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504 Plan Ignored
My nine-year-old attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) daughter has a 504 Plan at school, but her teachers don’t always follow the accommodations. Last week, they gave her detention for forgetting her books while changing classes. What can I do?
Getting the school to agree to necessary accommodations in an 504 Plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP) is only half of what parents will have to do to work with the school. Parents must be vigilant to make sure that the plan is executed. If it isn’t, parents have the right to demand a hearing with a state-appointed hearing officer. He or she will hold a formal hearing to resolve the question of whether the school is following the student’s IEP.
For such a hearing, the IEP or 504 Plan itself is the paper trail you need to make your point. It will be difficult for a school district to justify not providing what it agreed to provide.
Approach this situation diplomatically. Do not let emotions get the better of you. Be specific about how your daughter’s teachers are not following the 504 Plan. Remember that the goal is not to win a fight with the school district. It is to get the services your child needs.
Since Robert Tudisco was diagnosed with ADHD, he has researched and written extensively on the subject of special education law and disability advocacy, and now specializes in the area as a practicing attorney. He is a former Executive Director of the Edge Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides specialized coaches for students with ADHD and Executive Functioning Impairment. He has served on the National Board of Directors of CHADD and is a former Vice President of ADDA. He is a frequent resource for the media, including CBS News, New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, ABC News, The BBC, The Today Show, CNN, USA Today, and The Seattle Times.