IEPs vs 504s is a hot topic in special education. I'm going to go over six points, real quick, just to give you an overview so you know what questions to ask next about supports for your child at school.
The first thing that you need to know, point number one is that there is a difference between which law is governing this document that's going to help a child with their education. So here's my disclaimer. I'm not a lawyer, I'm not practicing the law, but I am telling you where to look. So if you're going to start pursuing an IEP, you're going to be looking at IDEA law. For a 504 plan, you're looking at the section 504 of the rehabilitation act of 1973.
Each of these documents have accountability systems set up. It's just knowing where you need to look and who you need to talk to about the support documents. 504's get a bad reputation for not being enforceable. It's not that it's not enforceable, it's that it's enforceable in...
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It's important for you to know that a school does not diagnose a child with a disability. A school only has eligibility criteria when it comes to special education. Eligibility criteria, it's set by the federal law IDEA.
Remember, I'm not a lawyer, but I can teach you where to look in the law.
There are different buckets for eligibility. During an eligibility meeting for special the team goes over data that has been collected, testing that has been done or information that has been taken in.
Next, they go through checklists and they say... everything seems to fit into this bucket.
Finally, a child gets an educational eligibility to receive special education services.
Now let's go back over here to medical diagnosis. Okay, so medical diagnosis is when you meet a set of criteria and the doctor has a recommendation that says... based on this label, your child should have this therapy or take this medicine or do...
If you sit at an IEP table, this checklist is for you! Parents, teachers, therapists and support team members... you can all use this tool for your next IEP meeting!