504 vs. IEP

by Anonymous

My 5 year old son has recently been diagnosed with SPD; he is just 3 months into the school system--Kindergarten. He currently has a 504. My question is, would an IEP be more beneficial?! I need to know the differences between a 504 vs. and IEP. I know that an IEP would classify him as Special Ed, but what else? What are the other values?!


Currently he is in a 1/2 day Kindergarten program--- 2 & 1/2 hours a day. Next year he will enter 1st grade which is 7 hours a day! This is a huge difference! Would an IEP at this point prove beneficial in preparing him for a full school day in the future?

Shouldn't his 504 offer him the same "in-class supports" as an IEP?
Shouldn't the 504 offer him the same "modifications" as an IEP?

What am I not understanding?!

Comments for 504 vs. IEP

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Oct 01, 2014
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Thank you!
by: A

Thank you so much for your original post and follow-up. You helped me know what to expect concerning a teacher's responses and how to address them! I've already gotten the looks that said they thought I was a parent in denial. His teachers have "encouraged" us to have him evaluated for adhd and put him on medication. Thank you again!

Dec 19, 2012
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SAY NO TO THE TEXAS THING....
by: Anonymous

NO!!! No 5 year old should be in a room with 8 year olds, let alone a child dealing with SPD issues!!! Are they nuts?! He needs to be in a Regular Education classroom, with a teacher who knows how to "Meet His Needs" through an IEP -or- a 504. Students with "Behavioral issues" will simply teach your 5 year old these same "behavioral issues". Educate them....constantly! Give them this website's address; give them the TIME magazine article on SPD "The Next Attention Defecit Disorder"; give them Dr. John F Taylor's website {better yet, contact him directly-----an expert on SPD}. Don't allow people who know little-to-nothing about SPD to determine a 5 year old's classroom experience-------let alone his gateway to lifelong learning!!!!
They are nuts---they don't know what to do with him, so they have found their easiest option. Hell, NO!

Dec 18, 2012
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Texas ARD process missing SPD needs
by: Anonymous

We are going through the process and they seem to be missing the forest for the trees. They want to ship our 5 YEAR OLD into a behaviorally managed classroom setting that is comprised of five 8-year olds and two 11-year olds. They spilled the beans and told us that there are 2-3 sexually abused participants and 2-3 abused foster care kids. All boys. They have also shared that injuries to peers occur multiple times daily.

We are losing our collective minds and have told them that there is NO WAY we are allowing our 5-year old in that setting for fear of physical safety.

Oh, and they have NEVER had a child in first grade or lower in that program.

This whole thing reeks of illegal.

Any and all feedback is welcome.

Sep 25, 2012
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parent input on IEP
by: Anonymous

The school can not 'change' an IEP or a 504 without parent input. I would include it on an original (IEP or 504) that the parent must be involved with all decision making and that no changes or modifications can be made without your consent.

Oct 07, 2011
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504?IEP? Safeguards are important!
by: Anonymous

A 504 is a legal accommodation in accordance with the ADA, IDEA, State Law.If your school district balks at that, and insists on an IEP, be careful! An IEP is a legal document, that allows the "TEAM" to make the choice as to what is best for you, NOT the parents. I know because we had one and withdrew, because they often want to mislabel or farm kids out, to inappropriate places, due to funding.So be careful and if allowed put an addendum or veto power into your IEP, and have an attorney come to your meeting. Good luck!

Apr 28, 2011
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Thanks for your input!
by: Anonymous

Thanks! I'm now 2 + years into this, and with continued education on SPD, I now have a better understanding of it (yet, I'm still trying to process it from day-to-day). My son is now 7, and ending 1st grade. He still has a 504, which I think is pretty much mute at this point. He had a horrific year in Kindergarten, yet a much, much better year in 1st grade. Get that: 2 1/2 hours per day in Kindergarten---pure hell, but 7 hours per day in 1st grade---much better! Bottom line---the teacher!!!!!!! I am a teacher, I should know! It's all about the "emotional climate of the room". It can either make -or- break your child.

So, here is what I have learned:
-my son has been diagnosed 2X by CHOP; 2X they diagnosed him solely with SPD (not ADHD, nor anything else!)
-a 504 works for him, only if I continually remind the teacher of "meeting his needs"; teachers tend to forget 504's, yet focus on IEP's (even though both are legal documents)
-SPD looks alot like ADHD, & teachers know a great deal about ADHD, yet very little about SPD
-A child with SPD needs (1) a parent who is constantly advocating for him/her, (2)9-10hrs. of sleep each night, (3)a protein rich diet--every 4 hours throughout the day--feeds the brain, (4) no artifical colors, no processed foods, (5) Omega 3 vitamins, (6) patience & understanding from each & every adult he comes across throughout the day.

I'm sticking with my 504, b/c the IEP his school drew up for him never once, not once mentioned the word sensory in one single modification!!! Classified with Sensory Processing, yet the IEP never addresses the need for sensory input!! What?!

I've learned that I need to educated each of his teachers, about every 2 months, not with my knowledge, but with SPD written materials. It holds more weight that way (otherwise I look like an overprotective mom, who is in denial). My knew job in life.

Dr. John Taylor says "Guard your child's self esteem like it's his greatest possession." This is what we are doing when we advocate for our children.

Apr 27, 2011
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SID
by: Anonymous

My son has been told he may have sensory integration disorder, but they are still evaluating him. he is almost eleven years old and the evaluations have been ongoing since kindergarten. I had to pull him out of school twice and home-school him because of his lack of emotional control and ability to function in a school environment. He has never had an IEP or 504 plan because we were military and moved every year, this made it very difficult to get a real understanding of what was going on with him. We did manage to get the insurance to cover occupational therapy, which was difficult. The key is getting the doctor to write the referral for an inability to complete daily tasks, instead of for sensory processing disorder.

I had my first meeting today with the school he is currently attending and they are telling me a 504 plan is what I need to start with for him. After an ongoing evaluation and testing period it may be switched to something else. He has a referral to go see a neurologist at the autism clinic at Children's Hospital. I have been told that getting a firm diagnosis and understanding of what is going on with him will help a great deal. However, in order for him to get an IEP he may need an additional diagnosis. For example, his brother(my stepson) was diagnosed with SPD, but he has the sensory seeking form of it, whereas my son has the need for less sensory stimulation. My stepson was put on a 504 plan that only provided minimal help. Because of his sensory seeking behavior he is constantly moving and touching things and people around him. This was able to be translated into ADHD so that the school could write up an IEP. My son does not have the sensory seeking, so he will be unable to get a diagnosis of ADHD, but may be able to qualify for ADD because of his tendency to hide in his own world and not pay attention to what is happening around him. The trick is getting a dual diagnosis so that the school can classify it. This is not what any parent wants to do or hear, but the school district, and health insurance, do not yet recognize SPD as a diagnosis that needs further accommodations. I may even have to push for an aspergers diagnosis to get the help that he really needs. At this point I can say firmly that he definitely needs it before he moves on to jr high.

He performs above grade level across the board academically, but cannot remember to actually do his work or turn it in. He received a failing grade in reading because of this. He reads at an eighth grade level and has a vocabulary and comprehension skills to match. But when he is told to write up a book report with paragraphs and sentences in correct form he might get out two or three sentences, without capitalization or punctuation. I am still learning about how this affects him at school and what I can do to help him.

Mar 03, 2010
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504 info
by: Anonymous

504 plans ARE legally enforceable. We have one in place for my daughter with arthritis. 504's are just for accommodations for a student. They are primarily used for students who have physical issues but not learning issues. IEPs are for students who need extra services to help their learning. My daughter only needs things modified to deal with her physical disability. (such as seating, gym class, rest periods, absences, assistance with carrying)

We are looking into either a 504 or IEP for her big brother who has SPD and trying to figure out which he'd qualify for. If his SPD was dealt with and under control he would have no problem with his learning. And contrary to someone's response earlier, we have been told by OTs and psychiatrist that SPD IS a learning disability but is not on the official list yet so different school districts will handle qualifications for IEP plans differently.

Good luck figuring all this out and what works best for your child.

Feb 08, 2010
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Heading towards IEP
by: Anonymous

Thanks for your input. I am anguishing over this. I cannot believe I am about to classify my 5 year old as Special Ed, simply because he is "antsy-pantsy", and as far as I am concerned, because his teacher cannot "meet his needs" through the 504. But, I am trying my best to focus on my child (not the teacher), and his day-to-day experience in school.

