View Full Version : 504 Plans

11-07-15, 02:56 AM
Hi, I am new to this forum, but I come with many questions and in need of a lot of support. First off my son is 8 years old and in 3rd grade. He does well academically, but has issues with talking to much and disrupting the class. Up until 2nd grade we did not medicate him. He had grown up with these kids and they accepted his little quirks as it just being him. It was wonderful. However after 1st grade we uprooted him and moved him to Ohio (from Missouri) because my husband got a new job. Now kids at this school treat him not horridly I guess I could say. He is having a lot more issues with bullying, and we handle that on a case by case issue, however this did prompt me to try some medications with him. We are still in the process of figuring out those meds, or even if they will benefit him. However at his last apt, the dr. suggested initiating a 504 plan with his teachers, which I'm all for. However I feel a bit intimidated by it. I obviously don't know much about them, or what to ask for. In his old school they had a behavioral specialist, who worked with Landen and had some great success. They put a band at the bottom of his chair legs so he could use it to keep his feet busy, he has had a padded seat to help keep him from swaying side to side, and they did "brain breaks" where she would come and get him and walk the halls with him for a bit. This was very successful and by the end of the year were no longer needed. None of this has to do with his chatterbox ways though, and I don't want to go in there acting like I have no clue.

I don't know if I've been in denial about the ADHD, which I openly admit he has, or if I just haven't really thought it was as "bad" as it is. However this past week has really opened my eyes. First I found this forum, which has led me to many links that have made me cry in guilt and relief. And these past few days have been so much better at home because of it. Not that they are anywhere close to peaceful, but with just a few tweaks with my behavior has made a drastic change in his.

The other day in the car on the way to school I asked him how it felt to have ADHD, in his head how did it feel. He looked at me with a blank stare and said "what's ADHD". I sat stunned in silence realizing all these office visits and him being on medicine to "help him focus" and we never once have sat him down to explain to him what's going on. And that's when I realized how can I explain what I myself really until the other day thought of as just him being easily distracted and really hyper.

I looked back at this week and thought of all the times I've gotten onto him for something, and then when reading an article that was posted on here about ADHD, thinking that's so my son. The lack of time comprehension, disorganized, forgetfulness, and I could go on. I think of all this time, all the horrible evenings, and the even worse mornings were my fault. Because I didn't think to research and learn more about my sons condition. I have failed him, and what's worse is this whole time, I blamed him. Why can't you just listen, why can't you remember to take your pills in the morning, you wake up you take them. and the arguing, omg he can argue for hours. Anyways I'm rambling.

back to the 504 plans, I have googled them, and familiar a bit, but if anyone has any ideas on what tricks could benefit him I would appreciate it. and also, is the 504 plan changeable, or is it set in stone for a certain length of time?

Thank you for hanging in there if you've gotten to this point. Sorry for the rambling post but it's to late to go back and edit it all out lol.

11-07-15, 09:19 AM
504 plans can be good for kids with minor severity. They are overseen by the guidance counselor but in many cases they fall short. If he hasnt already, I advise you to seek a formal evaluation by the schools chid study team or special services. It can allow him to get an IEP which stands for individual eductation plan. This opes the door to many more accomodations that he could have and closer monitoring. They also help the teachers help him. Google wrights law. They have lots of info.

11-11-15, 04:36 PM
Both of my sons are on 504 plans, although they are doing very well in school. My oldest is 12 in his first year in middle school. He is inattentive ADD and a bit socially awkward. He needed a lot of help in 1st through 3rd grade, and then suddenly got it. He is in all GT classes and excelling quite well. My younger son is 10 in the 4th grade. He is ADHD, with a a huge amount of hyper. He is a social butterfly and does well in school.

With both sons the 504 plans have allowed us to be taken seriously each and every time an issue comes up in school. It gives you legal rights that our school takes seriously. We called a 504 meeting for our youngest who discovered this year that there are some bad teachers. Previously his teachers were wonderful. He got a forth grade teacher that obviously hates adorable, yet wild little boys. She left him out of a positive event for his entire class and sat him in the classroom alone with another teacher coming and going for the hour or so of the event at the school. He was not being "punished." He did not get enough "points" to qualify. Well, when I found out they slid the scale down to include five others - leaving out only my child.... well, it wasn't pretty.

