarten. I had considered holding her back, but her Pre-K teacher was so awful that the thought of her spending another year there made my stomach turn.

Fortunately, her K teacher is amazing and has found some ways to help control her behaviors and work around them. Her first report card consisted of all 2s in academics (we use a 1 to 4 scale) and all "unsatisfactory" and "needs improvement" in behaviors. But her second report card showed that she had moved to 3s (meeting standards) in about half of the academic categories, and the behaviors was a combination of "needs improvements" with a few "satisfactories" thrown in. Definitely lots of progress and I am so grateful that her teacher has been so proactive.

The diagnosis just came in this week, and the school said she does not need an IEP next year. They said that because she is demonstrating that she can make progress with special accommodations in the classroom, and that her teacher expects her to be meeting all standards by year end, that they will give her a 504 instead. For example, her teacher lets her stand to do her work when she is fidgety. She is allowed to get up and move around/stretch every 30 minutes or so, and her teacher finds any opportunity she can to allow her out of her seat, like asking her to walk a letter to the office. Also, she is never seated near the door or window or her best friends or any other distractions, and she is taken to a quiet room alone with an aide to practice reading or for any testing that needs to be done.

The principal and psychologist said the 504 will make sure that her 1st grade teacher does these exact same things. They said the IEP is really for kids who need special educational services as well, like speech.

Sorry this was so long. I'm totally new to this, as my older son is somewhat of an "easy" kid and a good student so I never had to ask for any type of help or services before. Does this sound right, with the 504? Or should I be pushing for more? What is really the difference between the 2 plans?

Your kids sound adorable. And your I'm really interested that your daughter's teacher too an understanding and proactive approach to help her. I wonder how common that is; I wouldn't think it's particularly common.

Lunacie
10-08-13, 10:50 AM
Your kids sound adorable. And your I'm really interested that your daughter's teacher too an understanding and proactive approach to help her. I wonder how common that is; I wouldn't think it's particularly common.

In my personal experience, as well as my copious amounts of reading,
that's not common at all. And that's a shame.

TygerSan
10-08-13, 12:10 PM
I wouldn't make it any more complicated then you have to. I have a son with Classic Autism and am very familiar with IEP's and ARD meetings and all of that. My other two are diagnosed with ADHD. As long as they are being accommodated and grades/behavior is improving, and they are making progress there is no reason to go above and beyond. Like previous posters have said, you can always go there later if necessary. I think at this point demanding an IEP may upset the teacher and others who have said that the 504 is enough. While I do always suggest you advocate for your child because no one else will, there is no reason to **** off the teachers when everything is going well. It IS a whole lot of paperwork that the teacher will have to spend her time doing rather then working towards the well being of your child.

I agree that you have to be careful with the wording, but I really don't like the idea of considering not doing something beneficial for a child for fear of ******* off a teacher. It's possible to work within the school system without being adversarial or confrontational.

Billeraphon
10-23-13, 08:11 AM
A 504 was originally intended to guarantee someone with a disability the same access to education. (example... a student in a wheelchair is given a key to the elevator, time built in to get to and from classes, etc)

An IEP is a plan for supports or modifications for someone with learning disabilities. This means that they require changes to the regular curriculum (like a test with rewritten questions, adding a word bank that other kids don't get, or modifying lessons) If the class is reading a chapter book and one student reads at a much lower level, requiring the use of a picture book to learn the same concept, this requires an IEP.

Now if the student in a wheelchair also reads at a lower level they would be put on an IEP with both the accomodations (from the 504) and the modifications of an IEP.