Please provide any input, as I truly need as much professional advice as I can get.
Also, any advice on how I can get insurance to pay for OT therapy? What is necessary?
Thank you, again.

Feb 07, 2010
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IEP
by: Anonymous

I'm going to school now to be a special education teacher and honestly for K, I think it is fine for a 504, how is he doing academically at this point? If he is on target or close they may be avoiding the IEP b/c 1 he may not qualify yet and 2 once he has one it will sort of "stick" with him. However, as a parent you know what is best for your child and if you feel he is not getting enough from the school then seriously DEMAND more, it's your legal right and the earlier the intervention the better. Good luck

Jan 24, 2010
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maybe montessori school
by: Anonymous

I dont know if this will help but, my mom put me in a montessori school for my kindergarten year. I have SPD and Im not as extreme as a lot of kids i have read about but the montessori school was very accommodating and then i was able to go into first grade the next year. Me and my mom would both recommend a montessori school for a child so maybe that is something you would consider.

Jan 10, 2010
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More questions :)
by: Anonymous

Me again, with more questions! My son does currently have a 504, but personally I believe the accommodations are too vague. So, would you be willing to offer some specific accommodations such as those your child had in Kindergarten? I am fully aware that accommodations are specific to the child, but quite honestly, they really seem to be "generic" at best. (ie: preferential seating; not to be held accountable for spelling, etc.) I do know the 504 is "a working document", and I can tweek it at anytime, and I just may do that in the future.
I appreciate your help, so keep the info coming!
Thanks!

Jan 09, 2010
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iep
by: Anonymous

In our school district, I'm in CA you can't have OT as a stand alone service.. I'm not sure if he receives other services?

Jan 08, 2010
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504 vs IEP
by: Anonymous

An 504 provides for accommodations for your child. An example would be having him have sensory breaks during the day or a child who has difficulty with motor control may need a special chair to sit in during the day. These kids for the most part (providing they are receiving appropriate accommodations don't really have difficulty learning or any learning disabilities.

An IEP is an individualized education plan for students with learning disabilities (of which there are many that qualify) They are provided educational support and therapy (OT,PT ect). Basically that's it in a nutshell.

My son has SPD, he had a full educational evaluation and it was found that he had a learning disability with written language and some fine motor control difficulties (was this caused by his SPD? That could be debatable) but the fact is is that his writing and fine motor skills aren't up to par. It was explained to me that if a child has just a 504 plan they can not qualify for therapy services through the school, they are only given accommodations.

My advice would be, and this is what I did - I had the school try different accommodations for my son during kindergarten (ie 504) with the reasoning that if the accommodations worked and he was learning fine then we did not need to pursue further testing in order to qualify for the IEP. However, the accommodations just were not enough for him so an educational evaluation was done showing a learning disability and an IEP was written. He now gets educational support, and OT plus the accommodations that did work for him.

Try some accommodations for your son first and see how he does - he may do fine, if not you would need to further pursue it with the school.

Jan 07, 2010
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504 vs. IEP
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the info. Yes, I have been doing alot of research on the topic. Here is what I know: 504 (ADA) is primarily for physical -or- mental handicaps that impair 1 or more life activities, such as learning. A 504 offers "modifications & accommodations".

An IEP (IDEA) is the same, but with a learning disability. IEP offers more protections, all of which I do not fully understand at this point.
This is the thing---I do not want to classify my 5 year old who is only 3 months into the school system!!!! They don't even know him yet; his learning style; the extent of SPD; so on & so on!
SPD is not a learning disability; however, the behaviors associated with SPD can very easily lead to problems with "attending to schoolwork", which in & of itself could disable child's the ability to learn.

I'm just trying to educate myself on (1) SPD, and (2) 504 vs. IEP's. I need very specific info on 504 benefits, and IEP benefits, in simple (not legal) terms. Bottom line is this: I only care about my kid & doing what's right for him. That's what I am trying to research: what is right for my son at this point & time.
Keep the info coming!!! It's all an education to me---Thanks!

Jan 06, 2010
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504 vs. iep
by: Anonymous

hello,

it is my understanding that with a 504 the school can make accommodations for the child but is not legally bound to provide these services. i was always told an iep is better for this reason. if an accommodation or request for services is in the 504 they dont have to provide it they can but with an iep they have to...

did you google 504 vs iep?

good luck!

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