Section 504: SCHOOL SAYS SON WITH ADD NOT ELIGIBLE FOR 504

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Jody: My son was diagnosed with ADD in fifth grade and is now in eighth grade. The middle school which he attends since six grade will not put him on a 504 for this disability. He has poor grades and struggles with organization and homework completion. They continue to tell us year after year that the accommodations they do for everyone is all he needs. Is this true that he does not qualify?

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Sophie

Under 504, the eligibility decision is supposed to be made by a committee of knowledgeable people. If you consider yourself knowledgeable about your son and his disability, then you are one of the knowledgeable people!

In principle, you can request an impartial hearing regarding 504 eligibility. That is a major undertaking. Before you go that route, I suggest you find a strong advocate, such as a PhD in psychology, who is willing to go to an eligibility meeting and speak strongly on your son’s behalf.

I agree with Amy, that it is worth considering requesting an IEP. If you ever go to a hearing, you can argue both claims in one hearing. But first, get your ducks lined up in a row — i.e. your expert(s). And hopefully with the help of these ducks, you won’t need a hearing.

Amy

No one on this message board can make the determination about whether or not your son is eligible for a 504 plan. That decision rests with the 504 team at his school. Students qualify for 504 plans when the school team determines the student has a disability that requires accommodations to insure they do not experience discrimination. 504 plans are designed to provide equal access and fairness in general education to students with disabilities, thereby leveling the playing field for them. Are you saying the school won’t “put your son on a 504”, or the school won’t evaluate him for a 504? If you feel your son’s ADHD symptoms impact him to the point where special education is required, as a parent you have the right to request a special education evaluation.