Does a Child Need an IEP AND a 504 Plan?

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“Can a child have an IEP for speech and a 504 for academic interventions?”

There is nothing in the law that says a child with a disability should have an IEP for some needs and a 504 plan for others. It’s confusing, it’s more work, and it’s unnecessary.

A school that does not understand the requirements for educating children with disabilities may prepare both forms. If the school prepares two plans, they are just making more paperwork.

It makes no sense to have two different plans to meet the needs of the same child – the IEP will cover everything.

There is no reason to have an IEP for speech (or OT or academic remediation) and a 504 plan for other needs that are related to a child’s disability.

If your child has a disability and an IEP, he is automatically covered by Section 504. If your child has an IEP and needs academic interventions, this should be included his IEP. The IEP is required to address ALL of a child’s needs that are related to the disability.

In addition, an IEP also provides the child and the child’s family with more rights and protections than 504 plans.

Read more about the Key Differences Between Section 504, the ADA, and the IDEA. (

Key Differences Between Section 504 and IDEA. (

Considerations for Senior Year

Parents should consider having a 504 plan from the public school in the last two years prior to attending college, since college disability offices recognize 504 and ADA, but not IDEA.

Read this outstanding article by Marilyn Bartlett, Transitioning from High School to Post-Secondary Education.

Dr. Bartlett explains why transition from the IEP to a 504 plan in the freshman or sophomore year can be very important.

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163 Comments on "Does a Child Need an IEP AND a 504 Plan?"

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My daughter has dyslexia and adhd. The school is trying to tell me that she doesn’t qualify for services under OHI for her adhd but does qualify for services under SLD for dyslexia. They want to draw up a 504 for adhd accommodations and an IEP for her dyslexia. This sounds so off and they are drawing a line in the sand defining each disability. Any advice on how to Approach this? I feel like they are defining each of her disabilities and putting pressure on me to do something I feel is not right.

Under an IEP the team must identify all of a student’s needs & address them. So if a student has an IEP, a 504 plan is not needed. I suggest that you contact your state parent training & information project. They are familiar with the federal & state rules & can assist you.

My son has been on an IEP since pre school for speech. He was just recently diagnosed with ADHD and has a hearing problem in his right hear. Which we are getting looked at with an ENT dr. He has been written up for listening and disruptive problems. He just recently signed up to be in a play at school and she tried to not let him because of his write ups in prior to his diagnosis. She stated that he does not have it in his current IEP and that it needs to be updated. The caseworker at the school told me she needed a statement from the Dr. that he has ADHD and she’d put it in his file and we can update it at his next IEP review. Should I have asked for a meeting to update it as soon as he was diagnosed? I did inform the principal that i wanted a meeting ASAP so we can add that into his IEP.

Jenny I would have just to make sure that everything is in the IEP. Imp meeting can be convened when needed.

My son has ADD /Anxiety disorder he has had 504 at the school before . We moved and now back. I address my sons issues with the teacher on day 1, told her I have to get him retested for his new 504 plan but in the past this is what’s going on and please don’t single him out, and his meds make him frequent restroom. I’ve had to email her 2 more times and I’ve talked to principal . They continue to go against my wishes on putting him in small group , he thinks the kids think he stupid etc . And will bully him because he was bullied a year ago and attaked at school. Can the school continue to put him in a small group for learning although I told him I would provide his outside school help?

My grandson’s school is recommending a 504 as an “interim” so they can make accommodations while he is going through his IEP evaluation. Is this appropriate? He needs the accommodations now so, if the 504 won’t interfere with the process of getting the IEP, is it a good interim fix.

If they have committed in writing to do a special ed evaluation & had you sign the consent for evaluation, this does seem like a good interim fix. Be sure you know what the state timeline is for completing the evaluation, & you monitor that they meet it.

Hi I had my son tested for dyslexia and related learning disabilities and in part of the summary it states:

“[XXX] exhibits sufficient symptoms of dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia for a diagnosis of the disorders, and as such, he meets the DSM-5 criteria for a Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in Reading (315.00), Written expression (315.2), and Mathematics (315.1). In addition, [XXX] is reported to exhibit a sufficient number of inattentive and hyperactive impulsive symptoms across settings to support a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, combined presentation (314.01).”

