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Who qualifies for a 504 or iep? How to be prepared for the meeting with the school about this

Tanyaperea profile image
31 Replies

Hi , I have a 9 year old daughter with two types of ADHD. Well she has been having a lot of issues ( education and behavior ) at school this year. I requested to have her tested for special education and I requested that she be moved to another class room. Well both got denied they said they wanted to see how she does on her medication because she just started it. She was diagnosed in January. Anyways I got a call from the principal Saying that they want to keep her back Because she Didn't do well on her AZ merit test. Well of course that made me so angry and sad because I have been telling them all year 1/2 of last year that she needs more help. Well after that call I was told a bell something called 504 and IEP so I went in there demanding this. I don't know much about it so if anyone knows anything on this please let me know because tomorrow we have a meeting with the school in I need to know How I should be prepared what I should take And what to expect. So please if anybody knows let me know please thank you.

31 Replies
ElinaK35 profile image

I can only speak from my experience... but generally IEP meetings are meant to get your child help. They give you a chance to advocate for your child. If your child has official diagnosis, bring it with you... You will get to speak on behalf of your child so mention everything you are doing on your part (medication, therapy sessions, neurologist appointments... whatever it is) and then have a list of things with you that you would like from the school. Special accommodations for test taking for example... movement breaks during class... our son is allowed to put a hood on and put his head down if he needs to... one on one help... and so on... This should not be stressful for you... it's an opportunity. Please let me know if I can help with anything else.

Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to ElinaK35

Thank you I appreciate it. I just looked at the email again and I noticed it said , I would like to schedule a meeting with you to discuss your (me) request for an evaluation. Is this not the iep or 504 plan meeting?

ElinaK35 profile image
ElinaK35 in reply to Tanyaperea

This is the starting point (at least thats the way it is in NY)... They evaluate before putting an official IEP in place... You can still voice your concerns.

Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to ElinaK35

Thank you

Kfletcher03 profile image
Kfletcher03 in reply to Tanyaperea

Typically this is called a domain meeting which is the part of the process you talk about your child's strengths and weaknesses. From there a decision is made about what data needs to be collected and what tests need to be completed.

ElinaK35 profile image

Any child with official diagnosis qualifies for an IEP... it would state goals for your child and create a plan for achieving those goals. You can also ask at the meeting what more you can do in order to get more services for your child.

Teresa12626 profile image

If she adhd they have to give her a iep or 504 plan if you request it. If they try and tell you she doesn't have to have one say you are going to report them she qualifies under other health impairment if you look up quailifatcation for iep online and read through adhd is listed under other health impairment I would try and get her a iep if she has learning issues to you can have accommodations in a iep to a 504 is just a accommodations plan where a iep she can get other learning help to OT, speech, learning center etc. Also have goals they will work on trying to get her to meet.

Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to Teresa12626

Thank you so much. I'm a little lost with all of this. We had a meeting back in feburary because I wanted her tested for special education and yo ver her moved out of the class she was in. Needless to say my cries went unheard. At that time my daughter was just diagnosed with two types of ADHD and had just started her medication. They didn't test her because they wanted to wait and see how her medication worked. Now here we are and the want to keep her back a grade. I'm so furious. So if you have any advice please let me know.

Teresa12626 profile image
Teresa12626 in reply to Tanyaperea

If you didn't already put your request for a iep in writing if they don't agree to give you one in your meeting tell them if they denie it you will report them it is your right and your child right for her to have one under other health impairment in the qualification for a iep I wouldn't go into the meeting saying give me a iep or I'm going to report you but if they try and say know then tell them it's your right for her to have one and they need to give you one or you will report them

helsiu profile image

Go online and search for a template letter making a formal request for an evaluation. They cannot deny your request for an evaluation, especially with a diagnosis. The key is talk about how her disability is keeping her from accessing her education. Give proof of e.g. Her Inattention or impulsivity,...etc. This is proof of why she needs accommodations/modifications. Make three copies of the letter. One to teacher, principal, and one to the RSP. The school should get back to you within 15 days of when you sent this letter. I would also send an email to let them know you sent them a letter in regards to an evaluation and expect a response back within 15 days.

Also look in your community to see if there is an IEP workshop you can attend so you can understand your rights as a parent and what you can do to advocate for your child. Understood.org might be able to give you some valuable info. These workshops for the parents are usually free. You can probably look an IEP time lines. Hope this helps.

Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to helsiu

Thank you

It sounds like your meeting is going to be about them starting the process for Evaluations and then once evaluated you have another meeting to discuss results and best course of action (IEP/504). Be prepared the process usually takes a couple of months. I believe in my state they have 30 days to complete the evaluations. Best of luck to you.

Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to

We well be starting the evaluation but the psychologist said there is no guarantees

in reply to Tanyaperea

Once the evaluations are done you will remeet for results. I hope it works out for you. You could also have her tested at an outside psychologist if the results are not what you feel they should be.

anirush profile image

A letter from your doctor with get diagnosis qualified you. For my first meeting I got online for as much help as possible.

My grandson has a counselor at school who helps him catch up on assignments, has extra time to turn in homework, can take achievement tests away from the class where he can take his time. He is also on a social skills class.

For my first meeting I was so intimidated I didn't stand up for what my grandson needed. I have learned since then to put my foot down and in insist on what I think he needs.

Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to anirush

The meeting today went ok the School Psychologist agreed to doing a assessment. Thanks for your help

Bonnmu01 profile image

My 11 year old daughter has a 504 plan we started once she was diagnosed with Inattentive type adhd. They make certain exceptions for her like: she can take longer on standardized tests if she needs more time -my daughter used to rush on tests as she got anxious and watched others finishing and handing in. She doesn’t sit next to a window or a best friend in class where she might become easily distracted, she has checklists for packing her bags at end of day at school. These are just a few things that are addressed in it there’s more. We met with the guidance counselor at a public school to set up and to get the 504 plan in place we needed the diagnosis from the doctor. She is now at a private school, and I do feel the public schools are much better able to handle putting one together and consistently following it. I definitely recommend getting one put together. It has helped.

Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to Bonnmu01

Thank you so much

Cjkchamp profile image

I am also in AZ. My understanding from my friend who is a principal is that in AZ an ADHD diagnosis does not guarantee an IEP. However that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. My son has ADHD combined type and his school has him on an IEP. My friend’s son also has ADHD and he has a 504 plan. If you sign the paperwork they are supposed to evaluate your child. I recommend you contact RAising Special Kids and they will hook you up with someone to help you and give you direction for your situation. Wishing you the best of luck!!

Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to Cjkchamp

Omg thank you so much for that information. I really could use someone that could lead me in the right direction.

Onthemove1971 profile image

Tanyaperea- sounds like a frustrating situation. I am sorry you are going through this. One of the first things I would recommend it keep a paper trail and write things down when dealing with the school district.

In order for any child to qualify for an IEP/504 they must be assessed by a psychologist or other Specialist (person giving the service). So I would recommend you putting in writing that your child needs an assessed for services (educational and behavioral) which are "impacting" her educational process.

This process means you sign paperwork with the psychologist who reviews assessments you want done then you sign the plan. Then from the date you sign they ( Specialists and the psychologist) have 60 days to determine if your child qualifies for Special Educaction services ( IEP or 504). Then at the meeting to explain the results the principal might be involved.

Does this make sense? Principals does impact the determination of who qualifies for special education services.

I would recommend you bring a letter to the special education department. Or find out who the school psychologist is that works at you child school and get the letter to them.

Hope this helps.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to Onthemove1971

I had a meeting with the School Psychologist today about my concerns with my daughter. She agreed to doing a assessment. Thank you for your help

Onthemove1971 profile image

Very exciting and let's hope your daughter can get the help that she needs. The assessment will determine what service she will need and the goals will be written from by the appropriate Specialist who can help her.

Best of luck.

Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to Onthemove1971

The school psychologist told me there is No guarantees. And that some Don't even qualify

Onthemove1971 profile image

Of course they will say this, but if your child struggles and is not doing well this will come out during the assessment.

Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to Onthemove1971

Very true

I just had an iep meeting at my sons school and they said because he is doing well academically he doesn’t qualify for an iep or a 504 😪 so I’m fighting it calling the school board on Monday

Kfletcher03 profile image

The psychologist and other evaluators will be looking to see if there are factors that make it difficult for your child to access the academic content. That is the whole foundation that an IEP is built on. Please don't shoot the messenger, that is how federal law is written and then state laws have small differences over and above federal law. You need to provide evidence that your child's inability to focus, concentrate, memorize etc is negatively impacting her learning.

