Close
Language?
English
Español
504 plans

7 Tips for Developing a Good 504 Plan

By Kristin Stanberry

36Found this helpful
36Found this helpful

Schools have a lot of leeway when developing 504 plans. So it’s smart to create your own structure and detail. Try these tips as you and the school develop your child’s 504 plan.

1 of 7

Be proactive about being part of the process.

Right from the start, let the school know you want to attend your child’s 504 plan meetings. Approach this with a spirit of teamwork. When you meet with the 504 committee, share your ideas and insights about how your child learns best. Tell them what approaches and informal accommodations have helped in the past. Be sure to highlight your child’s strengths. You may not be an expert in education, but you’re an expert about your child.

2 of 7

Make sure the plan is personalized to your child.

Some schools try to standardize 504 plans for all students with a certain disability, such as ADHD. That may sound efficient, but it can result in an ineffective plan for your child. That’s because different children—even if they fall under the same category of disability—can have different weaknesses and strengths. A child with the inattentive form of ADHD needs different supports than one who is hyperactive and impulsive. Push for accommodations and modifications tailored to your child’s unique needs.

3 of 7

Cover all areas where your child needs support.

Discuss all of the school settings and situations where your child needs support. Daily classroom work might be a given. But what about support when taking tests or participating in physical education class? Even school field trips and assemblies may be challenging. Be thorough, and ask the committee to consider covering all of the bases.

4 of 7

Describe each service in specific terms.

Vague descriptions aren’t useful when listing your child’s accommodations, modifications, services and supports. The more specific the information is, the less chance there is for misunderstanding. For example, the 504 plan might provide for assistive technology. In this case, it should name the technology as well as when and where your child will use it. If your child can use it for regular classroom work but not for taking certain tests, that needs to be clearly stated.

5 of 7

Be sure the plan names names.

Make sure your child’s 504 plan lists the name of the person responsible for providing each accommodation, modification and service. This should also include the name of the 504 committee leader, who’s responsible for the overall plan. Assigning responsibilities makes it clear who’s accountable for what. Any time you think the plan isn’t being followed, you’ll know whom to contact. And be sure to keep a copy of the 504 plan.

6 of 7

Check in with your child and teachers.

From time to time, talk to your child and your child’s teachers to see how the plan is working. Is sitting in the front of the room helpful for him? Or does he find it distracting because he’s next to the door and sees people walking down the hallway? Asking specific questions about the accommodations may help you and the school figure out ways to help him.

7 of 7

Review and update the 504 plan once a year.

The 504 committee should review your child’s 504 plan at least once a year. This is an opportunity to ensure the plan meets the demands of your child’s new school year. It’s important that the plan reflect your child’s current challenges and the specific supports and services he needs. As your child matures, the need for support may decrease in some areas but grow in others as the academic load gets harder. Don’t hesitate to ask the school about the annual meeting if officials don’t contact you first.

View the tips again

6 Tips to Make Sure Your Child’s 504 Plan Is Being Followed

Your child’s 504 plan has been set in motion. Is the school delivering what it promised? Use these tips to monitor the situation throughout the year.

7 Tips for a Successful 504 Meeting

How can you ensure your child’s 504 plan meeting is successful? These tips will help you be proactive, prepared and ready to participate in the meeting.

About the Author

Kristin Stanberry

Kristin Stanberry

Kristin Stanberry is a writer and editor specializing in parenting, education and consumer health/wellness.

More by this author

Reviewed by Barbara Hubert May 23, 2014 May 23, 2014

Did you find this helpful?

More to Explore

  • Parenting Coach

    Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges.

  • Tech Finder

    Find technology to help your child.

    Select platform or device
  • Through Your Child’s Eyes

    Simulations and videos to let you experience your child’s world.

  • Good Grades, Bad Test Scores

    One woman’s story of her daughter’s struggles with standardized testing.

  • Neurodiversity and Brain Strengths

    Learn about the pockets of strength that tend to go along with various learning and attention issues.

  • Parents Like Me

    Connect with other parents who understand.

  • About Henry Winkler’s New Book

    He has a message for parents of kids with dyslexia and other learning and attention issues.

  • Does Auditory Processing Disorder Cause Dyslexia?

    One mother wants to know what causes her son’s dyslexia. Could it be APD?