Some children have a documented disability, but they do not need direct instruction from a special educator. For example, a child with ADD who is experiencing tremendous difficulty with organization may be receiving good grades regardless of the disability. A 504 plan can offer organizational assistance.
A team consisting of your child's teacher, a special educator, a school administrator, a representative from the special education administration, and yourself will write the 504 plan. It is a document that will stay with your child from year to year in order to provide consistent accommodations. The 504 plan will be reviewed on an annual basis and rewritten as needed.
There may be times in your child's school career when she will need an advocate. An advocate is someone who offers ideas and support, or goes to bat for someone else. That role will be held by many different people in the course of your child's life. Sometimes the advocate is your child's best friend. Sometimes it might be a lawyer.
Modifications and Accommodations
The 504 plan will spell out any special modifications or accommodations needed in your child's class. Common 504 accommodations and modifications include:
Additional time to complete tests
Assignment notebook check (to make sure that the work is listed fully and correctly)
Periodic help/supervision to keep desk organized
Consultation from appropriate professionals
Shortened spelling list
Assignments graded without points off for spelling errors
504 Plan Concerns
Your child's 504 plan will include a designated case manager who will be responsible for making sure that the plan is followed. If you have concerns about the 504 itself or if the school is not adhering to the document, you should contact the case manager. At any time you may also request a meeting with the 504 team to discuss the document.