OT: "substantially limits"

Discussion in 'disABILITIES Community Board' started by tinkerbell423, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. tinkerbell423

    tinkerbell423 Mouseketeer

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    I am in the process of requesting my son be evaluated for an IEP and it was brought up that he may be able to get all the modifications he needs with a 504 plan. I have read many sites about 504's and IEP's and I am trying to find one that expains or gives examples of what is considered "substantially limiting in one or more major life activity" He does not have health concers rather his diffculties are with excutive function skills. He has aspergers. He often misses assignments because he does not know they are assigned or gets low grades on them because he did not fully understand the directions.
    Thanks
     
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  3. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    I only have a few minutes, but a good site for information is www.pacer.org

    PACER is based in Minnesota, so some of the information is Mn specific, but PACER is a national resource for parents of kids with disabilities.
    I am going to move this to the disABILITIES Community Board, where it will be on topic.
     
  4. buffettgirl

    buffettgirl The whole tag thing, so 1990's internet.

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  5. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    Thinking is one of the covered areas under ADA, and if it creates significant issues with funtioning in the world (including school) then yes he qualifies
    under ADA
    With that said, if your child is Aspergers then he has significant educational needs (social skills and EF curriculum etc).

    There is no basis in law for substituting a 504 for an IEP so your child must have an IEP under IDEA.
     
  6. buffettgirl

    buffettgirl The whole tag thing, so 1990's internet.

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    yep. If there are educational needs then it really should be under an IEP. More likely they're trying to get out of it easy. Less paperwork and less oversight with a 504.
     
  7. tinkerbell423

    tinkerbell423 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the info he is in 9th grade and I have requested an IEP for 4 years now with no result. It is very frustrating I was hoping that a 504 is better than nothing.
     
  8. tinkerbell423

    tinkerbell423 Mouseketeer

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    One more "what would you do question": My child's Dr wanted me to get feedback from his teachers on friday stating simply if he handed in all his homework. I had to call the guidance office two days in a row before I got his guidance counselor to return my call. She agreed to email his teachers with the request. I did not get the report on Friday so I called today and asked her for it. She said she would email all his teachers again and hopefully they would get back to me by tonight (I take him back to the dr tomorrow at 7:30 AM) I have not heard from any of the teachers. Would you voice your "disappointment" to the next level or simply keep trying.
     
  9. buffettgirl

    buffettgirl The whole tag thing, so 1990's internet.

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    In my experience my guess is that probably the guidance counselor dropped the ball. I try - whenever possible - to email the teachers directly or call directly. If I have to call it's 2 or 3 days ahead so that they can call me back after school or during their planning period. If you get no where after going directly to the teachers, then yes, escalate it up.

    I also find that most of the time the teachers are happy to help. They want our children to succeed, so if you approach it with that attitude then usually you'll get much better results. (not saying you haven't..but just in general. :) ) Be specific in what you need. Try to make it as easy as possible for them to comply with your requests (even make a form they can fill out if that works).

    Good luck!
     
  10. tinkerbell423

    tinkerbell423 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks I agree that in the past all my son's teachers have been wonderful about working with me. I started out this year contacting the teachers directly and I would only hear back from one consistently and two teachers never return my email (so I guess they are consistent too) the other 2 are hit or miss. The guidance counselor is just back from maternity leave so she has not been working with him all year her replacement was very willing to help but didn't know too much about the school. I don't know if this is what I should expect in high school or if I just got a "diffcult" group of teachers to work with. Meanwhile my son is failing (in the two classes where the teachers don't get back to me his grades are very low) and his anxiety is increasing. I am feeling very frustrated.
     
  11. clm10308

    clm10308 DIS Veteran

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    I just tried to add a long, informative post, but my bowser keeps crashing, so I guess I am writing too much. :)

    **note** This is just a quick summary. I do not know all the legal requirements. Other people can give you that. this is just my perspective as a (former) teacher and a parent. I don't agree with how schools always do things, but I am just trying to help you navigate the system as it is.

