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Know Your Child’s Rights: Section 504 and Individual Education Plans (IEPs)

Overview

If you have a child with attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder (ADHD) who has difficulty in school, they may need extra support. The
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act are two federal regulations to help special-needs students
get the support they need.

Under IDEA, schools are required to develop an individualized
education plan (IEP) for eligible students with disabilities. An IEP is a
specific plan designed to help students get the help they need.

If your child has a condition that limits their ability to
succeed in school, but they’re not eligible for an IEP, they may be able to get
support through Section 504.

Each school has a coordinator to ensure compliance with
these federal regulations. If your child receives an IDEA or Section 504
designation, school staff will need to develop and follow a specialized
education plan for them.

How to obtain a Section 504 or IEP designation

You must follow a specific process to get a section 504 or
IEP designation. Your child’s disability status and support needs will
determine their eligibility.

To start, your child’s doctor will need to evaluate them.
They’ll need to provide a verified diagnosis of ADHD. You’ll then need to work
with your child’s school to determine their eligibility and support needs.

Qualifying for a specialized plan under Section 504

To qualify for a specialized plan under Section 504, your
child must have a disability or impairment that “substantially” limits or
reduces their ability to access classroom learning. Anyone can recommend that your
child receives a Section 504 plan. However, your child’s school district will
decide if they’re eligible. 

There’s no formal test to determine your child’s eligibility.
Instead, evaluations are performed on a case-by-case basis. Some districts
require a team of school personnel with your help to determine your child’s eligibility.

If your child is eligible, their school district will create
a Section 504 plan for them. It will identify the accommodations that your
child needs, such as:

  • frequent feedback from instructors
  • behavioral interventions
  • preferred seating assignments
  • extended time to take tests or complete
    assignments
  • option to take tests orally
  • permission to tape lectures
  • peer assistance with note taking
  • extra sets of textbooks for home use
  • computer-aided instruction
  • visual aids

Parents’ rights under Section 504

As a parent, you have the right under Section 504 to:

  • receive notification of your child’s Section 504
    evaluation and determination
  • access relevant records related to your child’s Section
    504 determination
  • request a hearing about the actions of your
    child’s school district regarding their evaluation and determination
  • file a complaint with your child’s school
    district or the Office of Civil Rights

Qualifying for an IEP under IDEA

If your child requires a more specialized or specific plan, they
may require an IEP. They may also require an IEP if they need special education
services.

As a parent, you have the right to request an IEP for your
child. With your help, a team of school personnel will typically determine your
child’s eligibility and support needs. Your child will need to undergo tests
and an evaluation. This may include testing for:

  • intellectual ability
  • academic performance
  • vision impairments
  • hearing impairments
  • behavioral impairments
  • social impairments
  • self-help skills

Most children with ADHD who qualify for an IEP also have
learning disabilities or health conditions as well. If your child qualifies for
an IEP, their team will develop a plan to meet their educational needs.

Parents’ rights under IDEA

As a parent, you have the right under IDEA to:

  • receive notification of your child’s IEP determination,
    evaluation, and placement
  • access any relevant records related to your
    child’s determination or placement
  • call a meeting of your child’s IEP team
  • request a due process hearing
  • be represented at meetings
  • file a complaint with your child’s school
    district or the Office of Civil Rights
  • refuse to have your child evaluated or placed in
    a special education program

The takeaway

If your child has ADHD, they may need more support than
their teachers, counselors, and school administrators are currently providing.
If you think your child needs more help, consider applying for a Section 504 or
IDEA designation. School districts are required to comply with these federal
regulations to help students with verified disabilities and impairments get the
help they need.

If your child receives a Section 504 or IDEA designation,
school personnel will develop a specialized plan or IEP. This plan will
identify the accommodations that your child needs. Getting extra support may
help them succeed.

Posted by: Dr.Health

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