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Ann:  My 8th grade daughter has been diagnosed with PTSD. I had wanted to request a 504 plan for her since she is having trouble concentrating but was informed by the district coordinator that the committee needed evidence that she was functioning below grade level or failing her classes. She is in advanced classes so she is not functioning below grade level. She got 2 c’s for the first marking period. I want her to feel comfortable in school and have the opportunity to meet her potential. Is the district acting in accordance with the ADA? If not, what document could I refer the coordinator to so that my daughter would be considered for a 504 plan?

  1. Grades don’t matter for 504. Read the OCR guide for 504 Plan. A peanut allergy doesn’t affect grades, yet still qualifies.

  2. My kid (sophomore) was involved in pedestrian bus vehicle accident and developed PTSD shortly after that, weight loss, panic attacks, trouble sleeping and etc.
    We applied for 504 plan and got denied because she maintains her A’s. Psychiatrist/psychologist recommended the 504. I shared what we see as parents. 504 coordinator denied placing 504 in place due to her grades. She told us psychiatrist and parents opinions are insignificant for 504. Teachers feedback and 504 committee’s opinion is only one that matters.

  3. She does NOT need to be failing. According to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, anxiety is covered and they are violating her civil rights by not covering her with the plan.

    Having anxiety or ptsd that is diagnosed by a physician, is enough to get a 504 plan in place that lists the accommodations that the physician recommends.
    Such as a quiet place she can go to if having an anxiety attack
    Additional time for assignments
    “home instruction” (which can just be a teacher reviewing work with her from school a few times a week)
    Partial days

    My daughter has a 504 plan in place because she has severe ptsd and anxiety since she was sexually harassed for months and then sexually assaulted in a classroom. She has never failed, always a B student. So your coordinator is wrong.

  4. You can bring an expert to the 504 eligibility meeting to attest to how her disability is affecting her (both functioning and academics). If your daughter is taking medication, they are supposed to determine eligibility as though she were not taking it. Log the ways her disability is affecting her ability to access the curriculum.
    It can be helpful in your strategizing to sit down and brainstorm about the accommodations you feel would be helpful for her.
    See if you and your daughter can pick a couple of areas where you could withdraw your support and let her fall on her fanny, to get the school’s attention.
    The last resort would be to file for due process.

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