Parents will come to me loaded with terms only partially understood, like referring to “504 Plans.”.
I will hear things such as the following:
“We just need to get him a 504. so he can start reading better.”
“Yesterday, she had a meltdown in school and no one wants to play with her. The 504 just isn’t working.”
Listen folks. We need to get real. Even if you are able to obtain a 504 Plan, that does not result in giving the child the help that may be needed.
It’s not the purpose of a 504 Plan.
Tack this on your office wall and repeat it as a mantra: A 504 does not provide any service or intervention!!!
This point is absolutely essential to keep in mind.
The notion of the 504 is that the child identified by an outside professional as having a disability necessitates developing reasonable accommodations so that the child can function as free as possible of any handicapping barriers in the mainstream setting.
The word “reasonable“ is open to a great deal of interpretation.
So is the word “adequate,” which comes up a lot in special education lingo.
Second mantra to post on your wall:
“Schools are not required (by law) to provide the “best” education when it comes to special education, but an adequate one.”
The Toyota – Lexus analogy has been used frequently to explain this. While the Toyota may not have all of the features of a Lexus, it certainly is adequate to get you from here to there.
504 Plans do not offer services.
504 provides accommodations, not interventions.
More next week.
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