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504 PLAN - plus and minuses??

MichelinaMichelina Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
edited November 2009 in Parents Forum
My child is likely eligible for a 504 plan (accomodation plan) to get more time for test taking because of anxiety and ADD issues. His grades so far our OK ( Bs to A-), so I am wondering if we should put him on a 504 plan or not. Guidance counsler thinks it would help alleviate stress. Advantage would be he could get extra time on test if needed ( including SAT) BUT what are the negatives?? Does anyone know if guidance counsler or teacher can write in recommendation letters that your child is on a 504 plan??
Advice needed. thanks
Post edited by Michelina on

Replies to: 504 PLAN - plus and minuses??

  • poetgrlpoetgrl Registered User Posts: 13,334 Senior Member
    Only your child can disclose an LD or accomodations. Even if your child gets extended time on standardized tests, this information will not be disclosed. If you feel your child will benefit from the time and anxiety relief? In this day and age, with all the stress these students are under, I would go for it. Ultimately, though, I'd really ask your child. In my experience, the child is the best judge of what will "help" them and will frequently make excellent suggestions, as well. Good luck.
  • tsdadtsdad Registered User Posts: 4,035 Senior Member
    All postsecondary institution have their own procedures for how an individual can request an academic adjustment (accommodations are used in an employment setting), which you must follow. They will be on a university's website. For example, see these: McBurney Disability Resource Center - University of Wisconsin, Madison WI and McBurney Disability Resource Center - University of Wisconsin, Madison WI.

    As poetgrl suggests, you need to work with your student to make sure they want them. If they don't, your child will probably not request them or make use of them.
  • Singersmom07Singersmom07 Registered User Posts: 3,878 Senior Member
    The colleges will not know anything about it - both the plus and the minus to the process. That is one of things that has been discussed in cases like the VA Tech shooter. None of the HS information transferred to the university. Students have to start the process over for colleges. And if they do not do it there is no one looking over their shoulders like a guidance counselor to see if they need it.

    That said, mine that would do the process found it very beneficial. Even when S1 did not pursue it at college, the time he was able to use in HS helped him learn to make the his own adjustments better when he was in college.
  • icedragonicedragon Registered User Posts: 2,170 Senior Member
    I have been on teh 504 plan since i was in the first grade, and i will tell you now, there are no negitives.

    For extended time and such on tests (like SAT), your school's 504 plan councler must be aware that he is on the plan, or else he will not qualifiy for the extended (or whatever) time.

    You can get him/her to write the letter, but like a previous poster said, it is ultimently up to the child in question weither to tell a college or not.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,718 Senior Member
    There shouldn't be any negatives, but my son was regularly put in rooms to take tests that were noisier than the classroom. Nobody ever seemed to remember that access to a keyboard was supposed to be part of the plan too. He hated feeling stigmatized by being pulled out of the class. He lobbied to drop the plan in high school. For the most part it has worked out fine, though he got some B's that might have been A's if he'd had more time to check his work.

    I have heard of cases where the College Board did not want to honor 504 plans. Start early with that process, they don't make it easy.
  • NewHope33NewHope33 Registered User Posts: 6,208 Senior Member
    Has anyone gotten a "lukewarm" GC recommendation as a result of being on a 504 Plan? Just wondering.
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 10,466 Senior Member
    My DD was on a 504 & IEP for ONLY extra time. She got extra time on any timed testing including SAT & AP due to a processing problem.

    It was a wonderful stress relief, as a both gifted and LD kid she was able to show her true abilities and ended up ranked top 5 in her HS class and had good admission results for universities.

    In university and for the MCAT, the standards are different than HS and DD no longer qualifies for extra time. It showed in her score and in some B+/A- marks that would have been higher with the extra time on times tests.

    I have heard some privates have more leeway in campus accommodations, but not for LSAT/MCAT/GRE. Once you are out of HS the standard is no longer not working to YOUR potential, but rather something like working below 50% of normal....this essentially rules out most any one unless they are physically handicapped.

    But that is okay, once you are an adult, it is time to make your own compensation and just do your best and choose your courses wisely. Med school apps would be vastly easier and different schools had she had that extra time and finished the test, but her score and GPA are still in the average ranges, just no longer showing as exceptional.

    She chooses to be grateful for the chance to show her true abilities in HS and not grump about being such a slow poke in college :D

    When it comes to getting time on SAT/AP tests one factor is whether or not the student has received accommodation all along in regular school, so go for it!
  • tsdadtsdad Registered User Posts: 4,035 Senior Member
    What's missing from this discussion is the need for you to supply current documentation to the college. A 504 plan, or an IEP, will not on it's own be enough to determine what the appropriate academic adjustments are. If you do re-test, make sure that the tests are keyed for adults. Testing done, especially testing involving learning disabilities, when the student was very young may not be accepted because of the dynamic nature of these types of disabilities.

    Elementary and secondary schools often provide academic adjustments not justified by the documentation simply because it is easier than fighting with the parents. Because the legal responsibilities of colleges are different, children have to be in school, they don't have to be in college, the obligations of postsecondary institutions are substantially less. Colleges tend to be more rigorous in their examination of the documentation than schools.

    Please read the pamphlet found on the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights website at:

    Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education
  • foolishpleasurefoolishpleasure Registered User Posts: 919 Member
    "Has anyone gotten a "lukewarm" GC recommendation as a result of being on a 504 Plan? Just wondering."

    ^^ How would a student or parent know? Aren't the overwhelming majority of recs confidential (ie: student waives right to see the rec)?
  • psych_psych_ Registered User Posts: 1,568 Senior Member
    Please keep in mind a 504 does NOT guarantee extra time on the SAT/ACT or any other standardized tests. There's a separate, lengthy process for that.
  • foolishpleasurefoolishpleasure Registered User Posts: 919 Member
    ^^^ Also, SAT and ACT have different criteria for extra time - - very few are successful getting extra time on the ACT.
  • MommaJMommaJ Registered User Posts: 5,640 Senior Member
    If your child plans to utilize the services of the disabilities office at college, having had a 504 plan in high school will help make the case that he qualifies. One negative we encountered was mild annoyance on the part of some teachers that they had to do a little extra work--in D's case, it meant making copies of notes for her that others had to copy from the blackboard. D also got a little resentment from fellow students that she got extra time on exams and xeroxed notes. But the positives far outweighed the negatives.

    As an aside, I'll mention that D's college, which has excellent support services for learning disabilities, required test results that were no more than 4 years old in order to qualify for their services. In my part of the world, testing costs $2500-$3000, not something we had factored in when counting our coins for freshman year expenses.
  • mnmom62mnmom62 Registered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    I've never had negative experiences related to my d's 504. She never takes advantage of the extra time for tests or availability of a quieter room, but she does rarely need the extra day for homework that she forgets due to her executive function issues. She's lost w/o her planner, so if she forgets it either at home or school, there's bound to be something else that gets forgotten.
  • psych_psych_ Registered User Posts: 1,568 Senior Member
    ^^^ Also, SAT and ACT have different criteria for extra time - - very few are successful getting extra time on the ACT.

    Really? I remember the ACT accommodation process being much easier than the College Board's, but keep in mind that this was several years ago, and with a physical disability (which tend to be much more clear cut than LDs in terms of documentation).
  • TwistedxKissTwistedxKiss Registered User Posts: 2,535 Senior Member
    I have a physical disability and the ACT people pretty much told me to take a hike in 2006 despite medical documentation and my GC practically begging by the end of the process. I didn't even bother applying when I retook last year.
This discussion has been closed.