View Full Version : 6th grade son -- Eligibility for IEP or 504 plan?


Khamy25
12-11-15, 05:36 PM
Hi,

When my son has been diagnosed in September we met the school counselor. She said our son is not entitled for iep or section 504 because he should get at least Ds in all subjects.

In MP1 he got A in art and P.E, B in science and French. C in maths (the teacher said he should get a B), C in English (the teacher said he should get an A) and D in social studies but in MP2 he has D in maths. He has to work harder to get at least the same grades as in MP1.

My son is in 6th grade all his teachers complained about his lack of attention except in P.E and art.

We have seen the school counselor to get help but she was useless.
We thought they could do some testing to confirm his adhd and check for any disorder alongside adhd as told us the child psychiatrist but she said they do not do that they only ask teachers to fill in a questionnaire.

I thought schools had resources to perform tests if needed. There isn't a psychologist in their directory.

They will just ask teachers to place my child in front of the class, to check he writes his homework and for group work pairing with a successful student.

She also advised us to put him on medication (of course!).

Is it bad for his studies if he is labeled as disabled to get some accomodations and extra help? Will it impact badly on his job opportunities?

A colleague who has a 25 years old child who has adhd advised my husband not allowing the school labeling him as disabled but I do not know why.

The second pyschiatrist we saw said my son will benefit 1 to 1 sessions but I don't think we could get such service at school for me it's unrealistic, am I wrong?

namazu
12-11-15, 07:28 PM
Is your child attending a public school in Maryland, or a private school?

It sounds like the school counselor has been less-than-helpful -- and may be providing inaccurate information.


This brochure, "Understanding the Evaluation, Eligibility and Individualized Education Program (IEP) Process in Maryland" (http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/5F4F5041-02EE-4F3A-B495-5E4B3C850D3E/36471/UnderstandingtheIEP_July2014.pdf) (also available in French (http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/NR/rdonlyres/5F4F5041-02EE-4F3A-B495-5E4B3C850D3E/22215/685364_FRE_.pdf)!) may be helpful to you. There are other potentially-useful pamphlets available from the Maryland Department of Education here (http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/msde/divisions/earlyinterv/Special_Ed_Info.htm). This brochure above is specific to evaluation for special education services (IEP), which are provided under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

The eligibility standards for an IEP are more restrictive than for a 504 Plan, which is provided under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504, hence the name), rather than the IDEA.

Here's some information about 504 Plans and students' rights to a free and appropriate education from the US Department of Education (https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/edlite-FAPE504.html).

If you, as a parent, request an evaluation of your son's needs, in writing, the school cannot (legally) simply ignore it; there are official procedures they must follow to respond to your request and evaluate your son. It is true that some school districts are low on funds, but they cannot use that as an excuse to deny services.

Given that your son already has a medical diagnosis of ADHD, it would be difficult for the school to claim that your request to evaluate him is completely unfounded. And OK grades in classwork (in some classes, or even all classes) do not necessarily render him ineligible for disability accommodations.

As for labeling -- it's a difficult question. Sometimes -- not always -- students with disabilities are stereotyped as broadly incapable, or they are not pushed to excel in the same way as non-disabled students. (If this occurs, it can often be overcome by parental advocacy or other means.) If your son is already struggling with certain classes or skills, it is likely he is already being labeled (as "lazy" or "difficult" or "not that smart" or whatever). These unofficial labels can often create more problems than an official label. And they don't help him learn or develop or demonstrate his knowledge. An evaluation and disability diagnosis can also be beneficial to you, your child, and school personnel, helping clarify your son's strengths and weaknesses, and allowing your son a greater chance to succeed by remediating or accommodating his deficits.

Khamy25
12-11-15, 07:42 PM
Hi,

Thanks I will look at the links. Yes I think it's better to write to the principal the psychiatrist said he will give us a letter about his recommendations.

He's attending a public school.

His teachers always said he is smart but his behavior problems are putting him down he is not using his full potential.

I'll also ask my son I know he doesn't like to be treated differentely to other kids it could impact on his self esteem. In this case medication and therapy would be the best options.

