INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM

IEP

Individualized Education Program gives these special children all the tools they need to excel in school. It is a document that outlines the student’s educational needs and any extra educational items or services they’ll need for this program to be successful.

Having a child who is different from his or her peers and has a harder time at school is hard on every parent. You worry about a lot of things like acceptance, your child’s ability to cope, and make friends. But most importantly, you worry about your child’s mental capabilities.

You also worry about their performance at school and how this would affect their future because you want life to be easy, and education is just one more place where they struggle.

As parents struggle, it’s also difficult for kids too. And finding a solution to this problem would bring relief to both parent and child. In many states, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is the solution to this problem. Special needs children; for example, autistic children can get the help they need.

However, this document isn’t just released without following due process. In Maryland, there are quite a few hurdles to cross before your special needs child can get this document that makes learning easier for them.

Before your child can even be considered as a special needs child, someone has to acknowledge that there is a problem. It could be your child’s teacher who notices that your child might be having a hard time in school. It could also be you – the parent who makes a formal complaint to the IEP staff at your child’s school.

In Maryland, once you report this observation, there is a usually a 90-day limit to access the student. The assessment usually takes three ways:

  • General Screening
  • Assessing the students’ academic ability
  • Review of assessment

The members of the IEP team set up to resolve this consist of:

  • Parent/guardian
  • General education teacher
  • Special education teacher
  • Social worker
  • Psychologist
  • Speech pathologist
  • Nurse/health-related service provider
  • School administrator
  • Family Friend

Parental Consent for Individualized Education Programs

The State of Maryland has put in specific rules and laws to provide parents a more hands-on chance to be involved in their child’s educational needs. An example is a 5-day rule that stipulates that parents of the special needs child be given all documents about their child’s assessment and the IEP document, which outlines all the services the child needs.

Can parents sign an IEP (individualized education plan) if they don’t agree with the document?

No, they don’t!

One crucial aspect of implementing IEP’s is parental consent. Maryland respects the parent’s decision, and if as a parent, you don’t agree with the information in the IEP document, you aren’t mandated to sign. Refusal to give consent would stall any actions or help rendered to your child.

Usually, there’ll be another meeting of the main actors in the IEP team where you could object to all parts of the IEP document you had a problem with. Depending on how the meeting goes, you would either sign the IEP document or not. If you don’t, your child won’t be eligible for the IEP special needs student.


RELATED TOPICS PAGES AND ARTICLES

Can I change a 504 to an IEP? Well… maybe.

SETH TALK – Makeia Kelly sets up 9th grade IEP

IEP jargon. What are developmental milestones?

What’s the difference between an IEP and a 504?

SETH’S MOM AUTISM MEDIA PAGE

Parent’s rights and the IEP process in Maryland

Where is Seth’s Mom? Walk with Choosy health and fitness event


NEXT STEPS…

Share your story with the community. Click here to contact us about doing a SETH TALK.

Interested in becoming a guest writer for Seth’s Mom. Click here to contact us.


External Resources

The Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities (MANSEF)

Support program: Autism Sibling Support Initiative

Support program: Sibling Support Project

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

Maryland Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Maryland Preschool Special Education

Maryland Department of Education Division of Early Childhood

 

 

 

 

SETH TALK – THE SOCIAL WORKER AND THE IEP PARENT

SETH TALK – THE SOCIAL WORKER AND THE IEP PARENT

SETH TALK – THE SOCIAL WORKER AND THE IEP PARENT

 

We get real. We get intimate.

 

Unfiltered and Unscripted conversations with members of the Seth’s Mom family, sharing their experiences with disabilities and mental health. #disabilities #mentalhealth #sethsmom

 

We’re chatting with Adia, licensed clinical social worker in the state of Maryland.

She discusses her experience working with parents through the IEP process.

 

Seth’s Mom and Seth Talks take all perspective into consideration. We are a team of family members, clinicians, teachers, para-professionals, and professionals working toward the same goal. INCLUSION and ACCEPTANCE of us as self-advocates, as well as our family members diagnosed with a disability or mental illness.

Contact us to share your disability and mental health stories. We are real people with real life experiences that need to be heard. What you share could inspire others to see the beauty of inclusiveness and take the stigma out of mental illness and disabilities.

 Log-in to leave comments or use our contact form to send us a message. We would love to hear from you.

 

SETH TALK – Makeia Kelly sets up 9th grade IEP

SETH TALK – Makeia Kelly sets up 9th grade IEP

SETH TALK – Makeia Kelly sets up 9th grade IEP

We get real. We get intimate.

