504....again....

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 4:31am
Boomer's picture
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Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

Hello, I am new and I am sure this topic has been discussed a TON! BUT, I really just need someone to explain to me in real simple terms what exactly is a 504.

My son has an IEP for LD. He gets OT, and Speech. We sat down before he started school and discussed this medical action plan for his allergy. They have designated some rooms (the ones he goes in) peanut free. There are many things at school that are dissappointing me. I will get to those later. I just want to learn in a "nutshell" (okay that was bad) what is a 504 exactly. I went to a link from here and tried to get it but I didn't understand. Thanks.

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Boomer

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 4:47am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Welcome! (I just saw your post in the Introductions forum.... this is one of the only places I've ever found where there are a number of us who understand the 'joys' of living with an aerosol-sensitive child... )
Anyway-- to your question. If you already have an IEP for your child, you actually have a Rolls-Royce (well, potentially) instead of the Cadillacs most of us can dream of. [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/wink.gif[/img]
What I mean by this is that an IEP is a document governed by ADA/IDEA as a whole... as opposed to the more limited Section 504, under which most of our children qualify for protections.
You may want to chat with MommaBear about how her children have been covered under IEPs... most of us have found getting a 504 designation challenge enough without trying for the (appropriate, BTW) OHI 'other health impairment' designation under an IEP.
In any case, most likely any kind of plan is simply a fairly detailed version of an IHCP, which it sounds like you may already have, and some additional verbiage about how your child will be included in planned events that he might otherwise not be able to participate in. Therefore, it protects both safety AND civil rights.
The nice thing is that your school district actually has monies to meet its obligations to your child under an IEP, which is NOT true of a 504 plan. So having the school pay for things like additional soap for handwashing, or substituting sunbutter for PB in cafeterias, for example, is somewhat easier. Or it should be, in theory.
[img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/smile.gif[/img]

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 5:52am
Momcat's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

In a way, your son is already protected under Section 504 even though he does not have a 504 Plan per se.
This is because those who qualify for IEPs are already considered "disabled" and automatically qualify for protection under Section 504.
I believe that Gail W's daughter has both an IEP for a learning disability and a 504 Plan for her life-threatening food allergies. In most cases, schools do not want to do both. The accommodations for food allergies can be included in the IEP and legally your child will have the same (if not more) protection as he would with a separate 504 Plan.
Cathy
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Mom to 7 yr old PA/TNA daughter and 4 yr old son who is allergic to eggs.

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 10:36am
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Joined: 10/09/2005 - 09:00

My 8 yo PA daughter currently has an IEP for special ed svces and Speech Therapy. At last year's mtg, they said she might not need services after this current school year. We will meet again June '07. Would that mean she would no longer be covered under an IEP and therefore would need a 504?

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 12:39pm
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Momcat:
[b]I believe that Gail W's daughter has both an IEP for a learning disability and a 504 Plan for her life-threatening food allergies. In most cases, schools do not want to do both. The accommodations for food allergies can be included in the IEP and legally your child will have the same (if not more) protection as he would with a separate 504 Plan.[/b]
This is correct. Mariah got an IEP for a learning disability in fourth grade, and a year later got the 504 designation for her PA. I had hoped that they would address the PA in her IEP (just fold in the info from her healthcare plan) but they determined that her PA [i]did not affect her 'learning'.[/i] IMO, that's an appropriate assessment. So her PA did not meet the criteria for an IEP but [i]does[/i] meet the criteria for a 504 designation. She continues to have an IEP for her learning disability and a 504 plan for her PA.
So I have two "sets" of meetings~ IEP meetings and 504 meetings~ each with different staff. Personally, I like it this way. The two groups function very, very differently.
Her [b]IEP [/b]team is composed of mainly teachers. It is headed by her Special Ed teacher and includes her 4 core teachers plus the school counselor. [b]It focuses primarily on Mariah's educational goals and academic measures. [/b] Sometimes the district psychologist (who administers/interprets testing) attends as well. The accommodations in her IEP are mainly that she receives auditory supplements (E.g. test questions can be read to her if needed) and time with the SP Ed reading specialist.
Her [b]504 team[/b], on the other hand, only has one teacher 'rep'. The group is run by the school counselor and includes the school nurse, food services director, the school principal, and the district's 504 coordinator. It's a more 'administrative' group who makes decisions that the teachers/staff carry out. [b]It focuses primarily on the school environment.[/b]
I'm not sure if this is how it is at every school district, but from what I've read this seems pretty common. While I'd originally hoped that her PA would be incorporated into her existing IEP because I believed it to have more structure and 'power', I actually like the two issues dealt with independently and by different staff. My personal experience is that my 504 plan is far more detailed, monitored, and enforced than our IEP. But that may be due to lots of factors, including the nature of her LD.
Something to consider, and I don't know if this might apply to your child or not, but at some furture time my DD may very likely be 'exited' from her IEP. When she meets 'goals' consistently I'm of the understanding that (while she may still have a learning disability) she may no longer receive services/accommodations through Special Ed. The IEP team would no longer meet. What would happen to her PA accommodations in her IEP?
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited January 04, 2007).]

