Occupational Therapy (OT): GETTING OT SERVICES WITH A 504

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Debbie:  My 2nd grade son was just exited from speech and therefore no longer qualifies for OT for handwriting. The OT agreed that he still needs OT but is no longer eligible as it’s a related service. Can he get OT services and/or accommodations under a 504 plan?

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8 Comments on "Occupational Therapy (OT): GETTING OT SERVICES WITH A 504"

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I have a question. My son is in K12 online school in California. He was evaluated threw school and needs OT services in sensory processing, motor planning, bilateral integration, sequencing, visual motor integration, fine motor coordination and gross motor coordination. The school said no IEP because his grades are great. So they set up a 504. They state they can not and will not apply OT to a 504 I have called two meetings and they said no both times. The school OT they sent us to recommend therapy twice a week for an hour. What can I do know as of now? They reply every time their school district just doesn’t do related services with 504.

I have the same question. My daughter is in K and has a 504. She has multiple medical dx including a form of muscular dystrophy and we really wanted an OT eval. I settled for 504 vs IEP because I was told that after her 1st month in K OT and PT would check in on her. Which really never happened.
I asked about doing an OT eval and was told we had to do a new child study meeting and she had to be eligible for an IEP to do an OT eval.

Is this true? Can we not do the eval to see if she even qualifies for school OT while on the 504? The comments below are kind of split, some say OT is not a related service with 504 but others say it is.


Debbie –

Yes, related services like OT can be provided through a 504 plan.

But your post brought up several questions for me. I don’t understand the connection between the speech and OT?? Students certainly can have a need for one and not the other.

Yes, students can access related services (such as occupational therapy) through a Section 504 plan.

However, I have the same question as Jill has. In an IEP, OT services are provided when a team decides that they are needed as a related service in order for the student to benefit from special education and make progress toward goals. There has to be some connection. For example, a student might require OT in order to make progress on a writing goal. I don’t see the connection between OT and development of speech skills……….

There doesn’t need to be any connection. What often happens is that OT will not be given if a child does not have a classification. The child mentioned above was declassified there for no longer able to get OT. That’s why the 504 plan comes in to play.

Speech can be a stand alone service, OT cannot. In my district, since SLPs are not certified sped teachers they can only be a case manager for speech disorders, and not related services. I’m assuming this situation is similar.

Yes you can get any service, device, accommodation, or program on a 504 plan that you can get on an IEP.

Actually that’s not true, a child can only get academic special education supports via an IEP. That’s the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan.