504 and High School

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    • #44111

      My son will be going to high school in the Fall. I contacted his HS counselor to meet with her before this school year ends so I can find out how the 504 is implemented in HS. She said that she strongly feels he should attend this meeting (this is an informal meeting not a formal 504 meeting)he has never attended any 504 related meetings, My son does not want a 504 because he sees no benefits- but he is in complete denial that he needs help and doesn’t care about school, to him this plan only makes him look “like a retard” by making him leave his classroom for ex, to take a state test, etc. I keep hoping one day he will see that the 504 can be a benefit to him. This counselor said if the accommodations aren’t being used and if he isn’t self advocating (he’s NOT) then the district will pull his 504 plan- she said the school district is moving in this direction. Can they really do this with a kid who is ADD, anxiety, fine motor impairments? I explained to her that I do the advocating with the teachers and I also asked her why I have to keep “reminding” them of his 504 plan she said that’s the way it is and I’ll probably have to do the same in HS. She asked if he’s on meds’ and I explained he was and it did help but we had to take him off because he got too thin- both our and the Dr. decision. Help!

    • #44208

      If the school “strongly feels” he should attend a meeting or all meetings, then I think it’s okay to give it a try. However, whether he’s in attendance or not, he has a condition that impacts major life skills and creates a barrier to his learning. And, as the law is written, he is entitled to accommodations to remove barriers so that he has the same learning opportunities as any average child would. So, it’s not okay for the district to pull or deny a 504 Plan and it’s not dependent on other conditions such as meeting attendance and medication. Maybe he’ll feel just slightly less self-conscious or negative about his accommodations if he’s part of the planning process. And, as he graduates H.S., I’m guessing that you will want him to do the self-advocating they want to see him doing now…so this can begin that process.

      But, don’t doubt your decisions based on what you’ve heard so far! You’ve been his advocate and need to be to get him to the next step where he’ll willingly take that role. The school can’t deny a 504 Plan or make their own conditions for obtaining one, as it’s already his right.

      It could also be that he needs more in his accommodations so that he’ll see how they help him (I’m guessing it’s more than annual state testing accommodations). As for medications, there may be an option that works for him and doesn’t hurt him physically (e.g.: weight loss). I think the next four years will be a journey for you both and possibly his new school and teachers! 🙂 Keep “reminding” them, as it’s going to make a difference in your son’s education and future. Good Luck!

      • #44308

        Thanks for your ideas they said the 504 could be pulled if he isn’t using the it and if up to him he wouldn’t that’s my problem because I know he needs it I will ask him what he thinks but he will say do nothing just like he refuses to see a therapist but he needs to

    • #44397
      Penny Williams

      He really does need to start learning self-advocacy skills. If he goes to college next, he will have to do all his advocating, the college will not talk with parents about any of it (I think that’s related to privacy laws).

      So teens are encouraged to attend these meetings and have input. Plus, when they have input in their own accommodations they are more likely to use them.

      Here’s a little input on making sure the 504 plan is implemented:

      Checklist for Making Sure Schools Follow Your IEP or 504 Plan

      ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #44406

      I’m sure you don’t want to start your interactions with this school by saying you’ll report them for non-compliance, but they absolutely can not pull a 504 plan because they say so. Your son’s compliance IS optional…theirs is not 🙂 They seem to have it backwards. (You’re not crazy, this is sadly not uncommon!!)

      I think you will find a gentler means of working WITH the school if you look up the law and see about the parent support network in your state (may even have something locally you can use). I only know for NJ, where I am. We’ve never had IEPs but both my sons have 504s and we’ve had good and bad times over the past few years. I know what it’s like to not want to go in guns-blazing but also wanting my son to get what he genuinely needs. Sigh…wish it were always easy! Do you know anyone “inside” who may be able to help your position? Also, look up the parent support for your state – every state has this by law to help parents just like you in times just like this 🙂


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