When the Plan isn't being Implemented
"I don't think my son's teachers are using his 504 plan."
This is such a common complaint from my clients! When a student has a 504 plan (IAP) or an IEP, chances are that you fought tooth and nail to get it, so when you suspect that it isn't being followed, that is incredibly frustrating!
What can you do?
If you think that you child's IEP or 504 Plan isn't being followed, there are a few steps you can take to find out.
Ask your child. Kids are often more perceptive than we give them credit for being. Ask direct questions, without emotion, such as, "Have you gone with Mrs. X for reading this week?" "Has Mr. X been reading your tests aloud?" Document what your child shares.
Ask the teacher. Ask for clarification by asking questions such as, "When does my child receive his pull-out minutes?" "Who reads her tests aloud?" Send all communication through email so that there is a paper trail!
Voice your concerns to the special education coordinator or principal. "I'm concerned that it seems like my child is not receiving his 504 accommodations. Can we talk about this?" Again, use email to establish a paper trail.
At a meeting, ask for evidence. Ask the teacher to mark the tops of papers with the accommodations given for the assignment. This is a totally common, reasonable thing to ask!
Retain an advocate. If you feel uncomfortable asking these questions, you may wish to retain an advocate. Advocates are pros at navigating the school system to make sure that your child is receiving what they need to be successful in the school setting.
A few things to remember:
504 Plans and IEPs are legally binding documents, not merely suggestions! They must be implemented with fidelity.
Don't take no for an answer!
You have the right to answers regarding your child.
You can bring any support person you want to your child's meetings.
If you need help, reach out! I am your friendly neighborhood special education advocate!