Unfiltered and Unscripted conversations with members of the Seth’s Mom family, sharing their experiences with disabilities and mental health. #disabilities #mentalhealth #sethsmom

Joining us today

We’re chatting with Makeia Kelly

She discusses her experience setting up her son’s 9th grade IEP

Tell your story

Contact us to share your disability and mental health stories. We are real people with real life experiences that need to be heard. What you share could inspire others to see the beauty of inclusiveness and take the stigma out of mental illness.

Feedback for us?

Log-in to leave comments or use our contact form to send us a message. We would love to hear from you.

Can I change a 504 to an IEP? Well… maybe.

Can I change a 504 to an IEP? Well… maybe.

Can I change a 504 to an IEP? Maybe, but most likely no

In previous articles we introduced the 504 Plan. We also talked about the difference between a 504 and an IEP. During Dr. Day’s visit to Gateway to Success Learning Center a parent asked if they can convert their child’s 504 Plan to an IEP. Excellent question! After some research we found that in general, the answer is no BUT every case is different.

Let’s revisit the definitions and purpose of the 504 and the IEP.

IEP

An IEP (individual education plan) is developed based on a federal law called Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA guarantees that children with specific disabilities are guaranteed a free and appropriate public education. The disability must impact their ability to learn and require special education services. This is is a very important point because not every disability impacts learning. For example, use of a wheelchair is considered a disability but does not require any change to the standard curriculum, or how it is taught, in order for the child to learn the material.

504 Plan

The 504 Plan is named after Section 504 of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The act ensures that children with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations and services so they can fully participate in classes. The 504 Plan describes the services and accommodations the school system will provide. For example, a child who is deaf may need a sign language interpreter but not special education services. Meaning, the curriculum and how it is taught does not have to altered in any way for the child to learn but an interpreter accommodation is needed.

How to change a 504 to an IEP

Generally, you can’t. In order to change a 504 Plan to an IEP the child must be evaluated by an IEP team and determined to have a qualifying disorder. This is not likely because disabilities that qualify for a 504 and those that qualify for an IEP are not the same. However, can a child’s health condition change? Yes. Can a child develop a disability that requires special education services? Yes, traumatic brain injury from a car accident for example. But these are unique circumstances. Misdiagnosis is a more likely scenario. PLEASE be careful with this. More likely than not your child is appropriately diagnosed. However, if behaviors increase and grades decrease or behaviors don’t seem related to the diagnosis a parent can advocate for re-evaluation or have the child seen by an outside physician. Parents and the school must be partners in this process. Even the best schools can make mistakes and need redirection and feedback. Work with your school, your team, your child, your family, and your physician. It takes a village to provide proper support.

 


RELATED ARTICLES TOPICS AND PAGES

IEP jargon. What are developmental milestones?

SETH TALK – THE SOCIAL WORKER AND THE IEP PARENT

Your child is diagnosed with autism. CONGRATULATIONS!

Support jargon: What is ABA?

Maryland budget: special education and disabilities funding

Time to vent: The disability transportation road to redemption in Baltimore City

Activities and events for disabled children – KEEN Greater DC special needs activities

Easterseals hosts respite weekends

SETH TALK – Makeia Kelly sets up 9th grade IEP

Sick leave to care for disabled family: Maryland Healthy Working Families Act

Disability Support: Mastering the art of sharing power.

Treatment jargon: what is behavior therapy?

 


NEXT  STEPS…

Share your story with the community. Click here to contact us about doing a SETH TALK.

Interested in becoming a guest writer for Seth’s Mom. Click here to contact us.

 


External Resources

Support program: Autism Sibling Support Initiative

Support program: Sibling Support Project

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

Maryland Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

National Center for PTSD

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the difference between an IEP and a 504?

What’s the difference between an IEP and a 504?

What’s the difference between an IEP and a 504

As parents of children with disabilities, community members, and professionals (yes they have a hard time deciphering too) it can be difficult to determine what type of services a child needs. When developing special education services we should ask what is the difference between an IEP and a 504? Why would a  diagnosis qualify for an IEP or 504? Well, let’s take a look at a table from the Maryland Department of Disabilities provided by Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund

A COMPARISON of ADA, IDEA, and Section 504

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 represent three attempts to improve the living conditions of those with disabilities.

Type and purpose

ADA

IDEA

504

A civil rights law to prohibit discrimination solely on the basis of disability in employment, public services, and accommodations.An education act to provide federal financial assistance to State and local education agencies to guarantee special education and related services to eligible children with disabilities.A civil rights law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities, public and private, that receive federal financial assistance.

Who is protected?

ADA

IDEA

504

Any individual with a disability who: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more life activities; or (2) has a record of such impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.  Further, the person must be qualified for the program, service, or job.Children ages 3-21 who are determined by a multidisciplinary team to be eligible within one or more of 13 specific disability categories and who need special education and related services.  Categories include autism, deafness, deaf-blindness, hearing impairments, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, serious emotional disturbance, specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairmentsAny person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) has a record of such an impairment or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment.  Major life activities include walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks.

Provides for a free, appropriate public education (FAPE)

ADA

IDEA

504

Not directly.  However, (1) ADA protections apply to nonsectarian private schools, but not to organization or private schools, or entities controlled by religious organization; (2) ADA provided additional protection in combination with actions brought under Section 504.  Reasonable accommodations are required for eligible students with a disability to perform essential functions of the job.  This applies to any part of the special education program that may be community-based and involve job training/placement.Yes.  A FAPE is defined to mean special education and related services.  Special education means “specially designed instruction at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of the child with a disability…”  Related services are provided if students, require them in order to benefit from specially designed instruction.  States are required to ensure the provision of “full educational opportunity” to all children with disabilities.  IDEA requires the development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) document with specific content and a required number of participants at an IEP meeting.Yes.  An “appropriate” education means an education comparable to that provided to students without disabilities.  This may be defined as regular or special education services.  Students can receive related services under Section 504 even if they are not provided any special education.  Section 504 does require development of a plan, although this written document is not mandated.  The Individualized Education Program (IEP) of IDEA may be used for the Section 504 written plan.  Many experts recommend that a group of persons knowledgeable about the students convene and specify the agreed-upon services.

Funding to implement services

ADA

IDEA

504

No, but limited tax credits may be available for removing architectural or transportation barriers.  Also, many federal agencies provide grant funds to support training and to provide technical assistance to public and private institutions.Yes.  IDEA provides federal funds under Parts B and C to assist states and local education agencies in meeting IDEA requirements to serve infants, toddlers and youth with disabilities.No.  State and local jurisdictions have responsibility.  IDEA funds may not be used to serve children found eligible under Section 504.

Procedural safeguards

ADA

IDEA

504

The ADA does not specify procedural safeguards related to special education; it does detail the administrative requirements complaint procedures, and consequences for noncompliance related to both services and employment.IDEA requires written notice to parents regarding identification, evaluation, and/or placement.  Further, written notice must be made prior to any change in placement.  The Act delineates the required components of the written notices.Section 504 requires notice to parents regarding identification, evaluation and/or placements.  Written notice is recommended.  Notice must be made only before a “significant change” in placement.  Following IDEA procedural safeguards is one way to comply with Section 504 mandates.

Evaluation and placement procedures

ADA

IDEA

504

The ADA does not specify evaluation and placement procedures: it does specify provision of reasonable accommodations for eligible activities and settings.  Reasonable accommodations may include, but are not limited to, redesigning equipment, assigning aides, providing written communication in alternative formats, modifying tests, redesigning services to accessibility locations, altering existing facilities, and building new facilities.A comprehensive evaluation is required.  A multidisciplinary team evaluates the child, and parental consent is required before evaluation.  IDEA requires that reevaluations be conducted at least every 3 years.  For evaluation and placement decisions, IDEA requires that more than one single procedure or information source be used; that information from all sources be documented and carefully considered; that the eligibility decision be made by a group of persons who know about the student, the evaluation data, and placement options; and that the placement decision serves the student in the least restrictive environment.  An IEP meeting is required before any change in placement.Unlike IDEA, Section 504 requires only notice, not consent, for evaluation.  It is recommended that district obtain parental consent.  Like IDEA evaluation and placement procedures under Section 504 require that information be obtained from a variety of sources of the area of concern; that all data are documented and considered; and that decisions are made by a group of persons knowledgeable about the student, evaluation data, and placement options.  Section 504 requires that students be educated with their non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate.  Section 504 does not require a meeting for any change in placement.

