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  1. #1
    KTMom is offline Junior Member
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    How to qualify for 504 plan?

    What is the name of your state? Virginia

    As stated in a previous post, I am in the process of trying to get accommodations (reduced homework, untimed tests, help in copying off the board) for my daughter through a 504 plan.

    She is 7 years old and formally diagnosed as dyslexic. Her test scores show extremely low processing speed, but high intelligence. She is able to compensate for her dyslexia very well due to her intelligence and the fact that I have been working with her intensely. As a result, her grades in school are average to above average. On academic achievement tests, such as the Wood**** Johnson, she scores in the average range.

    She complains about daily headaches at school during creative writing exercises. She is very creative and writes very clearly, which her teacher notes in grading her. But her writing is painfully slowly. She also has trouble with tasks such as copying off of the blackboard.

    I have been told by others who have been down this path already, that without showing an academic impact, either by her grades or standardized achievement scores, I do not have a chance at getting her a 504 plan.

    Essentially all I have to show is a written diagnosis and report by a well-known neurologist coupled with my own observations of my daughter's difficulties. Can anyone tell me if there is a precise legal threshold that I must satisify in order to guarantee my daughter services? Or does the 504 eligibility determination vary by locality? Any advice on what more I could show to help get the 504 plan?

    Thanks!
  2. #2
    KTMom is offline Junior Member
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    anyone have any ideas?
  3. #3
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by KTMom
    What is the name of your state? Virginia

    As stated in a previous post, I am in the process of trying to get accommodations (reduced homework, untimed tests, help in copying off the board) for my daughter through a 504 plan.

    She is 7 years old and formally diagnosed as dyslexic. Her test scores show extremely low processing speed, but high intelligence. She is able to compensate for her dyslexia very well due to her intelligence and the fact that I have been working with her intensely. As a result, her grades in school are average to above average. On academic achievement tests, such as the Wood**** Johnson, she scores in the average range.

    She complains about daily headaches at school during creative writing exercises. She is very creative and writes very clearly, which her teacher notes in grading her. But her writing is painfully slowly. She also has trouble with tasks such as copying off of the blackboard.

    I have been told by others who have been down this path already, that without showing an academic impact, either by her grades or standardized achievement scores, I do not have a chance at getting her a 504 plan.

    Essentially all I have to show is a written diagnosis and report by a well-known neurologist coupled with my own observations of my daughter's difficulties. Can anyone tell me if there is a precise legal threshold that I must satisify in order to guarantee my daughter services? Or does the 504 eligibility determination vary by locality? Any advice on what more I could show to help get the 504 plan?

    Thanks!

    **A: that is a load of crap. Your daugher would qualify under IDEA 504.
  4. #4
    KTMom is offline Junior Member
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    I have a friend who attends the same school as my daughter. Her 5th grade son was diagnosed with dyslexia last year and denied 504 accommodations. She had him privately diagnosed, but what she couldn't show was low achievement scores or poor grades. Based on that, the school denied accommodations (she did not even ask for an IEP). After losing, she hired an attorney and went to due process and lost again.

    Another friend who is in the same school district, but different school, has a dyslexic 3rd grader. Her son's grades are average (slightly below my daughter's) and they have very similar test score results (high intelligence but processing speed scores in the single digit percentiles). She went to her eligibility meeting this week and was also denied both an IEP and 504 accommodations.

    Can you point me to any kind of specifics that would show the exact burden one must carry to prove a need for 504? Is there any regulation or interpretive document out there? The statutory language that I have read doesn't tell me how I can show my daughter's LD "substantially limits a major life activity."

    It sounds to me that just showing the disability is not enough, that I must be able to objectively show some impact. But without the grades or achievement scores to support it, I don't know how I can go about showing it.
  5. #5
    notsmartmark is offline Member
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    reduced homework, untimed tests, help in copying off the board

    Your requests are relatively easy to identify if there is an impact. The extent and level of accommodation is much more difficult.

    Reduced homework - Is your child keeping up with her in class work? Is she needing to stay in class to finish up work during recess or lunch? Is she needed to take large amounts of classroom work home to complete? There should be some historical data to support this either way. And, how long does it take her to complete her homework? (Again - this accommodation is largely not supported in college. So, an exit strategy needs to be in place).

    Untimed tests - very similar to above. Is she not finishing her tests? Is she having to stay late to complete?

    Copying off of the blackboard - If it's unknown, set up trials at school. Have her take info down over a number of trials and compare to others.
  6. #6
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    O/T You may also want to have her vision checked - my daughter also started developing headaches in school. Sure enough, she needed glasses. Headaches gone.
  7. #7
    dallas702 is offline Senior Member
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    Stealth;

    I was thinking the same thing. Vision problems can have many symptoms.

    Just a question to those who use these programs to "help" their children: what happens when your child eventually has to step into the real world and compete for jobs? Sometimes these accomodating programs make students dependant on getting those little breaks. Employers won't have time for that.
  8. #8
    Shay-Pari'e is offline Senior Member
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    THE 504 program, here where I am at, does not even operate like this. Every student is different. It is up to the parents and the school, to request a 405 hearing.

    It is probably one of the best programs this state has to offer.
  9. #9
    Shay-Pari'e is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dallas702
    Stealth;

    I was thinking the same thing. Vision problems can have many symptoms.

    Just a question to those who use these programs to "help" their children: what happens when your child eventually has to step into the real world and compete for jobs? Sometimes these accomodating programs make students dependant on getting those little breaks. Employers won't have time for that.
    Do you have proof of that? I have seen proof of the great things a 5o4 plan can do for special kids.

    Do you even understand why some children would need it? I am not a mother who has experienced it, but I know many children that started out having a 504 plan, in first grade. They are the greatest 7th graders you could ever want to see.

    I don't think you realize the benefits a child can get under a 504 plan.
  10. #10
    dallas702 is offline Senior Member
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    I know some kids can be helped by programs like these, but I pose the question because I know they don't always end in the middle grades. As a college prof I had students who I was required to make allowances for some of these same challenges. I still wonder how they would convince an employer that they should get extra time or assistance to do a job that others could do without the added burden to the business.
  11. #11
    sisymay is offline Member
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    Hi. Do you understand that 504 and IEP are different? Did the school give you their reasons for denying the 504? You should contact someone at the Americans with Disablities Act (ADA) to find out the laws regarding this. With an IEP, if a school denies it, they have to give the parent written reasons why they refuse to do it.
    Would you consider your child having IEP instead? With your childs' problems, it seems to be they would benefit more from IEP instead of 504 anyway. IEP is more structured and offer more help than 504.
    From my understanding, and I could be wrong, having a 504 usually helps with things like shorter homework time, more time for lockers, help in halls, etc. But with an IEP, the child gets structured learning help for things like you say, dyslexia, and also learning problems.
    In order for your child to have an IEP, you first need to make a written request to the school for them to evaluate your child for special education eligibility. IEP is special education. They will usually put up a fight, but the IDEA laws are on your side. Schools will find any and every reason to refuse 504 and IEP simply because they 'say' they don't have the money to provide the services. But according to federal special education laws, schools can not use funding for an excuse not to provide services. But, they do it anyway.
  12. #12
    HomeGuru is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sisymay
    Hi. Do you understand that 504 and IEP are different? Did the school give you their reasons for denying the 504? You should contact someone at the Americans with Disablities Act (ADA) to find out the laws regarding this. With an IEP, if a school denies it, they have to give the parent written reasons why they refuse to do it.
    Would you consider your child having IEP instead? With your childs' problems, it seems to be they would benefit more from IEP instead of 504 anyway. IEP is more structured and offer more help than 504.
    From my understanding, and I could be wrong, having a 504 usually helps with things like shorter homework time, more time for lockers, help in halls, etc. But with an IEP, the child gets structured learning help for things like you say, dyslexia, and also learning problems.
    In order for your child to have an IEP, you first need to make a written request to the school for them to evaluate your child for special education eligibility. IEP is special education. They will usually put up a fight, but the IDEA laws are on your side. Schools will find any and every reason to refuse 504 and IEP simply because they 'say' they don't have the money to provide the services. But according to federal special education laws, schools can not use funding for an excuse not to provide services. But, they do it anyway.

    **A: yes, KTMom needs to read both the federal law and the state law. And the ADA too.

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