We called a 504 meeting, specifically requesting a district representative be present and the teacher NOT be present. Bottom line, while the teacher claimed she treated all fairly, we had proof positive that she slid the scale arbitrarily to exclude only one instead of five. The principal told me "this will never happen again."

Without the 504, this meeting would not have had a district rep involved. I could not have asked to exclude the teacher, most likely.

The 504 let's you plan how your child is taught. Other than stuff like this now, neither of my sons need any advantages. My older son used to need to be at the front of the room to pay proper attention and not be distracted. The 504 lets you come to an agreement the year prior as to any of these things needed.

I am in Texas. I have heard the systems in other states and even school districts are very different at times. A school in Arkansas that has our family friends asperger son did not let him get on any type of 504 plan, although they had one legally available. They went private with him, but that's not working either. They will have to get lawyers and get it done that way.

Good luck!

01-13-16, 04:52 PM
First off, you did not fail your son. Yes, for the first few years you didn't understand his diagnosis or even look into it. BUT NOW YOU ARE, and some parents never get to this point. Ever. So he is lucky to have you because you cared enough to educate yourself and help yourself, which will help him.

Second, the 504 plan. I would classify a 504 as your sons own little "enhancements to learning". It's basically a set of accommodations that will help him learn. My son has one. His says that he must sit in the front of every class in front of the teacher, that he has his homework folder checked to ensure he is not forgetting any assignments, that he be given extra time for packing up, stuff like that. A 504 plan is set and usually lasts for the year. New meeting are scheduled annually to review and make changes. However, if something is not working, you can call a meeting to make a change at any time.

My son went from nearly failing 5th grade to high honors in 7th grade, and I credit the 504 plan for that. All of his teachers are aware prior to the start of the year of his diagnosis and do what they can to help him. It is definitely something you should pursue. Good luck to you!

02-25-16, 03:36 PM
The best 504 accommodation my son received was an extra set of school books for our house. I can't tell you how many times I heard "I forgot my ____ book at school and now I can't do my study guide/study for test/do my homework...etc."

02-25-16, 06:34 PM

One of the big mistakes parents make is not documenting things in writing. For instance, often schools will resist an IEP because an IEP requires a lot more paperwork and has a lot more force behind it. Meaning teachers must comply and show they are complying with an IEP whereas a 504 is much looser.

When a teacher tells you that your child is misbehaving, document it, all teachers have e-mails. Often teachers don't like to respond via e-mail because it is actual documentation. You don't need them to reply, your e-mail is documentation.

The biggest challenge is often getting teachers to acknolwedge that your child is not simply misbehaving. If there are social issues, (bullying) due to social immaturity or poor social skills, this is evidence of a deficit in varying categories of life. If the child is having trouble managing their behaviour this needs to be documented as it can show a pattern of poor impulse control.

Far too many children do not get the IEP they need and are foisted onto a 504 which isn't as thorough or enforced in the same way as IEP is.

The more you know about your child's impairments and disability the better you are able to advocate for him/her. Always be polite, be firm, persistent and expect resistance.

A simply e-mail stating, "when we spoke earlier today you mention my child _________ and your suggestion that we try _______ or (insert any conversation detailing symptom related conversations) I want to follow up on this to make sure I understand you and that we're on the same page.

That is a formal and legal documentation of disability related information you need to advocate for your child.

Sadly it can be very adversarial as a process, keep your cool, advocate as best you can, and be willing to being an expert on what the schools responsibilitites are towards your child under civil rights law (iep or 504) because often you'll be told "oh no we can't do that" when they can and are required to do so by law.

There are child advocates and finding them can be a bit of a problem, but bring one along to an iep meeting and the whole tenor of the conversation changes.

I'm not saying this will happen for you, but it is not unexpected.

Good luck!