Due process

ADA

IDEA

504

The ADA does not delineate specific due process procedures.  People with disabilities have the same remedies that are available under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended in 1991.  Thus, individuals who are discriminated against may file a complaint with the relevant federal agency or due in federal court.  Enforcement agencies encourage informal mediation and voluntary compliance.IDEA delineates specific requirements for local education agencies to provide impartial hearings for parents who disagree with the identification, evaluation, or placement of a child.Section 504 requires local education agencies to provide impartial hearings for parents who disagree with the identification, evaluation, or placement of a student.  It requires that parents have an opportunity to participate in the hearing process and to be represented by counsel.  Beyond this, due process details are left to the discretion of the local education agency.  It is recommended that districts develop policy guidelines and procedures.

NOW! That is a lot to take in. What are the important parts?

A 504 does not require parental input and consent for how services are provided. Only significant changes require parent notification.

Unless it’s a big deal they don’t have to tell you anything.

An IEP is much more involved and requires evaluation by a multidisciplinary team and written notification to the parent.

Parents are much more involved and have more rights.

The other significant part is that the IEP has 13 specific categories BUT one of them is OTHER HEALTH IMPAIRMENTS. This is an important distinction. Why? Because it is impossible to determine what type of health impairment can impact a child’s ability to learn. This is very significant as we discuss the possibility of changing a child’s 504 plan to an IEP and vice versa in a future post.


RELATED PAGES ARTICLES AND PAGES

Disability Support: Mastering the art of sharing power.

SETH TALK – Makeia Kelly sets up 9th grade IEP

504? What the heck is a 504 Plan?

Can I change a 504 to an IEP? Well… maybe.

Exceptional Minds special education. Brilliant futures in visual arts for adults with ASD

Get the FAPE in here! Supreme Court ruling supporting special education.

Autism Awareness Month. Inclusion. Accommodations.

Time to vent: The disability transportation road to redemption in Baltimore City

Disability Education Mental Health Education

Mom. Dad. You’re messing up… and it’s OK. Disabilities and parenting perfection. And imperfection.

Your child is diagnosed with autism. CONGRATULATIONS!

 


NEXT  STEPS…

Share your story with the community. Click here to contact us about doing a SETH TALK.

Interested in becoming a guest writer for Seth’s Mom. Click here to contact us.

 


External Resources

Support program: Autism Sibling Support Initiative

Support program: Sibling Support Project

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

Maryland Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Disability Rights Disability Fund

504? What the heck is a 504 Plan?

504? What the heck is a 504 Plan?

504 Plan

Many of you have heard of or have a child on a 504 Plan. But what are they? According to the Maryland Department of Disabilities

Section 504​​ Plans

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law that prohibits organizations that receive federal money from discriminating against a person on the basis of a disability. Section 504 typically applies to all public and many private schools.

Section 504 requires schools to make a “reasonable accommodation” for students with disabilities to allow them to participate in school and school-related activities. Section 504 Plans can be created to help students with disabilities get accommodations that are not covered by their IEPs. Or, students with disabilities who do not need an IEP may still get accommodations through a Section 504 Plan.

For example, a student who has diabetes may have a Section 504 Plan that includes a schedule for getting medication. A student who uses a wheelchair may have a Section 504 Plan that provides for special transportation during field trips.

 

Note the bold text above “disabilities not covered by an IEP” and “students with a disability who do not need an IEP.” What does this even mean? We all know learning disabilities and developmental disabilities are covered by IEPs. Essentially, a 504 is a catch-all plan for health conditions that don’t fall into the 13 health conditions covered by an IEP. To find out what 13 health conditions are covered click here to read our article comparing IEPs and 504s.

 


RELATED ARTICLES PAGES AND TOPICS

IEP jargon. What are developmental milestones?

SETH TALK – THE SOCIAL WORKER AND THE IEP PARENT

Autism Awareness Month. Inclusion. Accommodations.

Disabilities support jargon. What’s LISS?

What’s the difference between an IEP and a 504?

Get the FAPE in here! Supreme Court ruling supporting special education.

Easterseals hosts respite weekends

Disability Support: Mastering the art of sharing power.

Treatment jargon: what is behavior therapy?

Support jargon: What is ABA?

Can I change a 504 to an IEP? Well… maybe.

Activities and events for disabled children – KEEN Greater DC special needs activities

 


NEXT  STEPS…

Share your story with the community. Click here to contact us about doing a SETH TALK.

Interested in becoming a guest writer for Seth’s Mom. Click here to contact us.

 


External Resources

Support program: Autism Sibling Support Initiative

Support program: Sibling Support Project

Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council

Maryland Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Administration for Community Living

Pathfinders for Autism

Disability Scoop

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance