Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

The difference between an IEP and 504?

Posted by   + Show Post

I feel like this is such a silly question, but here goes: What's the difference between a 504 Plan and an IEP?  I'm just learning about IEPs since we just had my son evaluated in January and his IEP went into effect last week.  I keep seeing people mention 504 Plans and haven't heard of them.  I'm curious as to what exactly they are and how they differ from an IEP.

by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 2:42 PM
Replies (31-40):
Mom2jngnc
by Stephannie on Feb. 18, 2013 at 5:49 PM

This is what I had been told as well. 

Quoting MsLogansMommy:


this is the same info I have been told by several different people. everyone says go for the IEP if possible because it is enforceable. i think what might be happening is that they probably are both enforceable (lack of a better word) but maybe the way to have an IEP remedied is easier than the process to have a 504 fixed. That would explain all the misinformation. The one website that I listed in an earlier post says one of the differences between them is reporting noncompliance with IEP you request due process to the State's Dept of Ed, with a 504 you would report noncompliance and request a hearing with the Office of Civil Rights


Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting ZsMommy:


Quoting maxswolfsuit:


Quoting ZsMommy:

IEP's have to be followed...504's are more like "suggestions" and do not have to be followed by educators.

I don't know who told you that but 504 plans must be followed just like IEPs. 

Unfortunately...That info came from a Spec Ed teacher-told me that if a child is in an intergrated classroom-a reg ed teacher isn't held to the same strict rules of following what is in place as they are with an IEP.  Sorry to tell you-but unfortunately state to state...district to district rules concerning 504's do vary :(

(we have an IEP)

504s are federally mandated. That's a very ill informed teacher. 




soymujer
by Mikki on Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:53 AM

I don't remember getting any training on either.  I knew what IEPs are as I was a Sped para and had to help translate them into Spanish and my three boys have had one.  I hadn't even heard of 504 plan until last year when an aquaintance was looking into it for her daughter.


Quoting maxswolfsuit:

Wasn't this part of your teacher education program or staff development work?

Quoting soymujer:


Thanks, I have a better undstanding now!

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

504 plans are to provide accommodations for students with various disabilities or medical conditions. They are similar to IEPs and can provide many of the same accommodations an IEP would. 

The main difference is students with 504 plans don't generally recieve ESE services. For example a student with 504 plan wouldn't go to a resource class for instruction or work with the speech pathologist at the school. But a student with a 504 could have extra time to finish work or be allowed to do work in a quiet setting.

The process for qualifying for a 504 plan is usually much faster than the IEP process. But students with 504 usually have known or formally diagnosed conditions that have been documented. In order for a student to qualify for an IEP more time is needed because the student's needs are being evaluated during the process.   






family in the van   Mom of four


honeydewmommy
by on May. 16, 2013 at 10:50 AM

DS is on a 504 and he has PDD a very very mild autism spectrum, but a another child in his class with diabetes is on the 504 as well, I think its pretty broad. 

Quoting amy1will:

Would the 504 cover like Down Syndrome or seizures?

Quoting maxswolfsuit:

BTW, it's not a silly question at all. Many people don't much about either. 


Pukalani79
by Silver Member on May. 16, 2013 at 11:42 AM

 I was going to respond, but it looks like you've got some great (and informative) answers.

Mipsy
by Member on May. 17, 2013 at 1:49 AM
I've heard the same thing from tons of other sn parents. Our Drs and therapists wanted to make sure we were kept on an iep and not on a 504 transitioning to kindergarten. 504's are not treated with the same standards as iep's, sad but very true

Quoting Mom2jngnc:

I have been told that both have to be followed, but i have had people from random psychologist to even people at the schools tell me that getting a 504 carried out can be more difficult than an IEP. 

My son, has Asperger's and an IEP. Which I had to FIGHT to get for him over the 504. However, with it he got resource, triple time, location changes, word processor for written etc..... 

mommytoeandb
by Bronze Member on May. 17, 2013 at 7:28 AM

My daughter has ADHD.  From my understanding, she doesn't qualify for an IEP because she is not behind in her studies.  She's in 4th grade and tests at a 7th grade level.  I could ask for a 504 plan for accomodations.  So far, any accomodations she has needed have been taken care of by the teacher (for example, in 1st grade she asked her teacher if she could move her desk next to his so she wouldn't get distracted!; when she was waiting for her glasses, her teacher moved her desk to the front; etc.).  She doesn't need accomadations for testing or classwork, so we haven't had the big meeting.  The school has a copy of her evaluation and so far that is working for us.  ;)

ETA:  I have also been told that an IEP is legally enforceable and a 504 plan is suggestions for accoomodations.  It has been a while since I read our state's special needs rights document, but it basically says the same thing.  

The biggest issue we have with our public school is that so much resources are needed to catch kids up, while the kids that are ahead only get one pull out program a week.  Bah.   

