What is the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan?
An IEP is a legally binding document that specifies the specialized education and related services to be provided by the schools and their expected outcomes. There are avenues of recourse if the goals are not met. A 504 plan gives accommoda-
tions and is not legally binding.
My child has ADHD and the school tells me the IDEA does not name it as a disability.
Although ADHD is not listed in the relevant legislation, it is often classified as Other Health Impaired. Specific aspects of ADHD, including reduced attention span and executive function deficits, can be addressed in IEP goals.
My child is having problems at school, what do I do?
Get your child tested! Use a private practitioner. You don't need to use the ones on the school's list. Medical insurance usually will pay, especially with a note from your doctor.
My daughter is 18 months old. Is she eligible for services?
As soon as your child has a recognized disability, the state is required to provide services. Although the rules and methods of delivery of services differ slightly from those for older children, the state is, in fact, responsible for identifying children who need services.
My son is in 10th grade and has just been diagnosed with a disability. Is he eligible for services?
Absolutely! In addition to the regular process and structure put in place to deliver specialized education and related services, the student is required to participate in planning for his transition from high school to further education or work.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does an IEP stop bullying?
An IEP may have goals related to developing effective responses to bullying.
Bullying, when not controlled by the school, can be addressed by a 'Gebser Notice' issued to the school by the Departent of Education Office of Civil Rights.
My child's tests show deficits but the school will not provide services. Why?
Eligibility for specialized education and related services is a two-pronged test. The child must have a recognized disability and the disability must affect the student in a way that prevents them from obtaining access to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Knowledge of testing methods and statistical analysis can usually support the second prong.
My child already has an IEP but seems to be making no progress despite the school indicating that he is. What can I do?
There is a vast difference between an IEP and a great IEP. Many school-generated IEPs have very general goals and the school reports that the child is making sufficient progress. Guerrilla Advocacy™ can ensure that the goals and objectives are specific, relevant, measurable, action oriented and time constrained.
Read more about Guerrilla Advocacy™, a highly successful method developed by Dr. Fleisher, on the services page.
The school just recommended that I put my child on medication. The principal said that nothing could be done to teach my child without it.
Under no circumstances is a school allowed to even hint that your child needs medication. If your child is on medication, however, it is often useful to share that information with the teacher or case manager to get feedback to gauge its effectiveness in the school setting.
Will the services provided by the school completely replace private services such as speech therapy?
School services should be viewed as a supplement to the services your child receives privately. The school may not just say 'we don't do that.' However, schools do have limited budgets and resources and, in most cases, don't have the resources to meet every child's unique needs.