He was upset about the labeling adhd when he has been diagnosed so I imagine if he gets some accomodations because of his adhd...

ccom5100
12-12-15, 01:43 AM
It sounds as if he is at least eligible for a 504 Plan. Check the Wrights Law website. There is lots of great information there.

Khamy25
12-12-15, 12:25 PM
I will read everything yes. We really need to be an expert to get our rights :cool:

Thanks!

ToneTone
12-23-15, 11:13 PM
Others have spoken in detail on how to use the law and your rights to get the right services for your son.

I will speak on the "disabled" label. Of course, as you go through the evaluation process and all of that, you're going to get some kind of "label." Ideally what you want is a diagnosis and description that is precise at explaining the way your son's brain works. This shouldn't simply be a limit but also part of a larger process of figuring out how to work with the brain he has.

I would say you can ease up and not worry about job opportunities at age 8. Focus on helping your son get the best evaluation of his strengths and weaknesses, the best treatment plan, the best situation or school or classroom for his success ... the best teachers for his success and on and on.
Find the best psychiatrist you can find for him and the best psychologist you can find ... Be curious just as you are here .... and then play things by ear. And by the way, you'll have a sense when things are working well.

I got diagnosed as an adult ... did I tell my workplace officially? No. Do I discuss ADHD with colleagues? Sometimes ... I discuss it with a few colleagues who also have been diagnosed and are treated ... We laugh about it sympathetically to ourselves ... about how difficult it is to cope with ADHD and yet how others completely misunderstand or ignore the condition ... Beyond these specific colleagues, I don't discuss "ADHD." But I do discuss the following: that I'm not great at tedious work, that I am not great at organizing teams or leading teams or committees or running a program. I teach college and I'm best when interacting with students ... So I emphasize that ... and stay away from paths that would be exhausting to me ... In other words, I really try to maximize my strengths at work.

I happen to teach college (and yes I struggle with procrastination and concentration) ... If I'm involved in a lot of tedious work on the weekend before I have to grade papers, my brain is shot and I'll procrastinate grading. Took the diagnosis for me to see this as a basic fact and something I have to work with.

The worst functioning ADHD students I've worked with are those who clearly have ADHD but for whatever reason, never got it treated or are oblivious to the real condition they have. Those students struggle the most. They have trouble completing the work, though they are often very bright. The students who are in treatment or were treated in the past at least have ADHD on their radar and they have some experience working around the condition. Treated students do much better.

Take a step at a time. Keep this in mind ... The whole point of the medical diagnosis (label) is to give us insight into how our brains or bodies work. Part of that is assessing the strengths and weaknesses of whatever medical condition we're looking at. And yes, often diagnoses seem to identify a weakness, in the brain or in the heart or liver, etc. That weakness is the "label."

But ... what people often forget is part 2 ... After you get a diagnosis (and over time you want one that really captures your son in all his complexity), the point is to then figure out how to work around the weak areas. Or how to gradually strengthen the weak areas. The point is not say to I have ADHD. I can't concentrate. The point is to say I have ADHD and I know the way my brain works, so therefore, if I want to concentrate, I'm going to have to take these particular steps.

Ideally a diagnosis is a road map of sorts. Maps can be incredibly helpful!

Good luck. You sound like a great mom. And you don't have to do this perfectly.

Tone

Khamy25
12-24-15, 08:29 AM
Hi,

Thanks a lot for your reply!!!


I would say you can ease up and not worry about job opportunities at age 8. Focus on helping your son get the best evaluation of his strengths and weaknesses, the best treatment plan, the best situation or school or classroom for his success ... the best teachers for his success and on and on.
Find the best psychiatrist you can find for him and the best psychologist you can find ... Be curious just as you are here .... and then play things by ear. And by the way, you'll have a sense when things are working well.


After you get a diagnosis (and over time you want one that really captures your son in all his complexity), the point is to then figure out how to work around the weak areas. Or how to gradually strengthen the weak areas.


That's exactly what I needed to hear at the moment!!! Now I know I did the right decision by planning to do neuropsychological testing. I was hesitating as my insurance might not cover the whole testing as they said there is no guarantee but I believe this test will be helpful to understand my child's strengths and weaknesses in depth. What a relief! Thanks again!