For what it is worth, the school can not force you to medicate your child, nor can they deny an eval based on medication or lack of medication. The following book is a great resource for parents. Initially it appears intimidating but it is written to help families navigate the world of disabilities as defined by law.


Typically if your child qualifies for a 504 plan, they qualify for an iep. Of the two, your child has far more protection under the law with an iep. At your next meeting, the evaluators will share their findings and determine if there is an adverse effect. Assuming there is no cognitive impairment, they could identify it as OHI (other health impaired- I.e. adhd) or label it as a SLD (specific learning disability) in the areas relating to reading, writing, and/or math. There are other eligibility categories but from what you have written these seem to be the most likely.

After identifying the adverse effect (again defined by law not my words) then an eligibility determination is made. If found eligible for help then the plan on how to help is developed. Goals are set, how to attain those goals are determined (accommodations and modifications to curriculum and settings) and measurement of success towards the goals are set.

This is the short version of a very long complex process with paperwork that is written for lawyers to examine rather than being parent friendly.

A couple of suggestions for you..

1. Take someone with you to the meeting to take notes. This needs to be someone who can remain call and listen fire things you may miss. They will be able to listen and watch what is being said while a ton of information is thrown at you. Expect it to be an emotional meeting. There are going to be things revealed at that meeting that will be hard to hear even if you know those facts to be true.

2. Ask for a draft of the evaluation be sent to you at least one week prior to the meeting. This week give you time to read and re-read test results at your own pace.

3. Mark parts of the results that you question or don't understand. When that part of the eval is discussed, ask your questions!

4. Personally I would not allow my child to be retained at 9 years old under any circumstances. In the long run those decisions don't typically yield the intended results. If the school insists, I would call the Americans with Disabilities office for your state and explain what is going on. I would block retention at every turn.

I'll stop for now. I know I've thrown a lot if information at you. If you want to talk more, I'd be happy to share what I know. I do not know what state you are in, but the laws are fairly similar and all of them fall under federal law PL94-142.


I have been on both sides of this issue as a parent and as a teacher. Good luck. Keep advocating for your child. Her voice well get lost. She needs you every step of the way. You will find that in this arena, the more obvious the disability, the more support and compassion for the child. It's easy to help the child in the wheel chair. The disability is obvious. Adhd, anxiety and learning disabilities are easily pushed under the rug and mislabeled as lazy, defiant or naughty. You need to become well educated as quickly as you can and find well educated passionate advocates who will help you navigate these meetings as well as the follow through of classroom teachers and the implementation of outlined modifications and accommodations.

Good luck


Tanyaperea profile image
Tanyaperea in reply to Kfletcher03

I would very much appreciate any advice you can give me. I have the meeting on the 26 of this month. Thank you so much

EJsMom profile image

My son has been on an IEP just about the whole time he’s been in school. He will be in 9th grade this fall.

To qualify they need to have a diagnosis. My son has adhd and odd.

I had two separate doctors diagnose him but they still send home a standard questionnaire for you to fill out, the teacher also fills this out. The school never even looked at the doctors info.

Basically both the IEP and 504 are designed to help meet your child’s specific needs relating to a diagnosis.

Over the years I have found it somewhat difficult to deal with the schools. However because my son has impulse control and blurts out things and can’t sit still etc... the IEP has given him more leeway with regard to discipline issues. Let’s put it this way; if he hadn’t been on the IEP he would’ve been expelled long ago.

As far as academics; the IEP hasn’t helped at all. They said my kid is too smart. He passes all the standard tests. Except he’s failed all his classes this year because he really should’ve had extra help.

Make a list of questions.

Make a list of things you want in the plan.

Make them stick to it.

care4myboy profile image

Hello, my son was on the 504 plan but recently the school psychiatrist recommended for him to be on the IEP Plan. IEP would provide more services for children who are academically challenged due to developmental issues or in my son case, he is dealing with ADHD and emotional issues. IEP is different from kid to kid. It depends on the needs of the child. It is individual ly tailored. In my son case, he goes to the IEP classroom an hour a day to take his test or to catch up with what he misses in his regular classroom. He also has an aide to watch over him to make sure he is safe and to give him a nudge whenever he needs it. Be your child advocate at the 504, or IEP meeting. You know what your child needs and don't take no for an answer. Fight for your child. Good luck.

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