    So here is a shorter version.
    504 plans are for students that just need accommodations to be succesful. For you son that might be that the teachers give him a written copy of assignments instead of making him copy from the board, they might email you/him the assignments. He might be allowed to carry his backpack in school so that he doesn't have to keep track of taking things out of his locker. 504 does not require an "educational need" just a "limiting" factor. You will need to give the school documentation of your child's disability from an outside professional.

    IEPs are Individual Education Plans based on a student qualifying for special education services. Students must have an "educational need" which at the schools/districts that I have worked at in Texas means that the student has to be failing overall. If the student is making C's and D's that is considered passing and there is no "educational need". With an IEP the student has goals and objectives that are worked and modifications to the curriculum in addition to any accommodations. For your son, that might be that he has goals to improve his organizational skills or social skills. In other words, the school would be teaching him things that they do not work on with no special ed kids.
    To qualify for special ed services there is a long process of referral and evaluation. You can not simply give them the outside documentation. This can be very frustrating from the parent (and teacher's) perspective.

    You need to make your requests in writing. You will either write a letter to request a meeting for a 504 plan, or request an evaluation for special ed services.

    To anyone else reading this, I am not saying that I agree with how public schools handle this. In fact, I don't. Which is one of the reasons that I am not a special ed teacher in public school any longer. I am just trying to help this parent navigate the system as it is currently.
     
  12. tinkerbell423

    tinkerbell423 Mouseketeer

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    Thanks clm10308 i've read many different sites but was left with questions. Your information helps. It seems he might be a better fit for a 504 because he would be successful if he had his instructions written down instead of taking notes on the assignments and if the nightly assignments were written out for him.
    Is his current failing grades and aspergers diagnosis enough to get a 504. He doctor wrote a diagnosis (before the aspergers) of anxiety disorder and requested he be evaluated for a 504 (for the same tyoe of excutive function issues) back in 5th grade and the school said he didn't qualify. Is this finally enough. Should I be getting other documentation?
     
  13. clm10308

    clm10308 DIS Veteran

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    His Aspergers diagnosis should be enough. Some schools may have a specific form for the doctor to fill out, others will take a report directly from the doctor. Executive functioning issues alone are not a qualifying diagnosis, so I can understand why the school said he didn't qualify before, but I sure do wish the schools would do a better job of communicating with parents. Also, a student's issues can be present for many years but not be severe enough to qualify until they are older. So it is fine to ask for him to be evaluated again.
     
  14. SmallWorld71

    SmallWorld71 DIS Veteran

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    In order for a child to qualify for Special Education (an IEP) two questions have to be answered first.
    -The first is: Does the child have a disability? If the answer is no, the child does not qualify. If yes, then you can go on to question 2. Autism is one of the disabilities that you can legally choose, so you would be all set there.

    -Question 2 is: Is the child making adequate progress?
    If the answer is yes, the child does not qualify for Special Education services but may receive accommodations under a 504 plan. If the answer is no, the child qualifies for Special Education services and then it would be decided exactly what would be in the IEP.

    The big problem with question 2 is the word "adequate" as it is open to so much interpretation. What some people may see as adequate, others may not.

    ETA: I believe the word is actually EFFECTIVE progress which is really just as ambiguous. Sorry, I was tired last night. :-)
     
  15. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    Remember that progress includes both acedemics and funtional (social skills executive function, life skills)

    It has also gotten easier since most states adopted comon core standards for math and ELA. If your child is nto meeting the standards adn demonstrating it by getting a proficient sore on state testing, and the inabiity is in any way related to the disabiilty then the answer to "question 2" is yes.
     
  16. buffettgirl

    buffettgirl The whole tag thing, so 1990's internet.

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    I would say if your son is failing, even in 2 classes, then you really want to get covered under an IEP and not just a 504.
     
