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Help! My son with LD graduates. Who will write his 504 when he loses his IEP?

by Wrightslaw

Gina-Marie writes –

Help! My son with LD and an IEP is graduating from high school and I understand he will lose his IEP. Will he have a 504 now and who will do it? What colleges are best for kids with learning disabilities?

Gina-Marie: Thanks for writing. I’m posting your comment because at this time of year, I know many parents have the same questions about the transition to college. The good news is that there are many resources that will guide you through this process and help answer your questions.

You are right, when your son graduates from high school with a regular diploma or reaches the age of 22, his entitlement to rights under IDEA ends. Your son’s IDEA rights do not follow him into college and neither will his IEP.

Post-secondary schools have no obligation to create a document like the IEP and there is no protection under IDEA. But post-secondary schools are subject to Section 504 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. You need to make sure you both know what to expect.

Don’t fail to read this ‘Letter to Parents’ from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) about transition from high school to post-secondary education:

and answers to your questions about your son’s rights and responsibilities:

Any college or university receiving federal funding is now required to have a disability services office where students with special needs can register to receive reasonable and appropriate accommodations for their disability. If your son decides to ask for accommodations, he should contact the disabilities services office at the college he will attend.

Your best bet is to go to the College and Continuing Education Page at This page has comprehensive information, great guides for choosing a college for a child with a disability, as well as financial aid information.

When the IEP ends after high school, so do the rights of parents under Section 504 and IDEA. You will need to help your son learn to advocate for himself. You will find self advocacy information here:

Here is an excellent podcast about the transition to college for students with disabilities. This podcast from NCLD discusses the basics every high school student and family should know about how to plan for a successful transition from high school to college for students with learning disabilities.

You may want to listen first, make notes. Then listen again with your son, call attention to key information, and be prepared to answer any questions he has.
Podcast: Transition from High School to College for Students with Learning Disabilities

Look here for a ‘Quick Guide to Accommodations on the SAT for Students with Disabilities’

I know, I know – a lot to read. But you’ll be glad you did.

Good luck, and congratulations to your son, the graduate!

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17 Comments on "Help! My son with LD graduates. Who will write his 504 when he loses his IEP?"


Help. My son is graduating from high school and recently tested out of IEP. School said that he shows weaknesses but not enough for IEP. HE has documented Central Auditory Processing. He struggles in school and can barely pass an exam, but they said he tests average and no longer has as specific learning disability. How does this impact a 504 in College. Will a report from an audiologist showing CAPD be good enough for the college to offer 504. What options do I have to help this kid succeed???


Frances – First, check into the Forman school in Connecticut. The school’s website has great advice about college planning that I am using with my middle school student. There are many types of colleges. For now, I would carefully look at transition planning and include your child in the process. Many LD students who are into sports get into schools on athletic scholarships and get a lot of supportive help and wrap around support. I also had the school raise the academic expectations with my child as I needed for my chid to learn more course content to prepare for college, military, etc. The teachers should explain the comments to you as they may have some valuable insight and data to share and they need to hear from you since they made the comments.

Sharon L.

Frances I would love to know how this teacher knows this for sure that your “child will not be able to attend college.” All children can progress as far as possible. I was told years ago that my son would go to a trade school. I do not believe in limiting any child. My son is now in community college. When he was young he was identified as developmentally handicapped a form of mental retardation. Because of his learning disability the standardized tests they used did not capture his true level of intelligence. I discovered because of his dyslexia & lack of ability to read & write until much older a Non-verbal standardized IQ test showed a higher IQ score which is what he had. No one should ever tell a child they cannot go to college. All state colleges and community colleges should have a resource center for Ld children.


What if the middle school teachers have already told my child she will not be able to attend college? What colleges offer degrees to children with learning disabilities after high school?



I am in need of a 504 plan for stomach and chorn’s problem but can not seem to find one could you help in this matter?