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Bonnie:  My son has ADD and High Functioning Autism. He makes straight A’s in school but has difficulty with social cues and with getting his assignments completed. The school says that he does not qualify for an IEP or a 504 plan because his disability is not affecting his grades. He is also being bullied in school and was suspended for 3 days for pushing the kid away that was pushing and punching him. What can I do?

  1. My son got diagnosed with level 2 asd. I’ve been trying to get an IEP but the school flat out refuses to do the needed evaluation to determine and IEP. I’ve requested testing results as to why he does qualify and they said they didn’t need to do that because he has a 504 plan under adhd and the asd doesn’t change anything because he not failing academic. I really would like advice how I can move forward for this.

    • The district cannot deny your request for an evaluation without going to due process to show why they feel it is not necessary. Put your request in writing that you are making a direct parent referral to special education and you are requesting psychoeducational and speech/language evaluations.

      Now, they may come back after the evaluation and say he does not qualify, but they cannot deny the evaluation piece.

  2. My daughter has high functioning autism, non hyper active ADD, and a slow processing speed. She can’t take a study hall class without an IEP. She does very well on standardized tests with extended time, but is often behind in her class assignments. Three years ago her psychological evaluation recommended that if she ever needs it, an IEP be granted immediately. Will the state of Georgia grant her an IEP without a hassle?

    • Most likely, the IEP will not be granted immediately. She will need to go through the eligibility process first which may or may not require a new psychological. Since she has an AU diagnosis, she will have to have a speech evaluation (required per GA regs). Your best bet is to contact the school and request a Direct Parent Referral to Special Education. Once you sign consent, the school district has 60 days to complete the evaluation and 30 days after that to implement the IEP if the child qualifies for services.

    • No. You will need to go through the eligibility process first. Once consent has been obtained, the school district has 60 days to complete the evaluation and then an additional 30 days to implement the IEP if the child qualifies. Your best bet is to go ahead and request a direct parent referral to special education to get the ball rolling.

  3. A student does not need to be struggling academically to qualify for an IEP (special education) or 504 accommodations. However, in order to qualify, your son’s evaluation team would need to determine that:

    For an IEP–Your son meets your state’s special education criteria, and specialized instruction is necessary for skill development in other areas besides academics (such as social communication,etc.)


    For a 504 plan–Specialized instruction is not needed, but accommodations are necessary in order to mitigate the impact your son’s disabilities have on his ability to access the curriculum and participate on a level playing field with nondisabled peers.

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