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Child in Air Yoga

How to get your child

Special Education



AND 504'S







Basics of IEP's and 504's

IEP's and 504's are blueprints on how the school will support your child who has a disability. Both plans are supposed to benefit your child and should set your child up for success at school. They both include having a CSE meeting with administrators, teachers, support staff, people that know the child well, and parents/caregiver. Once a year, there should be a CSE meeting with the school to make any revisions to the plan.

There are lots of differences between IEP and 504 plans. One of the major differences is that with an IEP your child will get services, like therapies and modifications. In a 504 plan your child will not get any support services, but the school will make adaptations to meet the student's needs. Another big difference is that for an IEP your child must qualify. If they qualify for the IDEA, they must get services, because it is the law.                                    If you think that your child may qualify you should ask the school if they will do an evaluation. If the school will not give your child an evaluation you can pay to have your own evaluation done by a profesional.

IEP and 504 basics


School Supplies

IEP - Individualized Education Program is a legal document under United States law that is developed for each public school child in the U.S. who needs special education. It is created through a team of the child's parent and district personnel who are knowledgeable about the child's needs.

504 Plan - plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment.

CSE Meeting - Committee on Special Education is convened to review and discuss the student's progress for the past year and to make plans for the coming year. A child's parents, teachers, and service providers are invited to the meeting.


Does My Child Qualify Within The IDEA Law

If your child qualifies under one of these categories than your child is eligible for an IEP plan.


13 Disability Categories Under IDEA

1.   Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
     It covers challenges that may affect how a child learns greatly. These are:

  • Dyslexia

  • Dysgraphia

  • Dyscalculia

  • Auditory processing disorder

  • Nonverbal learning disability

2.   Other Health Impairment
      It covers conditions that may affect a child's strength, energy, or alertness. (covers ADHD)

3.   Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
      This may affect your child's social and communication skills. In some cases it may affect their behavior.


4.   Emotional Disturbance
       This covers some mental health issues but not all. Some that can be in this category are:

  • Anxiety disorder

  • Schizophrenia

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

  • Depression

5.    Speech or Language Impairment
       This category covers difficulties with speech or language. Some examples include:

  • Stuttering

  • Having trouble pronouncing words

  • Making sounds with their voice

  • Hard for them to understand words

  • Hard for them to express themselves

6.    Visual impairment including blindness
       A child who has eyesight problems is considered to have a visual impairment. It includes partial sight and no         sight at all. If eyewear can allow them to see then this doesn't apply.


7.    Deafness
       A child that can not hear properly even with a hearing aid


8.    Hearing impairment
       It is hearing loss that is not covered by Deafness. Their hearing would change over time.


9.    Deaf-blindness
       Children that have severe hearing loss and severe vision loss would fall under this category. Their                                 communication, and needs are so unique that the programs just for the deaf or blind, can’t help them

10.   Orthopedic impairment
        An orthopedic impairment is where someone has a lack of function or movement in their body. An example          is cerebral palsy.


11.    Intellectual disability
        Children with this disability have a below average intellectual ability. They might have poor                           

        social/communication skills. This includes Down Syndrome.


12.    Traumatic brain injury
        This brain injury is caused by an accident or a physical force.


13.    Multiple disabilities
        A child with multiple disabilities covered by the IDEA. It means that their needs cannot be meet in one          

        program designed to help someone through a program for one specific disability.




If your child has a disability listed above they qualify for an IEP.


3 Things to do Before a CSE Meeting

Happy Girl

1. Review draft of IEP

2. Meet with teachers and support staff

3. Gather and review report cards and progress reports

5 tips
Every Teacher's Dilemmas

Steps to Getting
a Plan

Boy Playing with Blocks

Getting your child the help and support that they need in school can be very challenging. Below there some steps that you could take to get an IEP or a 504 plan. These steps might not work for everyone but also might help greatly.

  1. Evaluation

  • School evaluation: overall look at your child's needs. Normally includes testing, and the school's observations.

  • You might want to show your own documents

    • Tests

    • Report Cards

    • Schoolwork 

    • Anything else that would help show that your child is struggling

   2. The school has to approve your request but if not

  • Gather more resources and try again

  • Try to come up with a IEP or 504 the help dispute the issue

  • Ask the school for a private evaluation

    • School must decide if your child is eligible for an IEP, or do it’s own                                                evaluation

   3. If the school at any point did an evaluation they need to give you the results for your               child, and time to review it before they meet with you

   4. Figure out if your child is eligible for an IEP

  • Have a disability listed in the 13 in federal law

  • The disability in federal law must negatively affect how they learn

  • Most likely to qualify if they have a specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, or other health impairment (covers ADHD)

  5. If your child is not eligible for an IEP some options are

  • Ask the school to pay for a IEE (Individual Education Examination)

  • Pay for your own IEE

  • Have the school meet you in the middle and file a process complaint on how the school is treating you

  • Ask for a 504 plan (make accommodation and sometimes services)

I hope this helped you! :)

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