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Volume 71

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504 Plan Accommodations for Students with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome

A lot of parents have been asking me about a "504 plan", what it is and how it works. Well the name "504 plan" comes from a section of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The Americans with Disabilities Act helps those with disabilities because this law states that any person with a disability cannot be discriminated against or excluded from participating in any federally funded program or activity. This would include all schooling that receives federal funds including elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools.

In the act, a disability refers to a "physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities." A lot can be covered here and generally includes...

  • Physical impairments
  • Illnesses or injuries
  • Communicable diseases
  • Chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes
  • Learning problems

So how does a "504 plan" come into play?

Well the 504 plan lists any modifications, accommodations or other issues that will be needed to allow a student to compete and gain a quality education. It is a document that attempts to level the playing field so that a student with a disability has an equal opportunity to gain a quality education. A student with autism or Asperger's syndrome is generally considered to qualify under the Disabilities Act.

What type of accommodations are typical?

There are all types of accommodations that schools make to help students with disabilities including...

  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Blood sugar monitoring
  • Extra time to take an exam
  • Special keyboard to help typing
  • An extra set of textbooks
  • Special meals and lunches (perhaps peanut-free)
  • Special tutoring
  • Home instructions
  • Tape recorders

While not all of these are applicable to students with autism, I list these to give you an idea of how broad these accommodations can be. But each state tends to have accommodations that they generally consider typical for students with autism or Asperger's syndrome.

How do I get more information about 504 plans in my state?

Well states vary in the manner in which they implement these plans and they also vary in the type of accommodations they generally approve. To see your specific state, try one of the links below.

You may also find the information provided by other states very useful. The 504 plan implementation is a federal government mandate. States vary, to some extent, in how they implement these plans. But the overall rules are federal. Therefore, you may find the guides and manuals provided by other states to be very informative and helpful even if you do not live in that state. I suggest browsing several of these state's guides to become familiar with the overall program. Note: Rhode Island lists a guide from attorneys which is a different spin. And I found the Special Education in Alabama (see chapter 6) very informative.
 

For more information on the way Section 504 is implemented in your state, refer to these sites and documents: Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | Washington, D.C. | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming

Click here to go to the governments website Americans with Disabilities Act [www.ada.gov]

And my book, Asperger's Syndrome Guide for Teens and Young Adults school issues are covered extensively and there is a special report "A Guide to the Individualized Education Program" which many parents find very helpful.

These are "must read" materials for parents helping their children navigate the challenges of Asperger's syndrome.


My book, the Asperger's Syndrome Guide for Teens and Young Adults discusses bullying, anxiety, depression and what to do about it.

For more information click here


Learn from the advice of hundreds of other moms and dads how to help your son or daughter ...

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Make and keep friends

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Prevent meltdowns

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Be happy and lead a fulfilling life

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Do well in school

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Understand therapy options and much more.

Go to www.AspergersSociety.org for additional information and to purchase books.

 

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Thank you,

Craig Kendall, Author