With this diagnosis, can I get him an IEP plan?

Yes, if this diagnosis was done by school staff. If it was not, then the school will have to decide whether to accept this testing, or to do their own.

My daughter is 9 and in the 3rd grade she has adhd and is on a 504 plan for reading my question is is her teachers required to read everything for her. Because she says her teachers are not reading her work to her

Not unless her plan says that they are to do that.

Dear kimberly
I need ur advice please I am
worried my son is 6 and diagnosed with adhd
he have mild symptoms but can u guide me does it get worse by time ????
he runs alot when hes alone especially
and smtimes silly and slow processing while homework few area are ok and in crowd of kids he gets disorganized or lost and very shy. doc give him sm medicine
but overall he looks normal and behave very good.
I argued with iep and finally i used my right to put him in inclusion setup of grade1 in sep 2017
because in kindergarten he was in self contained class room where he was not doing good socially
because after going two weeks in inclusion setup due to some family emergency we went out of country now he will go back in dec 8 in same inclusion class .
please waiting for reply .

My daughter currently has an IEP for SLD (dyslexia). She was just diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and no one seems to know (at the school) if she needs a 504 or to have a new eligibility meeting for her IEP. My thought was that new accommodations need to be added to the IEP to address areas such as allow extra time (1.5x regular required time) to makeup classwork, homework, assessments and complete assignments due to high or low blood glucose or diabetes related tasks or ability to test glucose during and after an assessment if there is a known low or treatment of such, then a retake will be made available without penalty, etc..

Would they try to find her eligible under a different category?? or add another category?? HELP!

Typically, schools add the OHI (Other Health Impaired) label for students with diabetes, since the SLD does not go away. In addition to the IEP a student can have an individual health care plan.

Yes a child can have both an IEP & a 504. That being said it is not usually necessary because the condition is usually covered within the IEP. My son has an IEP for a specific learning disability he also has a 504 because he is a Type 1 diabetic. His diabetes does not affect his academics, but he still needs accommodation for it, like leaving class if feeling well or extra water breaks, etc..

If my daughter is currently on a 504 because she has a rare bone disease that requires special accommodations (wheelchair, no gym class, no outside recess, etc). She has also been recently diagnosed with a learning disability for reading. We have been told that an IEP is required if we want educational support. Can she have both?

She doesn’t need both, the IEP will incorporate the 504 accommodations and the educational supports in one comprehensive (we hope) document.

That being said, if the child is rapidly heading toward transition and is likely to be attending college or other formal education keeping the 504 plan separate from the educational supports (that often expire with graduation) can make it easier to understand what supports will continue.

OR, you can work with your child’s team to clearly state which are 504 supports and which are educational in preparation for the day where she returns to her 504 plan.

But the most important thing here is that she get the supports in all the areas she needs. If the school wants to do two documents, it’s a pain but it’s been handled before. Good communication is key

Your child will still have section 504 protection; however, she will not have a 504 plan. All of the accomodations currently in her 504 plan will be added under the IEP. They may add a secondary eligibility of OHI due to her medical condition.

My son has ADHD, mood disorder, ODD, and deaf in one ear. He went to a private school but now goes to public school. I have brought in accommodation list from old school but new school says he’s doing fine which Is not true. they refuse to do any accom. 4 him, no staff no time. now he is regressing fast since Jan. there is a child that is physical with him a lot which a couple students approached me about he told his teacher and nothing has been done. I’m in the process of paperwork. I have had multiple students and parents approach me about his teacher singling him out. took him in Hall because he can’t sit still. 3 teachers ended up in Hall and raised there voices talking bad about him with him there. told me i need proof kids lie. help please

I feel like they aren’t trying at all and dont care. the counselor and teachers act like I’ve done something wrong and all 3 meetings I feel like they attack me. they raise their voices and im told no about any accommodation I bring up. my child loved school now hates it

you should talk to special ed director or board of education never give up please and dnt shake ur confidence whatever they say use your rights or check any other school ur child is ur asset