Section 504: ACCOMMODATIONS AND 504 PLAN DENIED BECAUSE OF GOOD GRADES

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Lisa:  My son is 16 and has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, GAD, ADD, Panic Disorder, Depression, and has substantial deficit in working memory. I provided the school with all reports, evaluations, letters, etc… from his doctors and therapist so that he could be given accommodations under a 504 plan. We had an ARD meeting with almost no notice to be prepared. After the meeting we received an email copy of the minutes. When if any of the accommodations we provided would be considered or included in the 504, we were told “he doesn’t need any of those because his grades are good.” There was no evaluation done by the district. Can we be denied a 504 solely based on the fact that my son makes good grades?

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Sharon L.

I agree with Wrightslaw. Grades have no impact on services if required. I had my son on a 504 plan with ADHD and also on an OHI (other health impaired) IEP as part of the IDEA law. you can go to your board of education and find out what procedure and paperwork you need your physicians to fill out for an OHI IEP. the school will give this to you at your request. Once you get this you may request a meeting to get services under IDEA. I did that for my son. You can put any needed and appropriate goals on this IEP and I believe it is better than the 504 plan anyway.

Your child has several disabilities and may qualify for services under the IDEA and/or Section 504. You may hate me for saying this but you need to become an expert about his legal rights under IDEA, Section 504 and ADA. He is struggling with big problems. You need to represent his interests and act as his advocate.

The Office of Civil Rights has repeatedly published requirements to evaluate students and provide accommodations – regardless of grades.
“Under Section 504, the district must evaluate your child, at no cost to you, if it has reason to believe he has a disability and needs special education and/or related services.
• You can request that the district evaluate your child – at no cost to you – because he received a diagnosis of ADHD and several other conditions outside of school.

Print and study these:
“Know Your Rights” http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/dcl-know-rights-201607-504.pdf
OCR Publication about School’s Responsibility to Evaluate: http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/ocr/letters/colleague-201607-504-adhd.pdf