504 Plan VS. IEP

504 Plan VS. IEP

Summer is coming to an end, so school is just around the corner. If your child has a disability, it is important to understand the difference between an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and a 504 Plan, so your child can do his or her best in class.

504 Plans allows the student to modify his or her school environment. For example, one can receive extra time on tests and homework or sit in the front of the class, for example. Those with 504 Plans do not have major learning disabilities. Common reasons for a 504 Plan are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), test anxiety, dysgraphia, or dyslexia.

An IEP, on the other hand, focuses on altering the child’s class curriculum to best suit his or her needs. Recipients commonly work in smaller classes to spend more time one-on-one with a teacher to meet their individual learning goals. Children with an IEP may be a year behind in math or read at a lower level than others in the same grade, for example. IEP’s also allow for the same benefits a student receives from a 504 Plan. A child can be eligible for an IEP for major learning disabilities such as hearing or visual impairment, or autism.

Fear not, IEP’s and 504 Plan’s will not affect a student’s ability to get into a college, as schools are not allowed to ask whether or not a child received such services. A student can choose to release information regarding the services at their discretion. Looking into educational assistance can significantly relieve a student’s stress and make schooling more pleasant. Whether a child receives an IEP or a 504 Plan is determined on a case-by-case basis. To start the process of getting an IEP or 504 Plan, talk with your doctor and school counselors. They can help decide on the best route for your child.

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