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 2:02pm
Nutternomore's picture
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

Gail W,
I happened to stumble upon this information while trolling the Net tonight. Interesting perspective...
[url="http://www.504idea.org/504_Overview_Fall_2003.pdf"]http://www.504idea.org/504_Overview_Fall_2003.pdf[/url] Go to page 13, Section 4.
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IV. BORDER ISSUES
A. IDEA eligible students who also have 504 disabilities
Educators sometimes ask what to do when a student who is IDEA -eligible also has a disability which does not rise
to the level of a special education disability. Does that mean that one disability is dealt with by the ARD Committee and the other by 504? No. While IDEA-eligible students also technically qualify as eligible under

Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2007 - 11:55pm
Gail W's picture
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Joined: 12/06/2001 - 09:00

When I clicked on that link, it came up as a 4th download for me. LOL! So I guess I've downloaded that link 3 times before, but I don't ever recall that particular section. . . or at least tried to apply it to our personal situation. So thank you for pointing it out.
Our SD 504 coordinator consulted regularly about our situation with their legal counsel. The advice in this article is not what our SD's attorneys recommended was appropriate in our situation. I'm no lawyer, but I 'agree' with our SD because I feel it better serves Mariah.
I'll have to go back and see if this article addresses if the IDEA-eligible disability is 'exited'. Often speech, OT, and reading services, for examples, are covered in an IEP and are eventually no longer needed by the child. What then? Would the SD continue to manage the [b]non[/b]-IDEA disability (i.e. the PA) in the IEP? I wouldn't think so . . .
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited January 05, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 12:38am
Boomer's picture
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Joined: 02/09/2007 - 09:00

I am sure that in the next year or two my son will no longer have an IEP because he is meeting his goals. I am sure of it. I am meeting again with the district nurse and the principal later next week. I have the allergist appointment on Monday, scratch testing, fun!! At the meeting I will bring up the need for the 504 after his IEP runs out and see what they say. From the sound of it, some schools seem to think it is a good thing and some not. I will see where my school falls. So far, I am not impressed.
The problem is that when we wrote the IEP, I didn't realize how severe and serious my sons allergy was. I also didn't understand all of the things that would be potentially dangerous. The school has never had a PA before so they don't know what they are doing.
[This message has been edited by Boomer (edited January 05, 2007).]
[This message has been edited by Boomer (edited January 05, 2007).]

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 9:22am
Nutternomore's picture
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Joined: 08/02/2002 - 09:00

Quote:Originally posted by Gail W:
[b]I'll have to go back and see if this article addresses if the IDEA-eligible disability is 'exited'. Often speech, OT, and reading services, for examples, are covered in an IEP and are eventually no longer needed by the child. What then? Would the SD continue to manage the [b]non[/b]-IDEA disability (i.e. the PA) in the IEP? I wouldn't think so . . .
[This message has been edited by Gail W (edited January 05, 2007).][/b]
Good point. I don't think that the article addresses the exiting process and implications. So perhaps one of the decisions points is to the best of the collective group's ability, to understand whether child will exit or not???? Makes sense what you are saying about having IEP and 504 in your situation...

Posted on: Fri, 01/05/2007 - 11:24am
Momcat's picture
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Joined: 03/15/2005 - 09:00

If the peanut allergy were covered by the IEP, the IEP could not be exited unless the allergy was outgrown, regardless of the child's status with learning disabilities.
Cathy

Posted on: Sat, 01/06/2007 - 12:30am
Corvallis Mom's picture
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Joined: 05/22/2001 - 09:00

Is that true even if it isn't considered the "qualifying" condition?
(As I know that we have openly debated whether or not an FA qualifies as OHI... most committees don't see it that way.)

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