Special Education/504 Plan, IEP


what is the difference between a 504 and an IEP? Does a student need to have an official disability for a 504? WHat if they are not performing as well as you think and you think they would do much better with accommodation. Guess I'm asking if 504 requires a diagnosis. To be specific, my son really needs movement breaks, I see it at home. I wouldn't say he's ADD but its a simple thing he genuinely benefits from.

504 Plans versus IEP.
The IEP is prefered for many reasons:
1. More enforceable.
2. Must be held annually.
3. Must be assessed every 3 years.
4. Can file Compliance Complaints with your state.
5. The scheduling of Due Process Hearings is well defined.
6. Teachers are required to read IEP's and Case Carriers must distribute the IEP's to all teachers.

Districts often push 504 Plans to avoid costs and enforcement (must file complaint with Office of Civil Rights). In the case of your son, I suggest you request in writing that he be assessed for Special Education. They have to assess him and report their findings. They can recommend a 504 Plan instead of an IEP.

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Tim Runner


Questions concerning special education: IEP, assessments, Due Process, mediation, resolution conference, federal law, state law, qualifying for services, residential treatment, special day classes, resource specialists, procedures, having your child assessed, adaptive PE, speech & language, non-public school, FAPE, and tuition reimbursement.


I have been an education advocate representing students and parents for six years. My experience includes: representing my clients in IEPs, SSTs, Due Process, review assessment results for my clients, and mediations. I have represented clients with learning disabilities, autism, Downs Syndrome, cognitively challenged, emotional problems, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and physical disabilities. I have also represented clients to County Mental Health Departments and Regional Centers. My clients range from pre-school to college students in many states.

I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of California with minors in Psychology and Physics. I also studied applied statistics in psychology at the graduate level. I have taught college classes, conducted seminars, written articles for various publications, and testified as an expert witness.

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