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ADHD Parents Together
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504- accommodations question

Hello- I am new to this community and have a question regarding 504s. My son is 15 (ADHD, LD) and the school district determined him eligible for a 504 with no plan needed. I am trying to get a computer, calculator and other accommodations he is receiving in the school documented in his 504. The school district is claiming these aren't accommodations because they are available to all students in his class. He is doing very well in school but would fail without a computer to write his papers or a calculator to do simple calculations. School district claims he is accessing the curriculum successfully. We have extensive private testing and he attended a private specialized school for learning disabilities for two years. He has come a long way and don't want to see him have to fail just to get accommodations documented.

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First know your rights. I dont know what state you live in but the IDEA ACT allows parents to advocate for their students. If you disagree with their findings tell them and they have to allow you to seek additional testing with private institutions at their expense. I would also phrase you wishes in a way the is benefitial to student. Like the objective of the computer. Why does he need it? Do you not have access or does it allow him to use a software function the he would otherwise not have.

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I do not believe that "504" requires the school district to have expenditures that allow for student-owned materials. Perhaps you need to seek to have your son added to the special education kiddos as the district receives a lot of funding for special education. I have a similar situation for two high schoolers who are attending public school in Texas for the first time. However, having been in private schools for the entire time before this year, we've always had computers at home and made the necessary accommodation plans in the private schools for another large yearly fee depending upon the level of accommodation needed. You could tell the school that you require the special education in order to have the accommodations needed at home. They will balk. You can ask them for loaners of equipment or require them to provide for further testing.

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I live in NY and I have met with his teacher and his 504 councelor. We discussed everything and the councelor wrote down everything we thought he needed. From OT for his handwriting to doing his homework with an IPad. Which makes all the difference. So push for them to write down everything he needs for his 504

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Thank you so much for the replies. We live in Missouri. More testing would not help because he is eligible for a 504- they agree that he has a disability- just no plan needed. He has a LD in reading and written expression and the school has computers for all students' use but he uses his own. He writes papers on the computer as most kids do in high school now. He needs documentation in an IEP or 504 of using the computer at school to be granted the accommodation on college testing or AP exams. He would not qualify for an IEP. He attended a private, specialized school for dyslexic and ADHD students and then transferred to the public school system. The school district is refusing to make a plan for him because they say he is currently accessing the curriculum. But he is using computer, calculator, etc to do so. So in other words, fail to get a plan but he can't really fail because the accommodations are set up at their school (which is great because many accommodations are good for all kids!). The district believes that it is only an accommodation if it's not available to non disabled peers (this is written on their 504 doc). We are going up the ladder with procedural safeguards and will contact OCR. Just wondering if anyone else is experiencing this. So frustrating.

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It’s about providing equal access and he should have a plan so all the teachers provide the same accommodations.

You could use a private evaluation to obtain accommodations from Collegeboard or ACT. I did this with my oldest.

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Thanks for the reply. I have heard college board and ACT almost never give accommodations unless they are in a 504/IEP. Our school's college counselors said they've seen it a handful of times. Is there anything special you did or did you just submit the private testing. Thank you!

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I too would like to know the process! Thank you in advance!

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I would ask for specialized software for him to listen to books for his LD which he needs to bring home to listen to, this way he is able to use this to do his homework. Bookshare (www.bookshare.org) is one resource that is free if you have a 504 plan and it allows him to download all of his reading materials like textbooks and then he can read them while a highlight bar goes across the screen. He will need this to use that on his computer both at school and home. Just like other kids read their textbooks, he will read it with special software on the computer.

Best of luck

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If there is specialized software on the computer your child is using at school that is required for him to use at home to complete assignment (just like other students) there is a home use agreement form that can be signed and the equipment goes home with the special programs. Remember the program MUST be special. So for example, if your child needs their novels for English read to them because they can't read many children with a LD learning disability should be listening and following along with the print in a different color highlighted as they read. One example of a program is called Voice dreamer. Once the child is doing that then they can focus on comprehension not the function of reading. Also they can use other programs like dragon dictate to speak into the computer their thoughts and it will type for them then they can write and not worry about the process of typing.

These are all Specialized programs to help with the tasks that make learning hard for them (due to their LD) , but really ease things.

Hope this helps!

Let me know if you have any more questions, I sit on a committees that buys equipment for kids with disabilities and I have a child that uses technology daily who has ADHD.

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Ask the 504 team members if they feel he could complete college entrance exams or an AP test without accommodation. Would it be an "even playing field"? While an accommodation is something that is not already provided to all students equally, maybe they could include what he is using to be successful in the evaluation report. I find it hard to believe that a student with a diagnosed disability doesn't need any accommodations in order to be equally successful in the classroom as the other non-disabled students.

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