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Aida:  Our son is in a Christian private school in FL. When he was in middle school, we brought over his 504 Plan from public school and they provided accommodations and were somewhat flexible for things. Now he has started HS in the same exact school and all of a sudden, they don’t’ want to provide any accommodations other than giving him time and a half for test taking. They say it is against school policy but it seems arbitrary. He has been diagnosed with ASD by a child psychiatrist just this past month. They are accepting McKay Scholarship as partial school payment. They say that HS is all earned credit and that is why they are inflexible. Is there anything we can do ?

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09/02/2016 10:01 pm

It’s not clear to me whether they have created a new, watered down 504 plan, or whether they are not implementing his existing 504 plan. If it’s the latter case, you can file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights about noncompliance with his plan, and discrimination. However, there is a huge backlog, at least in my regional OCR office, which results in a tremendous delay. You can also file for due process, which at least where I live is somewhat quicker, but which in my experience can be very, very nasty.

If they have watered down the 504 plan, you can file for due process on that basis. As long as you’re at it, you could also claim they violated Child Find, i.e. they should have considered whether he was eligible for an IEP.

If you can possibly avoid all of that fighting, perhaps by dealing directly with teachers, do so. However, at the same time, you can certainly start working on trying to get an IEP, which would give you greater legal protections. The new diagnosis might be helpful (but won’t guarantee an IEP).

You many need to let him do badly (perhaps very badly) in some classes in order to get their attention. You just have to measure the possible effects on your child’s self-esteem in order to decide.