I wanted to share some articles we wrote about Section 504 plans that might help someone:
IEPs and Section 504 plans are related topic and can easily be confused, but they are very different from one another.
What is the purpose of a Section 504 Plan?
Three words: accommodations and modifications. 504 plans are for the purpose of making school accessible to all children. Sign language interpreters, aides to take notes in class for a child with autism, and special classroom seating for hyperacticve kids are some examples.
Part 2 of the above is here: http://blog.parentella.com/2011/section-504-plans-to-meet-the-needs...
Special Education is a difficult subject for most parents to broach. Suspecting that something is not “normal” with your own child is difficult to accept. Beginning the intervention process can seem like an insurmountable task. Here is a guide to get you started on the right foot.
What is an IEP?
Individualized Education Program (IEP) is special education plan written by a team of school district specialists as required by law when a child with a disability that is recognized under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), as defined by the U.S. Department of Education.
Overall, an IEP is a set of education-related goals for a disabled child. A team of teachers, specialists, therapists and the school administration determine the level of the child’s need, both physical and intellectual. A standardized scale will be used to measure your child’s functional skills.
Who qualifies for an IEP?
Any child with a significant deficit below the deviation set forth in IDEA in two areas of physical and/or educational aptitudes. The child’s skills must be below a federally mandated level of standard deviations for specific skills. A medical diagnosis is not required nor does is guarantee an IEP. Many children with a host of mental health and physical disabilities are above the low point of the skill set and do not qualify for special education services.
Case in point, my elder daughter with ADHD, who has above average reading skills with a deficit in comprehension and sequencing does not qualify. Whereas her kindergartner sister who is at the intellectual level of a toddler and has severe fine motor deficits qualifies for contained classroom care.
As a pediatric dental assistant for more than 25 years, I see at least 25 kids each day who are special needs. Their needs range from ADHD to and through the entire Autism Disorder Spectrum. Some kids are highly functional, and others are difficult at best to relate to, especially when it comes to their oral health. What many parents are not aware of is that they can insist that their child's IEP also include toothbrushing. This falls under the guidelines and should be used daily.