  17. SmallWorld71

    SmallWorld71 DIS Veteran

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    Just wanted to throw out there that many children do very well with 504 plans: For example, one first grade student at my school has ADHD, anxiety, bi-polar. He takes medication and it works wonders for him. He does require some accommodations in the classroom. Some examples: he is allowed to stand, instead of sit in his chair; he is allowed to chew gum on an as needed basis (if he feels anxious he will start chewing his clothes). He does not need the curriculum changed or modified at all and his accommodations can easily be met by the classroom teacher. He does not need the help of a Special Education teacher at all.

    Not that I am saying that the OP's son doesn't need an IEP. But, sometimes I know that 504 plans can get a bad rap and are seen as some sort of consolation prize. They are great for some children; but not nearly enough for others. :)
     
  18. buffettgirl

    buffettgirl The whole tag thing, so 1990's internet.

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    You do have a great point!

    My son has had a 504 since K (he's in 6th grade now) due to medical though we do have certain educational items in there regarding test taking modifications (like he can leave the room if needed). We've really only had one grade where I REALLY had to shove that 504 in a teacher's face because she 1) refused to even look at it 2) decided on her own that my son (who never makes a peep out of turn in class and from every other teacher I always get "I wish I had a classroom of him" ) was somehow using his medical needs to scam the system and get out of doing work and/or taking tests. Because it wasn't an IEP she felt she didn't need to follow it (and frankly, I think her attitude would have been the same with an IEP)

    But, yes, we've had some accommodations added that are educational in nature and similar to what you've said, his accommodations are easily met in the classroom with no special ed services. :)
     
  19. herdtoDisney

    herdtoDisney DIS Veteran

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    OP, I hope you are able to have success getting a 504 plan. My ds, 15 yo with ADHD, was just denied one last month because it was decided that his disability 'moderately' impaired him rather than 'substantially' impairs him in school :confused:

    In our case, the school is doing the accomodations we felt he needed, just not on a plan :rolleyes:

    OP, do your ds' teachers have email addresses you can use for them directly? In our city, they are published on the website and I have had good success communicating directly with them-they have been positive about it.
     
  20. SenecaWolf

    SenecaWolf I let my mind wander and it didn't come back!

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    My daughter has had an IEP since she was 4 in Preschool (she is currently almost 16). She had a sensory processing delay, ADHD, ODD and was classified as severly emotionally disturbed. All of her issues were behavioral except for a few organizational problems(which we are STILL trying to resolve).

    I am not sure of your plans for higher education but an IEP diploma in NY is practically worthless. My daughter is planning on attending college and is in the ACT program in high school. It is designed for kids on IEP's to attain a Regents diploma, its kind of like the 1:12:1 contained classrooms in lower grades. If you are getting to much of a run around from your school's committee for special education check around your area for groups to help you. There are some that will even send an advocate with you to the meetings that better understands the CSE guidelines and can make sure the committee is not just brushing you off.

    Good luck with everything, dealing with CSE can be difficult, just don't feel that you have to settle for what they recommend. :goodvibes
     
  21. disneycruising

    disneycruising DIS Veteran

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    My DD (18) has asperger's with ADD. She wasn't diagnosis until she was 13.

    The public school drives me crazy. :headache: My DD doesn't qualify for an IEP with her AS diagnosis. She also doesn't qualify for and IEP with her ADD... because she is on daily medication.

    In 9th grade we sat down with the High School and put together a 504. We ask for things like: tests taking in the office, no calling on her in class, no note taking--notes to be given to her by teachers, no copying from the board, can turn in late assignments.

    I think the best thing you can do for your child is to educate yourself! You have to know EXACTLY WHAT TO ASK FOR. The schools are not going to willingly help you. You have to be able to go in and fight for what is needed. But, you can not do this if you do not understand how the laws work and what rights you have. If you can afford it-- I would hire a special education Attorney, that can help you with the process. [/I]
     

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