Mom2jngnc
by Stephannie on May. 17, 2013 at 8:25 AM

My son didn't get his until 7th grade (he wasn't diagnosised until the end of 6th) and I just sent his most recent copy off to college, last week. Got a phone call yesterday that he got his accomodations for his placement testing (math only he took college credit english).

Quoting Mipsy:

I've heard the same thing from tons of other sn parents. Our Drs and therapists wanted to make sure we were kept on an iep and not on a 504 transitioning to kindergarten. 504's are not treated with the same standards as iep's, sad but very true

Quoting Mom2jngnc:

I have been told that both have to be followed, but i have had people from random psychologist to even people at the schools tell me that getting a 504 carried out can be more difficult than an IEP. 

My son, has Asperger's and an IEP. Which I had to FIGHT to get for him over the 504. However, with it he got resource, triple time, location changes, word processor for written etc..... 


Traci_Momof2
by Silver Member on May. 17, 2013 at 10:51 AM

 So can I ask you something?  My son was just yesterday diagnosed as moderate ADHD.  We're still kind of processing all the information we were given but I was thinking about 504 and IEP and whether those would be beneficial / necessary for my son.  Based on your experience, would ADHD more likely fall under the 504 Plan?  Do most ADHD students need a 504 Plan?  My son is in the moderate range but within that range, leans more towards mild than towards extreme.  I'm obviously going to be talking to his teacher about it all but it's nice to get multiple opinions and just learn more about it.

OP - Thanks for posting this.  It's quite timely considering my son's recent diagnosis.


Quoting maxswolfsuit:

504 plans are to provide accommodations for students with various disabilities or medical conditions. They are similar to IEPs and can provide many of the same accommodations an IEP would. 

The main difference is students with 504 plans don't generally recieve ESE services. For example a student with 504 plan wouldn't go to a resource class for instruction or work with the speech pathologist at the school. But a student with a 504 could have extra time to finish work or be allowed to do work in a quiet setting.

The process for qualifying for a 504 plan is usually much faster than the IEP process. But students with 504 usually have known or formally diagnosed conditions that have been documented. In order for a student to qualify for an IEP more time is needed because the student's needs are being evaluated during the process.   


 

maxswolfsuit
by Max on May. 17, 2013 at 7:09 PM

There are times when students diagnosed with ADHD qualify for an IEP with a label of "other health impaired." But my observation is that those students had other, undiagnosed issues. 

Most kids with ADHD can get the support they need with a 504, and often don't even need that. There seems to be a big variation place to place on the policy for ADHD students having 504 plans. In the past our district only gave 504 plans to students who were really struggling and unable to keep up with their peers. But in the last couple of years the district has started recommending that any student medicated for ADHD has a 504 plan in place in the event he or she goes off meds.  So kids making the honor roll could have a plan. Personally, I don't think that's appropriate though. 


My advice would be to see what your child really needs. If you are choosing to try medication you may find there isn't a need for any additional support. Or you may find that his school and teachers offer him the support he needs without the plan in place. I would only look into the 504 plan if I was asking for specific accommodations and they weren't being given. When you have a medical diagnosis putting the 504 plan in place is relatively quick (a few weeks to a couple of months) so it's not like adding it in the future would take a whole school year. 

Quoting Traci_Momof2:

 So can I ask you something?  My son was just yesterday diagnosed as moderate ADHD.  We're still kind of processing all the information we were given but I was thinking about 504 and IEP and whether those would be beneficial / necessary for my son.  Based on your experience, would ADHD more likely fall under the 504 Plan?  Do most ADHD students need a 504 Plan?  My son is in the moderate range but within that range, leans more towards mild than towards extreme.  I'm obviously going to be talking to his teacher about it all but it's nice to get multiple opinions and just learn more about it.

OP - Thanks for posting this.  It's quite timely considering my son's recent diagnosis.


Quoting maxswolfsuit:

504 plans are to provide accommodations for students with various disabilities or medical conditions. They are similar to IEPs and can provide many of the same accommodations an IEP would. 

The main difference is students with 504 plans don't generally recieve ESE services. For example a student with 504 plan wouldn't go to a resource class for instruction or work with the speech pathologist at the school. But a student with a 504 could have extra time to finish work or be allowed to do work in a quiet setting.

The process for qualifying for a 504 plan is usually much faster than the IEP process. But students with 504 usually have known or formally diagnosed conditions that have been documented. In order for a student to qualify for an IEP more time is needed because the student's needs are being evaluated during the process.   




RMC007
by Bronze Member on May. 17, 2013 at 9:38 PM

I think it may vary from state to state.

In Texas, a 504 provides accommodations, for example, a teacher giving an exam orally or a student being allowed to take a test in an alternative environment than the classroom. Medical accommodations fall under the 504 plan as well.

An IEP provides modifications and accommodations, for example, instead of a student having 4 answer choices, he or she has 3 answer choices. A modification is actually a change to the required curriculum, so that the student can be successful.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN